5 Holiday Financial Tips Santa Doesn’t Need, But You Do
Believe it or not, you and Santa have some things in common. Most are familiar with Santa’s big December trip that takes place on the eve of the 24th, but many of us regular folks pack up our suitcases and take off during December as well. Santa visits every child in the world—all in one night’s time—and you might drive or fly to see different members of your family.
Here’s the difference: Santa’s magical. He doesn’t have to worry about different time zones, choosing an airline, booking flights, or baggage fees. In general, he’s pretty worry-free when it comes to traveling. You, on the other hand, generally have to put some effort into your travel plans—no magic sleigh to get you from one place to the other; no red-nosed reindeer to guide the way, either.
Here are five holiday financial tips to keep in mind while traveling during the winter months. Santa will take care of the presents—you just need to make sure you keep your finances in order and take advantage of opportunities when they arise.
Santa Doesn’t Have to Think About Tracking His Spending—You Do.
Normally, you might keep track of all your finances on your home computer or laptop. However, the internet isn’t always available when you’re traveling. On the open road, on the airplane—while it’s becoming more and more available, you cannot always access a computer right at your fingertips. Luckily, these cool apps for your mobile phone or tablet will allow you to keep track of your spending, without always needing internet access.
Santa Doesn’t Have to Contact His Bank Before He Leaves—You Do.
Make sure to contact your bank and let them know you’ll be traveling during the holidays. If they notice that your credit card is being used in different states, some banks will think your card has been stolen and won’t allow further transactions. Be sure to give them the dates and locations and tell them to keep your card available. This will only take a few minutes and could save you a couple of hours—as well as a severe headache—during your travels.
Santa Doesn’t Have to Think About Travel Insurance—You Do.
When thinking about your finances, you should prepare for any event. Since your normal insurance won’t cover out-of-country claims, you’ll want to consider purchasing travel insurance if you’re heading outside of your home country. With travel insurance, you’ll have more money to spend on gifts, since you won’t get stuck paying costly claims if something were to happen.
Santa’s Flights Don’t Get Delayed—Yours May.
Many airlines will provide you with a voucher if your flight is delayed, but did you know you can actually redeem this for cash? If your flight gets delayed and the airline offers you a voucher as compensation, request cash instead. This will give you the control to spend the money however you wish.
Santa Doesn’t Have to Think About Overbooked Flights—You Do.
What to do when your flight gets overbooked? Well, if you have the time, this can actually be an opportunity instead of a hassle. Most airlines will ask for volunteers to give up their seats, and, in return, offer them free miles for taking a later flight. This can be a great way to save if you’re traveling alone and aren’t on a strict schedule. Santa only has to travel once a year, but you’ll most likely travel again throughout the year, and this could be your free ticket. However, if you don’t have the hours to spare, you may be able to avoid this by checking in to your flight online 24 hours before your departure time.