My husband and I made the decision this past October to cancel a trip to Spain and Morocco that I’d spent innumerable hours planning. It was a complicated trip - several legs, transportation utilizing planes, trains and automobiles. 12 days in foreign countries. Since it’s been a brutal winter for many of us and thoughts of summer travel are rampant daydreams, I thought I’d finally sit down and share a few hard-earned tips to remember when planning your next trip abroad.

Beware #2: Currency Change-ups

All of the lodging accommodations took the initial charges/downpayments in Euros. The exchange is easy enough to calculate.  BUT on the refund end several credited our credit card in British Pound Sterling.  In most cases, what I received back when I finally got the transactions converted back to Euros then U.S. dollars was not what it would have been had they refunded the money in the original currency taken - Euros (exchange rates fluctuate daily).  Not only that, as if that’s not enough, but it’s extremely confusing when you begin converting the multiple currencies. Make sure you ASK if a cancellation becomes necessary, in what currency they’ll make the refund. You can’t change the policy, but you’ll at least be informed.

Beware #4: Don’t Call Them!

Don’t ever call THEM.  If they’re not offering to call you to iron out any snafus, they don’t deserve your business. My credit card wouldn’t clear with our lodging company in Morocco. I felt guilty about that, as if it was my fault or the thought crossed my mind that maybe they thought I was attempting something I couldn’t afford. Add to that the need to get the particulars nailed down, and you’ve got me picking up the phone and making an international call when they asked me to.  It’s embarrassing to admit that. I was very upset at my stupidity when I received the phone bill. And incensed that they asked me to call in the first place.  There was nothing wrong with my credit card, they just had problems processing a U.S. card and they admitted mine wasn’t the first.

 

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  • Tammie Dooley

    I’m an explorer who happens to write and maintain a camera on my person at all times. Foreign travel is exotic but doesn't happ…

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