Travelling with Family
There is divided thought about taking your family with you. Some Fellows feel that travelling alone is very tedious and lonely, but on the other hand, it enables them to work uninterrupted at night writing up their notes for the day. Conversely, some Fellows feel having a partner there with them is a good idea to assist them, making plans, taking notes, being good company. One of the Fellows spoke of her partner who travelled with her and acted as her ‘valet’, getting her clothes ready and ironed for the next day, preparing her resources she would need to take with her, and generally being a helping hand along the way, leaving her free to focus on her research and staying abreast of the mountain of information she was gaining on a daily basis. Another Fellow took her husband with her and says she could not have done without his help. As well, he was able to attend many of the activities. It is also important to take some time out to just enjoy the experience and to take in the sights and who better to enjoy it with than those who are closest to you.
Cash and Finances Overseas
The Trust will deposit funds to your account shortly before you are due to travel and you will need to work out how you are going to access money while you are overseas. What works for some in some countries may not work for others in other countries. You need to consider where you are travelling, how long you will be in the different areas, and the level of security you need. Here are a few pointers:
Cash is not a smart form for the bulk of your money however it is a good idea to arrive at your destination with a small amount of local currency.
Traveller’s cheques are not as popular as they were many years ago and one Fellow reports in the USA, there were occasions when the retail assistant didn’t even know what they were! The advantage of Traveller’s Cheques is if they get lost, they are easily and quickly replaced provided you have the serial numbers of the unused cheques.
ATM’s are just about everywhere and they are by far and away the most convenient and securest way of accessing funds while you are abroad. Check with your financial institution if you have an ATM card that is authorized for use overseas however, do not rely on your ATM as your sole source of funds and be aware of the charges and fees you are going to incur every time you withdraw funds.
Another way to access funds is with a prepaid currency card. You buy the card and deposit money which you can then withdraw from ATMs. The card is convenient, secure and replaceable if you lose it. The Travelex Cash Passport – www.cashpassport.com – is available online or from outlets including Australia Post. You pay an initial fee for the card and load it with funds. Thereafter, every time you reload the card, which you can do over the internet via BPay, you will pay a reload fee equal to 1%. You will also pay an ATM fee every time you use the card at an ATM – though this is minimal - however if you use the card like you would an EFTPOS card over the counter, there are no fees or charges.
Latest travelling hints from our Fellows
- Travel cards (financial) were found to be accepted almost everywhere without a problem, this journey having encompassed UK, Denmark, Sweden and the USA. Most restaurants and stores were happy to accept them.
- The TravelSim for phone calls, available for purchase before leaving Australia did present a problem in that they are not as straightforrward to use. They have a long phone number and to make a call, it is necessary to go via another number. This Fellow suggests that if she were to do it again, she would just buy a SIM card at the airport on arrival.
- Another alternative to buying SIM cards is to rely on Viber which, she says, is fantastic however a WiFi connection is necessary. She used the WiFi on the connections at McDonald's and some coffee shops that offered it, or at the hotels where she stayed making use of her iPad and computer.
- On a personal level and for an alternative view of the Livescribe Pen, she preferred to not use the Livescribe pen during interviews but opted to use a digital recorded so she did not have to take down any notes. This Fellow felt she could pay attention throughout the interview without writing anything down. Was it a waste for her? Not at all because now she uses it for taking notes during conferences. She also paid to have the tapes transcribed which ultimately proved to be very expensive because she had 35 interviews.