Financial Considerations When Preparing to Travel

With the first days of summer upon us and COVID-19 restrictions beginning to ease, you probably already have plans or are making arrangements for a much-needed vacation. Whether you are traveling within the states or abroad, here are some things to consider when planning a trip:

 

1. Book your trip early to keep costs low.

Flights, hotels, or even Airbnbs are very likely less expensive when you book well in advance of your travels.

2. Notify your bank and credit card companies of your upcoming travel plans.

To prevent your accounts from being frozen due to irregular activity, call your bank and credit card companies or visit them online in advance of your trip to notify them of the dates you will be traveling and where you plan to go. Notification requirements vary by card type. For example, American Express does not require notification. According to its website “We use industry-leading fraud detection capabilities that help us recognize when our Card Members are traveling, so you don’t need to notify us before you travel.”

3. Budget for travel expenses.

Consider the cost of airfare, hotel or Airbnb booking, transportation, car rental, food, miscellaneous expenses, and emergencies. Developing a budget can help to curb your expenses and ensure that you aren’t spending beyond your means.

4. Consider purchasing travel insurance.

Depending on your existing travel insurance coverage (some of which may be provided through your credit cards) you may want to consider additional travel insurance, which can help to cover expenses incurred as a result of flight delays or cancellations, lost luggage, etc. This provides an extra level of assurance that, even if things don’t go as planned, you will be prepared for these scenarios. You will also want to check your health insurance to see that you are adequately covered, particularly if you are traveling to other countries.

5. Choose a travel rewards credit card with no foreign transaction fees.

There are many credit cards that offer additional perks to travelers such as the Capital One Rewards Venture Card, and the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card. We suggest trying to choose one with no foreign transaction fees if you’re traveling abroad. 

6. Enroll in automatic bill pay.

By setting up automatic payments, you will have one less thing to worry about while you are away from home; plus, you may receive a discount for going paperless. It is also a good idea to set aside some time prior to traveling to pay any one-time bills or take care of any other transactions that are time sensitive.

7. Enroll in Global Entry to save time at the airport and customs.

In a world where time is money, the cost of enrolling in Global Entry is relatively modest and could mean the difference of hours in the customs line. Global entry is a useful service while traveling abroad. It provides expedited U.S. customs screening for international air travelers when entering the United States and pre-checked status when flying domestically.

Other things to consider

When booking a vacation, it’s always advisable to give your employer plenty of notice before taking PTO, so you and your team can plan for your absence accordingly. Also, if you’re planning to travel out of the country, confirm that your passports are up to date. If they need to be renewed, you should give yourself and your loved ones ample time to get them in order before traveling so there are no last-minute anxieties.

Chat with your financial advisor

As always, your Southwestern advisor is available to discuss any financial considerations regarding your upcoming travel plans. Please reach out to us with any questions or concerns you may have, so we can help you can reap maximum enjoyment from your travels.

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