Updated: Oct 6, 2022
Planning for a trip or an extended vacation can be very exciting, so much so that studies show that it gives people greater happiness than the experience itself. Don't get me wrong, vacations are indeed fun and relaxing. Generally, we focus on planning the fun activities as they serve as an escape from reality. We often daydream about vacationing; we picture ourselves sitting on the beach with a Piña Colada in hand. However, we often forget that planning a trip involves big responsibilities. To avoid any unexpected issues from ruining your beautiful vacation, prepare by reviewing the following ten financial to-dos before going on a trip.
Create a budget. After COVID, everyone is anxious to get out and do something fun, but vacations are expensive. It doesn't matter how far you go or what activities you plan on doing, it's always a good idea to budget expenses to be incurred during a trip. Think of lodging, eating out, and transportation; believe it or not, some places charge a tourist tax.
Store credit cards and IDs in an RFID (Radio-Frequency Identification) blocking wallet. Identity theft is becoming an issue all over the world. Therefore, protecting and safely storing your personal information should be prioritized when traveling. In addition, nowadays, cards have a contactless payment feature where you do not need to insert your card to make a payment, which could threaten your card by being charged for unapproved purchases.
Know exchange rates. You may have to do a little bit of research on exchange rates depending on the country you are visiting. Be sure to ask how much it would be if you paid in US dollars versus the local currency. Sometimes it is best to pay in the local currency as the exchange rate varies depending on whether you are at the airport or a store in a small town. Usually, exchange booths can charge high fees for processing currency exchanges.
Pay bills before you leave. If you do not have your accounts set up as autopay, be sure to pay them before you leave. Trust me, you do not want to worry about bills while you're vacationing.
5. Alert your banks of your travel plans. The last thing you want is for the bank to freeze your credit cards. Banks do this if they see multiple purchases made in various locations over the course of fewer than 48 hours, but they do it for protection, and you may need to contact your bank to re-activate your card. You can notify them of your travel plans by signing into your online bank account and providing them with a few details about your trip, such as where you are traveling and how long you will be gone.
6. Bring cash and multiple cards. You always want to be prepared for any unforeseen situations, so having cash in hand and bringing a few other cards can come in handy, especially when taking a cab or if your bank does not have ATMs at the destination you're headed.
7. Check with your bank about any potential foreign transaction fees. You may want to contact your bank if there are any added charges for paying with your credit card, currency conversion fees, or withdrawing cash from an ATM.
8. If traveling internationally, contact your phone provider for international roaming. In this day and age, we are so dependent on our phones that traveling without a phone sounds ridiculous. If, for some reason, you need to make a call, make sure that you can place calls internationally without your phone bill going up.
9.Pause mail or other subscriptions. You may or may not need to do this, depending on how much or how important the mail you receive is. Perhaps think how long it can sit in your mailbox. If you have a Blue Apron or Hello Fresh subscription, then you may want to cancel ASAP.
10. Consider travel insurance. There are so many options when it comes to shopping for travel insurance, and it will all depend on what you need. Make sure you understand the coverage being offered, so you have the right protection.
Having financial security is important while traveling overseas. In fact, it is as important as your physical security. A vacation is an unforgettable experience that