You don’t have to be like Cardi B to make money move this summer—though it would certainly help being a Billboard-topping rapper. Even without a record-breaking album, you can make money moves of your own. Take a peek at this guide to get started. It outlines some helpful tips to follow and some unexpected mistakes to avoid. If you remember them when you plan your next vacation, you’ll keep your trip to a modest budget.
Let the bank and credit card companies know about your plans
Bank and credit institutions regularly monitor your purchases using special algorithms to help them identify suspicious activity. These algorithms consider the type of purchases you make and where you make them. Transactions halfway across the world will raise flags, and your accounts may be frozen in an attempt to protect your funds.
Though you likely used your debit and credit cards to reserve flights and accommodations, these purchases don’t necessarily alert your bank and credit card companies of your plans. You’ll want to check in with these organizations to confirm your plans are known to avoid a frustrating lock on your accounts.
Lighten your wallet
While shopping in your neighborhood, you may think nothing of hauling around a wallet full of cards, but you should definitely think twice about doing the same while abroad. In many cases, there’s no need to bring with you all the cards normally sitting in your wallet. Eliminate any excess items you know you won’t use on your trip, like extra debit or credits. Make sure your SSN and other important documents stay home, too. This can save you from fraud should you lose your wallet.
Think about back-ups
Though you may not want to keep the hard copies of your credit card, I.D.s, and other important documents on you, it’s a good idea to back them up with copies. Scan or take a picture of these cards and send them to yourself as attachments in an email. This way, you’ll have your numbers and other important information even if your wallet or passport gets stolen.
This advice goes beyond just your travel documents. A contingency plan is wise for things like your budget, too. Though you made this document with your vacation in mind, life doesn’t always stick to the plan. Emergencies can happen even while you’re relaxing abroad, and you need to know how to cover them wherever you are in the world.
Let’s say you do become the victim of fraud while on holiday. It may take a while before your bank or credit card company returns you the money stolen from these accounts. In the meantime, you still have responsibilities to pay. An online installment loan can act as a back-up for when these emergencies happen. Installments loans from direct lenders like MoneyKey are an alternative to traditional personal loans, many of which take too long to secure or have strict terms you can’t meet. You can also apply wherever you are in the world, as long as you have access to the Internet. Check in with Moneykey.com/installment-loans-online.php to see how they vary from other short-term loans, and see if this assistance could be a responsible back-up in your time of need.
Keep your money on your mind.
If you plan on using cash primarily throughout your trip, research the best currency exchange rates at your disposal. While banks often provide the cheapest rates, you may be unable to find a branch of your bank at your destination. This means you’ll have to take out a considerable amount of cash before you leave and keep hundreds — if not thousands — in bills or traveler’s checks on you throughout your trip.
This can be risky, so look up your bank’s affiliated ATM network to see which machines you can use with your US card. This can help you beat an inflated ATM fee every time you withdraw cash while abroad.
You spent hours comparison shopping the cost of flights across several platforms to find the cheapest deal for your dates of travel. Don’t throw away all your hard work by showing up to the airport with a carry-on that exceeds the maximum weight and several bags that need to be checked.
Most budget airlines only offer incredibly low prices when you opt for the most basic fare. This rarely includes checked luggage, food on the flight, and other amenities you’re used to from American Airlines. Read up on the stipulations of your ticket, and make sure you don’t go over any weight or size restriction — otherwise, you’ll get dinged with fees. Packing just one carry-on bag can be difficult, but not impossible. Use a guide like this one to help you.
The bottom line: take care
You may not be a seasoned traveler, but you can fake it ‘til you make it with these pointers. Ultimately, this guide helps you think carefully about your plans, so you can keep your vacation’s costs to a minimum.