Though we have experienced some glorious summer weather, June 21st actually marked the “official” start of summer. The shift in season brings a host of activities – evening strolls, outside concerts, boating, picnics, and if you are one of the lucky ones…taking a summer vacation!
Whether you are hoping to relax by tranquil waters or seeking the rush of scaling a mountain, few can disagree there is nothing like a summer vacation. In my family, planning is half the fun. The discussion of our destination, where to stay, who to visit, and what to pack gets us ready for the anticipation of our departure.
But when you are planning time away from your home base, it is very important that you prepare yourself financially.
Here are some behind-the-scenes items to add to your travel to-do list:
1. Research the “financial” aspects of your destination well in advance. Get an idea of where to access ATMs and banks in the area. It is also prudent to understand the local currency and exchange rate(s) if traveling abroad.
2. Be sure to have different types of currency available during your time away (if possible). This can include cash, traveler’s checks, debit and credit cards. Not all debit or credit cards may be accepted where you are traveling so carrying cash for daily expenses is always helpful.
3. Notify your credit card companies and banks when and where you will be traveling. This ensures the utmost safety for your accounts. If you do not give notification, that souvenir you are trying to purchase may be flagged as potential fraud and your account frozen for unauthorized activity! It is also a good idea to find out what your service fees will be for utilizing credit while in a foreign country.
4. Make a list (or copies) of all your pertinent information like credit card account numbers, insurance cards, passports and driver’s licenses. Keep this list in a secure spot at home or with your financial planner. It is always hoped it will not be needed but should a situation arise, you will be thankful you have this information.
Going on a vacation, whether a quick get-away or trip around the globe, is such an exciting part of the summer. Taking a small amount of time to engage in some financial housekeeping will help ensure your time away is as relaxing or adventurous as you planned!