Unexpected Travel Expenses and How to Avoid Them
The travel industry is a trillion-dollar industry, and for good reason. Fresh scenery and a change of pace help to push the reset button for you and your family. But, even as your road-trip excitement builds, you may experience a growing apprehension closer to your departure day. Fear of the unknown, such as travel expenses that you didn’t budget for, can bring in clouds that shadow your excitement. Keep reading to learn more about these unexpected travel expenses and how to avoid them.
Unexpected vehicle complications can be quite costly. Depending on your situation, you could incur towing fees, repair bills, and rental vehicle expenses.
In the life of your vehicle, regular maintenance is typically less expensive than repairs. Keep your car up to date on oil and fluid changes, tire checks, and other maintenance tasks that are recommended by your car’s manual. Have a certified mechanic perform a check-up on your vehicle before you hit the road. Inform your mechanic of the distance and location that you will be traveling to so that he can examine specific checkpoints. At a minimum, you want him to check on your tire quality and pressure, oil levels, brakes, and cooling system.
Sometimes, no matter how well you plan and prepare, life happens. If you do find yourself needing help on the road, NMC is there for you. Our members enjoy benefits such as emergency roadside assistance, travel assistance reimbursement, and discounts on Avis car rentals. As a member with access to these benefits, you can rest knowing that NMC will help soften the blow to your wallet by these unexpected travel expenses.
In addition to unforeseen vehicle difficulties, the need for medical care on a road trip is always a possibility. Unfortunately, many travelers forget about network insurance coverage when they are on the road. Going to an out-of-network medical provider may turn a minor issue into a major bill.
Follow these tips to save money on medical expenses when traveling:
- Do your research. It’s definitely more fun to plan your trip itinerary than to plan for unforeseen circumstances, but don’t skip out on this. Check with your insurance provider to find out where you can find in-network care while on vacation. Have a plan for major hospital care, as well as minor outpatient incidents. Keep a note on your phone or in your wallet with the names and addresses of hospitals and medical offices that you would prefer to use.
- Consider telemedicine for non-emergent situations. Some NMC membership levels include Teledoc Health. This service provides you 24/7 electronic access to a physician for minor medical situations such as sunburn or pink eye.
NMC membership also has other medical-related benefits that help you save money when traveling. Assist America provides global emergency services that can provide peace of mind for unexpected situations. These services include hospital admission assistance and care of minor children. You also have access to personal accident coverage that pays for eligible accidents that occur while traveling.
Many travelers find themselves spending their vacation money on items they could have packed from home. It’s prudent to spend a few minutes of your travel planning time putting together a list of first aid items. While this list is not all-inclusive, your first aid kit should include:
- bandages and antiseptics for wound care
- headache and minor pain medication
- medications for stomach ailments such as nausea, indigestion, and diarrhea
- bug spray, sunscreen, and lip balm, as well as items to treat bug bites and sunburns
- allergy and sinus medications
- hand sanitizer
Even with the proper preparation, needs may still arise. NMC members can save 20% on over a thousand over-the-counter (OTC) items at CVS locations with the CVS ExtraCare Health card.
Unexpected Parking Expenses and Fees
Getting hit with unexpected fees while on a trip not only affects your wallet, but your vacation vibes as well. Many of these unexpected fees seem unfair, but once you are in the midst of your trip, they may be unavoidable. Once again, careful planning can help you to minimize, or at least to budget for fees that may occur.
- Hotel fees are often hidden until you check-in. Consumer Reports suggests checking with the hotel directly, and reading all the fine print. Ask about waiving fees for amenities that you won’t use.
- Parking fees are common at many tourist-rich destinations. Do diligent research to learn where free parking is available, or budget for this expense.
- Toll booths may also be a part of your route. Map out your trip ahead of time to see if it’s worth your time to avoid these routes.
- ATM fees are a definite if you’re planning to spend cash. Bring your own cash from home if your bank doesn’t have local branches.
Items Left at Home
While any unexpected travel expense is upsetting, you may really kick yourself when you have to repurchase items that you already own. Prepare a checklist of common, daily-use items, as these are typically the last things you pack. Don’t check them off the list until they are safe in the car. Some commonly left behind items include:
- daily medications
- chargers for electronics
- clothing accessories, such as belts, jewelry, hats, and gloves
- diapers, wipes, and other baby essentials
- soap and deodorant
- makeup and hair products
- extra contact lenses
Even when you plan and plan well, life happens. For those unprecedented circumstances, your NMC membership benefits can help you to travel for less. Click here to see which membership plan is right for you.
“I appreciate your plan that if there’s nothing to replace, just towing, there is no charge. Those that rendered the service was professional and prompt, and I definitely would recommend NMC to my family and friends.” -Eunice S.
“I have been a member of NMC for many years now. I have needed your help numerous times. You have always been prompt and courteous and I appreciate it so much. You have never, not once, disappointed me. You are a rare gem!” -Bobbie K.