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Flying with Both Feet on the Ground

I wasn't sure which image to use here, really. I figure this one would be as good as any when talking about managing credit and budgeting. I could have used a stock chart, but that would have implied something different.One of the curses of having chronic wanderlust (I promise it’s a real condition) is planning around and between trips. My mind is always wandering about when and where my next adventure is going to take place. At least once a day, I’m looking to Google Flights for cheap flights to and from Columbus that I can turn in a weekend. And if I’m not reading websites for ideas about places to go, I’m going over the brochures of my favorite places to see what I’ve missed along the way. What can I say? I was born with a suitcase in my hands.

The subsequent problen is finding the time to balance my responsibilities at home and abroad. How can one continue to adventure if they don’t have the means to do so? Furthermore, how can one make plans to stay in perpetual motion, if it comes at the cost of bugetary hyperextention, or neglect of other long-term plans wherever you call home?

I’m not just talking about working and balancing paid time off. I’m talking about balancing the budgets, keeping an eye on credit, and protecting the things that I care about when both home and away. Keeping my stuff safe from baggage theft and baggage loss while traveling is one thing. Keeping my eye on the bigger picture is something completely different, but equally important while on the road.

So how does one make it all work when trying to see the world at the same time? Here are some of the tools that I use to balance everything together:

1) Credit Monitoring
When traveling domestic or foreign, I’m always using credit cards for the security features they provide me (not to mention some of the awesome rewards). But I also want to make sure that I’m using it responsibly, and that nobody else is using it but me. I like the tools Credit Karma and Credit Sesame to get an overall view of my credit, how many credit pulls I have, and where all of my balances lie. Add in alerts to my smart phone when there's a drastic change in my account (such as a higher balance change, or credit report pull), and I'm prepared no matter where I go. 

2) Budget Planning
This is one of the key pieces of my travel strategy – as having a strong budget allows me to travel anytime I see a good deal.
Aside from the tools that my bank offers to keep track of my accounts, Mint is a good tool as well – as it allows me to plug in my projected expenses for the month, and can help me start saving for my next big adventure.

3) Rewards Tracking
I’ve talked about rewards tracking in the past, but I wanted to mention it again as it can be a critical part of your travel planning. Who doesn’t love to get a free ticket, hotel room, or perks at the hotel? And if you don’t use the points, you’re giving free money back to the companies. For reward tracking, I like Award Wallet, as it keeps my major accounts in one place. The only downfall is that Award Wallet isn’t supported by all travel providers, but it still gives me a good idea of my status and balances across the table – so I can plan for that reward trip that much sooner.

Keeping everything balanced is a key to flexibility. And the better I can balance now, the more fun I can have on the road. How do you keep things moving at home while you’re away? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!

(Ed. Note: No incentive was given to mention any product or service in this blog. Travel Insurance Services and its affiliated companies do not endorse nor guarantee any product or service mentioned in this or any blog. However, we sure would love to hear about your experiences with them!)


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