Money and Credit cHard…

Just sorting out my money for the trip.

The plan is to take some cash to get me started and then use Credit/Debit and Pre Pay cards to get cash when I really need it.

If I take loads of real cashmoney I’ll just spend it and blow the estimated £70-100 per week estimate in no time. No cash in pocket = No random purchases of tourist tat. I hope. Repeat as necessary “I do not need a Fez, I do not need a Fez…”

Telling your bank you are going overseas is a great idea so that they don’t decline / block your card when you are on hols. But it’s a system designed for holidays and business trips. Book-ended deals with a schedule and known departure and arrival dates.

Santander let you tell them about 3 trips to 3 countries up to 3 months in advance.
HSBC let you tell them about 10 trips but you have to say where, when and what dates, exactly. I’m not blaming the banks for being careful but they don’t have an option for “extended overseas trip”. Which is a pain for me.

If I tell my banks I’ll be in Turkey between 2 dates and then I am delayed and use the card over the border in Bulgaria they’ll block it. If I tell them nothing, they’ll think I’m in the UK and block it.

So the solution? It’s a new game called ‘Credit Card Relay’. To play you’ll need 2 cards and the patience to call your banks from overseas just before you get to each new country to tell them where you are and how long you’re staying. All this because of the lack of a few more fields or a comments box for customer location on the system at Credit Card HQ! Service Design anyone*?

If I get desperate I have my faithful O2 Money pre-paid card or I’ll busk for cash using a combo of poor circus skills and my deep baritone voice to wow audiences from London to Laos.

* big up the ITIL massive!

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