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June 17, 2013

Summer Travel Tips

Whether you're going away for a quick weekend get-away or going on an extended dream vacation, make sure you take care of things at home before you take off. Although you may have a checklist of items to take on your trip, many people forget the things that need to be done at home before you actually leave. Taking care of these items before you leave will help you to be able to relax more when you are at your final destination. Here is a checklist:

Notify Your Bank:

Banks monitor your typical card activity, and when something out of the ordinary gets charged, it can flag your card as possibly being stolen. If that happens, you won't be able to use your card until you have contacted the issuing bank or the credit card company. That's an embarrassing situation to be in plus it doesn't allow you to purchase what you wanted to purchase in the first place. Therefore, it's important to notify your bank and credit card companies in advance to advise them that you will be traveling so that they don't put a freeze on your cards.

Have a Trusted Person Check Your Home:

Whether it's a sibling, friend, or a neighbor you trust, having someone check in on your home while you are away is always a good idea. They can be there if the furnace or air conditioner shuts off, a water tank bursts, or a storm hits the area. You will feel a lot better while on vacation if you know that your house is being looked after by someone you trust.

Share Your Travel Itinerary:

It's a good idea to leave a copy of your itinerary with someone at home. If something were to happen at home that you need to be immediately contacted for, family or friends will have a much easier time reaching you if they know where you're planning to be. Although many of us travel with our cell phones, you never know when you may encounter bad cell phone service or even worse you could lose your cell phone. Better to be safe than sorry.

Check for any Required Documents:

Does your final destination require that you have a passport or a visa for entry? As soon as you decide on your vacation destination, make sure you verify which documents you will need to travel. Getting the required documents may take weeks to obtain so it's better to start the process early. Also, be sure to check whether your passport has already expired!

Bring Extra Medication:

You're probably not going to forget to bring an important medication that you need on a regular basis. However it's also important to bring along an extra supply in case you get delayed somewhere along the way. You don't want to miss any scheduled doses.

Notify the Post Office:

If you're going to be away for more than a few days, notify the Post Office and they will hold your mail until you return. You can either visit your local post office to submit a "hold mail" request or you can easily do it online at the U.S. Post Office website. Either way you can avoid having the mail build up in your mailbox and you won't have to have someone pick it up for you. When you get back from vacation, you'll get the mail you received while you were gone in one lump delivery.

Notify Newspaper Customer Service:

Notify your newspaper subscription department to schedule a vacation hold. This way you won't have to have someone pick it up for you on a daily basis.

Don't Share:

Although it's fun to share your vacation pictures on social media while you're away, you should make sure your privacy settings on your social media networks are set so that only your friends can see your updates. If your privacy settings are set as public it's like advertising to the world that your home will be unattended for an extended period of time. This could potentially put your home at risk for a break-in. Many people choose to post their vacation photos after they return home, just to be extra cautious.

Consider Travel Insurance:

The most important thing you can do before you go is to purchase a travel insurance plan. Travel insurance can work on your behalf re-booking flights, finding lost luggage, monitoring medical care, and more. Plus a travel insurance plan can cover you for things like travel delays due to bad weather, trip cancellation or interruption and medical expenses. For a listing of the top travel insurance companies, click here.


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