Taking a gap year? Here’s what you need to know about money

School and the world is your oyster. Every year thousands of school leavers and graduates collect backpacks and travel to warmer climes. But it pays to study your finances before jet.

The gap-year passengers should read the fine print on everything from debit card fees, travel insurance to make sure that their trip abroad not turn into a costly mistake.

To work in Australia? Make an account in a local Bank before you go

If you plan to work while traveling you will need a working Visa and a local Bank account to be paid. Visa and terms vary depending on where you go. If you are aged between 18 and 30 you can apply for a work visa to Australia. You should do this before you go and stands 450 AU$(£253).

Opening a Bank account can be difficult without proof of address. A transferwise account “without borders” may be the answer.

“You can open one online for free in minutes, and you’ll get instant local Bank details for UK, USA, Australia and the Eurozone, as well as the opportunity to keep the money in over 40 currencies,” says Jennifer swallow at transferwise. “For students on working holiday visas to Australia, that means getting paid, as an Aussie, and convenient.”

The account comes with a debit card and offers a fairly decent exchange rate. You can manage your account via the smartphone app and “freeze” your debit card for extra security.

To make the right plastic

There are many differences between banks when it comes to fees for using a debit or credit card abroad. Most charge fees and commissions external loads – this can really add up to a more advanced one and they don’t offer the best exchange rate, or. Getting Revolut card is a much better option.

This gives you a perfect interbank rates of major currencies, including Euro and US dollars. Cash withdrawals at ATMs free of charge up to £200 per month, then the Commission is 2%. The card works in conjunction with the app and how transferwise, you can freeze your card for extra security.

Our advice-take at least two trips pre-paid cards and store them separately, one in person and one hid in the Luggage.

Another option is an Internet Bank, Monzo. Account holders will be able to spend in shops and restaurants anywhere in the world in any currency, with no commissions. But it’s not great for withdrawals at ATMs – Commission 3% If you take more than £200 a month.




Split notes around your face and in your bags. Photograph: Alamy Photo

Carrying cash

You can get a much better deal if you order the money online and pick it up. MoneySavingExpert Travel money Max compares prices. Basic safety rules apply – do not carry too much and share notes around your face and in your bags.


Standard travel insurance does not work if you abroad much more than a month at a time. You’ll need youth travel insurance that will cover a long period, multiple destinations and a wide range of activities. Buy 12 months worldwide cover for around £150 to £160, while a six-month policy cost about £80 to £90.

“If you add a gadget cover for your phone and devices, you probably need to fork out another £100 or more for a 12-month policy,” says Kevin Pratt, a specialist in consumer Affairs at MoneySuperMarket. “When you run a Quote, find out what types of activities covered. Many included as standard. But if you know you’ll be paragliding or skiing, for example, it is important to check”.

To get a good deal smartphone

Prepare yourself before you go. Check your tariff on foreign fees if you will be traveling outside the EU, to buy a protective case to invest in a dry bag if you plan to travel by boat, make sure your phone is unlocked (if you plan to use a local SIM) and check your machine insured.

Business Credit Report #BusinessCreditReport Home