Contact your bank to see if they have a partnership with any banks your destination country and to make sure your bank is aware that you may use your bank card in the destination country. It is good idea to convert some U.S. dollars into the currency of the destination country. Credit cards are useful, especially for emergencies. Be careful about changing money, many places take advantage of tourists and charge a great deal of commission or give a horribly low exchange rate. Shop around to get the best deal. ATM Cards (Cirrus and Pulse) will provide your best exchange rate.
There are several options you can check into prior to your departure. Here are 3:
- Thomas Cook has a convenient option.
- Texas Currency Exchange has a branch in Houston where you can convert some money prior to departure.
- Travelex Currency Services located in the Galleria.
The International Student Identification Card is the only student ID that is recognized in other countries. It is very valuable. To obtain an ISIC card, go to the Travel Center at University of Houston or the STA Travel at 2401 Times Blvd., Suite 110, Houston, TX 77005. Their phone number is 713-524-9910. Take two passport photos with you.
Using your cell phone internationally can be quite expensive. Since calling internationally can also be very difficult, calling cards can be purchased in the country/countries you will be visiting. There is an 800 number on the calling card that will walk you through the easy-to-understand instructions in English.