August is a popular month for Americans to travel, even though high inflation rates can make it expensive. Last year, there was a 53% increase in Americans traveling abroad compared to this year. Traveling allows us to take a break from our daily routines, so make sure to unplug! But before you do, take care of a few things to ensure a stress-free and enjoyable trip.
- Firstly, notify your financial institution and credit card providers about your travel plans. This will prevent any issues with your card being declined while making purchases in a foreign country. Also, ask about foreign transaction fees or ATM withdrawal charges so you can plan your expenses accordingly.
- Next, create a realistic budget for your trip. Research your destination to get an idea of the costs for lodging, food, attractions, and transportation. Decide on a reasonable amount for each category, keeping in mind that unexpected expenses may arise.
- Don’t forget to purchase travel insurance. It may seem like an unnecessary expense, but it provides financial protection in case of trip cancellations, medical emergencies, lost baggage, or flight delays. It’s worth the peace of mind and safety net it provides.
- Safeguard your important documents by making copies of your passport, visa, driver’s license, travel insurance, and credit cards. Keep these copies in a secure location separate from the originals. It’s also a good idea to have digital copies stored in a secure cloud service. This will expedite the replacement process if your documents are lost or stolen.
- When it comes to using public Wi-Fi networks, be cautious. These networks can be vulnerable to hackers and data breaches. Avoid logging into financial accounts or conducting sensitive transactions while connected to public Wi-Fi. Instead, use a secure mobile data connection or a Virtual Private Network (VPN) for added security. Educate yourself on how to avoid cyber scams, as they have become more prevalent and sophisticated.
- Lastly, if you need help with your budget before your trip, reach out to GreenPath counselors. They can assist you in assessing and customizing your budget to accommodate your travel plans. It’s like having insurance for your financial peace of mind.