10 Ways to Protect Your Finances While Traveling
Vacation is a time to unplug and relax, but that doesn’t mean it’s an excuse to drop the ball on financial security. From maintaining a tight travel budget to protecting yourself from credit fraud, theft and missed bills, it’s important to head into your next trip with a smart financial protection plan. Here are 10 ways to prepare your finances before, during and after traveling.
1. Set your budget beforehand
Before booking plane tickets or a hotel room, it’s vital to map out your overall vacation budget. How much can you afford to spend? Come up with a reasonable number and build in some wiggle room in case anything unpredictable happens along the way. If your budget is tight, get some frugal vacation inspiration from this list of cheap travel ideas.
2. Notify card companies before leaving
If you’ll be racking up charges on your debit or credit card over a short period of time, it’s a good idea to notify your bank or credit card company beforehand to avoid any disruptions in service. This is especially important if you are traveling internationally, as there can be additional fees or steps to take beforehand. If you rely on prepaid cards, review these tips for protecting prepaid debit cards before you go.
3. Arrange to pay the bills while you’re away
Just because you’re on vacation doesn’t mean mortgage, insurance and utility payments go on vacation, too. Before you leave, do a bit of housekeeping by scheduling your payments online or backdating paper checks and dropping them in the mail. Otherwise, you’ll come home to the unpleasant surprise of late fees.
4. Don’t bring too much cash
It’s never a good idea to bring large sums of cash while traveling. While there are measures you can take if you lose a credit or debit card, in most cases when cash is gone, it’s gone. Take out enough cash to handle immediate transactions and use your debit card (or prepaid debit card) to replenish cash funds as necessary.
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