Do you have travel plans for 2017? If so, there are a few things that will make the financial aspects of your trip easier. (By the way, I was reminded of some of these things as I prepared for my trip to Japan a few weeks ago!)
Set Your Budget
We all like to cut loose when we’re on vacation and that is part of the fun. However, you probably don’t want to go so crazy that your memories dim a bit when you come home to the bills. A little research can save you a bundle on the big-ticket items – like flights and hotels. It’s fun to have some mad money too, but it’s good to have an upper limit in mind.
Pay Off Your Bills Before Leaving
You know that late fees are pretty steep these days. Wouldn’t you rather spend that money on a memorable meal or a hotel upgrade? I like to have my accounts on auto-pay. This just makes life easier and it avoids late fees when traveling. If you have some accounts that don’t offer this feature, be sure to at least pay them down to zero before going. If this is an extended trip, you might want to overpay these accounts so that you have a cushion.
Avoid Transaction Fees
When traveling abroad, get a credit card with no transaction fees. This can save you the 1-3% that many cards charge. This is an easy way to save a few hundred dollars. It’s best to get on this early in the planning process so that you have time to apply for the right card.
Alert Your Credit Card Company
Whether you’re going overseas or somewhere within the U.S., you must alert your credit card companies to your travel plans. Their security systems routinely deny purchases that don’t match your spending profile. Can you imagine finishing a nice meal and having your card denied?
Forget About Traveler’s Checks
If you haven’t traveled in a while, you may not know that the world mainly operates with credit cards and cash now. Few places accept traveler’s checks any more. It can even be tricky to get them cashed in banks!
Pack Visa or MasterCard
If you’re going abroad, take one of these cards. Lots of places don’t accept the other ones.
Check Your PIN
Lots of foreign cash machines only accept a four-digit pin. This goes double for debit cards.
Pack Some Cash
For international travel, it’s good to pack some local currency. There’s nothing nicer than being able to deal with a cab ride or other immediate expenses with some local currency if they don’t take credit cards. You can hit the cash machine when you’re not sleep deprived.
Every major city has pickpockets – and they’re very good. They not only want your money, but they love to steal passports too. Avoid a major headache by playing it safe. Ladies can wear purses in front. Men can put their wallet in a front pocket. You can have a copy of your passport in a safe location. You can lock unneeded valuables in your hotel safe.
We hope that these tips help you have a safe and enjoyable vacation! If you have any questions on this or on other financial matters, we’d enjoy getting together. Please visit our website or give us a call at 970.419.8212 so that we can set up some time for a no-charge, no-obligation initial meeting.
This article is for informational purposes only. This website does not provide tax or investment advice, nor is it an offer or solicitation of any kind to buy or sell any investment products. Please consult your tax or investment advisor for specific advice.