Taking a vacation is a wonderful opportunity to relax, enjoy new scenery, and take a break from reality. However, planning your trip itinerary can overshadow what you need to do to get your finances set for travel.
Make your trip as enjoyable and stress-free (as possible) with these practical tips to take care of both before you leave and during your stay:
Many travelers overlook notifying their bank or financial institution before heading out of town, but the last thing you want to do on vacation is waste time on the phone explaining charges made halfway around the world!
Take a few minutes to notify your bank before you leave to prevent any suspicion, regardless of whether you’re heading to France or Florida.
And if you are traveling to an area where you’re better off using cash than credit card, discuss with your bank how best to obtain cash while on your trip. Some banks charge fees to use other ATMs, so if your bank is not heavily represented in your destination, consider getting cash ahead of time or at least being aware of the fees you may pay.
Leave for your destination armed with a list of emergency phone numbers and addresses.
Be sure you have your:
If you are traveling abroad, be aware that your current cell phone plan may not accommodate international travel, and you may need to consider alternative options for using data or cellular services, such as purchasing an international data plan for your cell phone or using other forms of communication over a WiFi connection.
Pack copies of all your important documents and items—your passport, credit or debit cards, driver’s license, and health insurance cards. If one of these items gets misplaced while traveling, you can save yourself a lot of time and effort by having a back-up copy on file. If your travels will take you away for a longer period, make a copy of your travel itinerary to give to a family member or friend back home.
Before you leave for your trip, clean out your wallet to prevent carrying around anything unnecessary, such as rewards cards, business cards, or any other items you won’t need while you’re away.
If you’re staying in a hotel, take advantage of the safe in your room. When you leave for the day, keep your valuables locked up while you’re out for the day. Using the safe will make it easier to avoid carrying all your payment methods on you at once.
Lastly, don’t forget to monitor your bank accounts while on vacation. This will help track your spending for budgeting purposes, but it will also allow you to catch any unusual activity on your accounts right away. If you do discover suspicious activity, be sure you have a way to contact your bank.
By thinking ahead and taking care of these basic financial concerns, you’ll be able to enjoy your time away without constantly second guessing that your accounts are safe and your money will be there when you need it.