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Traveling with Financial Smarts

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Making travel plans over school breaks can be exciting - it is the beginning phase of a trip that will ultimately become a great new experience. However, when the topic inevitably turns to expenses, the excitement often takes a nosedive. It's the point where many travel plans stall, group chats with friends go silent, and the desire for adventure remains unfulfilled. These problems can be avoided with some preparation. What if you were financially prepared for your trip during this coming season of holidays to have the ideal traveling experience?


Plan your finances

The most important part of being financially prepared to go on your next trip is to plan it out. This entails budgeting. You don’t have to buy the most expensive hotels and accommodations. Be resourceful when planning them. Search for student travel deals, discounts, or budget-friendly lodging alternatives such as hostels or even camping. Budget for your trips using your monthly budget. You can do this by thinking ahead to future trips, estimating the total cost, and dividing it out monthly to save proactively. 


Decide how you want to manage expenses during your trip. Using a credit card will allow you the security of being able to freeze it at any time if it becomes lost or stolen, and will allow you to pay without having to deal with cash conversion rates if traveling internationally. Many credit cards offer amazing travel awards. Check your existing credit cards for travel-related perks and rewards. Some cards offer travel insurance, waived foreign transaction fees, and bonus points for travel-related expenses. If your current cards don’t offer these benefits, consider opening a new credit card tailored to your travel needs.

trip planning

Create a list of all possible expenses and an itinerary 

When itineraries are brought up, it can strike a nerve for some people. It is crucial to make an itinerary that reflects the interests of those traveling, and what they value. Creating the itinerary in advance makes it so it doesn’t have to be a headache and everyone is on the same page.


After you create your itinerary, list out all of the possible expenses that may come up during your trip. Think about the essentials, such as food, housing, and transportation. Think of any additional expenses such as entrance fees to attractions, tour expenses, and required visas or permits for traveling. Also, be sure to include any souvenirs and any other things that would be considered “wants”.


While traveling internationally

It is important to stay safe while traveling, especially while traveling internationally. Begin by ensuring your payment methods are traveler-friendly. Opt for credit or debit cards that do not charge foreign transaction fees, as this can save you money on every international purchase. It is equally crucial to contact your bank before departure to notify them of your travel plans to avoid card freezes. This often can be completed through your banking app!


While traveling internationally, be aware of various scams that target tourists. Some of these include currency exchange fraud, taxi overcharging, pickpocketing in crowded places, card skimmers on card readers and ATMs, fake visa services, and more. Research the location before and learn from other travelers' experiences to be prepared for these problems, as well as the experience and culture in general.


Imagine this:

You’re back home after an amazing journey, with memories that will last a lifetime, and you’re not burdened by post-trip financial stress. That is the beauty of financial preparation. By creating a well-thought-out budget and itinerary, you’ve paved the way for an enjoyable break from school!


If you ever want help budgeting, or planning for large expenses such as trips, feel free to book a free one-on-one appointment with us today!

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Last Updated: 12/12/23