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Ahhhh vacation... many of us need one but rarely do we take one. When we do take a break, financial safety may be far from our minds. Planning, packing and affordability are on the forefront but do we ever consider the financial security of our trips? Should you get traveler's checks? Will my credit or debit card be accepted at merchants in different states or even different countries? Should I pay for everything with cash? These questions should be important when making our travel plans.
When my grandfather would prepare for a trip the one thing he would do before he ever left was to get traveler's checks. But, are traveler's checks still useful in today's economy? Many merchants no longer accept these checks and some have never seen them before. Perhaps they are more suited for foreign travel, because of the protection they provide but European merchants do not accept the checks either. The last thing you want to do in Paris or London is to look for a place that will convert them into currency and be charged with an outrageous conversion fee. Maybe cash is the best way to go but there is no security if you lose the money or get robbed. And who wants to be carrying around hundreds of dollars in a city that may not be familiar to us? Credit and debit cards offer the most security with the most convenience. If we lose our cards, they can be quickly closed and reissued. If charges are made before you can close the card, the charges may be reversed.
One important thing to remember before you go out of the state or the country is to alert your financial institution of your plans. There is nothing worse than getting your card declined when you are about to bite into an ice cream cone or purchasing tickets to meet that famous mouse in Florida. Let us remember that a vacation is supposed to be stress free and hassle free. Do not let financial security get in your way of fun in the sun. So, while you are skiing down the Alps or taking a cruise down the Nile don't let financial security be on your mind. Planning ahead will help you relax and enjoy your vacation. Hey, it's a vacation and you deserve it!