Spring Break Travel Tips
Wherever your spring break travel plans are going to take you, whether it’s across the globe or across state lines, we want to remind you to plan carefully so your money stays in your hands and fun vacations are risk free. Sometimes our spring break plans arise spontaneously, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t be prepared ahead of time.
Most financial experts advise limiting the amount of cash you carry with you while somewhere unfamiliar and paying with a debit or credit card for most purchases. That’s because credit and debit cards come with additional protections, such as zero-liability for fraud-related charges, which can offer greater peace of mind when you’re surrounded by new people. Vacations are better when they go as planned, so follow these tips to minimize your risk for theft, and start putting money away now, while you are still able.
- Be flexible. Flights vary by month, day, time, and departure location. The further ahead you plan your flight, the better, because you can do enough research and compare prices without feeling rushed while also getting a better price.
- Stop spending money today. When you’re on vacation, you’ll be eating out often and spending more money than you probably planned. So, don’t eat out at home! Think of every meal you eat at home as one more you can eat out when you’re traveling.
- Don’t get too many ‘needs’ for the trip. Many fall victim to the feeling that they need to get new outfits, new gear, new whatever so they feel prepared for vacation. Depending on where you’re going maybe you’ll still do this, but you don’t have to. What you spend now could be cutting into the money you could have been spending on vacation. And what you already have will probably be just fine.
- Plan, plan, plan. Make a checklist of places you want to go and things you want to do, then find-out how much each costs. This research step will help you know how much you need to save, and will also make sure you hit all the best spots at your destination.
- Save an amount from each paycheck. By having a set amount every two weeks (or whenever you get paid) you can easily estimate how much you need by the time spring break comes.
- Go with a group. Traveling with a group is both safer, and cheaper. Utilize the carpooling, split costs for hotels, and always have a buddy available with a bigger group of spring breakers. This can help you save potentially hundreds when you are able to split costs like gas and lodging.
Minimize Theft and Traveling Smart:
- Share your travel plans with your community bank to avoid account holds or transaction rejections when out-of-the-ordinary transactions are presented for processing or posted. This is the simplest way to prevent any unexpected and embarrassing card rejections while purchasing things away from home.
- Foreign Exchange Services are offered to help you get the foreign currency you need before you travel. Just give your bank some time to order it and you will have your cash before even leaving.
- Carry at least two cards with you so you have a backup. Families or couples may get even greater back-up coverage if each person takes a different card. That way, if one doesn’t work, or gets lost/stolen, you still have a card safe with another member of your family.
- Set up transaction alerts for credit and debit cards. If you suspect your information has been compromised contact your bank and credit card provider as soon as possible.
- Know your emergency phone numbers, but remember, 800-numbers can only be used in the United States and Canada. Be sure to get a number for your bank that you can call if you are out of the country. Likewise, emergency numbers like 911 will probably be different in a foreign country, so make sure you do your research, because it’s better to be safe than sorry.
- Make sure you’re covered with travel accident insurance and traveler’s assistance. Ask your community bank what special services are provided if you need to add any of these coverage services.
- Download your bank’s mobile app to have access to your account information while gone. Most apps similar to LSB’s will let you budget while on the go and track your spending so you always know what’s going on with your finances.
- Use social media with care. Posting your pictures or whereabouts during travel could leave you susceptible to home invaders, that now know the details of your time away.
Saving is always the key to a better vacation, but make sure you’re taking every helping hand available to have the best vacation ever. Your bank is always available to help you if something goes wrong or a misunderstanding occurs while away. For more information about what to do in the event of a lost or stolen card, visit your local branch or contact us today.
Lincoln Savings Bank, Member FDIC