Have you dreamed of taking an overseas vacation? Have you already stalked hotels online, picked your flights, and made a list of the sights you want to see and restaurants to try? Then did you get stressed about how to pay for it all at once? You could max out a credit card but that interest is pretty high. You could dip into that savings but you worked so hard to put that money away. Have you considered taking out a personal loan.
Visit a personal loan comparison site. See vacation loan offers from multiple lenders without any cost or obligation to you and without it affecting your credit. Keep your hard-earned cash in the bank and save the balance on your credit card for an emergency. Use some of the funds to extend your trip, stay in that fancy hotel for a night or do something you thought you couldn’t afford. A personal loan lets you book now and pay off for your dream vacation over time.
Now that you have a plan to make that travel dream a reality, make sure your vacation goes as smoothly and stress-free as possible. Pre-planning is a bit boring, but the more meticulous you are, the better off you will be in the end.
Top 5 Tips for Overseas Travel:
1. Be prepared, buy the insurance.
Compare prices and coverage of policies, as they can vary greatly. Decide which policy fits your needs. Be sure to read the fine print! And if you are a person who hadn’t even thought of insurance until you read this, get the flight insurance at a minimum. You can use your loan money to ensure you and your belongings are protected while on vacation.
Find out the passport and visa requirements for your destination. Research and be prepared for any custom or import restrictions. Bring your passport/visa along with copies, one paper copy and one on your phone. Also, it’s always good to get a physical before traveling abroad and get any vaccinations that you need.
2. Be a smart packer.
Resist the urge to overpack clothes or bring expensive items. Remember, everywhere you go you will be carrying your bags. The less you bring, the less likely you are to lose something. Purchase a power adaptor or converter if needed. Don’t forget to bring things you will need to keep yourself comfortable and entertained during your flight.
Finally, make sure you have the things you would need to survive (extra clothes, medications, chargers) in your carry-on. You never know if your luggage will be lost or if you will get stuck at an airport due to a delayed flight.
3. Be ready to be gone.
Okay, this seems like a given, but you have a lot to do before leaving. Pay your bills and secure your home. Arrange for a house, pet or plant sitter as needed. Look at whether or not it would be wise to use your vacation loan money so you will have peace of mind while you are traveling. Notify your bank of your plans and know the exchange rate. See if you can exchange currency at your bank before leaving. This can often be the cheapest way. Set an “away” message for your work email.
Lastly, check that your phone is ready to go international. Ensure your phone works in your destination and check on rates. International rates can often be hefty. Depending on how long you plan on being gone, purchasing a local sim card with a prepaid plan could be more economical.
4. Be familiar with where you are going.
This seems like another given, but do your research. You don’t want to spend your whole vacation in just the tourist hotspots. Learn about the region. Read travel blogs for tips on how to get the true local experience. If you are going somewhere you don’t speak the language, learn some basic phrases. Purchase a book or download an app to help you out. Talk to the locals, don’t be shy or timid about making a fool of yourself. You are there to learn and enjoy yourself!
However, be safe. Don’t be paranoid, but be smart. Learn the local laws and customs. Always be aware of your surroundings and never carry anything important in your back pocket. Don’t keep all your cash and cards in one place. By opting to take advantage of a personal loan, you can leave some of your cards at home thereby reducing the risk of theft or loss. Take what you will need for the day and lock the rest up at your hotel or wherever you are staying. And lastly, be cautious when using credit cards at internet cafes or on public wi-fi.
5. Have fun and take care of yourself!
Sometimes this can be a hard thing to do while traveling, especially when you are with other people or if you feel like your time is limited. Often, solo travel can be the least hassle, but that is not an option for many. Give yourself plenty of time to relax and recover from jet lag when arriving at your destination and when returning home.
Don’t have every second of every day planned. Allow yourself time to be spontaneous. If you are with others, allow time for everyone to do some independent exploring. Remember, this is your vacation! You don’t want to come home feeling like you need a vacation from your vacation.
Keep in mind, you can never be too prepared but be ready to go with the flow of unplanned experiences. If you finance your trip with a personal loan, you’ll have the funds to take advantage of participating in a special excursion, local shopping, and gifts for friends and family. This is your trip and you likely won’t be visiting this destination again any time soon, so don’t let a tight budget restrict your experience.