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HackLife: Retrieve Your Replacement Bank Card While Travelling

By 11/01/2017 7 Comments

[x_button shape=”square” size=”mini” float=”none” href=”#x-content-band-1″ info=”none” info_place=”top” info_trigger=”hover”]Step-By-Step Details[/x_button]

​Throughout our travels across Latin America, we haven’t enough fingers to count just how many people we’ve met whose bank card have been lost, blocked, or stolen. It was a fear we had and ensured we were extra vigilant when it came to our two current account cards and our baby, the credit card.

Thankfully we’ve had no unfortunate incidents, and only encountered a ‘card problem’, which was entirely our banks fault. Our bank issued a new credit card, posted to our home in Ireland. This meant our credit card was cancelled, something we found out when trying to use it at an ATM one day.

Frustrated, we called the bank and exhausted all arguments in favour of reactivating our credit card. It wasn’t possible, the only solution, a pain in the arse.

The card had to be posted, it could take up to three weeks to arrive from Ireland to Peru, not bad really.

Unfortunately this is a costly issue for many backpackers, who then have to station in one place, spending hundreds on accomodation, just to wait for their card to safely arrive.

At the time of said event, we were living in the Peruvian Amazon with a local family, who told us about their genius postal system. A system that means you can post anything you want to the local post office, where it will be safely on hold for up to three weeks.

Mammy Dorian suggested we send the card to our next destination. Wherever we would be in a week or two. We decided on Cusco.

On the 18th of September, my Mam, the legend that she is, forwarded our new flashy credit card to Serpost, 800 Avenida el Sol, Cusco 0800, Peru.

On the 20th of September, we left the jungle; travelling 40 hours on busses to Arequipa, where we stayed for 4 nights. From there, we then took an overnight to Cusco and, on the 29th of September, popped into the local post office to retrieve our card, only 11 days later.

Mission success.

For us, this is a much needed travel hack, one worth shouting about.

Whether you have a fixed travel itinerary or not, it’s easy to predict an upcoming destination, one where you can be reaquainted with your card.

Remember, the post office WILL hold your item, or in this case card, for up to three weeks. If you find yourself delayed, worst case, you can contact the post office to explain and request a hold extension. Handy, but only if you speak the language of course.

So there you have it, a brilliant hack we stumbled upon, and one that will work across the whole of Latin America.

So please, tell your friends, share this blog and rejoice that we’ve found a much cheaper and stress-less solution for a very common issue amongst travellers.

Giddy up!

[x_icon type=”list”] Step-By-Step:

#1 Review your travel plans and pick a location that you plan to travel to within the next three weeks.

#2 Google the local post office, and take note of their full address and all contact details. Google will help translate the web page.

#3 Ask a family member to post your item, registered post is always best, and ensure they include a ‘return address’ on the envelope. You could also ask said family member to enquire how long it could take to arrive.

#4 Make sure to get all the tracking info, and enjoy your travels, knowing you’re card is now on the way.

#5 Post can take up to three weeks to arrive, take your time so you’re not stuck waiting around. Follow your cards progress with the tracking I.D.

#6 Remember, when your card does arrive, the post office should hold it for up to three weeks. But please, if you can triple check this, do.

#7 When you arrive, visit the post office with passport (or some form of I.D) in hand and go get your plastic rectangle.

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Boom! You’re back in spending action.

Note: Obvious enough, this works for any ordered items or care packages from home.  

Katie Hogan

Author Katie Hogan

I’m a self-diagnosed wanderlust sufferer, a victim of the travel bug and someone who has yearned for the freedom to travel for as long as I can remember.So I decided to quit my dream job, from the "marriage and baby" queries and trade the societal life for a life on the road, wandering through the unknown, all while building websites, teaching English, writing, filming, snapping and reminding myself to stop talking once and a while.

More posts by Katie Hogan

Join the discussion 7 Comments

  • Katie Hogan Clemmie says:

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  • Katie Hogan Chris says:

    Hi Katie – your obviously too young to remember Poste Restante service, which was the only way to get any post when we starting travelling in the 80s. All post offices offered it – you just had to plan where you would be in a couple of weeks. But your point about CCs expiring while away on a long trip is a good one. Happened to us also …… and banks refuse to issue new ones before you leave!!

    BTW Amazon looks great – not to mention bus trip. We might fly that leg. Safe travels

    Chris & Angela

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