This is a sponsored guest post.
If you’re traveling for work, personal reasons, or for a company retreat, there are some financial considerations you should be aware of before you leave. Protecting your finances and reducing costs can make your travel all the more rewarding, keeping costs low and financial mistakes to a minimum. Here’s the best financial related travel advice you’ll ever receive!
Notify Your Financial Institutions
Any time you’re leaving the country or even your state, you should notify your financial institutions. This means your banks, credit unions, etc., should all be aware of when and where you’re traveling, and how long you’ll be gone. Banks can put a hold on credit and debit cards if they suspect suspicious activity, and if they’re unaware of your travel plans, out-of-state transactions can look pretty suspicious.
Most banks have either a form you can fill out inside the branch, or an option on their website to fill out an electronic travel plans form. You can also just call your bank and credit card providers and give them information on your travel plans. The last thing you want during a vacation or retreat is for your card to be frozen, leaving you unable to pay for food, gas, etc.
Always Have Alternative Payment Methods
Should something go wrong during your vacation, you don’t want to be stuck without any money. Having an alternative payment method such as cash, a different credit card, or even a prepaid Visa card can mean the difference between utter disaster and memorable occasion.
You should always have a backup plan when traveling. You’ll be far away from your hometown and all of your in-town resources, including family and friends. Ensuring you have access to extra funds should your cards become frozen by your bank, stolen, or some other complication, will grant you the security you need to enjoy your vacation without the worry of running out of money.
Be Sure the Place You’re Visiting Has a Branch of Your Bank
Should you need to visit a bank at any point during your travels, you’ll want it to be your own bank to avoid the fees associated with cross-banking. If you’ve ever used another bank’s ATM machine or made a withdrawal from another bank, you’ll know that there are usually fees associated with these transactions.
These fees only serve to further increase the overall cost of your travel, and can cause unwanted stress and frustration should you need to access your money. Be sure wherever you’re going has a branch of your bank somewhere close by or in town. You’ll feel much better about using your own bank, and you won’t be charged any of those irritating cross-banking fees.
A simple Google search beforehand can show you which branches are available in the city/state/country you’re visiting. You can also use the branch locator tool that most banking websites provide.
Plan and Budget
Corporate retreats, work-related travel, and personal travel all have one thing in common: they require planning of some form in order to make the most out of them. You can’t throw together a company retreat in a week and expect it to be memorable or cost-effective.
Planning ahead of time and setting up a budget and/or savings plan can help you account for all of the costs associated with your travel, and help create a better overall plan for the trip itself. Corporate retreats, for example, are especially tricky, since they can be quite costly depending on the number of attendees, the venue, and much more.
Create a plan and budget out your expenses at least a few months before your travel or corporate retreat. Depending on the area you’re visiting, things like gasoline, food, and lodging may be more expensive than you think. New York is one such state where costs may be higher, so if you’re planning a company trip, you’ll want to do some research on corporate retreats New York before you begin your planning phase.
With a financial advisor at your side, you can maximize the cost-efficiency of your travel plans. Financial advisors will help you gain a realistic perspective of what you can actually afford, and how much and when you should begin saving in order to have enough money to finance your trip.
Financial advisors do charge a fee for their services, so you’ll want to include this cost when you’re budgeting for the trip. If you’re in the Houston, Texas area, and looking for an advisor, you can compare financial advisors in Houston on Carefulcents.com.
One of the most important things to remember when planning travel or retreats is to be realistic. Sure, taking your family to the Bahamas or your employees to The Rocky Mountains would be incredibly memorable, but if you can’t afford it, it’s not realistic.
You don’t need to find the best locations in the world to create memorable travel plans. The where is only half as important as the who of the trip. People are what help us create memories, so ensuring you’re keeping your trip cost-effective and inviting the right people is the best way to have a great vacation or retreat.
With realistic goals and expectations, you can better plan for your trip and spend only what you need on it. You don’t want to bankrupt the company or go into personal debt just to create the perfect travel plans. Keep your goals realistic, plan ahead, and budget your expenses for the ultimate travel experience.