Protecting your credit while on vacation

Category: credit

Whether you’re going on a long trip or just a short getaway, it can be easy to overlook the financial aspects of your travels, especially once you’re already on vacation. Even just one vacation can wreak havoc on your credit if you aren’t careful, but the following tips can help you protect your credit the next time you’re on vacation:

Don’t forget about your bills

Depending on how long you’ll be gone for, you may have several (or all) of your bills reach their payment due date while you’re still on vacation. The last thing you want to worry about while you’re on vacation is your bills back at home. You may have intentions of paying them once you’re in your hotel, but your Internet connection may be unstable or you could just forget completely. To avoid coming home to service interruptions and messages from your creditors, take care of your bills before you leave. You could set them up to automatically debit from your bank account once they’re due, or if you prefer to pay your bills by check, send them out early. This way, you can kick back, relax, and forget about any bills you have due while you’re gone.

Avoid becoming a victim of identity theft

Avoid bringing all of your credit cards with you, and instead stick to cash and just one or two credit cards. You also want to make sure you don’t carry everything with you at once, and leave some of your money in your hotel safe, and keep a minimal amount on you. In case something happens and you become a victim of theft, or you lose your wallet and realize it too late, you want to minimize your chances of becoming an identity theft victim. If you lose all of your credit cards and it takes you a while to realize it, too much damage can already be done. When you do leave your hotel room with your money, hide it well with something like a money belt, or carry it in an anti-theft bag that is also slash-proof.

Stick to your budget

It can be easy to splurge while you’re on vacation—especially if you have credit cards with you. But racking up a lot of debt on your vacation—the kind of debt that takes months, or even years to pay off—can hurt both your finances and your credit. After you book everything for your trip, set a budget that comfortably allows you to spend money on purchases, restaurant visits, and spontaneous activities; set an amount that you can afford, and without going in debt.

Plan for unanticipated expenses

Your vacation budget should also include unanticipated expenses, which is very important, because you never know what could go wrong while on vacation. For example, you could get hurt and need costly medical care, and you don’t have health insurance that covers you while abroad. If you carry a high-limit credit card with you that you plan on using for emergencies, this can also put you in a lot of debt. Avoid getting into debt in case an emergency comes up by saving more money for your vacation, and without relying on credit card use. Additionally, you may want to consider travel insurance, which can help protect you once you’re on your trip.

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Nothing above is meant to provide financial, tax, or legal advice. You should meet with appropriate professionals for such services.

Tags: bills, Budgeting, credit, financial loss, identity theft, spending

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