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The Simplest Ways To Save Money In Your Next Trip

The Simplest Ways To Save Money In Your Next Trip

With the weather outside so frightful, it’s understandable if thoughts of travel are filling your head. Whether you have a winter getaway in mind, or you’re trying to get a head start on summer vacation planning, here are a few money-saving tips that you should keep in mind:

Credit Cards Are The Best Way To Go

While everyone thinks about paying for a vacation from an affordability standpoint, few consider what type of payment to use once there. What method of payment for airfare, lodging, and other accommodations, will you use? Will you use your credit card, debit card, cash, or even checks, when applicable?

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Credit cards are the best way to go. They save on both cost and hassle. They offer a wide array of money-saving benefits and protections that are not available with cash, or even debit cards.

Best Exchange Rates

Currency conversion is a factor whenever you travel internationally. Exchanging dollars for the local currency can either save you or cost you a lot of money. According to CardHub’s Annual Currency Conversion Study, Visa and MasterCard both offer lower exchange rates than local banks or Travelex. Instead of converting physical currency, you should take a Visa/MasterCard credit card with you on your international travels. This way, your money can be converted automatically at the point of sale.

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Complimentary Rental Car Insurance

Most credit cards automatically provide rental car collision and damage insurance coverage. You simply decline the rental company’s supplemental insurance (which is money-saving in-and-of-itself) in order to use the credit card insurance.

Rewards for Usage

Credit cards offer spending-based rewards. Accumulate points to help with ongoing expenses, earn free hotel nights, or even a free flight. Many credit card companies offer impressive rewards bonuses to entice new customers. Presently, the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card will give you a $400 statement credit for spending at least $3,000 during the first three months; the Barclaycard Arrival Card offers $400 to use for any travel-related expense when you spend at least $1,000 in the first three months. These awesome incentives pay you to vacation! Keep in mind that you need excellent credit to qualify for such offers.

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Fraud Protection

If criminals somehow get your credit card information and charge expenses to your account, you won’t be held liable for payment. The four major networks–Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and Discover–offer blanket $0 liability guarantees.

The same protection also covers debit card transactions, as long as you choose to verify your transaction by signature rather than PIN. However, with a debit card, money from your account is removed immediately at the time of transaction. You must make a claim with the bank to get your money back, and to prevent automatic monthly payments from being declined due to insufficient funds. With a credit card, you have the ability to spot and correct fraud before you make a payment on your account.Money-saving is impossible If someone steals cash right out of your pocket or purse–there’s simply no getting it back. If a credit card is stolen however, all you will need to do is deactivate that card, and have your issuer ship an emergency replacement.

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Other Considerations

The above is not meant to say that you should rely exclusively on a credit card for all travel-related spending. That is just not possible. There will always be merchants and service providers who only take cash. Along with a credit card, you should also carry an ATM card that has low, international ATM-withdrawal fees, so you are able to get to your cash, no matter where in the world you are visiting.

If you are planning an overseas trip, make sure to watch out for a merchant practice called “dynamic currency conversion.” This is when a merchant offers to convert your purchase total into dollars, using the reason that it is for your convenience. This convenience is really so the merchant can overcharge you on the exchange rate and increase their own profits.

Bottom Line

These tips and tidbits are a lot to consider. However, by keeping in mind these money-saving ideas, you will be able to plan the perfect trip. Use these tips to get you through the colder months and off to your vacation paradise!

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Last Updated on January 21, 2020

The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

Creating a vision for your life might seem like a frivolous, fantastical waste of time, but it’s not: creating a compelling vision of the life you want is actually one of the most effective strategies for achieving the life of your dreams. Perhaps the best way to look at the concept of a life vision is as a compass to help guide you to take the best actions and make the right choices that help propel you toward your best life.

your vision of where or who you want to be is the greatest asset you have

    Why You Need a Vision

    Experts and life success stories support the idea that with a vision in mind, you are more likely to succeed far beyond what you could otherwise achieve without a clear vision. Think of crafting your life vision as mapping a path to your personal and professional dreams. Life satisfaction and personal happiness are within reach. The harsh reality is that if you don’t develop your own vision, you’ll allow other people and circumstances to direct the course of your life.

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    How to Create Your Life Vision

    Don’t expect a clear and well-defined vision overnight—envisioning your life and determining the course you will follow requires time, and reflection. You need to cultivate vision and perspective, and you also need to apply logic and planning for the practical application of your vision. Your best vision blossoms from your dreams, hopes, and aspirations. It will resonate with your values and ideals, and will generate energy and enthusiasm to help strengthen your commitment to explore the possibilities of your life.

    What Do You Want?

    The question sounds deceptively simple, but it’s often the most difficult to answer. Allowing yourself to explore your deepest desires can be very frightening. You may also not think you have the time to consider something as fanciful as what you want out of life, but it’s important to remind yourself that a life of fulfillment does not usually happen by chance, but by design.

    It’s helpful to ask some thought-provoking questions to help you discover the possibilities of what you want out of life. Consider every aspect of your life, personal and professional, tangible and intangible. Contemplate all the important areas, family and friends, career and success, health and quality of life, spiritual connection and personal growth, and don’t forget about fun and enjoyment.

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    Some tips to guide you:

    • Remember to ask why you want certain things
    • Think about what you want, not on what you don’t want.
    • Give yourself permission to dream.
    • Be creative. Consider ideas that you never thought possible.
    • Focus on your wishes, not what others expect of you.

    Some questions to start your exploration:

    • What really matters to you in life? Not what should matter, what does matter.
    • What would you like to have more of in your life?
    • Set aside money for a moment; what do you want in your career?
    • What are your secret passions and dreams?
    • What would bring more joy and happiness into your life?
    • What do you want your relationships to be like?
    • What qualities would you like to develop?
    • What are your values? What issues do you care about?
    • What are your talents? What’s special about you?
    • What would you most like to accomplish?
    • What would legacy would you like to leave behind?

    It may be helpful to write your thoughts down in a journal or creative vision board if you’re the creative type. Add your own questions, and ask others what they want out of life. Relax and make this exercise fun. You may want to set your answers aside for a while and come back to them later to see if any have changed or if you have anything to add.

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    What Would Your Best Life Look Like?

    Describe your ideal life in detail. Allow yourself to dream and imagine, and create a vivid picture. If you can’t visualize a picture, focus on how your best life would feel. If you find it difficult to envision your life 20 or 30 years from now, start with five years—even a few years into the future will give you a place to start. What you see may surprise you. Set aside preconceived notions. This is your chance to dream and fantasize.

    A few prompts to get you started:

    • What will you have accomplished already?
    • How will you feel about yourself?
    • What kind of people are in your life? How do you feel about them?
    • What does your ideal day look like?
    • Where are you? Where do you live? Think specifics, what city, state, or country, type of community, house or an apartment, style and atmosphere.
    • What would you be doing?
    • Are you with another person, a group of people, or are you by yourself?
    • How are you dressed?
    • What’s your state of mind? Happy or sad? Contented or frustrated?
    • What does your physical body look like? How do you feel about that?
    • Does your best life make you smile and make your heart sing? If it doesn’t, dig deeper, dream bigger.

    It’s important to focus on the result, or at least a way-point in your life. Don’t think about the process for getting there yet—that’s the next stepGive yourself permission to revisit this vision every day, even if only for a few minutes. Keep your vision alive and in the front of your mind.

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    Plan Backwards

    It may sound counter-intuitive to plan backwards rather than forwards, but when you’re planning your life from the end result, it’s often more useful to consider the last step and work your way back to the first. This is actually a valuable and practical strategy for making your vision a reality.

    • What’s the last thing that would’ve had to happen to achieve your best life?
    • What’s the most important choice you would’ve had to make?
    • What would you have needed to learn along the way?
    • What important actions would you have had to take?
    • What beliefs would you have needed to change?
    • What habits or behaviors would you have had to cultivate?
    • What type of support would you have had to enlist?
    • How long will it have taken you to realize your best life?
    • What steps or milestones would you have needed to reach along the way?

    Now it’s time to think about your first step, and the next step after that. Ponder the gap between where you are now and where you want to be in the future. It may seem impossible, but it’s quite achievable if you take it step-by-step.

    It’s important to revisit this vision from time to time. Don’t be surprised if your answers to the questions, your technicolor vision, and the resulting plans change. That can actually be a very good thing; as you change in unforeseeable ways, the best life you envision will change as well. For now, it’s important to use the process, create your vision, and take the first step towards making that vision a reality.

    Featured photo credit: Matt Noble via unsplash.com

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