We all have different ideas of a “perfect vacation.” Some like to relax at the beach, others like something a little more adventurous. But whatever your definition of a perfect vacation, it probably doesn’t involve extra stress, right? If you’re aiming for a stress-free getaway, a little preparation can help minimize potential financial worries and security concerns, so you can enjoy every second of your well-deserved vacation.
For starters, a major part of your vacation planning should be creating a budget. You should try to anticipate what your expenses will be while you’re away, such as the cost of transportation, lodging and food. Once you have a good idea how much the basics of your trip will cost, be sure to factor in expenses like souvenirs, entertainment, and other little splurges. By having money already set aside and budgeted for your trip, you can minimize the chance of going “spend crazy” and racking up unforeseen credit card expenses. After all, it’s not fun coming home to sky-high credit card bills.
After you’ve got your budget in order, be sure to alert your bank of your vacation plans, including your travel dates and destination. Doing so will let them know that they can expect purchases outside of your normal routine and area, helping to reduce the chance of them putting a fraud alert on your credit or debit card and freezing access to your funds.
What’s more, let your bank know if you plan to make any large or major purchases during your vacation. Many financial institutions have a daily spending limit on their accounts, so it’s a good idea to confirm any limit you may have, and request it be raised if necessary. A quick phone call to the bank is well worth it if it can save you the embarrassment of being declined at the sales register.
Once your finances are in order, it’s a good idea to be proactive about your security as well. Before you head off on your vacation, considering suspending delivery of your mail and newspaper, especially if you’ll be away for more than a few days. If you don’t, your mail and newspapers will start to pile up, which could put you at risk. Think about all of the bills and credit card offers you receive on a daily basis. You definitely don’t want the sensitive information in those mailings to fall into the wrong hands. And think about all the people who pass by your house on a daily basis. Do you really want your pile of newspapers and bulging mailbox to advertise that you’re not home? An empty house can be pretty inviting to a burglar.
Along those same lines, while it may be tempting to share your vacation escapades on social media platforms like Instagram and Facebook, think twice about doing it. Those beach photos and updates from the airport give crooks a clue that you’re away from home. It’s a much safer idea to save your photos and stories and share them online when you return.
With a little planning, you’ll be ready to have fun and leave the financial stress and security concerns behind, so you can enjoy your perfect vacation.