6 ways to financially prepare for international travel

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When we wander, where do we most want to go?

The top dream destination for Americans is Australia, a May 2015 survey from the travel company Travel Leaders Group found.

In reality, most of us will travel shorter distances. Nearly one-third of Americans traveling for pleasure this year say they plan to visit Canada, Mexico or the Caribbean, while about one-quarter say they will travel to Europe, according to the survey.

Whether your international destination is near or far, setting aside some time to prepare your finances beforehand can pay dividends.

“It will make the trip less stressful and also end up costing less in the long run,” says Stephanie De La Garza, an American travel writer and photographer living in New Zealand. You’ll avoid extra costs that can sneak up along the way, such as credit card foreign transaction fees and phone roaming charges.

Here, experts weigh in on the top ways to get your finances in order before you travel.