Travelling – 10 tips for carefree travelling

By protecting yourself ahead against the unexpected, you can enjoy your holiday free of worries. We compiled a checklist of things to keep in mind before leaving on a trip.

1. Book your trip and pay by credit card

Planning the itinerary for a carefree holiday begins by booking the trip. When booking flights, we recommend using a credit card as this is the only way for the bank to reimburse the costs of the ticket directly should the airline go bankrupt.

A credit card is also useful in many other situations when travelling. It is often needed for hotel bookings and rental cars, for example.

Before your trip, you should check whether your credit limit is sufficient in case of unexpected situations. A higher credit limit does not affect your card’s expenses, and you can freely choose your spending and repayment plan.

2.  Protect passengers and luggage with insurance

The better you prepare against unpleasant twists and turns, the more likely it is that your trip will be free of worries. Potential risks include illnesses and injuries while travelling and lost or damaged luggage. We recommend that you protect your trip with travel insurance well ahead of your departure.

You can customise Pohjola Travel insurance to cover losses to both travellers and luggage. You can choose between fixed-term or continuous travel insurance for your trip. Fixed-term insurance is valid for a single trip, while continuous travel insurance is always valid on trips lasting up to 45 consecutive days. Continuous insurance is the most affordable option if you travel outside Finland at least twice a year.

3.  Pohjola Claim Help travels with you

Pohjola Claim Help assists you in all types of losses. In our Claim Help service, you can find instructions on what to do if a loss happens, contact information for our partners offering assistance and more information on the coverage of Pohjola Insurance policies. Pohjola Claim Help is found online at vahinkoapu.pohjola.fi/en and in OP-mobile and is available any time, anywhere you travel.

4. 24/7 Travel Emergency Service

You have quick access to help 24/7 from the Pohjola Insurance Travel Emergency Service. The service can assist if you fall ill suddenly, get into an accident or require health advice during your trip. Pohjola Insurance Travel Emergency Service (+358 102 530 011) helps you find a reliable doctor or hospital at your destination. The service will also assist if you are injured or fall ill and can get you in touch with a doctor to discuss your situation, such as the treatment proposed to you. With the service, you can also ask for a payment commitment for hospital treatment, a surgical operation, or other procedure. Go to Pohjola Claim Help to quickly find a list of physicians and hospitals recommended by Pohjola Insurance outside Finland.

5. Pay by card when travelling abroad

When paying by card, you can forget about currency exchange rates and focus on enjoying your holiday.

When paying by card, you will always enjoy an exchange rate lower than the rate used by foreign exchange outlets. Paying by card is also the safer option compared with cash, as your bank will refund misuses made with a stolen card. Note that when paying, you should choose to pay in the local currency to make sure that the shopkeeper does not charge a currency exchange rate.

You should have at least two payment cards with you whenever travelling. If one should break down or become lost, you’ll still have access to one payment card.

Don’t forget to raise your credit and withdrawal limits to an appropriate level and check that your cards are valid before your trip.

6. Withdraw cash at ATMs in the destination country

To avoid charges, make any cash withdrawals at an ATM in the destination country. By withdrawing cash at your travel destination, you’ll get a better exchange rate than when exchanging for the local currency in advance. Remember to carry only a small amount of cash wherever you go. In the worst case, any cash you lose cannot be covered by insurance and is lost entirely.

Remember that when paying with OP-Visa credit cards as an owner-customer, you automatically get 180-day Product Protection Insurance for your purchase. The deductible for this insurance is usually lower than that of home insurance.

7. Learn about risks at your destination country in advance

Before travelling, check your destination country’s vaccination requirements and safety situation. See op.fi/high-risk-areas for handy information about high-risk areas. The list is based on county-specific travel advice issued by the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland.

8. Get OP-mobile and Pivo on your phone

As an OP customer, you should download the OP-mobile before departing on your trip. This way, you will always have access to your electronic travel insurance card as well as Pohjola Claim Help services.

The mobile payment app Pivo allows you to follow your travel expenses and gives you real-time reports on all card purchases to ensure that you remain safe on your trip. Both apps also allow you to make real-time Siirto payments using only the recipient’s phone number. Siirto helps you split travel, accommodation and restaurant bills between your travel party members.

9. Top up your travel budget

It’s a good idea to have some lee-way in your travel budget for any unexpected situations. You can raise the credit limit for your OP-Visa card in the op.fi service. Another option to raise your travel budget is to take out flexible consumer credit without collateral. You can apply for the credit handily in the op.fi service.

10. Write down the most important numbers

Before your trip, list and bring with you the most important telephone numbers, both saved on your phone as well as written down on paper or a separate printout. These important telephone numbers include your family, travel companions and hotel, as well as the following:

Pohjola Travel Emergency Service: +358 10 253 0011
To deactivate your card, call OP Deactivation Service at +358 100 0555. To deactivate your user identifiers for OP eServices, call +358 20 333.
Vehicle damage emergencies, Emergency Service 24/7 +358 10 253 0012

The above services are available 24/7. Be sure to also write down the telephone number of the local embassy.