Not that I have become a travel agent, but financially speaking, there are some things to consider if you plan to travel this summer, or at any time. Losing things, or having to cancel a trip suddenly, are no fun at all, plus you stand to lose money as well, which can really send your blood pressure soaring. Particularly if you are getting up in years, these financial travel tips can give you a little more peace of mind.
- Before you leave on a trip, photocopy or scan the front and back of everything in your wallet. Leave a copy at home for safekeeping, but also take one with you in case you lose a card and need to cancel or replace it. This can save you so much time, aggravation, and money! Be sure to keep the copies in a safe place, like the hotel safe.
- If you are traveling overseas, or even to a distant part of the country where you don’t often visit, alert your credit card company in advance. A simple phone call will keep your purchases from being blocked when you are away. Companies use sophisticated software to detect ‘out of pattern’ purchases, and you can avoid frustration and embarrassment by letting them know where you will be.
- Leave cash and expensive jewelry behind. It just makes you a target for thieves, and really isn’t necessary. Carry a little cash, but use a credit card whenever possible. Your purchases will often be insured, and your identity is better protected. Just make sure you don’t spend more than you can pay for when the bill comes in, or you will be adding expensive interest charges to your trip costs.
- One or two months before heading overseas, investigate cards that don’t charge you a fee for withdrawing cash from an ATM. Your own card either may not work, or may carry transaction fees of several dollars per withdrawal, which can add up.
- Your cell phone may not work in another country. You may be able to modify your plan, purchase a temporary phone, or even lease a phone. It depends on the international service you have, and where you expect calls to be to and from.
- Trip insurance is something I have always skipped, but it really isn’t just for OBX vacations in hurricane season. If you were to have a sudden change in health, or even lose a loved one who is ill, having trip cancellation insurance can be worth while–especially as we age and life gets more uncertain. Just be sure the policy will cover you if YOU cancel the trip.
- Finally, just for safety, if you do travel overseas, consider using the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program, run by the Department of State. It can help put you in contact with loved ones in the case of natural or political disasters when you are away.
At Paper Tigress, we can help clients by researching and recommending things like cards & phones for travel. We take care of the details to save you time and protect you from some of the problems that can arise when traveling.
And, if you do want the help of a great travel agent, I can give you a recommendation!