NEW PODCAST EPISODE! Catch me in your earbuds with the latest episode of Heart of Money. We’ll cover travel organization 101 so you have peace of mind when you plan for and go on your next trip!
I talk about…
- some of my concerns as my parent’s snowbird down south
- why cash still matters
- how I scared my friends and family into thinking the worst because I didn’t have one tiny phone feature turned on
…and much more.
Hey there, and welcome back to another round of our Heart of Money talks. Winter is coming, and you might be starting to plan your escape to somewhere warmer. More and more people that I talk to are starting to take the plunge and travel again, and I know a lot of people that have trips booked for January.
My parents have been gone for a month, and they’ve gone back down south, where they have permanent citizenship. And of course, I am worried. I’m an only child. And so I know that I am their support person, and I’m concerned about them travelling during COVID and being in a different part of the world during a pandemic.
So these are things that have been on my mind. I went through with them the conversation about travel. So now I’m not an expert on travelling. I definitely have a lot more places to explore, and I’ve hardly been anywhere in the world. But I do have a list of places that I want to visit. And there are definitely some standard practices that are helpful.
I thought I would share a few reminders for you if you plan to start travelling again because it’s starting to happen. I’m starting to daydream and want to travel right away too. So, I have a checklist that I’ve been thinking about for when I plan that next trip.
Today I’m going to share a few tips, a few things to think about to help you get organized. This first tip has saved me a lot, and it does not matter where you go pandemic or not. I have photocopied and stored at home copies of my ID, credit cards, passport, you name it, health card, the travel insurance that I get, basically, all the important documents that I take with me when I travel, I have made copies, and I’ve locked them up at home. And then someone I trust has access to it. I actually have it in two places, it’s at home, and at my office, that way my work better-half can access it too. So if I made a frantic call during business hours, she would be able to go into where it’s tucked away and grab it.
It’s you know, you think about if your credit card stolen or lost, then you can quickly just access the info, and you’ve got copies. And if you took pictures on your phone, but your phone is gone too well, that’s not very helpful. So I even made a little list of the phone numbers to call, the passport office, the credit card number, you name it.
If something needs to be reported, to be honest, I think it mostly makes me feel better. It’s like high-fiving yourself for nailing the adulting thing and being like, ‘oh yeah like I got this adulting easy.’ That’s how it feels. So that’s number one.
The next one might feel like common sense, but it’s the travel insurance. Never before has it been even more important. Travel insurance is a must. It’s not as easy as before because you need to know, does it include the COVID-19 coverage, so find out the rules. For example, it only covers vaccinated travellers, so read the fine print and get clear guidance on who qualifies for insurance. I’ve said before. I’ll repeat it again. This has never been so important. There are some great travel insurance policies out there, but they are more expensive than they’ve ever been. But remember, it’s priceless when you need it.
So if you’re dishing out all the bucks to actually travel, because I think flights are a little bit more, we’ll see about accommodations, don’t cheap out; your travel insurance is going to be important. Now something to think about. I am not an expert, and I know nothing about this, just from what I’ve read in the news, but will you need a booster vaccine? And if that’s the case, does the insurance policy require the booster vaccine as well before you can go and will that play into the policy’s fine print? So it’s going to take you some time to investigate and find a really good travel insurance policy.
Next, turn on the find your phone and share location to your devices that you are taking. I will admit I have never done this in travel. I’m going to share with you a personal story. Last month, I didn’t travel far, like literally only a couple of hours from my city. And I went on a solo trip, but my best friend did not hear from me for, I think it’s two or three hours. If you’re listening, thank you for caring. But it panicked her, she then called my daughters, and then they panicked because they couldn’t get ahold of me. And because I was on my own, they thought, oh my gosh, what if she hit her head riding her bicycle on a trail? You name it.
I cannot say how good it is to be loved and thought about. When I returned the phone calls, I was finally taught about sharing my location on my iPhone. Honest to goodness. I had no idea about this. It’s super easy. Of course, it makes total sense. Why wouldn’t I have known this? So this is perfect for travelling on all your devices. So if you lose anything or somebody can check-in, they can feel like t
hey know where you are and you’re safe. So turn on the share location to all your devices.
This one makes common sense, and of course, you already know all these things, but it’s great to have a reminder to copy your itinerary to family, including the flights, accommodations, where you’re going to stay, and maybe even a general idea of your schedule. If you’re touring around, you’re taking a train somewhere, and you know what days you’ll be doing it, let someone know. Peace of mind.
Carry cash. Everybody has their own system. Call me paranoid. Cash is still queen. I know we’re plastic everywhere in the world, and it’s super easy, but I just have some little stashes as a woman. It’s pretty easy. We can find a few places to stash some cash. It always makes me feel a little better, just in case.
I’ll wrap it up here, but with COVID-19, this next tip is even more important than it used to be. And that’s going to be, you must check your health, advisories and warnings for the locations you’re visiting. Find out how things are looking in that country, hotspots, you name it. It’s just good to know.
A couple of other things some people like to know is if the airline is blocking seats. I don’t know, and I don’t think they are anymore, but knowing their policy and cleaning, wiping things down. Also, I’ve had people talk to me about checking their hotel’s precautionary measures, where they’re staying, what kind of things they do if that makes you feel better.
This one is super important. And it’s having a flexible cancellation policy for travelling during the pandemic. Make sure you know the rules of your flight, and if you can cancel for whatever reason, we’re in a little bit of uncertainty right now; that is a good thing to do.
The other one is talking to people that have travelled, and we’ll hear, like that water cooler talk with everybody. Do you know where to get that rapid test? Because you have to have a negative test, even if you’re vaccinated when travelling, you have to go find a test center. And so you’re going to want to know where these are, especially where you’re going to be travelling to when you leave. Do your research ahead of time and learn all those rules and where the test centers are because sometimes they’re not in the same city as where you’re flying out of, you have to plan that in advance, however many days or hours ahead of time. Find it out.
The last one is apparently there are some good related apps out there. So Coronavirus-related apps. So you can download depending on the city of the country. A lot of companies have raced to develop these apps that aim to help monitor and mitigate the COVID transmission. So if it’s important to you, you can actually check and see some of the contact tracing so that maybe you want to stay away from a certain area or not, but if you want it to, there are some of those too.
If you have any other tips, I’m pretty sure I’ve missed them. Every time I talk to somebody, they’ve got a great new hint or tip for travelling that I hadn’t thought of, especially depending on the location of where you’re going. If I’ve missed it, check out this blog on the Astra Financial blog, and then leave a comment on the blog for others to read.
It will be super helpful because I am getting feedback. We’re getting traffic. And that way, if you know something that we don’t, throw it on the comment, and we’ll share it out there with the world. That’s it until next week. Take care.