Take Care of Money Matters Before Travel

Financial well-being May 30, 2023 By First United Bank

Preparation is the key to any activity; travel is no exception. Remember to manage these money moves before you leave on your next vacation, and you will be ready to enjoy a relaxing trip.

You made your travel budget, saved your money, and made your reservations. You’re ready to set off on your next great adventure. But have you prepared your home finances to continue worry-free while you’re gone? Do you have all the information you need to manage your travel budget while you’re away? Here’s a checklist you can use to be sure you are prepared.

Things to Do Before You Go

You’re ready to take off on an exciting family vacation. But who will keep the finances managed at home while you’re away? Budgeting for your trip means avoiding returning home in debt and with buyer's remorse. How will you protect yourself from coming home to a mortgage disaster or the aftermath of a tragic travel financial decision resulting in excessive credit card debt? Use these steps to prepare your finances for your next trip.

  • Pay upcoming bills. While on vacation, you want to relax and not worry about anything. Even if your bills are due the day you get back, paying them before you leave or setting up automatic payments is best. You may be tired when you come home, and it could take some time to unpack and reacclimate to home life. In the interim, you want to ensure you cover all the payments.
  • Notify your credit card company. Nothing is worse than attempting to use your credit card while on vacation and having it denied. Credit card companies take security very seriously, so a charge on your card from a place you've never been before could trigger the credit card's fraud system. To ensure credit card transactions are seamless in any location, contact your credit card company before you leave home and tell them about your plans to travel.
  • Pack your travel wallet. You won't need your gym membership card while you are away. Several other items in your wallet will also be unnecessary for your vacation. You can pack a travel wallet with just the essentials and leave the rest at home in a secure location where they won’t get lost or stolen.
  • Set up alerts on your accounts. Account alerts are beneficial while you are traveling. They can notify you of potentially fraudulent activity or if your balance falls below a certain amount. Make the best use of these digital notices to give you peace of mind about your finances while on vacation.
  • Look into travel insurance. Trip delays, medical emergencies, and baggage mishaps happen. They don’t have to ruin your trip or cost you a lot of money when you’re covered by travel insurance. Start by investigating the travel insurance offered by your credit card, then decide if you want to add additional coverage. Insurance is relatively cheap, but it can save you a lot of money if something goes wrong with your trip.
  • Review your health insurance coverage. It is always good to know the best way to deal with health emergencies while you are traveling. Most health insurance policies charge more for doctor visits out of network when you are away from home and may only cover you in the U.S.. Telemedicine or urgent care are more economical options. Check with your insurance company and find out what to do if you need medical attention while on vacation.
  • Investigate ground transportation options. You've already booked your flight, but you'll need to know how to get to and from the airport to your hotel. It is a good idea to understand your most economical ground transportation options. Find out whether your hotel offers a shuttle service. In some areas, taxis are cheapest. In other places, ride-hailing services are your only option. Depending on your travel plans, you may need to rent a car to get around. Knowing this in advance can help you plan for the expense.
  • Learn the local tipping customs. If you travel internationally, you will find that tipping customs vary in different regions. You don't want to insult your service staff by tipping too little, but you don't want to be taken advantage of as a naïve tourist. Research tipping and other financial practices at restaurants before you leave home, so you can be the same gourmet and savvy tipper on your travels that you are on your home turf.
  • Pause subscription services. News subscription services may travel with you, but you won’t use some other subscriptions while you are away. Go through your subscription services and pause any you don't expect to need while traveling. That little savings could add up to an extra latte from a local coffee shop on your vacation.
  • Arrange for mail pick up. Making special arrangements for your physical mail while you are away may seem old-fashioned, but it is crucial for security. Account statements and other financial information are still transmitted by mail sometimes, and you don’t want that mail to fall into the wrong hands. Also, mail piling up outside your door could signal to burglars that you are not home. Direct the post office to hold your mail until you get back, or get a trusted friend or neighbor to pick it up each day you are on vacation. If you expect delivery of any packages, arrange for them to be held or to be collected by a trusted neighbor.

Travel-Proof Your Finances

Pack your bags. You're going on vacation. With the proper preparation, you will have a relaxing trip and not come home to financial disasters. If you have questions about how you can prepare your finances for upcoming travel, contact your trusted First United Bank relationship banker. They have the expertise to guide you through all your financial decisions.

By First United Bank