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Summer Travel Tips

Travel Smart This Summer

Summer is here—that means late sunsets, warm nights, and maybe even summer vacations! If you do travel this summer, plan ahead to help you save money on travel costs and avoid common financial issues while traveling.

Pre-Travel Checklist

  1. Book your flight early and be flexible. Start looking into flights as soon as you know your destination and set sale alerts so you can strike while the sale is hot. Many apps and websites let you set sale notifications for your destination within your timeframe. If you have flexibility in your schedule, picking a less popular date to travel may save you money and beat some of the crowds.
  2. Set a travel budget before leaving on your trip. Once you know how much you’ll spend traveling to your destination, research the cost of accommodations (don’t forget taxes and fees), food, drinks, transportation, and activities in the area you’ll be staying. After getting a realistic picture of your daily spending, look for ways to save, like eating at local inexpensive spots or taking public transportation instead of using rideshare apps. Give yourself a daily spending limit you are comfortable with and track your spending each day of your trip.
  3. (at least 24 hours before leaving), especially if you plan to travel internationally. You may be able to avoid scenarios where your transaction is blocked. Depending on where you are, you may not be able to talk with your financial institution because of Wi-Fi or cellular service issues or it’s outside normal business hours in your home time zone. Plan a smoother vacation by simply notifying your financial institution of your destination and travel dates before leaving.
  4. Custom alerts are a great tool to monitor your money while traveling. Set up alerts in digital banking based on your travel needs. For example, if you plan on only using Wi-Fi on your trip or don’t think the cell service will be good, set alerts to email or push notifications (versus text) so you can receive the alert once you connect to Wi-Fi. Additionally, setting alerts for certain spending thresholds is an excellent tool for budget management.
  5. Pay your bills before you take off. You won’t have to think about bills while vacationing, and it’s more secure to pay your bills while connected to your protected Wi-Fi versus a public one.

While You're Traveling

  1. Make sure your luggage and valuables are locked in the trunk or glove box and out of sight if you are traveling by car. Rates of theft may rise during the summer, especially in popular destinations because thieves know people are traveling with valuables. When you make pitstops, avoid leaving the car unattended and remove all your belongings from the vehicle once you reach your destination.
  2. Don’t carry all your money in one place and have multiple payment options. If you are going out for the day, leave some cash and a card in your hotel safe. If something happens while you are out, you still have other forms of payment for the rest of the trip.
  3. Protect your money from pickpockets and RFID (radio frequency identification) skimmers. Areas dense with tourists are a playground for criminals targeting innocent travelers’ money and information. Use a money belt or store your cash and cards in a hard-to-reach area to protect yourself from pickpockets. Criminals also use RFID skimmers to pick up card information in seconds, even while inside a bag or pocket. To protect yourself, use a wallet or purse with an RFID-blocking feature.
  4. Be skeptical of public Wi-Fi. Even though using public Wi-Fi is sometimes essential while traveling, refrain from accessing any financial or personal information while connected.
  5. If you feel like your card has been compromised, stolen, or lost, temporarily block your card or call your financial institution as soon as you can. Blocking and unblocking your card is easy, so even if you don’t know if you lost it or temporarily misplaced it, it’s better to be on the safe side and block your card while you look for it.

The more you plan, the smoother and safer your travels will be for your sunny summer getaway.

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