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Solo travel europe/asia

Peterlee, United...
10 posts
Solo travel europe/asia

HI, In January I will be embarking on a journey accross europe (netherlands, belgium, germany, czech republic, poland, lithuania, latvia) then into russia (st petes, Moscow) and onto the trans siberian train stopping off at various places (yekaterinburg, irkutsk, ulan ude, ulaan baatar) and then finishing in beijing. And finally Japan for 12 days.

My first question is what is my best option for using my phone while i'm away travelling? can anyone recomend a sim card I could obtain that will allow me to use my phone in all these different countries?

Also would it be advisable for me to buy a special credit card or currency card? Or am i ok withdrawing money using my bank card in all these places?

Also any other advice from people who have done something something similar would be greatly appreciated

Thank you in advance


Destination Expert
for Kent, Solo Travel
Level Contributor
14,816 posts
141 reviews
1. Re: Solo travel europe/asia

Hello Martin...there is a forum called Travel Gadgets and Gear that may be able to answer your question about mobile phones/chargers/ sim cards etc.

As for banking/credit cards and currency... a good place to start would be with your own bank or credit card supplier. You should be able to use your debit card easily in Europe, but you'd need to tell them where you are travelling to, so your card doesn't get stopped ....and double check! I've had mine stopped even when I did advise them of my travels. However.... you may get charged transaction fees and these can really mount up.

You could consider a foreign exchange card, which allows you to load up with cash and then withdraw money at ATMs/Banks etc, with either no transaction fee's, or reduced fee's. Bear in mind that not all of these cards are internationally accepted, and the local bank may still make a charge.

Although travellers cheques are gradually being replaced by ATM's, they could provide a valuable back up.

As you are covering so many destinations, it may be worth posting a question about currencies/cards etc in the business travel forum.

Edited: 18 October 2013, 00:19
England, United...
Destination Expert
for Somerset, Solo Travel, Exmoor National Park
Level Contributor
34,990 posts
111 reviews
2. Re: Solo travel europe/asia

Yes, definitely your bank - in fact it doesn't have to be yours. You should ask in one of each group what rates they offer and what the terms and conditions are. Things change all the time at the moment.

Nationwide Credit Card would be worth checking for a low charges on transactions abroad. It used to be a good one. If you have enough credit for a Gold Card that is still very good.

As it looks as though you will be away for some time it could be worth getting a credit card which is interest free for several months so you can pay it off when you get back.

Always take two cards. One to use and one safely hidden as back up incase anything happens to the first. Let your card providers know when and where you will be travelling so that it isn't blocked by unusual transactions. Leaving a trail is good too. Using the same one book flights and transport and accommodation. This will give them a trail of where you should be in case it is cloned.

Be sure to take a note of the emergency telephone number for your bank cards, the card number so if it gets stolen or lost you can ring and put a block on it immediately otherwise you could be liable for someone elses bill.

This applies to any other documents, and phone. Keep a note of the make model and registration number and your insurance phone number from abroad so you can notify them/put a block on if you should loose them. I can usually fit all these numbers onto a small card I print out and keep somewhere safe.

3. Re: Solo travel europe/asia

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