Fi­nan­cial prepa­ra­tion for sum­mer trav­els

Seaway News - - BUSINESS/FINANCE -

With long, hot days and chil­dren out of school, sum­mer is a pop­u­lar sea­son for Cana­di­ans to en­joy vacation time. If you’re about to head out on your own get-away, make sure you’ve got the fi­nan­cial as­pect of your trip plan­ning in or­der be­fore you hit the road.

En­sure that you can ac­cess cash eas­ily while you’re away. For­tu­nately, that’s pretty straight­for­ward with au­to­mated teller ma­chines ( ATMs) networked glob­ally. Take your cards with you and in most cases you’ll never be far from a source of money – but be care­ful to pro­tect your Per­sonal Iden­ti­fi­ca­tion Num­ber ( PIN) and take care with what­ever cash you do with­draw. You might want to split it up by keep­ing some in a ho­tel safe and half with you in a travel wal­let. If you’re out­side Canada, smaller de­nom­i­na­tions in the lo­cal cur­rency of your des­ti­na­tion can be handy, for needs such as tips and taxi rides. But re­mem­ber to use your for­eign coins be­fore re­turn­ing home be­cause most for­eign ex­change ser­vices in Canada won’t ac­cept them. Be sure to ob­tain a spare bank card and keep it sep­a­rate from your main card. Also, take with you more than one credit card and have them from dif­fer­ent is­suers. And al­ways travel with a list of your cards and the phone num­bers of the rel­e­vant fi­nan­cial in­sti­tu­tions in case of loss or theft.

If you’re go­ing over­seas, re­mem­ber to call your credit card is­suer in ad­vance to con­firm the card will be hon­oured in the coun­tries you’re vis­it­ing. Dou­ble check your ex­piry dates and credit lim­its and re­view what­ever ben­e­fits your card may of­fer be­cause some cards pro­vide travel and med­i­cal in­surance at no ex­tra charge. If you’re wor­ried that technology might let you down, take trav­ellers’ cheques as well. How­ever, they may be less con­ve­nient than bank cards, and in some coun­tries you may have dif­fi­culty cash­ing them out­side of banks, or you may be charged a com­mis­sion or fee when re­deem­ing them. As for man­ag­ing your fi­nances while you’re away, that’s prob­a­bly not a prob­lem if you’re just head­ing to the beach for a week or two. But if you plan to spend the en­tire sum­mer bik­ing through Europe, you’ll likely need to think about man­ag­ing bill pay­ments, de­posits, in­vest­ments and other el­e­ments of your fi­nan­cial life. An In­ter­net con­nec­tion makes this sim­ple. At your ho­tel or an In­ter­net café, you can prob­a­bly log on to your fi­nan­cial in­sti­tu­tion and ac­cess your in­vest­ment ac­counts. Bills can be paid and ac­counts and in­vest­ments re­viewed. Just re­mem­ber to be cau­tious be­cause the com­puter may not have the same level of se­cu­rity as you have at home.

Also re­mem­ber that tele­phone bank­ing lets you do many of the same tasks. All you re­quire is a touch-tone phone. Or you can set up au­to­matic pay­ments from your bank ac­count to take care of reg­u­lar bills – such as credit cards, prop­erty taxes and util­i­ties. An­other op­tion is to post-date bill pay­ments on­line be­fore you leave home. Of course, no mat­ter how you han­dle these tasks, you need enough money in your ac­counts. Since it can be hard to re­plen­ish a bank ac­count while away, make sure you have enough of a bal­ance be­fore you travel. And ar­range for over­draft pro­tec­tion. If you have reg­u­lar in­come, en­sure it is de­posited au­to­mat­i­cally in your ac­count. This is crit­i­cal for long-term trav­ellers. For ex­am­ple, most fed­eral govern­ment al­lowances such as Canada Pen­sion Plan pay­ments can be di­rectly de­posited.

What­ever you do, be well or­ga­nized be­fore you travel, in­clud­ing ob­tain­ing an ap­pro­pri­ate amount of travel in­surance. If you’re prop­erly pre­pared, you can help en­sure your fi­nan­cial life pro­ceeds smoothly while you’re away.

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