Your money issues don’t stop after you have paid for that big trip abroad. You still need to keep track of your hard earned money while you enjoy your vacation. I understand no one wants to think about a budget while on vacay but you will truly regret making it rain when you step back into reality. The goal of a vacation is to enjoy yourself during and also savor those memories for years to come instead of regretting every bill that comes in the mail. This is not to say you can’t have fun but when you stick to your budget you will be much happier.
I am well aware this is not the most enjoyable part of planning a vacation. Seriously. Money and finances tend to be one of the most difficult things to discuss let alone a budget out. Of course there will also be many details that will definitely come to our attention but money troubles will always take center stage if something goes wrong. The last thing you want is to get stranded on you vacay without any money. It adds up when you consider the amount of time lost on hold, time zone difference and the cost of international calls.
I’ve put together some simple tips to consider while planning out your vacation. This will help you get on track with the money side of it all. If you are traveling abroad then you must pay attention and add this to your to do list. First thing is first, always check in with your financial institutions. Touch base with your bank, your credit card peeps. All of them if you are planning to take them with you.
Avoid Frozen Accounts
Reach out to your financial institution to log in your travels with them. It is in your best interest to provide them a clear snapshot of your upcoming travels. Be sure to include travel dates and destinations when you are traveling overseas or across the country. Any unexpected and unusual activity will raise flags and could freeze your account. The last thing you need is to waste valuable time and money calling your bank to resolve any financial issues.
A regular trip a couple of states across the country could raise red flags. I suffered a huge embarrassment in Florida when I tried to pay for some groceries. Yes. Florida. And yes, I said groceries. My account was locked thanks to my overzealous financial institution until I called in to verify I was on an a last minute trip to visit the family. Cramped my style and was very annoying.
Cash or Charge?
Your credit card may not be accepted in all counties and cities. Ask your financial institution to confirm which are the countries and cities you can use your credit card or retire money from an ATM. These details are extremely important to have top of mind so you can plan on how you can budget accordingly.
On my recent trip to Europe we learned that we were not able to use our credit cards to pay in Greece but we were able to retire money from the ATM. This prompted us make a plan of how much cash we actually needed of putting ourselves in a tough position where we had too much cash on hand.
Also make sure to ask about the exchange rates on your credit card transactions. Yes, those will most definitely add up. Each financial institution establishes different rates on their transactions overseas so it may be wiser to use cash in some areas instead of your credit card. All you have to do is ask. I encourage you to ask as many questions as possible because at the end of the day you will pay for it.
Exchange rates vary daily and can change in the blink of an eye. Currently the dollar is way under what the euro is which can be killer in terms of conversions. Think smart to ensure your safety at all times. You have several choices on how to go about getting for your trip overseas. Your bank can provide practically any currency you will need if you reach out to them with sufficient time. There are also many currency exchanges at the airports for you to use but always exercise caution since you have no idea who is watching you get this done. Don’t be a target with substantial amounts of cash in your luggage or on you.
Conversions will also apply to the credit cards you use. All cards have different charges so be sure to check in with your bank. Aside from the conversion rates you may be subject to additional charges. This will help you determine if you should pay for all your meals and splurges with a credit card while you can pay for everyday items with cash for prompt payment.
Plan ahead to enjoy your vacay while sticking to a budget. The goal is to travel more often and treasure those memories instead of regretting them each time a bill comes in. It can be done. With a little prep work, you too can enjoy it!
Join me on my journey!