Being the master of your financial responsibilities back home is easy if you make a few arrangements in advance of your departure. Failure to do so can mean finding yourself a continent away with no means to pay your bills, get cash or remedy a festering financial situation. In this article I’ll share with you what I’ve learned about handling and protecting my finances from afar. Some of these lessons I learned the hard way and believe me, it’s preferable to lean these lessons second hand.
Imagine you’re in the United States and discover you’ve lost your credit card. No big deal! Just call your bank and in three days a new card is waiting in your mailbox. Now put yourself in Thailand and try making the same call. The first thing you discover is your bank is eleven hours out of sync with Thai time, which makes your bank’s working hours your new sleeping hours. Even worse, your call may be put on hold for five to ten minutes at a cost of a few dollars per minute. And, when you finally do get someone on the line they may tell you the bank only sends replacement cards to US addresses. From your home address can you count on ever seeing that card in Thailand? Preplanning on your part can help to avoid this and other inconvenient situations that my ruin more than just your day.