Last time, I was beginning the frantic journey to raise $3,000 to go to the swim meet in Perth. Through a combination of magazine sales, article submissions, cookie sales and flat out donations, I've raised a little over 1/6 of the cost. Whoo hoo!!!
That, combined with a slight pay raise, a second job, a tax refund and the grace of God, I'm going to make it. I'm taking everything a step at a time. So far, I've paid for the hotel, renewed my passport and got a visa to enter the country (my first Australian purchase! Yeah!). In the next few weeks, I pray I'll be able to get the plane ticket and I have to register for the meet itself. After that, once I get there, I'll worry about food.
In my research to keep costs down I learned that Visa/Mastercard tend to charge extra fees for currency exchange. So travelers beware. Still, it's cheaper to use a credit card because bank exchange rates tend to be more favorable than ones for consumers. And I found that Capital One does not charge these fees. Still, while I'm there, I'd like to use Australian currency. Since I have checking and savings with Citibank here in the States, I'll be able to use their branch in Perth to get currency without the exorbitant fees changers charge. Who knew being a Citi customer would be so beneficial?
So if you're planning any type of international travel, I highly recommend that you get a credit card from Capital One and open an account with Citibank.
And that's it for now.