Financial Tips for Female Travelers
As opposed to the past when women were primarily homemakers, today, things have changed. Women are socially and economically empowered and thus participate in household decisions, including travel. In fact, women are travel influencers and consumers alike. One study reveals that women make 80-85% of travel decisions, and they make 64% of travelers globally.
Besides researching good flight deals and luxurious hotels, travelers should consider the financial aspect of traveling. Luckily, women are intrinsically excellent managers, which they can extend to their money and travel plans.
Whether you are headed for a British Virgin Island cruise or a destination vacation in the Maldives, read on to learn financial hacks for sound travel.
Financial Tips Before Travel
1. Start Saving Early
The earlier, the better, may feel like an old cliché, but it applies to travel savings. When planning for local and abroad travel, female travelers should start saving early to maximize their experience. Begin by drafting a rough plan of where you want to go, for how long, and the probable cost.
Lengthier and far trips will be costlier than local ones. For instance, a solo trip to Hawaii will be more expensive than a weekend road trip across the State to see a relative. In the former, you just need to load your roof cargo box with your travel bags and other necessities, fuel your vehicle, and hit the road.
Regardless of your destination, saving earlier ensures you have adequate cash to cater for transport, food, accommodation, fun, and miscellaneous. Financial experts recommend having a sinking fund. If you plan to travel in a year, and it will cost $3,000, set aside $250 monthly to have enough money. Here are more ways to save for a vacation.
- Reduce daily expenses and divert the savings to your vacation
- Earn extra money –consider a side hustle
- Drop an unused subscription, such as a streaming service
- Utilize cash backs and rewards
- Sell extra stuff –tools, clothes, furniture
- Freeze purchasing
- Save on groceries
- Create a direct debit to your saving account
In addition to saving for your vacation, you can travel on a budget and still have the time of your life. Simple things like booking flights and hotels early, traveling in off-peak seasons, bringing your food, and leveraging discounts can lower travel costs significantly. In addition, traveling with friends is also helpful since you share the costs.
2. Opt for Travel-friendly Cards
Most credit and debit cards have exorbitant charges for transactions made outside the US. Typically, you can expect a 2-4% charge, which may add up quickly, especially for lengthy vacations. Also, some providers have higher-than-standard charges when clients use out-of-network ATMs.
As such, getting a travel-friendly card with reasonable foreign transaction and ATM withdrawal costs is the best practice. Also, consider cards that let you earn bonuses for travel-related expenses and redeem them effortlessly.
Enhance peace of mind when traveling by enquiring how the credit card company handles stolen or lost cards. Although most companies deactivate the card immediately, others go the extra mile to provide digital payment options like Apple and Samsung Pay so you aren’t stranded without money.
3. Consider Travel Insurance
Travel insurance is an easy and inexpensive way for female travelers to protect themselves, with 71% of them purchasing it. It offers a financial safety net against travel-related health issues, inconveniences, and losses. Also, some policies provide personal liability should you harm a third party during travel.
Although travel insurance coverage and the client's needs vary from one provider to another, most of them reimburse the following.
- Losses incurred when traveling like lost and delayed baggage and lost passport
- Medical expenses in the event of medical treatment or accident. Some policies offer emergency medical evacuation.
- Changes to the trip itinerary due to unforeseen circumstances. For instance, travel insurance may cover trip cancellation due to sickness, inclement weather, or a loved one’s death, allowing you to recover non-refundable trip costs. Also, it covers trip curtailment due to a covered reason.
4. Notify Your Financial Provider of Travel Plans
During international travel, inform your credit card company of your travel plans so they don’t flag your foreign transactions as fraudulent. Some companies advise travelers to set up card and bank account alerts to stay updated on transactions and charges.
Importantly, make a few copies of your credit cards and your passport, travel insurance policy, and identification documents. Female travelers should leave a set of copies with a trusted friend or family, upload another to a secure website, and carry another one with them, preferably in a separate bag from the original ones.
Also, note down the numbers to contact should you lose your credit card or passport.
5. Examine Exchange Rates
When traveling outside the US, research your destination’s currency beforehand. While heading to Europe, you may assume all countries accept the Euro. However, it is not always the case, and some, like Switzerland and Great Britain, use different currencies.
Savvy female travelers exchange currencies before the travel date. They research legit institutions offering the best exchange rates since airports do not always have competitive rates. Some banks and credit unions provide favorable exchange terms for members. Other institutions offer online currency exchange without huge fees.
Besides all the serious travel hacks, you can check some hilarious travel hacks that actually work here.
Financial Hacks During Travel
1. Limit the Cash You Carry
Although you may have credit cards when traveling, you need cash for minor expenses like taxis, snacks, tips, and souvenirs. Cash increases financial discipline and helps you avoid transaction fees. Additionally, some vendors may not accept credit cards, especially in small destination cities and islands.
Nonetheless, only carry enough cash for the day and leave the rest in a secure spot in your hotel, hostel, apartment, or Airbnb. Most accommodation facilities have secure safes for holding cash and other valuables like jewelry and documents.
Ensure you have a good bag for carrying cash. One with an anti-theft locking zipper is suitable, keeping your cash away from prying eyes and hands. Some female travelers opt for a money belt for added security and peace of mind. Since it is hidden under your clothes, it is more secure than a wallet or handbag.
If you need to withdraw cash from an ATM, choose a well-light and secured one. It should have surveillance cameras and security personnel. If possible, ATMs inside banks are best. Withdraw the cash quickly and store it safely in your bag or body.
2. Safeguard Personal Data
During travel, your identity is as important as your money. When your personal information falls into the wrong hands, it can be used to access your bank accounts and credit cards. Therefore, it’s crucial to protect your identity by:
- Don’t use public WI-Fi networks for financial transactions and transmitting personal information.
- Secure devices with passwords. If possible, only carry the necessary devices when traveling.
- Delete apps with sensitive data –you can reinstall them when back home.
Think about using VPN.
3. Indulge, but Don’t Overspend
Vacationing is a good excuse for spending money. However, you don’t want to return from your vacation tanned, relaxed, and broke. Subsequently, use a budget for your trip and set and comply with spending limits. Resist costly and spontaneous temptations like overpriced souvenirs and unnecessary purchases.
When planning your trip, list everything you would like to do and associated costs. You want to make the most out of your travel, maximize enjoyment and minimize costs. At times, you have to compromise so the trip makes financial sense. For example, you can settle for a cheaper hotel so you spend more on destination activities and attractions.
Creating an itinerary helps female travelers get a pleasant travel experience without breaking the bank. Start by identifying the reason for your travel. Do you want to unwind, learn, explore, eat, or spend time with loved ones?
If you want to explore, you may spend less on hotels and more on excursions and tourist attractions. Then, develop a travel schedule to accomplish these goals. Or simply use RatePunk - browser extension which compares hotel prices around the world.
What to do When You Lose Your Wallet, Credit Card, or Travel Documents
Few things are more devastating than reaching for your wallet or credit card only to find it’s gone. What’s next? First, stay calm so you think clearly and take the necessary actions. Second, contact your provider for credit cards to report the missing cards. Third, you will have another credit card and cash stored in the hotel. Alternatively, you can use digital wallets to access cash and make payments. Fourth, contact the embassy for help with lost passports and travel documents.
Also, read about our tips for traveling alone for the first time.
Women are increasingly taking charge of their lives and managing their careers, finances, and families meticulously. Also, they plan family and solo travels to relax, unwind, and make memories.
During travel, female travelers should take precautions to protect themselves and their money to make the most of their vacations and business trips. No one wants theft or loss to ruin their dream vacation with substantial financial implications. Use the tips above to ensure financial wellness when traveling.