The following is a guest post…
Savings are set aside and change jars are left scattered throughout homes to work as seeds in growing a travel fund, but these often turn into “rainy day funds” when hard financial times affects households. Each of us dreams of travelling abroad at some point, but for parents juggling the financial and personal responsibilities of their household, there is often scarcely a moment to spare a thought in working up funds to travel.
And this sacrifice may seem perfectly logical, since travel can be one of the most financially insecure decisions that a household can commit to. Travelling overseas indeed presents all manners of risk to finances due to unexpected circumstances – but with proper precautions and good planning, a family can travel abroad with a minimal risk to their finances.
One of the most accessible ways that travel can be made safer no matter what your destination is and your means of getting there is by investing in travel insurance. Getting a policy with a provider familiar with the risks and circumstances to your specific region can make a world of difference when it comes down to cashing in on when something does go amiss, so seeking out the cheapest policy isn’t always prudent. As with any form of insurance, reliability is golden. If you were headed to the Carolinas, you’d be much better off with Charlotte insurance rather than a cheaper policy from some distant shore.
These policies can cover anything from road trips to cruises to flights, and can vary to accommodate for all kinds of eventualities from late flights, missing luggage, accidents, illnesses, the return of minors, and even overseas funeral expenses in the case that the very worst happens. While it’s impossible to guarantee that tragedy won’t happen while abroad, it can be easier to make sure your household won’t suffer financially as a result of these incidents.
Plan now and book early
It’s not an industry secret that booking flights, hotels, and other accommodations in advance can spare a household hundreds and hundreds of dollars. (As a side note, be careful to not book too far in advance as to cause unpredicted scheduling conflicts; those tickets are more often than not non-refundable.) But in addition to booking early, it’s also important to consider where and when you’re headed. This can matter for many reasons, the most obvious being that travelling expenses peak enormously during holiday seasons and major international events. The second reason for considering how you’re booking is to figure in your currency exchange rate.
While foreign currency transfer might seem like a game of nickels and dimes, taking a trip during a time where a nation’s currency is on a downswing can spare your budget tremendously. Some travelers insist on scoping the prices of particular countries – just recently as of 2012, tourists made trips to Egypt and Spain as record low prices. Figuring this aspect into your travel planning can make your scheduling seem a little inflexible, but the difference it makes on your budget is well-worth pursuing. It’s even worthwhile considering destinations that you hadn’t originally put on your bucket list when they become particularly affordable, especially considering less costly destinations are usually less littered with tourist traps.
With these two tips in mind, any household can remove the looming sense of insecurity that the prospect of travel and carry with it. It’s impossible to prevent hard times when they come around while travelling, but a family with a good flexible plan and the safety net of travel insurance for their finances is far better off.