Tips for Summer Travel

Authored By: Community Financial Credit Union on 6/7/2022

table with luggage for travelYour bags are packed, your itinerary is set, and you’re counting down the minutes until you take off for your dream summer getaway. Before you head out to the airport or get in your car for a road trip, though, read through this checklist of important things people tend to forget before leaving for vacation.

1. Contact Your Financial Institution

Give us a call at (877) 937-2328 before you set off on your vacation. By notifying your financial institution of your vacation plans, they’ll know to honor any card transactions you make when abroad or in a different state. If you’re planning to go overseas for your vacation, be sure to check in to any foreign transaction fees and map out your plan early so you know the best ATMs to utilize to avoid extra fees.

For Community Financial members, you can set up travel notifications through the mobile banking app. From the menu, tap on card controls, then select travel notices and set your date, location(s), and the card(s) you’ll be using while out of state. You can also identify Surcharge-Free ATMs at

2. Check Insurance Plans for Coverage

If you plan on renting a car when you land, check with your auto insurance provider first to find out if rental cars are covered in your plan. If they’re not, you may want to purchase travel insurance, just in case.

For World Mastercard cardholders, travel assistance is available through Mastercard®, including trip cancellation protection, free wi-fi access, MasterRental, and other benefits are available.¹

3. Pay All Bills

Before heading out on your trip, make sure all of your monthly bills are paid up. You don’t want to be busy paying bills when you’re sunning yourself on the beach or take a chance of getting hit with late fees.

4. Set Up an Automatic Response

Your boss might know that you’ll be away this week, but potential and existing clients will not. Set up an automatic response that lets people know you’re out of the office to avoid appearing unprofessional or negligent.

5. Put your Mail on Hold

An overflowing mailbox is an open invitation to thieves. If you’ll be gone for more than a few days, ask the USPS to put a hold on your mail. They’ll happily keep your mail at the post office until your return, at no cost to you. Alternatively, ask a neighbor to collect your mail and hold it until you return.

6. Unplug your Electronics

Don’t pay vampire charges for electronics you’re not using while you’re away. Pull the plug on non-essential small appliances and electronics before you leave.

7. Clean your Home

Before your departure, give your house a thorough cleaning so you’ll be greeted by a spotless, clean-smelling house upon your return. Plus, you’ll avoid an invasion by ants and other critters. Here’s a quick list to get you started:

  • Scrub countertops and tables.
  • Wipe down the refrigerator and toss all perishables.
  • Sweep and mop, or vacuum all floors.
  • Take out the garbage.
  • Scrub your bathrooms.
  • Seal any open food packages in airtight containers.
  • Pour a cup of baking soda down your drains and toilets to rid any lingering odors.
  • Change your bed sheets.

8. Let your Mobile Service Provider Know

If you’re travelling abroad, you’ll want to check with your cellphone company about possible overseas service plans that allow you to use your smartphone for calls, texts, and internet access when on vacation. Don’t want to pay for expensive overseas plans? Some wi-fi apps like WhatsApp can allow you to keep in touch with loved ones without the extra fees.

9. Shut off your Main Water Supply

Avoid coming home to a flood by turning off your water supply before leaving on your vacation. A small, unnoticed leak can easily turn into a huge problem when left unattended for days or weeks on end.

10. Adjust your Thermostats

If you have the AC blasting throughout the summer, you’ll want to adjust your thermostat before leaving. Turning it off completely is not a good idea, because you’ll want some air to circulate for keeping the humidity under control and to avoid mold. Instead, turn it a few degrees higher than you usually keep it. If you have a programmable thermostat, program your AC to go on and off while you’re away. Also, set your hot water heater to its vacation setting so it’s heating the same water less often.

11. Invest in a Timer

Keep the prowlers out by setting your lights to go on and off in different rooms and at different times of the day throughout your vacation. It’s a small investment when weighed against the money and aggravation it can save you.

12. Confirm your Reservations

It’s a good idea to confirm your flight, hotel room, car rental, and attractions before setting out on your trip. You may have booked some of these reservations months ago, and you don’t want any unpleasant surprises ruining your vacation.

Haven’t booked your travel yet? When you use your Community Financial World Mastercard to book your travel purchases by June 30, 2022, you can earn up to $125 in the form of a statement credit!² Plus, you’ll earn 1.5X points on all your purchases, every day. Don’t have a World Mastercard? Apply online or call (877) 937-2328 to get started today!


Your Turn: Did we miss anything? Share your own pre-vacation to-do list with us in the comments.


¹ Mastercard benefits subject to change at any time. Visit for details.

² Earn up to a $125 statement credit when you spend $2,500 in travel purchases made between April 1, 2022 and June 30, 2022 with a Community Financial World Mastercard. Cash advances and balance transfers are not eligible for statement credit. To earn the statement credit, you must be a cardholder in good standing. Visit for more information.

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