Up until five minutes ago, the feat of handling my finances abroad paled only to the visa application in terms of difficulty and stress. However, after a day of traveling to banks, talking on the phone, and whining to my dad, I finally figured out what to do with my money.
Naturally, I must write about it.
The tale as old as time for traveling outside the country is to let your bank know that you are traveling, so that your account won’t become frozen. But, once that little beast is tackled, it’s time to figure out how to actually use the money that is no longer frozen.
Going off of rumors whispered to me by my globe trotting grandmother, I went to a Charles Schwab bank. If you are planning an extended trip abroad, dear reader, or even are just taking a short blip outside of the United States, I urge you to open an account with Schwab. Not only are all the employees friendly, the office beautiful and hosting a candy jar, but the benefits are incredible. With an individual checking account, you can take out money from any ATM without any transactions fees. Hello hassle free finances! Once I learned this wonderful tidbit of information, nearly all my worries about bank accounts and debit cards melted away.
Do note though, this requires some planning. When an account is opened, it will take roughly a week for the debit card itself to arrive. The best bet would be to open an account far before you leave. Or, if you are like me and despite having an account for years, never thought to get a debit card until a week before you leave; you can cry a little and beg them to expedite it for you. Nevertheless, being a bit more of a careful planner (like I usually am) would save you time, energy, and stress. This is why I write- to give you, dear reader, the advantage for your own future journeys as a travelsmith.
Alas, the time before I leave is sparse. With less than a week, I still feel as though there is everything to do. The reality is that the only thing left, really, is to pack and say goodbye. My OCD self simply cannot come to terms with the fact that the single thing I have been looking forward to for over a year is nearly here. Soon enough, I shall be writing to you with the sound of Scotland in my ears.