Vacations are time we take for ourselves to relax and see places outside of our norm. Sometimes, however, vacations can also be the source of stress: Can I afford an international trip? How will I get there? How do I handle bringing my medical supplies? What if I miss a connecting flight?
One way you can take the stress out of your vacation is to plan ahead financially. While not all inclusive, this travel checklist is a great way to get started:
Prepare a budget
When planning your trip, know how much money you will need to have daily. Beyond the expenses of items like hotel and flight, plan for other financial needs when traveling, such as:
- Cost of dining out
- Taking taxis or public transit
- Souvenirs and shopping
- Foreign transaction fees
Knowing how much you need can help you set the correct amount aside and save accordingly. It can also prevent you from overspending when on vacation. Online budgeting tools, like Old National's Money Management, can help you with building and tracking a budget.
Consider getting travel insurance
Things don’t always go the way you planned. Having travel insurance could make sure you get reimbursed for things like lost luggage, flight cancellations or a medical emergency. Depending on your travel insurance policy, you may also be able to get cash for unexpected expenses while traveling.
Call your bank
It’s important to let your financial institution know about your travel plans before you leave, especially if you are bringing debit and/or credit cards. If you live in Minnesota, for example, but your card is suddenly used in Italy, that would be a red flag and your bank could suspect fraud and freeze your card. Simply letting your financial institution know where you are going and for how long could prevent an awkward dinner date, financially anyway. Make sure to also let your bank know how best to contact you while you’re traveling should something suspicious come up on your account(s).
If you are an Old National client, you can call Client Care at 1-800-731-2265 or visit a banking center to notify us.
Bring multiple forms of paymentThere are a few scenarios where having a back-up payment method comes in handy:
- Your card gets declined
- The merchant only accepts a certain kind of credit or debit card (e.g. American Express vs. Visa)
- The merchant is cash-only
Take out cash beforehand
If you’re traveling to a different country, ordering foreign cash before you leave can help you avoid foreign transaction fees. Most financial institutions, including Old National, offer foreign currency. You can often buy foreign cash in a banking center or order it online. Remember, foreign currency is often a different value than the US dollar, so don’t expect a perfect match when you buy foreign currency. For example, if you want to take out 50 Euros, it could cost you $56.26 in US dollars. Please note that the exchange rate varies, so check with your bank for the current rate.
Find fee-free ATMs near you
Using your financial institution’s ATM locator, you can plan ahead and find ATMs in the area you are traveling so you can access cash and avoid fees. Please note: If you’re traveling to a different country, you may still incur foreign transaction fees.
Find an ATM near you.
Old National clients can use any Old National or Allpoint ATM with no fees. Whether you're traveling or near home, use our locator to find one of more than 55,000 surcharge-free ATMs.
Purchase a travel card
Many financial institutions offer travel cards, a great alternative to traveler’s checks. It’s a prepaid, reloadable card you can use almost anywhere. These can typically be used without incurring foreign transaction fees.
Monitor your accounts
As you would when you’re not traveling, make sure to log on to your online banking or mobile banking app to monitor for transactions you don’t recognize. If you see transactions you don't recognize, make sure to contact your bank.
Many financial institutions also offer automated alerts (either by text or email depending on your preferences) as an easier way to monitor your accounts. Old National offers a variety of automated alerts in online and mobile banking, as well as ON Guard Visa Purchase Alerts for your debit card.
Take your bank contact info with you
Many financial institutions have an emergency hotline, such as a “lost/stolen card” phone number you can call if you end up in an unfortunate situation. Make sure to bring a copy of this information with you when you travel. Old National clients can report a lost or stolen card 24-hours a day by calling 1-800-731-2265 in the US or 1-812-422-2197 from outside of the US.
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