I have two Visa cards from my credit union. One I rarely use other than for purchases via the Internet; that one sits in my desk at home. The other Visa card I carry with me.
I always call my credit union before traveling. This past summer, we visited out daughter in Saskatoon, Canada. Going, we changed planes in Edmonton with a long layover. Returning, we changed planes in Calgary. Before the trip, I called my credit union and gave them the dates of travel and the three cities I was visiting. Treating my daughter and her family to dinner in a nice restaurant, the Visa card in my wallet was rejected. We had to use my wife's Master Card, for which I also called the bank before traveling.
Back at our hotel, I called my credit union. They had entered my "vacation alert" into my account only for the Visa card that was still sitting in my desk in California. During this phone call, they added a "vacation alert" for the Visa card in my wallet.
Interestingly, we traveled in France earlier in the year. For that, I also called my credit union and bank about my travel plans. I used the Visa card I had in my wallet and my wife used her Master Card, all without any problems.
Also, my credit union occasionally calls me about very large Visa charges when I have not even left southern California. Frankly, I am happy that they are monitoring my account. Once my pocket was picked in Washington, DC. My Visa credit limit was totally consumed in the three hours between when I last remembered handling my wallet and when I reported the theft to Visa. It took one day to get a replacement Visa card but several days to restore my access to the account, something I hope the current monitoring procedures would prevent.