Financial Things to Do Before You Travel

Before you head off on vacation, it is important that you deal with financial matters to ensure that your trip goes well and that you won’t have money issues or other problems while you are away.

So here is our to do list of 8 points to think about before you travel.

1. Check out your travel insurance. Find out what you are covered for and make sure you have all the documents you need with you. If things go wrong, you need to know how to get assistance. Make sure that your travel insurance includes trip cancellation as part of the cover. That way, if you fall over and break a leg on the way to the airport, at least you know you won’t lose the entire cost of the vacation.

2. Inform your bank you are going to be away. If you don’t do this, any transactions from an unusual location may trigger a scam warning and the bank may stop your cards.

3. Pick up some local currency before you leave. If you don’t you could find yourself unable to buy a coffee, get on a bus or order a taxi; these types of services often require cash, and even if you can pay with your U.S. bank card you will be charged extra for it.

4. It’s always a good idea to get copies of your passport and driving license. You can often leave the original documents in a safe in your vacation home, and it saves the risk of carrying these around with you sight-seeing. Leave spare copies at home, so if your important documents are stolen, you have a record of them in a safe location.

5. Do some research before you leave on how to behave in your holiday destination and what you can expect to pay for things. We do tend to expect to be ripped off a bit on holiday  but there is no need to make it too easy! This especially applies to tipping. Unlike the U.S., most other countries pay their servers a wage, and a small tip is just a polite bonus, so unless you want to be seen as very lavish and flashy, big tipping is just not necessary.

6. If you are going to be away for a while, make sure that you have covered any payments that may come in while you are away. It is easy to forget your credit card payment, for example but if you do, you will face paying a penalty and it will be classed as a default on the agreement.

7. Check out the cost of foreign transactions on your credit card or debit card. Not all providers are the same, so you may find it a better option to switch to a different provider. Another option is to take out a prepaid credit card that you can use solely for the vacation. This would help you keep to a budget as well.

8. Finally, although it is tempting to show off on social media and post pictures of your holiday, doing this sends a clear message to the world that you are away and that your home is unoccupied. Some home insurers will not pay out on burglary if you have advertised the fact you are away. Make the decision not to do this before you leave, and tell your family or the people you are traveling with, so there are no unpleasant surprises when you return.