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10 tips for planning your travel

Thinking about a beach holiday or a city tour? Read tips that ease travel planning.

1. Choose your trip and get to know your destination

Organising a trip typically begins on the drawing board. Where are you going to travel to, for how long and with whom? Carefully familiarise yourself with the details of your journey and your travel destination, and find out which vaccinations you need, especially with trips extending further away or to exotic countries.

2. Book your flights and accommodation

When you are sure about the destination of your trip, the next natural step is to think about travel methods, in other words, plane, train, or other travel tickets. Remember to book the tickets you need early enough. Often, for example, cheap flights are reserved well before the actual journey. You can conveniently compare ticket prices online and purchasing travel tickets is easy with your online banking identifiers. If you are using the OP-Visa Gold card and have used the credit function to pay for your trip, you can cancel your trip for any reason, for example due to a work-related obstacle. You can get your money back from a trip paid with a credit card if your trip is cancelled due to the financial difficulties of an airline or a travel agency.

Remember also to book a hotel room or other accommodation. A hotel room can often be booked in conjunction with booking your travel tickets. If you do not want to reserve accommodation at this point, remember to get acquainted with accommodation options that can be booked at short notice or in situ. In this way you can avoid any accommodation-related unpleasant surprises while travelling.

3. Have Pohjola Travel Insurance up your sleeve

In an ideal situation your trip goes just as planned and without any unpleasant problems. but there is always a risk that, for one reason or another, you meet surprising obstacles on your way. The Travel Insurance provides cover for accidents that occur and illnesses you contract during travel. The insurance also covers journey cancellation, travel interruption, missed departure and expenses due to delayed departure.

You can insure both yourself and your luggage, and put together your own travel insurance based on your individual needs. You can also download the OP-mobile application to your smartphone or tablet and effortlessly receive instructions on what to do in any loss events. With OP-mobile your travel insurance card is easy to keep with you when you travel.

4. Remember your passport, visa and other documents

Check the validity of your passport. When travelling to certain countries, your passport must be valid up to six months after your trip has ended. If you need to renew your passport, you can do it using police online services.

Also remember to find out whether you need a visa or other documents. When travelling to certain countries, you are always required to have a visa, and if you are travelling to the United States you need to pay for a separate ESTA travel authorisation before travelling. Make sure that you have acquired all the documents required for travelling to your destination well in advance. Travel instructions published by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs provides information on any passport limitations and other recommendations for each country.

5. Travelling with card or cash?

Those planning a trip must also consider how they are going to pay for things and are often faced with the question: card or cash?  Even though it is possible to exchange currency for a trip, in many countries bringing a payment card is enough. This means that you do not necessarily have to exchange currency in advance, and can instead simply perform your transactions with your international payment card, or withdraw currency at your destination if required. When paying for your purchases with your card the exchange rate is better compared to cash currency.

However, you should not rely on just one card. In case your primary payment card is damaged or lost, it is good to carry a secondary backup card. With this other card you can ensure that your trip will continue without a hitch, even if you cannot use your primary payment card.

Take care of your credit card number, and do not hand your card over to strangers. Deactivate your card if you notice that it has been misused, or if it is lost or stolen. This immediately transfers the responsibility for any misuse to the bank.  Do not carry cash or your credit card conspicuously.

6. Download OP-mobile and Pivo

On their travels, a traveller should stay on top of things such as their account balance, account transactions, the amount of credit available and naturally also the best benefits available. OP-mobile brings online banking and your insurance information with you everywhere in the world you go, and using the application, you can take care of your daily banking, look at your insurance information and transfer money between your accounts without a key code list. With OP-mobile you can conveniently use online banking services with your smartphone or tablet – whenever and wherever.

Pivo helps you keep up to date on your finances when travelling. In Pivo, you can check your balance and monitor your spending conveniently.

7. Think about the schedule, sights and other events

Especially during a vacation, you are naturally not supposed to plan your schedule down to the second. Despite this, it is good to have a preliminary schedule and plan to hand when going on vacation, especially if you plan to see the sights at your destination. So spend a moment thinking about the sights and worthwhile events and plan your schedule in a way in which you have time to carry out your plans. 

8. Pack your bags carefully and in advance

You might be able to get through a cruise lasting a day or two with only a backpack/handbag, if that, but for a beach vacation lasting several weeks you should bring larger luggage. The purpose, destination and length of your trip determine how much and what you should pack. It is naturally a good idea to pack clothes corresponding to the weather and the circumstances, but you should also remember to pack smaller items that people often forget, such as your medication and travel adapters matching the electric system of your destination.

When going on a trip, you should also pack your luggage in a way that leaves room for any gifts that you want bring back to your friends and family. If you are travelling by plane remember to take into account the weight restrictions for luggage set by the airline. Also keep in mind that you cannot access your luggage in the cargo hold during your flight, so, if your flight is a long one. carry, for example, warm comfortable socks in your hand luggage.

9. Write down the most important numbers

Before departure, make a list of the most important telephone numbers, not just on your phone but also write them down on paper or print them on a separate document and take them with you. In addition to the telephone numbers of your family, those travelling with you and the telephone number of your hotel, these important numbers include:

Pohjola Emergency Service: +358 10 253 0011.
Deactivate your card by calling the OP Deactivation Service at +358 100 0555 and your user identifiers for OP eServices at +358 20 333.
Vehicle damage emergencies, vehicle emergency services +358 10 253 0012.

The above mentioned services take calls 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Also write down the telephone number of the local embassy.

10. Enjoy your trip!

Flights have been booked, sights have been researched and luggage carefully packed. The last point on this list is, of course, the most important! Whether you are travelling for business or leisure, always remember to enjoy your trip. Travelling truly does broaden the mind and by travelling you can become familiar with foreign cultures and customs. Have a good and safe trip!