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6 Tips for Planning Your Vacation Wisely

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Everybody loves a great vacation, but you certainly don’t want the time away ruined by money worries. Nora Dunn, financial planner turned world traveler, outlines 6 things to consider when planning your trip to ensure less money stress.

  1. Figure the Costs of Your Trip – Use an app or a spreadsheet to track your potential expenses. Your budget will vary depending on whether you drive or fly to your destination; stay in a hotel or with friends; eat out or cook in a rental. “Software makes it easier to see how your projected expenses add up.”
  2. Set Up a Travel Savings Account – Dunn advises keeping your vacation savings in a separate account that’s not tied to an ATM, eliminating easy access. CNB offers a goal-based savings account where you can name your goal and the amount you plan to save, to allow you to easily track your progress.
  3. Use a Credit Card Wisely – Using one card to book flights, hotel reservations, etc… is an easy way to track your expenses. She advises you to call the credit card company prior to traveling to alert them of your plans so they don’t freeze your card thinking you have a fraudulent transaction. She also advises taking a second card along for emergencies.
  4. Learn About Exchange Rates – If traveling outside the U.S. the exchange rate of dollars to foreign currency will affect your budget. Look them up ahead of time so you know what to expect. She also suggests using credit cards as you get a better exchange rate than with cash.
  5. Make Plans to Pay Your Regular Bills – Look ahead and see what will be due during the time you’re gone and either automate the payment or use online bill pay to schedule a payment.
  6. Consider Taking Out Insurance – Dunn says travel insurance to cover medical costs is a useful precaution that can save you from massive doctor bills. Likewise, should something happen unexpectedly and you need to cancel your vacation, travel insurance can make that less painful financially.
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