Five practical financial preparations for a long-term vacation.
Reblogged from Financial Post, Melissa Leong
When that first cold wind or frost hits, I’m always surprised. I have no clue why — I’m Canadian, a Winnipeg native — and I’m well acquainted with this country’s winters.
If the chilling reminder of what’s in store this season has you thinking of going on an extended trip, here are five financial preparations to make before any long-term vacation.
Get travel insurance. Only half of Canadians, according to BMO, buy medical insurance before traveling. You don’t want to get caught with a $20,000 bill to treat a broken leg in the U.S. Check with your employer or your credit card company because you may have some coverage under their plans.
Check your home insurance policy. According to a recent TD Insurance survey, only 12% of Canadian snowbirds say they checked their home insurance policy to ensure their primary residence would be covered while on vacation. Often, insurance policies have specific “away” requirements, which, if not fulfilled, could void coverage if your home is left unoccupied and unattended for an extended period of time, TD Insurance says. Make sure you know what steps to take to keep your policy valid, for example arrange to have someone check your home every seven days to make sure heating is on and shut off the water supply.
While you’re renting a vacation home, if you have home insurance, your contents could be covered anywhere in the world and you may have liability coverage. It’s best to check your policy.
You want your home to have that “lived-in” look while you’re away.Suspend your newspaper subscription. Have someone shovel your snow. Get Canada Post to hold your mail. This service starts at $20 for the first 10 weekdays and is $8.50 for each additional week. So if you’re gone for six weeks, it will cost you $54 for Canada Post to hold your mail. To save money, enlist a friend who will come by and check up on the property and collect your mail.
Don’t forget to set up a budget before you leave. The wise thing to do would be to know how much you have to spend and try to play within your boundaries. The unwise thing to do would be to overuse your credit card and return home to a giant bill that will stress you out after a relaxing vacation.
Make sure that your bills get paid. A lot of bills can be paid online or prepaid with your credit card. Make a list of the bills that need to get paid and try to sort out the payment before you leave in case the sun and the beach makes you forgetful.