Travel

How to Prepare For a Last Minute Vacation

How to Prepare For a Last Minute Vacation

Travel

Most people spend a good portion of the working year dreaming of a vacation. This is why when the opportunity arises you simply have to grab it. So, if you suddenly find yourself with a few free days at your disposal you have to promptly move into holiday planning mode. Of course, when you don’t have as much time to plan or prepare, things can get a little hectic for you. The good news, though, is that this doesn’t have to ruin your vacation experience. To make sure that you are handling everything properly, follow these tips here:

Figure Out Your Budget

Now, one of the downsides of a spontaneous vacation is that you don’t have enough time to save up money. Nevertheless, you are going to need to figure out just how much it is that you can afford to spend. This will give you some idea of the holiday budget that you have to worth it. In case you feel like this budget is much too tight, you are going to need to supplement it with a quick loan. You can easily cut down on all of the fuss and the red tape with services such as 24Cash.ca. Here, you can get a cash loan approved within one day, ensuring that you can stretch your budget out a little more.

Do Your Research on Possible Locations

Your next step is to figure out where you can go. For the most part, your budget will be able to outline which destinations are actually possible for you. Still, there are other factors to consider. For instance, what time of the year are you traveling? If it is in a peak season like summer, you should look for alternatives to popular, crowded spots. This way, you will be able to enjoy better prices while also staying clear of hoards of people. With this in mind, also carefully research what the best places to visit are, given the time of year.

Book Your Tickets Wisely

You don’t need to be told that the best way to keep air travel to a minimum is to book your tickets ahead of time. Since you are headed out on a last-minute vacation, though, this might not be a possibility for you. This doesn’t mean, though, that all hope is lost. Instead, you simply need to be a bit more flexible with your travel plans. For example, traveling on a Saturday or a Sunday may be ideal. Unfortunately, prices can skyrocket on these days. Nevertheless, if you can arrange it so that you can fly out on a Monday or Tuesday, you will be able to get away with paying a lot less.

Get Some Help

The last piece of advice that you should follow is to consult a travel agent. This is something that people tend to take for granted when planning a spontaneous holiday but they can be quite invaluable. Understand, travel agents have a number of contacts, insider information, and more. As such, they will be able to quickly sort out your plans for you with minimum fuss. Thus, this is an avenue that you should consider.

These are the top tips to keep in mind when preparing for a last minute vacation. This way, you are sure to have a great deal more fun.


Tricks to choose the best travel credit card – Opportunities galore

 

Credit card folded into paper airplane in atmosphere

Image source huffpost

Credit cards are almost a ubiquitous part of the modern day society and people swipe them to pay for everything starting from groceries to card to gum sticks! America is a country that loves to use credit cards and probably that is the reason behind all those ads and bonuses which you have to sign up with. As there are plethora of options regarding credit cards, how would you know which one would be a good choice for traveling?

Travel credit cards offer wide array of opportunities to earn free points which you can redeem for hotels, airfares or cold hard cash. In the rat race to grab customers, credit card issuing companies are joining hands with different travel brands which entice consumers with loyalty points, bonuses, special rebates and so on. But how are you supposed to choose the best travel credit card? What are the tricks to watch out for?

1. Sign-up bonus should be huge enough

If the sign-up bonuses after you meet the card’s requirement for spending is huge, this gets your mileage account going and you get closer to a free flight. Don’t ever make the mistake of signing up with a card which doesn’t offer you high sign-up bonus. Are you wondering how bonuses work? Well, if you want to get a large bonus, you should either make a single purchase or meet a minimum expense limit within a certain time period. After that, depending on your credit card, you may earn 1-4X points per dollar that you spend.

2. Extra category spending bonus

Most credit cards offer a single point for each and every dollar that you spend but good travel credit cards will give you added points when you shop at some particular retailers. You can hereby add points much quickly. You should not want one dollar to be equivalent to one point and hence look forward to the ability to get 2-3 points each time you spend a dollar. Use those cards in your day-to-day spending and earn more than a dollar per mile.

3. The minimum spending amount should be low

It is sad enough to note that in order to grab bonuses which are offered by such cards, there is a required minimum spending amount. Although there are ways in which you can fake your spending, it is best when you’re able to snag the bonus using your regular expenses. You should typically sign up with those cards which have a minimum spending requirement of about $1000-3000 in a period of 3-6 months. Having a goal and starting with travel credit cards is good when you start small.

4. Cards with special perks and benefits

All the travel credit cards offer huge benefits and perks for the credit card holders. There are many credit card companies which will offer you special elite loyalty reward programs and other added perks. You should look out for cards with foreign transaction fees, free checked luggage, free nights, priority boarding and much more options. Remember that it is not just about achieving some miles; it is all about what else comes with the travel card that could make life easier and smart.

5. Foreign transaction fees

Majority of the credit cards usually charge a 3% fee when you use them abroad. Credit cards are great offers as you can grab a good exchange rate from them but if you pay a fee each time you use the card, then the result is not as good. The best card for averting foreign fees is the Capital One Venture Card. Though there is no yearly fee, yet there is no such reward structure as well.
Hence, if you’re eager to take a travel credit card, ensure taking into account the above mentioned factors so that you may choose the best card in the market. The better is the card you choose, the better will be the benefits that you reap.


How to select the best travel insurance policy for you

We expect everything to go our way while planning a trip to another country or city. However, chances are there that we might be caught up in the midst of unforeseen losses caused by theft, health hazards or loss of baggage. All of us will need to determine the best travel insurance deal, but we have to analyze certain factors before we choose one.

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Image via Flickr

Travel Insurance cover must be considered, not its price

The policy pricing often proves to be the deal breaking factor in your attempt to pick the right travel insurance policy. The deal is certainly not right for you if it doesn’t cover the key scenarios that might arise during your trip.

Your travel insurance policy must cover the following scenarios:

Medical emergencies

A small dental emergency might cost you up to 80,000 INR. This seems critical as there’s a real possibility that you might undergo a medical emergency.

Loss of baggage

You may acquire protect against loss of baggage under your travel insurance in the event you’re carrying electronics, jewelry and other valuables. The loss of passport is also covered under some policies. Such insurers will provide you with the expenses that you incur with your duplicate passport.

Interruption and cancellation of trips

Certain emergencies might compel us to opt for last minute trip cancellations. Airline tickets might not be refunded or might levy a cancellation charge. Travel insurance plays a crucial role over here. Claiming a reimbursement is possible as per the policy clauses.

Check for What is Not Covered in Travel Insurance

Insurance Claims are meant to be covered under a few listed events. Being a policyholder you’ll need to go through the exclusions and inclusions mentioned in the policy papers very carefully. You’ll also need to consider all situations under which the policy remains active. There are instances wherein you might decide on travelling against the advice of your physician. For such instances, your policy may not cover medical expenses that you incur (directly or indirectly) while travelling.

Get acquainted with the claim settlement process

You must prepare yourself for filing a claim in the event of an emergency. It’s in your best interest to acquire more knowledge on the claims settlement process. While applying for reimbursements, you’ll need to make sure that you adhere to all necessary documentation and meet the deadlines.

Check the refund policy of Travel Insurance

You might need to cut your trip short if your travel plans change. Under such circumstances, you might obtain a refund that’s calculated on the basis of pro rata or any partial refund. All you need to be sure of is that your policy is still valid and that you hadn’t filed for any claim earlier. Also make sure that the contact information of the insurer is still there with you.

You must pick the best travel insurance plan for your needs. Be it your international or domestic trip, you’ll have a plethora of options available to you. A yearly overseas coverage might just seem more economical for those that travel more frequently. Prior to signing the dotted area of your policy paper, you must check the duration of your policy. Enjoy a safe and pleasant trip by investing in the right travel insurance.


Five Common Mistakes Regarding Travel & Entertainment Deductions

Five Common Mistakes Regarding Travel & Entertainment Deductions

Expenses for entertaining and travel are one of the most common expenses that small and medium sized businesses have to make. They are also one of the areas of expenses that cause the most confusion and seem to have the most unexpected complications for people when filling out their tax forms. That’s because of some common mistakes people make when calculating their entertaining and travel deductions. This article will look at these common mistakes:

(1) You Can Deduct 100% of the Cost of Business Entertaining and Business Meals.

Of course you can’t. In fact, when you take a client, vendor, customer or potential partner out to lunch, dinner, social event or even drinks, you are only permitted to deduct 50% of the total spend. That 50% is the absolute limit you can deduct, regardless of whether you only spend a couple of dollars or as much as $200. So you take a client out for dinner and a sports event and spend $400 for the evening. You can claim $200 on your tax return.

(2) You Can Deduct the Cost of Your Daily Commute.

It doesn’t matter what area you work in, where your job is based or how far you have to travel to get to work. You are not allowed to put in a claim for travel that is considered to be commuting to work. Commuting is classed as a non-deductible expense. There are exceptions however. If for example you are moving heavy equipment that is part of your job, (such as large machinery or a particularly large musical instrument) then you will be able to deduct the cost of that bit of your journey. Similarly, from the moment you arrive at your job or workplace, any journey you make for the purposes of your job or your business, is immediately deductible. And lastly, if you are one of the thousands of people who work from home and you have declared your home as your place of business then any journey you make from your home for business purposes is considered deductible and not classed as a commute.

(3) There is a Limit to How Much You Are Permitted to Deduct

Actually, there is no upper limit on the amount you can claim for entertaining or travel expenses. The only stipulation really is that the money you spend on entertaining should not be ‘lavish and extravagant.’ Clearly this is open to wide interpretation. The money a high flying headhunter spends on wooing a major banker will obviously be far more lavish than the money a small law firm in a small town spends on a new client. It’s up to you and your accountant to work out whether the amount you spend on expenses is appropriate.

(4) You Need to Keep Receipts for Everything.

In fact it is not necessary to keep receipts for anything less than $75 when it comes to your travel and entertainment expenses (with the exception of hotel bills). So, if you take a client for a couple of beers then pay for them to take a taxi back to the station and it all comes to about $30 then you don’t need to keep the receipts. On the other hand it never hurts to keep them anyway, just for your own financial housekeeping and in case the IRS ever decides to doubt you!

(5) You Can’t Combine Business and Pleasure When It Comes to Travel Expenses

Under certain circumstances you can. One example would be taking your family with you on a business trip. Should you be making a business trip within the US and making a deduction for the trip, it doesn’t matter if you bring your family or partner with you, the deduction is still allowed. Obviously you could not include any additional costs for the trip as a result of your family coming with you (such as sightseeing or additional hotel rooms) but the costs of the primary reason for the journey (including travel, expenses, business hotel rooms etc)  will all be deductible.

 

Esther is a financial blogger. She writes about everything from small business advice to financial software and from taxes to mortgages to where to find a good financing company.


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