It doesn’t matter how much planning in advance you do, there will always be bumps in the road when you’re traveling (and a big sign of a savvy and seasoned traveler is the ability to roll with the punches in these instances).
It’s a common occurrence while traveling for something to go awry with your credit or bank card (nevermind the fact that you’ve probably contacted them in advance to let them know that you’ll be overseas).
On the back of your credit card you’ll notice assistance numbers listed, one is usually a toll-free (800) number to be used from within your home country. The other is a fixed phone number that you are directed to call collect if you are overseas or outside the country.
Here’s the thing… there’s nothing simple about calling collect from overseas. It’s a major PITA. And chances are, you won’t be able to figure it out on your own without the help of a local (and half the time the locals will be stumped, too!).
So here’s my enlightening travel tip for you: When you are connected to WiFi, you can use Skype (no matter where in the world you might be) to dial toll-free numbers free of charge. Seriously, this will save you a HUGE headache! And this, of course, applies to any 800 number (whether that be your bank, credit card company, etc.).
Just make sure to download Skype on your computer or device before leaving home so it’s one less thing to do when you’re abroad.
Happy (and hopefully stress-free) traveling!
Cinque Terre Insider
*Disclaimer: I am in no way affiliated, endorsed or paid by Skype for advertising (if only!). I’m unfamiliar with other VoIP carriers but if you know that they will work overseas in the same manner as Skype be sure to chime in and let me know!