Prepare Your Finances For Vacation

Who doesn’t like going on vacation? Although I’ll admit that laying out money for something that doesn’t last longer than the week you’re away kind of irks me. But it’s the memories and the immediate gratification that I enjoy every time, despite the money I have to pay to get to our travel destination.

It’s important to consider your financial situation when booking a new trip. Perhaps you have a vacation fund and limit your spending that way. For us, it’s more to do with how much cash we have free for the trip, and how much of it we’re comfortable spending. We tend to stay at middle-of-the-road hotels — not too cheap, and not full-on luxury. We’re happy staying somewhere that offers a few amenities and is a comfortable, safe place to sleep.

I can’t be away from home more than a week without getting homesick. Actually five days usually is plenty for me to get a taste of another state or culture. But even a week away from home can have financial implications: Your bills still need to get paid!

Going away at the end of the month? The rent or mortgage will be due on the 1st, and you have to be prepared to have it paid beforehand. The same goes for credit cards and utility bills. A missed payment can ding your credit score and raise your interest rates.

That’s why it’s essential that you have your financial house in order before embarking on the trip of a lifetime or a short vacation. Make sure all of your bills are paid before you leave, even if that means mailing out a check or scheduling payment online. Otherwise, you could return home to late fees and higher interest rates — and that’s not what you want to come back from vacation to confront.

13 comments to Prepare Your Finances For Vacation

  • Here in India we have a service from VISA to pay utility bills online using a VISA debit/credit card. Also, as for Credit Card bills almost all the credit card companies now have the option to pay the credit card bill using any saving bank’s account using online net banking.

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  • Hah! It sounds so obvious, yet I once forgot to pay my rent while I was on vacation–how embarrassing. I now do most things online! You can schedule payments in advance.

  • youngandthrifty

    great idea! I love online banking =)

    Though I'm not going to have much internet where I'm going either..!

  • eemusings

    All my payments are scheduled to go out automatically, so it's just a matter of ensuring there's enough in the account!

  • Money Funk

    Great post, Nicole. Definitely good to have a system to pay the bills when heading out for a trip.

    I'm with psychsarah. I recently just lined up all my bill pay transactions, set the pay off date, and whala! It took me one day to schedule a whole month's worth of bill pay transactions.

    I'm ready for my Easter Sunday Hawaiian vacation (and the kids have no idea were going – its a surprise!)

  • ParisGirl111

    I recommend getting on a system where all your bills are paid with the previous month's income. This takes the juggling act with bills obsolete.

  • RainyDaySaver

    @Benjie: WiFi is always a good idea; of course, many resorts charge a daily fee for usage.

  • Benjie @ Zordane

    It is always good to plan ahead with payments, rather than coming back home and dealing with unwanted accumulated interests.

    And nowadays, I would usually inquire the resort if they have a WiFi internet connection, just in case I need to do online payments.

  • RainyDaySaver

    @psychsarah: That's my fear, that I won't be able to get on the Internet at my vacation destination. I always make sure everything is scheduled to be paid before I leave.

    @fallingintofavor: You're right — who needs the stress when you're supposed to be relaxing!

  • fallingintofavor

    I too set up automated transfers for all of my bills. My credit union will even send checks from my account for me. I think it would make the vacation stressful to have to worry about paying for bills!

  • psychsarah

    I have found that online banking can make this a breeze. If I know that I can access the internet from my computer wherever we are, I can do the transfers and bill payments from there. On our last trip, I was unsure about the availability and security of the internet, so I scheduled all of my transfers and bill payments online before I left. It felt great to leave this worry behind when I left the country 🙂

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