When you're on vacation, the last thing you want to worry about is whether you'll have enough money to enjoy yourself. Fortunately, you can avoid this sort of hassle with a bit of planning beforehand. Careful preparation allows you to anticipate and prepare contingency plans for potential problems. Once you're on the road, just a few quick checks at periodic points during your vacation will be all you need to ensure that you're not going off course.
The best vacations begin long before you pack your bags. Planning ahead of time saves you major headaches down the road, and may even mean the difference between enjoying a wonderful vacation and cutting your trip short. Plan a budget and begin putting money aside. Once your vacation day approaches make a realistic assessment of your available funds and plan your itinerary accordingly.
If there are planned events that you wish to attend, try to purchase tickets in advance. You'll save yourself the hassle of trying to purchase tickets during your vacation and you may even save money. However, try not to plan your budget down to the last penny. You'll want to allow some flexibility to enjoy last-minute opportunities.
Use your credit or debit card for as much spending a possible during your vacation. That way, each expenditure will be charted with a time and date stamp. Check your records each evening on you laptop, tablet or Smartphone to keep track of what you've spent and whether you're running into a problem. If you purchase souvenirs or other items, your credit card company will likely include a guarantee to allow you to receive a refund if there is a problem with the purchase. Debit cards also have some protections for customers, but their guarantees are usually not as strong as those for credit cards.
Did you make a face at the suggestion that you should check your expenditures daily while you're on the road? While it's true that online banking isn't the most fun activity, there are several apps available that make the task of keeping track of your money much quicker and easier than it used to be. Best of all, most of these apps are free.
For instance, Mint or Pageonce allow you to coordinate your spending with your bank accounts. Lemon turns your Smartphone into a password protected backup of your wallet, complete with records of your credit and debit card numbers, receipts, coupons and other records. If you replace or lose your Smartphone, Lemon allows you (and only you) to retrieve your records immediately onto your new phone. If you're driving, GasBuddy allows you to scout out the cheapest petrol prices.
About the Author
Taylor Anderson is a part of a network of bloggers writing about travel and lifestyle on behalf of companies such as American Express. Air miles cards from American Express earn cardholders Air miles on their spending.