God bless summer and the vacations that come with it!
For many of us, summer equals frequent travel and increased spending; and whether you are traveling domestic or international, I want you to enjoy vacation with a financially sound mind.
Below are some vacay tips that’ll keep you and your bank account happy!
Set a budget and stick to it
First, plan your budget based on the length of your travel. A day trip will require more budget planning than a weekend trip. I recommend establishing a budget and then allow for a maximum of 10% wiggle room. The 10% is the amount of money you allow yourself to spend over budget that you can manage.
Then, while travelling, find a healthy balance between what you need and what you want versus or can go without. The goal is to stick to the budget you planned, but should you decide to splurge accidentally go over that 10%, you won’t feel as bad because you technically planned for it. When you budget with the extra in mind, it will hopefully help you feel less guilty in the end.
Know how much money you have before you go
In the excitement of preparing to leave for a vacation, you may not be actively thinking about all the charges that are currently posted or soon to be posted on your account. In the end, you want to know how much you can spend therefore know how much is in your account. I usually solve this by taking my allotted budget in cash. I use my credit cards daily for everything, so it is much easier for me to budget with cash. When I do use my credit cards, I like to readily know my current balance and pending transactions because it is easier for me to keep track of any fees or currency conversion when traveling internationally and any excessive charges.
Take your “bare minimum wallet”
Don’t travel with all your credit cards or all the cash from your bank account. I’m sure most of you are like-duh. But this is just a reminder. When traveling, pack only the debit or credit card(s) you plan to use. If for any reason, you lose your wallet, or it gets stolen, you will have back up [money] when you arrive back home until your new card(s) arrive.
Let your bank know when and where you are traveling
Helloooooo international travelers. I recommend letting your financial institution know when and where you are traveling. Today, the use of chip technology allows our credit and debit cards more universal and the need to inform a bank of your travels is becoming less common. You may not have a problem if you forget to alert your financial institution, BUT the last thing you want is to get to your destination and not be able to spend. Call anyway.
Utilize your bank’s social media customer support
If something where to happen while you are away, accessing your bank’s customer support team might be easier and quicker through social media. I have utilized my bank’s social media customer support on Twitter twice now while outside of the United States, and I really enjoyed having the option to DM (direct message) customer support so that I didn’t have to use the minutes on my international phone plan. In my experience, after confirming personal details and answering a security question, any issue you are having could be resolved using social media’s customer support team. You never know if you might need it.
Best of luck to all those traveling for the remainder of the summer. Have fun and keep your wallets happy 🙂
*feature image courtesy of Black