Whether you’re traveling 200 miles or 2,000, leaving home without taking steps to help protect your financial well-being can be traumatic. Follow these travel tips to help guard your wallet from the unexpected.
1. Prepare for the Unknown: “Murphy lurks, even in the best-laid plans,” says Scott Halliwell, a certified financial planner practitioner with USAA. “Thats why, for more costly getaways, it makes sense to consider travel insurance.”Travel insurance helps protect your trip against forces beyond your control, like a hurricane or a death in the family. “Ive made it a point to cover our big family vacations in recent years. While I was shopping for the coverage, I noticed big differences from plan to plan, so make sure to read the fine print,” Halliwell says.
2. Dont Advertise Your Absence: Excited about a vacation, some people are eager to tell the whole world about it. Thanks to social media outlets, such as Facebook and Twitter, doing that is easier — and more perilous — than ever.”Announcing your vacation plans and posting photos from the beach may let thieves know your home is a prime target,” says J.J. Montanaro, a certified financial planner practitioner with USAA. Thats why its best to wait until the vacation is over to do your bragging. If you can’t resist, revisit your privacy settings to narrow the audience. “No matter which approach you take, be sure your spouse and children are onboard, too,” Montanaro adds.
3. Check Your Health Coverage: An illness or an injury could be devastatingly expensive if it happens overseas, especially if you need medical transport back to the United States. “If you’re heading outside the U.S., it’s critical that you review your health insurance to see if you’ll be covered if you get sick or have an accident,” Halliwell says. Many plans won’t cover such costs — including Medicare, though some Medicare supplements do. To fill the gap, consider a travel health insurance policy.
4. Make the Right Rental Car Move: You may have reserved a car weeks in advance, but once you reach the counter, you’ll face a decision: whether to purchase the optional insurance coverage. “Check with your insurer to learn about your rental car coverage. Typically, if you live and are renting your car in the United States, your rental will be covered by your personal auto insurance,” Montanaro says. There may be some gaps, though, including loss-of-use fees owed to the rental company if a car has to be repaired.