Don’t sweat the small stuff — this age-old adage might help you control your stress, but it might be bad financial advice. Sometimes, the little things can have a big impact on your budget.
While most people plan around the cost of airfare and accommodation, it’s easy to overlook smaller expenses that can land in your budget.
Unexpected fees and lost luggage can throw off your trip, transforming what should have been a relaxing getaway into a stressful undertaking. Here are two travel issues below, plus how to cover them if you’re stuck fielding an emergency right now.
1. Lost Luggage
Lost luggage is every traveller’s worst nightmare. Unfortunately, it happens more often than you think. Roughly seven in 1,000 bags get lost in the U.S. alone.
Most airlines will work hard to track down your missing baggage, but sometimes, it’s nowhere to be found. With your luggage MIA, you’re out all your clothes, toiletries, and medication.
How to Handle Lost Luggage
Right away, you should talk to the airline and file a missing baggage report. This is your opportunity to ask the airline how much they will provide as compensation.
Most airlines offer reimbursements for travel essentials if you’re arriving at your destination. However, this money is likely off the table if you’re returning home. At this point, it’s a good idea to involve your travel insurance company to see if they’ll cover what the airline won’t.
Of course, getting compensation for lost luggage takes a lot of time and even more red tape. If you need to replace prescription medicine and other essential items right away, you can consider getting a line of credit online for help.
While you might be abroad at the time, it’s best practice to look for a line of credit based out of your home state. So, if you call Florida home, you should search for an FL line of credit. You may apply for a personal line of credit in Florida online, anywhere you get the Internet. This way, you can apply with a state-licensed financial institution that follows Florida’s lending laws.
2. Data Roaming
If you’re like most travellers, your phone does it all — it’s your personal assistant, navigator, alarm clock, translator, mobile wallet, and camera. It goes everywhere with you, wherever that might be.
If you aren’t careful, your phone can wrack up roaming charges on its vacation. These charges apply any time you leave your home network.
How to Handle Roaming Charges
Ideally, you would upgrade your plan to include international mobile talk, text, and data before you leave for your destination.
But let’s say you don’t realize you roamed all holiday long until you look at the evidence on your phone bill. Before you pay it, take the time to reach out to your cell provider and try to negotiate how much you pay.
While these discussions might take considerable time and effort, it could save you a bundle. One man was able to talk down his son’s $22,000 cellphone roaming charge to $200.
If you can’t pay your negotiated price, ask the provider if they offer financing plans that lets you pay off what you owe over several bills. If they don’t, you can put this extra cost on your line of credit.
The small things can add up and ruin your vacation if you aren’t prepared. But there’s always a way to handle the unexpected, even while abroad.
Related: Guide for Travelers: How to Plan Your Trip in 9 Simple Steps