Are you more aotien than juillettiste? Big vacation soon. However, before you forget about everything for a few weeks, it’s best to prepare and anticipate inconveniences. Here is a partial checklist of 10 things to do before you leave.
Protect your home
1 – Prevention of claims – Coming back from vacation and sitting at home with your feet in the water: it’s hard to be more unpleasant. To avoid such troubles, there is a simple solution that must be implemented before leaving: turn off the water supply. This is all the more important because in the event of water damage while you are away, you are not sure if you will receive compensation: many home insurance policies include warranty limitations when adequate preventive measures have not been taken. Therefore, in general, insurers expect you to turn off water or even drain pipes and devices such as a hot water tank. as soon as you leave for more than 3 days.
The advice obviously also applies to gas and, as far as possible, to electricity. It is not always easy, especially if there is food left in the freezer. But it is advisable to turn off everything that can be turned off, especially devices that are sensitive to lightning: TV, computer, Internet box, etc.
2 – Prevent Burglary – If the number of burglaries detected by the Minister of the Interior in 2020 decreases, in particular due to various restrictions, there is no zero risk. Better a few parades to reduce risks. First: simulate the presence of the house as much as possible. In this we can rely on relatives and ask them to pick up the mail or come and from time to time open the shutters or turn on the light. Some home automation devices can simulate this presence as well. On the other hand, it is not advisable to leave its shutters open all the time: again, this can lead to a limitation of the guarantees on the part of your insurer. You can also rent accommodation during your absence.: this way you limit the risks of visits, but still benefit from the flow of money.
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Another tip: If possible, try not to leave public traces of your absence. Therefore, do not indicate on the answering machine that you have gone on vacation, and, if possible, wait for your return to post photos on social networks.
Prepare your trip
3 – Check your car insurance – Before going on vacation, make sure that your car is in good working order: check the condition and pressure in the tires, if necessary, have it repaired, but a breakdown or accident is still possible. Be sure to make sure you have a contract for assistance. This warranty is often included with your auto insurance, but it may also be optional. Before leaving, check with your policy, which will also let you know exactly what the warranty covers – if it includes, for example, a kilometer deductible – and how to activate it in the event of a problem.
Reminder: if you are traveling with a caravan or trailer, you must also insure them.
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4 – By train or plane: protect yourself from alas – Are you going by train or plane? Dangers can also arise here: delays, cancellations, loss of baggage, etc. Losses, the consequences of which are usually not covered by home insurance. On the other hand, they are included in the insurance packages included in your bank card, provided that it is a premium (Visa Premier, Gold Mastercard and others). However, be careful: these guarantees only work if you pay in this way for all or part – depending on the bank – of your trip. So, if you have a premium card, use it to pay for train or plane tickets.
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Conventional insurances such as bank card insurance exclude Covid from their guarantees. In the event of a strong blow SNCF created a special system. For tickets before August 29, the terms of exchange and refund have been relaxed: 3 days before departure, tickets are subject to 100% refund.
IN French airlinesAny trip booked before the end of September 2021 can be changed (destination, dates, or both) free of charge. If your flight is canceled due to an outbreak, you will be reimbursed for your expenses Transavia, a subsidiary of the French aviator, follows the same policy. IN EasyJetThe flexibility guarantee allows flight changes two hours before take-off by the end of September. Conversely, Ryanair has not applied any specific policy since the end of 2020. With regard to specific types of insurance, your decision may be influenced by where you are vacationing and the amounts associated with insurance.
In France, from the beginning of August, a medical passport may be required to board a plane, train, watch a movie in a cinema or go to a restaurant. Finally, check the conditions of entry into the territory until the last minute in case of going abroad: vaccine, PCR, quarantine … This will save you from an unpleasant surprise at the last moment. The websites of the companies, the Minister of Foreign Affairs or the embassy of the respective country in France are frequently updated quickly.
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Avoid inconvenience at the resting place
5 – Make sure you are insured in the event of damage to your rental – Have you chosen a seasonal rental, a professional rental company or a private owner? Comprehensive home insurance usually covers your liability in the event of a problem, for example, if you break something. However, check this point before leaving. And feel free to bring a duplicate of your contract with you. Another tip: do not be frivolous about inventorying devices and think about reading meter readings.
6 – Make sure your credit card limits are sufficient – Those who say vacation usually talk about exceptional spending. However, the possibilities for using your bank card are not limitless. It is subject to payment limits – more than 30 sliding days – and withdrawals – in total more than 7 sliding days, the default amounts of which range from a few hundred euros for entry-level cards to several thousand for premium cards. Upon reaching these amounts, your bank card will be blocked, even if you have enough money in your account to cover the costs.
Therefore, before leaving, check where you are: in the customer service area or in the mobile app. And if you are worried about overspending, ask your bank to temporarily increase the limit. This option is usually free and can sometimes be activated independently and in real time from your computer or mobile phone. By the way, also check the expiration date of your bank card. And don’t forget to follow the news if you’re lucky.
If you go abroad
7 – Call your bank – Among the parameters used by your bank to prevent credit card fraud, the place of payments takes a special place. Therefore, in order to avoid unnecessary warnings and the risk of blocking, it is highly recommended that you inform your bank about your travel abroad. Not necessary if you are going to a neighboring country (Spain, England, Italy, etc.), but not necessary if you are leaving Europe, in particular Asia or Africa.
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8 – Make sure you are insured in case of harm to yourself and others – You are cycling along the beach and accidentally bump into the top. To avoid having to bear the medical costs of an accident, especially high in a country like the United States, two guarantees apply: taking responsibility for your medical costs and those of a third party.
If you are traveling to Europe, consider getting European health insurance card which will allow you to get support. Outside Europe, it is advisable to conclude an assistance agreement providing for reimbursement of medical expenses incurred and, if necessary, medical repatriation. Guarantees that can be included in your bank card insurance: check it out!
As for damage done to others, it is very important to have coverage for your foreign civil liability. Sometimes it is included by default in home insurance against several risks, but more often it is optional. Check this moment before leaving. However, before subscribing, make sure that your bank card is not insured again: foreign liability is usually present in premium card insurance packages.
9 – Predict the cost of payments and withdrawals in foreign currency – Leuro has made travel around Europe much easier: no more currency changes, no additional costs for payments or card withdrawals. Another thing is when you leave the euro area, including the UK and any other country that has not adopted a single currency. There, you will need to pay a commission to your bank on every payment or withdrawal. Check the number before leaving. And, if so, purchase a card that limits those costs. There are more and more of them on the market, for example in Boursorama, N26, Revolut or even Aumax for me. And some are free with no strings attached.
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10 – Make sure you can use your cell phone – Never without a mobile! It is becoming more and more difficult to do without a smartphone, including when traveling. To make a reservation, reserve a hotel or check your account status and contact your bank in case of problems. Most of the packages offered with a smartphone offer a quarter of data, calls and SMS abroad at no extra charge. This is the case of Orange, SFR, Free or Bouygues Telecom.
However, check yours, especially for the low priced Sosh, B & You, or Red from SFR. In the event of an unpleasant surprise, operators usually offer options abroad.
MoneyVox / VM with Samuel Offret / Jul 2021 / first article published 4.07.19