Money is vital to travel – for a start, if you don’t have enough, you can’t go! However, issues around money and travel go much further than simply having enough to cover your trip. Here are some cash-related concerns to consider when planning your next getaway:
Funding your trip
Funding your trip is of course the biggest money/travel concern for many, and there are different options to look at. Of course, the ideal is that you’ll have saved for your trip in advance, however, in the case of travel that takes a lot of planning, it might be more realistic to book first, pay later.
If you’re planning on using credit to cover the cost of your trip then it’s important that you’re aware of any issues on your credit history that might hinder this. Those relying on using a loan, credit card or overdraft to pay for travel may be disappointed if their credit history is less than clean.
You can carry out Experian credit checks quickly and easily online, to find out whether your credit score is high or low. The higher your score, the better a prospect as a borrower you are to financial institutions and the easy you should find it to obtain credit.
Running credit checks before a holiday is also a good idea for peace of mind – especially if you’re planning an extended trip. A credit report can sometimes flag up issues that you may have been unaware of, whether caused by you or by someone else, either unintentionally (ie someone with the same name as you) or intentionally (in the case of identity fraud). Being aware of these issues will mean that you can put them right, so that they aren’t damaging your credit score further while you’re away.
Spending abroad can be a minefield, with currency, exchange rates, access to cash machines and security to consider. Talk to your bank to make sure that you can use your debit/credit card abroad without charge, and if this isn’t the case consider applying for a card that will serve you better. Again, a good credit score will mean having the pick of better credit cards, terms and interest rates, so check your financial situation before you apply to prevent a rejection damaging your score further.
Banking and Bills
Internet banking means that, in theory, you should be able to keep on top of your financial affairs wherever you are in the world. In practice, this may not always be practical. It relies on having a secure internet connection, which, depending on where you are travelling to and what gadgets you’re taking with you, may not be available. You should never log on to internet banking from a computer that someone else has access to – in a hotel or internet café, for example.
It’s wise to check whether any bills are due during the time you plan to be away, and schedule these payments in advance. An unpaid or late bill could leave a black mark on your credit score, which isn’t something that you want to return home to.
Funding your return
While funding your trip is vital, equally important but something that many excited travellers neglect to consider is funding their return. It’s easy to forget home responsibilities while enjoying yourself on holiday but spending next month’s rent money on sangria/straw donkeys/snorkel gear is going to mean for a painful end to your adventures. Remember that you need to eat, pay bills and get to work on your return to reality, so don’t be tempted to blow the budget.
There’s much more to think about when it comes to money and travel than paying off the holiday balance and changing your currency. Make sure that you’re as financially prepared as possible for a great trip and a stress free homecoming, for a holiday that’s memorable for all the right reasons.