Travelling

Some of us, want to get out and travel the world while others, may just need some time away, now and then. We can all agree, though, that It's nice to take a break and enjoy a change of pace and a change of scenery. And a little planning will help ensure you that you get the rest and relaxation you need, stress-free.

Do your research

A holiday means different things to different people. Maybe your ideal vacation is an activity-packed road trip with the kids. Or perhaps you prefer a relaxing, all-inclusive vacation in the sunny tropics. Whatever your dream holiday looks like, it's helpful to spend a little time in advance checking out the cost of accommodations, deciding what kind of “extras” you might want such as a scuba diving excursion, or tickets to a ball-game or concert. Even if you’re flying, don’t forget to factor in the cost of cabs, public transportation and car rentals.

Set a budget

Once you’ve established what kind of holiday you want and what activities you'd like to include, you'll have some figures to work with. Now's a good time to put aside the tanning lotion and think reality; what's coming for you in the year ahead? Big house repairs? Will you need a new car? If so, factor that in and then set a ballpark budget for your vacation. You don't want to overspend now, only to find yourself strapped later on.

Don't forget travel insurance

There are different insurance packages available that cover everything from lost luggage to health care while you're in another country. Your provincial healthcare doesn't cover all out-of-country medical expenses, so make sure you're protected.

Have some cash on hand

Before you travel to another country,  check with their embassy or consulate here in Canada and ask if you're allowed to import or export that country's currency. If you’re permitted to import currency, plan to take enough cash to get by for a couple of days. Stash it in a money belt or in several different pockets to be safe. When you arrive at your destination, you can withdraw more cash from an ATM.

Your debit card is a friend in need

Ask ACU if we have banking partners where you're travelling to, so that you can use your debit card fee-free. Here's a tip; it's safer to always use bank-affiliated ATMs when you're away, but know that your debit card may not work in every ATM machine. Due to the potential for fraud and other criminal activity, you should use your credit cards and debit cards with caution. Use ATMs during business hours, in a busy area inside a bank, supermarket, or large commercial building.

In rural areas of some countries, you may not be able to find an ATM that is part of our network, so plan ahead and withdraw enough cash until you once again have ATM access. Your debit card may not be accepted at foreign stores or restaurants , so you should carry enough cash to cover daily expenses. Using your debit card to withdraw money from ATMs may cost you extra in fees, but you can minimize those by withdrawing larger amounts, less often.

Bring a major credit card with you

A credit card allows you to have a paper trail of all your major purchases, such as your airline tickets, hotel bills, and restaurant tabs. If you reserve your hotel and rental car on your credit card, the reservation should be guaranteed even if you arrive late. Be aware that not all major credit cards are accepted everywhere, so you should check with your credit card issuers before you leave on your trip. Some merchants prefer to be paid in cash rather than by credit card because they must pay a commission to the credit card company.

And don't forget some traveler’s cheques

Traveler's cheques are the safest and most convenient way to have money on hand while you travel in foreign countries. They're accepted all over the world and can be replaced quickly if they're lost or stolen.

 

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