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5 Things to Do Before You Travel

There are a million things to do before you leave for a trip. The checklist is always the same: pack, clean, get assignments squared away at work, find someone to take care of the pets.

If you haven’t already, there are five financial items that you should add to your list before your vacation starts. Taking care of these on the front end will let you focus on the important things—rest and relaxation—while you’re away.

  1. Let your credit card issuer and bank know where you’re going. If they’re not aware that you’re planning to be in Florida for a week, they may start to get suspicious when charges from Disney World start to show up on your cards. To make sure you don’t have any interruptions in service, tell your financial advisor the dates and location of your trip. This step is particularly crucial if you’re leaving the country. If you plan to put more purchases on your card than usual, you may also want to inquire about increasing your limit temporarily.
  2. Have your mortgage advisor keep an eye on interest rates. If you’re thinking of refinancing but haven’t pulled the trigger yet, ask your mortgage advisor to alert you when rates fall within your target range. You won’t have to worry about watching rates while you’re enjoying your time off.
  3. Pay your bills before you go. If a bill is due while you’re away (or even a few days after you get back), go ahead and mail the check before you leave. Even better, you can schedule payment for the due date in advance with online BillPay.
  4. Clean out your wallet. Remove any credit cards, debit cards, gift cards or coupons that you won’t need on your trip. If you don’t bring it with you, you can’t lose it. While you’re at it, check the expiration dates on the cards you plan to take and your driver’s license to make sure they won’t expire during your vacation. Make a copy of the fronts and backs of the cards that you plan to bring with you, along with your license and passport, and keep them in a safe place. If your wallet is stolen, you’ll have the information you need to cancel the cards.
  5. Exchange some cash if going you’re going overseas. Even if you plan on using credit cards, it’s always a good idea to have some of the country’s currency with you when you land. You may also want to call your phone provider to see what their rates are for international calls, texting and data.

Adding these items to your pre-vacation checklist will take a little more time, but it will be worth it when you can eliminate financial worries on your trip.

Carla Mounger can be reached at 865-766-3053 or by email at Carla.Mounger@pnfp.com.

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