Taking a vacation is a wonderful opportunity to relax, enjoy new scenery and take a break from reality. However, planning for sightseeing and logistical aspects of the trip can overshadow a few necessary financial preparations. 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 often overlook notifying their bank or financial institution ahead of time that they will be heading out of town. The last thing anyone wants to do on vacation is waste time on the phone with your bank explaining why charges are appearing from 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. Additionally, if you are traveling to an area where you may be better off using cash instead of a 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 out 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. Some essentials to have are your bank and credit card contact information, your hotel contact details, your health insurance information in case of an emergency, etc. 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 if you anticipate needing to use either your data or cellular services. Such options include purchasing an international data plan for your cell phone or using other forms of communication, such as Skype, iMessage or WhatsApp over a Wi-Fi connection.
Pack copies of all your important documents and items—your passport, credit or debit cards, driver’s license, health insurance cards, etc. In the event that 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 of time, make a copy of your travel itinerary to give to a family member or friend back home.
Staying in a hotel? Take advantage of the safe in your room. When you leave for the day, keep your valuables, such as your passport, credit card or extra cash, locked up while you’re out for the day. A good habit to practice is keeping your valuables in the safe at all times unless you need to use them. Utilizing the safe will make it easier to avoid carrying all of your payment methods on you at once. Before you leave for your destination, clean out your wallet to prevent carrying around anything unnecessary to bring along, such as rewards cards, business cards or any other items you definitely won’t need while you’re away. Lastly, don’t forget about monitoring your bank accounts while on vacation. If you utilize online banking, be sure to keep up with logging in and checking your accounts. This will not only help track your spending for budgeting purposes, but also to watch for any unusual activity on your accounts. In the event that you do discover suspicious activity, be sure to have a way to contact your bank.
By planning ahead and taking care of these basic considerations, you’ll be able to enjoy your time on vacation as much as possible.
Have further questions on financial security? Contact an advisor today.
Written by North Star Resource Group.
North Star Resource Group | 2701 University Ave SE | Minneapolis, MN 55414
Financial Advisors do not provide tax or legal advice. Please consult a tax or legal professional regarding your specific situation.
North Star Consultants, Inc., Insurance Products and Services| CRI Securities, LLC - Securities and Investments | Securian Financial Services, Inc. – Variable Products and Securities | North Star Resource Group offers securities and investment advisory services through CRI Securities, LLC and Securian Financial Services, Inc. Members FINRA/SIPC. CRI Securities, LLC is affiliated with Securian Financial Services, Inc. and North Star Resource Group. North Star Resource Group is not affiliated with Securian Financial Services, Inc. North Star Resource Group is independently owned and operated. 1647992/DOFU 11-2016