Summer is upon us once again. Whether you’re celebrating a graduation with a family trip or taking a summer vacation, many Americans will be traveling this year.
Keep reading for tips on how to plan your trip and how an Armed Forces Bank Access Loan can help.
1. Choose Your Dates and Destination
The first step of planning your summer travel is figuring out exactly when you’re available to take your trip. Work priorities, school or summer activities, and other obligations can make it hard to nail down a time when everyone in the family is free.
Or, what if you’re traveling to visit family or friends? In that case, you’ll also have to consider their schedules to make sure you’ll have enough time to spend with them -- you don’t want to pick dates when they’ll also be traveling.
Keep in mind that, depending on your or your spouse’s job, you may need to put in a request for the time off. It may be a good idea to select some backup dates in case you aren’t able to get the time off for your first choice dates.
Once your dates are set, it’s time to choose your destination if you haven’t already, whether it’s a long-weekend getaway to the beach town a few hours away, a cross-country road trip with your family, or a dream vacation overseas. No matter your destination, you can look forward to making memories with your loved ones.
2. Book Your Transport and Lodging
Dates: check. Destination: check. If your trip involves traveling by plane, you’ll next need to book your airfare to ensure you have your choice of flight.
Some travel experts assert that you may find that flight prices are the lowest if you book within a certain timeframe. According to Travel and Leisure, the sweet spot for domestic flights within the U.S. is 67 days prior to a summer trip.
And for international destinations, it depends on exactly where you’re going. For Asia and Europe, for example, the best time to buy is about 120 days in advance. Just keep in mind that these guidelines are based on travel from the U.S., so if you’re traveling from where you’re stationed elsewhere in the world, you may get different results.
Alternatively, if you’re taking a road trip, be sure your car is in tip-top shape by giving it a deep clean, checking the brakes and tire pressure, and changing the oil.
Now, once you have your transportation sorted out, you’ll likely want to book your lodging. Whether you choose to book hotels, homestays or vacation rentals, or something else, it’s usually best to book as soon as you can. Especially this summer, when many people are taking their first trip in several years, you may find that many prime lodging options are sold out.
3. Plan Your Activities
Depending on the type of vacation you take -- and the type of traveler you are -- you may need to plan and book your vacation activities well in advance.
For example, if you’re traveling to New York City and want to see a Broadway show, you’ll likely want to book those tickets as soon as you can. Some popular shows such as The Lion King sell out months in advance.
On the other hand, if you’re visiting London, you may plan activities such as the London Eye and the British Museum, both of which you can generally buy tickets for the same day. No matter where you’re going, be sure to do some research to determine which activities you need to plan and book in advance.
4. Keep an Eye on Your Finances
Taking a vacation costs money. But it doesn’t have to totally break the bank. By planning ahead, you can minimize certain costs such as airfare or lodging. And setting a budget in advance can help you manage your finances while still enjoying your vacation.
But at the same time, we all deserve to spend our money on things that contribute to our mental and emotional well-being sometimes -- not just the necessities like paying the bills and buying groceries.
If you find yourself in need of some extra funds for your trip, Armed Forces Bank can help.
Get Quick Access to the Cash You Need with an Armed Forces Bank Access Loan
At Armed Forces Bank, we are committed to serving those who serve. Our Access Loan* gives our military community access to the funding you need with a fast and easy approval process. This personal military loan has flexible credit options for Armed Forces Bank clients as well as active duty or retired military borrowers with less than perfect credit.
Features of the Armed Forces Bank Access Loan include:
- Expanded credit options for existing Armed Forces Bank clients
- Credit options for borrowers with little or no credit history
- Fixed terms and monthly payments to simplify your budget
- Automated payments so you'll never miss one
How does the Access Loan work?
1. Apply online in just minutes 2. See instant-approval status
3. Receive and accept the loan offer
4. Get quick access to the money in an Armed Forces Bank account
If you are already an Armed Forces Bank client your loan will be deposited directly to your account. If you are new to Armed Forces Bank, a new Access checking account will be set up first and then your loan proceeds will be deposited there.
Armed Forces Bank Is Committed to Your Family
No matter your travel plans this summer, Armed Forces Bank is working hard to help you achieve your financial goals. If you’re looking for a partner in your personal finance journey, we provide convenient options for savings accounts, checking accounts, and more.
*Subject to credit approval. Restrictions apply. Annual Percentage Rate is based on credit score. Only one personal loan allowed to any borrower at any time. Loan terms are based on the loan amount. Origination fee applies. Demand deposit relationship required. Refinance applicants must qualify for a minimum of $250 in additional cash for approval.