Time and Money Saving Tips: What to Do Before You Leave on Vacation

in Trip Planning

Your flights and hotel have been booked for months, your bags are packed and you’re ready to embark on your adventure. But have you thought about what will be happening on the home front while you’re off galavanting around the world? I know, nobody likes to think about coming home from a wonderful trip, but the reality is that you will eventually have to. Wouldn’t it be nice to make that homecoming as smooth and hassle-free as possible? Here are some tips for things to do before you leave that will help you save time and money when you get back.

Pay your bills in advance. I know, nobody likes to think about paying bills before going on vacation – especially if you’re planning on spending some money while you’re there. But, it is best to pay your bills in advance or set up an automatic withdrawal so that you don’t get penalized by late fees. If you decide to do automatic withdrawal, keep in mind the dates that your bills will be paid so that you don’t overspend and overdraw your account while you are gone.

Contact your bank and credit card company. There is nothing worse than trying to pay for something in a far off land and having your credit card declined because your company thinks it was stolen. Be proactive and contact your bank (if you plan on using a debit card) or credit card company to let them know when and where you’ll be traveling. You also might want to think about removing the daily spending limits you have on your cards. It is nice to know you that you can have access to your funds if you really need them. On a related note, check with your credit card company to see how much international transaction fees are. That way you can plan accordingly and use cash to avoid having to pay these fees. See: How to Pay For a Vacation post.

Insure yourself. Make sure that you have travel insurance (in case you need to change your travel plans) that will reimburse you for the partial or full cost of your plane ticket. Also, check to see if your medical insurance will cover you abroad and/or how to submit claims when you return.

Check with your cell phone company. It is a good idea to check with your cell phone company to see what the charges will be for making and receiving phone calls while abroad (including roaming fees). There are few things worse than coming home to a massive phone bill.

Stop your mail. To avoid a cramped mailbox (or potentially lost important pieces of mail), make sure to stop your mail before you leave for vacation. You can do this online.

Ask someone to check on your house. It is a good idea to have some check on your house at least a few times while you’re gone. They could water your plants and just do a general walk-through to make sure that there aren’t any problems (like a flooded basement, an electrical fire, etc.). It’s much better to catch potential issues early on than discovering them when you get home.

Give a few friends your contact information. Make sure a few people  (including the person who is taking care of your house) know how to get in touch with you while you are gone in case there is an emergency and they need to get ahold of you.

Enjoy your trip. You’ve done everything you can to ensure a great trip and a smooth re-entry. Now it’s time

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