Canadian Money Forum banner
761 - 780 of 817 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,534 Posts
Pretty impressive that you are able to travel internationally for a month(or more) and only do carryon. I still need to check a bag (sometimes 2) for the family. It's a least two if I try to mix work/holiday into the same trip. If it's strictly work I can easily do a week with carry on. Thankfully due to status I have free checked bags. However, if I can remove one obstacle in getting delayed I will gladly do it. What's your secret? I can't remember if you have multiple stays in Portugal or just set up one home base for the duration.
Our first post retirement trip was seven months. It included an African safari that limited us to one bag. We had previously met other retirees on our travels who did carry on only for two and three months at a time. Our typical winter trip, pre covid, is 60 days.

We decided to do it. Bought international size roller carry ons so that was the max. Each time we return home and unpack we take note of what we did not use or hardly used.

Our issue is also that we have to limit ourselves to what we can each physically handle on trains, ferries, rentals, carrying up stairs etc.

On many flights we also have free baggage check. On one carrier, Australian Jetstar, we actually pay a premium for carry on.

Also did lots of business travel so I was accustomed to carry on. Spouse……more difficult for her.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,534 Posts
So sketchy!
One of the pre-trip planning activities that we've added to our list over the years is to identify major banks in the countries we're visiting and then mark a few of their branches/atm's on google maps near our hotel.
We do exactly the same to review s/c’s and ATM withdrawal maximums.

We have seen so many people using those ATMs over the past month. Many more than we have seen at bank ATMs.

I am fussy. I much prefer to use a bank ATM that is inside the bank lobby or attached to it vs. a stand alone unit in a very public space.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
24,069 Posts
We have seen so many people using those ATMs over the past month. Many more than we have seen at bank ATMs.
I did a quick search in Lisbon for Deutsche Bank ATMs, since that's part of the Global ATM Alliance (no fees for Scotia bank cards).

And wow, there are very few ATM locations! That's pretty shocking. I guess that means I should just carry a few thousand euros cash with me on future trips to Europe.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,534 Posts
I did a quick search in Lisbon for Deutsche Bank ATMs, since that's part of the Global ATM Alliance (no fees for Scotia bank cards).

And wow, there are very few ATM locations! That's pretty shocking. I guess that means I should just carry a few thousand euros cash with me on future trips to Europe.
I did the same nada. Took $1K cad work of euros. Used a bank ATM twice. Both times it seemed that the max withdrawal was 200 euro. We changed our plans and skipped Lisbon for more time in the Algarve. It is why we seldom make hard reservations. Very much spontaneous travellers.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,223 Posts
I did a quick search in Lisbon for Deutsche Bank ATMs, since that's part of the Global ATM Alliance (no fees for Scotia bank cards).

And wow, there are very few ATM locations! That's pretty shocking. I guess that means I should just carry a few thousand euros cash with me on future trips to Europe.
If you choose to go that route please provide me with your picture, travel itinerary and the meeting location of a dark alley where I can relieve you of your cash burden :p
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
898 Posts
Deutsche Bank ATMs, since that's part of the Global ATM Alliance (no fees for Scotia bank cards).
+1
Tangerine's cards, as a subsidiary of Scotia, are also part of that ATM alliance but I've been too lazy to get a physical card. Might as well add that to the list of stuff to do. :D

Why not just carry credit card with low/no fx fees?
That's ideal but I find it's kind of situation dependent. We eat at a lot of hole in the walls and street vendors that don't take credit cards. Might be a sketchy place and I don't want my cc potentially compromised, more about the hassle versus getting charges reversed. Some times it might be better to tip in cash. I kind of feel awkward paying for a 2E souvenir with a cc. Pay toilets, when you got to go, you got to go. :D Etc. Stuff like that for me needing a bit of cash.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,534 Posts
Why not just carry credit card with low/no fx fees?
We do both. We had 800e cash. When we go ti Thailand in the winter we take 2k Cad and exchange it there.

Some places only take cash. B&B’s, restaurants, etc. Not hard to use up cash if you are paying out 300e cash for accommodation, Not unusual to get a discount for cash, better room, etc.

We did have an issue this trip. We use CIBC. I can use their card in foreign ATM with no issue.

But,.,we cannot go online and do banking. CIBC does two step verification. It used to be via email with a code. Now they only do phone-the number they have on file. Problem is when we go overseas we buy a local SIM card. We were still able to access Home Trust and EQBank so it was OK. We were only gone for a month however our banking needs change when we are gone for two months. Need to look into this when we get home.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
24,069 Posts
But,.,we cannot go online and do banking. CIBC does two step verification. It used to be via email with a code. Now they only do phone-the number they have on file. Problem is when we go overseas we buy a local SIM card. We were still able to access Home Trust and EQBank so it was OK. We were only gone for a month however our banking needs change when we are gone for two months. Need to look into this when we get home.
This is a really good point. I'll need to think about this as well... many of the banks have started doing phone-based two step verification.

One solution to consider is buying a VoIP number. Many services exist for this. So you'd buy a Canadian phone number from the VoIP service. Use their web site to forward the call to any phone, including an international SIM if that's what you currently have. Then make sure the Canadian bank uses a phone call (not SMS) method. So even if you're in Thailand, the bank will still authenticate by calling your [Canadian] VoIP number. The call is forwarded to your Thai cell. This kind of thing can be set up for as little as a couple bucks a month.

Under normal circumstances when you're in Canada, you'd just forward it to your regular phone and don't have to touch the configuration. But it's easily adapted to foreign travel. I've been using this method for over a decade to maintain domestic phone presence when hopping between countries so that family & friends can easily reach me. When you're in a new country and get a local SIM, you just use a web interface to update the forwarding destination. It's not 100% reliable for connections but considering it's forwarding a domestic call around the world, I'd say it works pretty well.

If you msg me I can point you to a specific service that does this.

These banks really need to get their act together and implement a wider range of 2 factor auth. Many global banks use better methods like issuing small hardware tokens. This is an extremely strong method that is also travel-friendly. My Australian bank has one of these, issued one of these tokens. You press a button to get a digital code on the keychain sized device. The battery lasts for over 5 years, and this method doesn't require any internet or phone access.

That method is also unhackable, unlike phone and SMS which can be intercepted.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,534 Posts
This is a really good point. I'll need to think about this as well... many of the banks have started doing phone-based two step verification.

One solution to consider is buying a VoIP number. Many services exist for this. So you'd buy a Canadian phone number from the VoIP service. Use their web site to forward the call to any phone, including an international SIM if that's what you currently have. Then make sure the Canadian bank uses a phone call (not SMS) method. So even if you're in Thailand, the bank will still authenticate by calling your [Canadian] VoIP number. The call is forwarded to your Thai cell. This kind of thing can be set up for as little as a couple bucks a month.

Under normal circumstances when you're in Canada, you'd just forward it to your regular phone and don't have to touch the configuration. But it's easily adapted to foreign travel. I've been using this method for over a decade to maintain domestic phone presence when hopping between countries so that family & friends can easily reach me. When you're in a new country and get a local SIM, you just use a web interface to update the forwarding destination. It's not 100% reliable for connections but considering it's forwarding a domestic call around the world, I'd say it works pretty well.

If you msg me I can point you to a specific service that does this.

These banks really need to get their act together and implement a wider range of 2 factor auth. Many global banks use better methods like issuing small hardware tokens. This is an extremely strong method that is also travel-friendly. My Australian bank has one of these, issued one of these tokens. You press a button to get a digital code on the keychain sized device. The battery lasts for over 5 years, and this method doesn't require any internet or phone access.

That method is also unhackable, unlike phone and SMS which can be intercepted.
I did not bother to try attempting to log into our Scotia account. We generally ensure that we keep enough in our check accounts to cover a few months of auto payments as well as a large credit balance in our Home Trust account. My goal is to limit my access to financial accounts while travelling.

I misjudged our HT balance. Thankfully EQ second step was an email and numeric code. Similar system at HT.

By the way…cost of a one month data and cell Vodofone SIM card in Portugal was 10euros. $13.50 cad. We hardly used it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,534 Posts
Sitting in Faro airport. Our plane to Toronto is delayed 7 hours. We will of course be claiming compensation under EU 261. 600 euros each.

Much stronger consumer airline protection in the EU vs Canada.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
898 Posts
But,.,we cannot go online and do banking. CIBC does two step verification. It used to be via email with a code. Now they only do phone-the number they have on file. Problem is when we go overseas we buy a local SIM card.
This is a really good point. I'll need to think about this as well... many of the banks have started doing phone-based two step verification.

One solution to consider is buying a VoIP number.
+1 those are good points. I have to think about this for the future.
Before covid, I got tired of buying a local sim and was starting to bite the bullet and just paid the daily Easy Roam (aka Roam like Home, Roam Better) charge but they've jacked up the daily price.
I suppose one could turn off data on roam and just get a text message. I looked it up and it's 75cents per inbound text without Easy Roam so it could add up, particularly if you had a bunch of people text you. :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
24,069 Posts
I suppose one could turn off data on roam and just get a text message
It's a dangerous game though! If data kicks in, Facebook & all the spy apps on your phone will start communicating and could cost you a fortune.

The best solution I've found so far is my US T-Mobile plan, which I still use. I love the package. Unlimited, free texts & data everywhere in the world. However one has to attach it to a US address and pay from a US bank.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,534 Posts
It's a dangerous game though! If data kicks in, Facebook & all the spy apps on your phone will start communicating and could cost you a fortune.

The best solution I've found so far is my US T-Mobile plan, which I still use. I love the package. Unlimited, free texts & data everywhere in the world. However one has to attach it to a US address and pay from a US bank.
That T mobile package is first rate. Doubt whether we will ever see anything like it at the same price point in Canada. Too few carriers, too much industry collusion, and not nearly enough regulations. It is a sham,
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,165 Posts
+1 those are good points. I have to think about this for the future.
Before covid, I got tired of buying a local sim and was starting to bite the bullet and just paid the daily Easy Roam (aka Roam like Home, Roam Better) charge but they've jacked up the daily price.
I suppose one could turn off data on roam and just get a text message. I looked it up and it's 75cents per inbound text without Easy Roam so it could add up, particularly if you had a bunch of people text you. :)
You're probably not in the mood to switch banks for this, but TD has an authenticator app they use as an option for the 2-factor authentication. For that all you need is your smartphone and the internet.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
898 Posts
You're probably not in the mood to switch banks for this, but TD has an authenticator app they use as an option for the 2-factor authentication. For that all you need is your smartphone and the internet.
Thanks for this info. I actually use TD but wasn't aware of their authenticator app (is it the same as their mobile banking app?). I always just get it to text me the code.
Speaking of which, I forgot about just using TD's mobile banking app direct.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,165 Posts
Thanks for this info. I actually use TD but wasn't aware of their authenticator app (is it the same as their mobile banking app?). I always just get it to text me the code.
Speaking of which, I forgot about just using TD's mobile banking app direct.
TD Authenticate - Apps on Google Play

If you go into your security settings you can change your preferences so you have a choice between the authenticator and the texts.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,534 Posts
We went through immigration at Pearson yesterday. 10:30 PM..we were through in five minutes we have Nexus. Non nexus line was 10 minutes or so at that time. All positions appeared manned.

We went through security at Pearson this evening. 9PM. Absolutely no lines at Terminal 1.
 
761 - 780 of 817 Posts
Top