Use your Visa debit card while you're abroad - on holiday or on business - just as you do at home. Whether you're paying for a hotel or a table at a restaurant, or buying petrol from a garage or a supermarket, you'll enjoy the same security and peace of mind. There's no need to carry large amounts of cash and you'll get an automatic record of the transaction. And when you pay by Visa debit card you're protected against fraud for any unauthorised spending.
In some countries you may need to use your PIN (personal identification number), so make sure you memorise it before you leave home.
If you need more cash while you're abroad, you can use your debit card to withdraw money at a cash machine or over the counter at any bank displaying the Visa symbol. You can withdraw money up to your limit in sterling as long as you have cleared available funds in your account. You'll need to know your PIN and have some ID (a valid passport will do) when you withdraw money from a bank. If you choose to withdraw cash using your Visa debit card abroad, there are charges that you need to be aware of;
where TSB are required to convert the withdrawal to sterling we will apply a non-sterling transaction fee off 2.99% to the value of the withdrawal and a non-sterling cash fee of 1.5% (min £2, max £4.50)
where you elect for the ATM owner to make the conversion into sterling we will only apply the non-sterling cash fee of 1.5% (min £2, max £4.50). If you choose this option the ATM owner may make a separate charge for the conversion
Research your options before you go. You'll need cover for:
everyone in the party according to their age and any health conditions,
any activities you're planning such as skiing or diving.
Check cover for lost baggage or delays carefully as this can vary - the cheaper policies may not have enough cover if you're taking golf clubs, a video camera or a surfboard, for example.
If you go away a few times a year, it may be cheaper to get an annual travel insurance policy or open a bank account which comes with travel insurance included.
Also, check what documents you need to take with you. In Cuba, for example, you need to show your travel insurance documents before you can enter the country.
Going on holiday in Europe? Make sure you've all got your European Health Insurance Card (EHIC), which entitles you to free or reduced-cost medical treatment in all European Economic Area countries and Switzerland. You can apply for your EHIC card online or pick up a form at a Post Office branch.
To make sure you get the most out of your trip, it's a good idea to do some research before you go.
What to research:
Currency and the exchange rate - some resorts accept US Dollars and Pounds Sterling as well as the Euro or local currency.
What you should expect to pay for things like taxis, food and tours.
What you can do on holiday - activities, excursions.
Where you can eat, and where you can buy supplies if you're self-catering.
Car hire - should you book before you go?
Typical weather - so you know what to pack.
Sightseeing: if you're on a budget look for cheap days out or free visits to museums.
Electrical appliances: do you need an adaptor?
Local laws and customs: are there guidelines about appropriate clothing - covering your head, for instance?
There's a wide range of information sources about travel destinations, including the Trip Advisor website, and established travel guide series - available both online and in print - such as Time Out, Eyewitness Travel Guides, Michelin guides and Lonely Planet.
Check in plenty of time in case you need to get a new one - some countries require you to have at least 6 months left on your passport to travel.
If you need a new passport, you can make sure your application meets the Identity and Passport Service standards by using the Post Office Passport Check & Send service.
Get your medication and jabs
Visit your GP or a travel health clinic to see if you need any vaccinations or medications for your holiday destination, such as malaria tablets.
If you take prescription or over-the-counter medication, make sure you have enough to last you while you're away.
Don't forget holiday essentials such as mosquito spray and tablets for an upset stomach.
If you're planning to drive, get covered
You need a full licence to drive abroad - provisional licences are not valid anywhere other than the country they're issued in.
If you're driving your own car, check with your insurer that you're covered to drive abroad and find out who you should call if you break down or have an accident.
You might need an International Driving Permit to drive in the country you're going to. Check with the AA before you go.
If you're visiting a country outside of the EU, you may also need a Green Card - proof you have the minimum third party liability cover - to drive. If you do, most insurers can supply you with this or you can get it at the point of entry into a country.
Finally check the driving laws of your holiday destination, including what documents you need to have with you. These can vary from country to country.