How to Financially Plan for Your Summer Travels
This post is sponsored by Northwestern Mutual.
We caught the travel bug a few years ago, and it never seemed to go away. The constant rush of meeting new people, experiencing new cities, and diving into new cultures has become essential to us. We’ve been on the move a lot this summer and while it’s been a lot of fun, it’s easy to get overwhelmed, especially when it comes down to the financial aspect of traveling. So, we’ve partnered with Northwestern Mutual and spoke with their Financial Advisor Aaron Bell to bring you some financial tips that he keeps in mind when planning for a travel-packed season with his family of four.
Saving on a monthly basis is key. Ideally, the travel portion of your savings should be put into anaccount that is easily acessible. We’ve found that maintaining the account for a year and a half can be very beneficial. This way you have flexibility when it comes down to the best flights and hotel deals. Also, there are many ways to anticipate small costs that add up during your vacation. If traveling abroad, make sure you know what international fees and exchange rates that your credit cards carry. Another way to save money during your excursion is going to the bank before you leave to take out the currency of the country you are traveling to. These banks will have the lowest exchange rates without the added fees of your destination’s airport.
Giving yourself an ample amount of time to save also helps you stay flexible when it comes to searching for the best deals. Typically, you want to reserve flights and hotels six months before your trip to get the lowest price. We’re huge fans of Hopper, a search engine app that finds the cheapest tickets, tells you the best time to purchase the flightand sends alerts before prices rise. Websites like Priceline and Cheapoair have also came in handy.
Lastly, we have to talk about rewards! Credit cards that have strong reward systems are highly recommended, especially those that come with travel perks throughout their network. If you’re planning on doing a significant amount of traveling, it’s encouraged to align your credit cards with an airline partner (American Airlines, Delta) and/or hospitality group (Starwood card). You’ll be surprised how quickly these points accumulate. You will be reaping the benefits in no time!