Money Smart Traveling Tips for the Holidays

Airports are never busier than around Christmas time. Both students and workers finally get a significant break and family members fly in from around the world to be together. Some families pack up the kids and head off on foreign adventures while others head off to the tropics to enjoy a nice sunny Christmas. In order to ensure a safe, happy, and carefree holiday season, follow these simple tips and enjoy your holiday travels!

Budget

No matter what season of the year it is, remember that it is important to use your money wisely. As great as it would be to fly away on a spontaneous Christmas vacation, remember to stop and consider your financial situation. Just because the world seems a bit jollier during the holiday season, it doesn’t mean that all consequences will melt away with the snow. Make sure you have sufficient funds to support your vacation and never put yourself in debt unnecessarily.

Book in Advance

Do your best to plan your vacation in advance. Booking flights early will save you hundreds of dollars. The same goes for many hotels, tours, and travel packages. Thinking ahead will usually give you a better quality vacation than a last minute one. You’ll have more choices when it comes to seats, prices, accommodations, etc.

Notify Your Bank

If you are traveling abroad for the holidays, make sure you inform your bank of your plans. If you leave the country without warning, you run the risk of your credit card being locked or cancelled by fraud protection practices. If you let your bank know of your plans in advance, they will track your card usage and ensure a safer, more secure vacation for you.

Protect Your Wallet

Foreign vacationers are prime targets for pick pockets and petty thieves. It is best to keep your money, cards, ID, passport, and other important documents in a money belt/purse. You can buy special belts and purses that you can wear under your shirt or pants. These are small zippered pouches that protect against wandering hands. Be especially careful around crowds and on public transport. Never leave bags unattended and always wear them where you can see and touch them (not behind your back).

Split up Your Money

It’s good to have cash on hand, but split up where you keep it. Avoid using your pant pockets – prime pick pocket targets. Instead use your money belt or put some cash in your shoe. Split up the cash between family members for added protection. It is ok to use your credit card, but limit its usage to large expenses (hotels, family dinners, car rentals, etc.). If you are about to head out of town and dont have any spare cash, remember that Check City is open later and more holidays than your bank or credit union, so if you need to cash a check, or get a cash advance for your vacation find a Check City location near you.

Copy Important Information

In the event that you do lose something or are robbed, make sure you have copies of important information in multiple locations. Photocopy your passport, your booking conformations, and keep the contact info of your bank handy. Call your bank immediately if your cards go missing.
There is no reason you shouldn’t enjoy a happy, secure holiday season. Follow these simple tips and have a very happy holiday!

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