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Money Tips for your Next Vacation
Eric McKinney
/ Categories: Finance

Money Tips for your Next Vacation

Money Tips for your Next Vacation

Warm weather is finally on the horizon, and for many, that means setting aside some vacation days to get out and travel. No one wants to sit on the beach and worry about their spending, so it’s important to factor in the costs of travel and other expenses that might arise on your retreat. Here are some financial tips to help make sure that your trip to your summer get-away can be fun and worry-free for you and your family.

Figure the Costs of Your Trip Early

Use of one of many financial apps or even a simple spreadsheet can help you visualize and track your vacation spending all in one place. The costs you might have to consider will vary from person to person and from trip to trip. Depending on whether you choose to drive or fly, stay at a hotel or lodge with a friend, or eat at local restaurants over cooking in a rental, your costs and concerns will shift accordingly. In figuring out these costs ahead of time, you can save yourself some trouble further on down the road. The earlier you start saving, the better your vacation can be, so it’s never a bad idea to start saving months in advance.

Set Up a Travel Savings Account

One sure-fire way to make sure you have peace of mind before you even walk out the door is to open a dedicated savings account for your travel funds. Separating your travel funds helps remove the temptation to spend those funds on other things and you can see the balance grow as you anticipate your trip. A club account is a very easy, straightforward way to save automatically for your trip.

With a separate account, you can bolster your travel funds whenever you have some extra cash or with automatic transfers, allowing you to travel with complete peace of mind once your account reaches your desired vacation budget.

It is also important to note that your bank should be aware of your traveling plans so that your account isn’t frozen as soon as the first charge from a different state or the Caribbean comes through.

Make Sure Your Regular Payments at Home are Managed

Unfortunately, just because you’re away from home doesn’t mean that your mortgage payments or utility costs are going anywhere. If you’re going to be traveling for a while, it is absolutely crucial to make sure that you’re paying all your bills. No one wants to come home from vacation to be hit with several late payments, so automating every payment you can and taking advantage of online billing can help make your life easier.

Exchange Rates and Traveler’s Insurance

If you plan to travel outside of the United States, the exchange rate of U.S. dollars into whatever foreign currency is going to affect your travel budget. Looking up this rate in the early planning stage of your vacation can help you see just how far your American bills will stretch while you’re abroad. In some countries, you can get a slightly better exchange rate if you use a card instead of physically changing bills. If you have multiple cards, you can save some money by using the one with the lowest fees for spending in a foreign country.

Just because you are abroad doesn’t mean that life will give you a free pass. While no one wants to entertain the possibility of breaking an arm in the Alps or getting stung by a jellyfish in the Bahamas, it’s important for your life and your finances to plan for the unexpected. Traveler’s insurance can help cover these unforeseen medical costs and save you from having to pay a massive hospital bill, so it should definitely be something you consider in your vacation planning.

With some proper planning and a little discipline, your next vacation can be all the more enjoyable!

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