vrijdag 11 mei 2012

Things to ponder before taking off for a holiday

Planning well for a holiday means that you get to enjoy the holiday
  • By Frederic de Melker, Special to Gulf News
  • Published: 00:00 May 5, 2012
  • Gulf News
With temperatures rising, most UAE residents are getting into a holiday mood, or at least, have begun preparing for a summer escape. Planning well for a holiday means that you get to enjoy the holiday, take advantage of the best deals and also avoid getting a holiday hangover. It is also worthwhile to give yourself a five-step financial health check before you leave.
Playing your cards right
Your credit card is not only a flexible instrument for overseas travel spending; most cards also contain attractive features to make your ‘holiday' more comfortable and sometimes even cheaper. Do take time to check the package that goes with your card, as it could offer attractive benefits.
Some cards contain insurance packages that cover loss of luggage, flight delays or even offer full travel insurance. While it is wise to get travel insurance ahead of your trip, be sure you are not paying for something you already have on your plastic. Some cards provide you with a concierge package including airport drop-off in the UAE, while others offer a range of promotions and benefits including discounts on car rentals or an extra free night in your hotel. In fact, the more you save on such costs, the higher your budget to enjoy a good time. Most importantly, don't forget to check your credit card balance and limit before you leave.
Handle your cash flow
It is important to ensure that bills get paid and standing orders are met, even when you are on vacation. You don't want to return to a home with no electricity or running water! Although most people can easily access their bank accounts online, sometimes technical problems can prevent connection. Put some extra money into your current account, to meet upcoming payments, so that you are sure there is enough reserve to keep your cash flows going.
Review investments
‘Sell in May and go away till St. Leger Day,' is an often quoted stock market saying. As we approach mid-year, it is time to rebalance your portfolio based on your long-term investment strategy, and review your tactical shorter term positions before you go off on holiday. Your relationship manager is the best person to provide a market outlook for the rest of the year, and guide you in streamlining your holdings.
Protect yourself
The UAE is a very safe place in comparison to the rest of the world. Take precautions and prevent financial damage as a result of loss or theft. It is advisable to write down telephone numbers to block your accounts or credit card as well as the process to apply for an emergency card. In the event of a credit card loss or theft, time is against you and the quicker you act the lesser the impact. It is also a good idea to make copies of your passport and record the details of your embassy in the country you are visiting.
While cards are easy and safe to use, it is important to carry some cash as well for emergencies. And do be careful not to keep this money in one place, or you could lose all you have in one go.
Track your spending
Holidays are expensive. When you put a fixed budget on what you can spend during your travel and you keep track of what you pay, there will be no unpleasant surprises awaiting you upon return. Putting some money aside every month can help you stay relaxed even after your trip.

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