We all work hard for our money, and with all of the other day-to-day expenses most families have, it seems that vacation funds are especially dear. If you’ve been saving for some time in order to head out on your ultimate dream vacation, here are some tips for making sure your travel investment pays you the biggest memory dividend possible. Digitize:
Keeping digital records comes in handy on the road more often than you might think. Lost passports, eyeglass prescriptions and driver’s licenses can cause major wrinkles in an otherwise smooth travel plan. Having digital replacement copies will iron things out quickly. Personally, I solve this with a cloud storage account accessible from any place on the planet with a secure internet connection. Others solve it by having a family member back home available to email or fax replacement copies from a disc you give them in advance.
Going digital is also a helpful way to safeguard what many feel to be their most valuable vacation dividend – travel photos. They are an extremely space-efficient souvenir since storage can take place on a memory chip with a secure thumb drive serving as your backup device. These can later be turned into framed prints, decorative coffee mugs or formatted into slideshows for electronic devices. Insurance:
Travel means different things to different people, whether that's adventure or relaxation or reconnecting with family. But it's also an investment, something that many travelers save and budget for over an extended period of time. Unforeseen snags like cancellations or delays can not only derail a good time but they can result in monetary loss. Because of this, travelers may want to consider purchasing travel insurance, especially when it comes to luxury vacations.
International airfare and planned excursions cost big bucks and it can be difficult to recover a traveler’s investment if sickness, inclement weather, job loss, or many other covered reasons come into the picture, forcing them to interrupt or cancel their plans. Accounts:
Personally, I’m a fan of credit cards for travel expenses because they offer a bit more security than my basic checking account debit card. The companies I have accounts with are typically on top of things and have historically let me know about account compromises within hours - long before I would find out from a regular statement delivery.
Account choice can also come into play when saving for your vacation. If you are the type to dip into savings in order to cover incidentals throughout the year, you may find CDs to be a great option. Thirty-day accounts offer the ability to add funds once each month without leaving them liquid. That month’s extra cash can then be rolled into the balance before rolling over the certificate of deposit. This is particularly helpful for vacations that require several years of savings efforts. Gear:
Nothing is worse than taking off on the trip of a lifetime only to find that your footwear is inferior or your daypack of choice isn’t stitched strongly enough to hold necessary items. Dishing out thousands for designer duds certainly isn’t necessary, but if you are going to be indulging in serious adventure activities or spending the bulk of your time pounding the pavement in ancient cities you’ll definitely want to make sure you’ve packed quality gear that will see you through.
You don’t want to travel a great distance and then be miserable with sore feet and broken tote straps. Field test a few items before you go to find products you’re comfortable with and make sure they go in your suitcase before you leave for the airport.