Whether you’re jetting off for two weeks or two months, one of the most important aspects to consider before your trip is how you will handle your personal finances. Speaking from personal experience, when you’re thinking about catching planes, trains, and buses—or just trying to figure out where you’re going to eat for the night—there’s really no time to be worried about payment due dates and exploding interest rates.
One way we have managed to handle our personal finances on the road (and save lots of money in the long run) is by utilizing credit cards. Now, this is not to say that credit cards are for everyone. If you know you are the type of person who will use credit to max out on luxury accommodations and five-star dining you really can’t afford, then perhaps focus on maintaining a budget within your limits first.
But if you know how to use them wisely, credit cards can make managing personal finance on the road much easier. For example, if you already carry balances on credit cards and you are worried about their high interest rates, you might want to get a balance transfer credit card and pay no interest. Essentially, you can transfer your balance from one credit card to another, but rather than paying the high interest fees on the old card, you’ll pay no interest at all (for a certain amount of time). This can be a great way to passively save money on your travels.
As all travelers know, another important aspect of personal finance is being able to manage it from anywhere in the world. Luckily, in today’s mobile world, it’s never been easier to manage your money online. Recently I had a look at the Halifax bank website. In just one click, you can get online banking 24/7, track spending with a budget tool, and read guides to make the most of your money. These are great essentials, whether you’re gearing up for a trip or not.
As with anything related to the world of finance, it’s important to be informed and read about managing money from a variety of sources. Again, don’t wait until your drinking margaritas on a tropical beach; tie up loose ends before your departure. It’s never too late—or too early—to start the financial planning process.