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7 Financial Tips to Consider Before Traveling

travel tips written on chalk board surrounded by travel accessories and toy plane
July 05 2019 • by Adam DeFrias • Security

Taking a summer vacation is something millions of Americans look forward to every year. But while you’re busy packing the sunscreen and bathing suits, you should also take some time to prepare for your trip from a financial perspective.

Here are some financial tips to consider:

1.) Consider travel insurance. Depending on your vacation plans, you may want to consider buying travel insurance. It may seem like an unnecessary expense, but this type of insurance has several benefits. It could compensate you for flight cancellations, delays, and missed connections, which could end up costing you in unexpected hotel stays and meals. Travel insurance could also help you recover losses when your valuables or luggage go missing. And it could reimburse you if you’re forced to cancel your trip or return home early due to a death, serious illness, or natural disaster.

2.) Give your financial institutions a heads-up. Letting your bank or credit card company know that you’re going to be away from home serves several purposes. For starters, if you notify them that you’ll be traveling out of the country, they can take the necessary steps to ensure your debit or credit cards won’t be declined when you use them overseas. Having your financial institution place a “travel alert” on your account can also prevent them from having to call or text you during your trip to confirm account activities like ATM withdrawals or card purchases.

3.) Take care of currency needs before leaving. If you’re traveling outside of the U.S. you’ll likely want to purchase foreign currency so you can pay for things in cash when necessary. Buying your foreign currency locally instead of abroad can help you avoid language obstacles, and you won’t be subject to that country’s local exchange fees and rates.

4.) Halt delivery of mail while you’re away. There’s nothing like an overflowing mailbox to signal to burglars that you’re not home. It also leaves you susceptible to having important financial and sensitive mail stolen from your mailbox. The good news, is that you can easily place a hold on your mail delivery by filling out a form online with the U.S. Postal Service. Just enter your name, address, and the dates of your trip and you’ll be good to go. You can also designate whether you want to have your held mail delivered to you once you return, or whether you prefer to pick it up at the post office yourself.

5.) Don’t broadcast our trip on social media. Although it’s always tempting to go on social media to announce your vacation plans or share photos while you’re at your favorite getaway, think twice before doing so. Such activity tips off crooks that you’re not home, which could leave your home at risk of a break in.

6.) Set up automatic bill payments. If you don’t already have automatic bill pay, it might be something you want to implement before heading out the door. By scheduling your bill payments in advance, you won’t need to worry about paying bills while you’re on vacation, and you can prevent yourself from missing payment due dates and racking up late fees. Since late payments can wreak havoc on your credit score, bills are not something you want to overlook during your vacation.

7.) Keep your devices secure. Given how much sensitive information we store on our laptops, mobile phones, and tablets, it’s important to keep your devices as secure as possible if you’re planning to bring them with you on vacation. Keeping your devices up-to-date and password-protected is important, as is avoiding public Wi-Fi and public charging stations during your trip.

Planning and preparing for a summer vacation can be exciting and fun, but don’t forget the “boring” details as well. Taking some basic financial precautions prior to your trip will help you to reduce stress and worry while you’re away, and will pave the way for a more enjoyable and safe vacation.