Financial Tips For Your Next Vacation

Share this article

If you’ve been daydreaming about palm trees and warm beaches but aren’t quite sure how to turn those fantasies into a reality, look no further. CUA offers a range of resources to help you reach your financial goals, and in this CUAdvice article, we’re going to explore tips for taking care of all of your financial needs before, during, and after your next holiday.  

One way to prepare for your next vacation is to start saving early—and this can start long before you even decide on your destination! Putting a little bit of money away each month is a great way to build up your vacation fund, so that if you suddenly see a great deal on flights, or tickets go on sale for that once-in-a-lifetime concert, you can move fast. Start by developing a budget that works for your lifestyle so you know approximately how much you’ll need to save, as well as how much you can realistically contribute to your savings each month. Remember to factor in hidden expenses, like checked baggage fees or tips. By opening a separate savings account for the money you are saving towards your vacation, it makes it easier to track how much you have saved and it also makes it easier to ensure you are not spending the money that you have been saving. To make saving even easier, you can set up an Automatic Funds Transfer with your CUA accounts so that money is moved automatically into your savings account. If this is your stage in the vacation-planning journey, you may want to review our previous CUAdvice article on setting financial goals.

When you start looking at flights and hotels, it’s always a good idea to compare rates rather than selecting the first option you see. There are a number of websites dedicated to providing the lowest prices for travel and accommodations. Many airline companies will offer seat sales throughout the year, and most hotel chains offer membership rewards points simply by signing up, which could help you save on future stays. Booking in advance will also make sure you’re not limited to the most expensive options at the last minute, so be sure to start looking early.

Once you’ve chosen your travel destination and have your tickets booked, consider purchasing travel insurance for your vacation. Travel insurance is beneficial in case of unexpected emergencies; remember that all medical costs aren't covered by your home province when traveling in other parts of Canada or worldwide. Even if you’re not planning any risky activities, accidents can happen, and it’s better to be safe than sorry. CUA members can feel secure by taking advantage of the CUMIS Insurance Travel Program, which offers up to $10 million in out-of-province coverage for emergency hospital and doctor visits. You can learn more about your travel insurance options as a CUA member by contacting your branch or visiting

If you’re planning to travel outside of Canada, you may need to purchase the currency of the location you are visiting before your trip.  It’s a good idea to think about this in advance, as you can keep an eye on the currency exchange rate -- this will tell you how much your Canadian money is worth in the local currency of your travel destination. You can then try to exchange when the Canadian dollar has more value. Another tip is to purchase currency at set times, likely monthly or quarterly. By purchasing the currency at various times, it limits the impact of currency fluctuations versus purchasing it all at once. Also, depending on your destination and the currency used, your bank may need to order the foreign cash for you. CUA offers exchange rates for a number of different currencies including the US Dollar, British Pounds, Euros and others. If you’re interested in purchasing currency before your next trip, please visit your branch or call our Customer Contact Centre at 902.492.6500.

Before banking abroad, review your options to make sure you have ample spending power when you arrive at your destination. This means keeping track of things like your credit card limit, double-checking the expiry on your debit and credit cards, and knowing how much money is available in each of your accounts. Check before you leave to confirm your debit card works in your destination country; it’s possible that pre-paid travel cards or credit cards may give you more flexible payment options for bigger purchases while on vacation.

CUA, along with our partner Collabria, provides a line of credit cards tailored specifically to meet your individual needs so you can travel with confidence, knowing you have secure access to your money anytime, anywhere. You can explore our suite of credit cards, each with a variety of rewards and benefits, to see what works for you. Benefits such as rental car collision insurance, lost or damaged baggage insurance and trip cancellation insurance could all be useful when travelling. Learn more about our US Dollar Mastercard® and our Travel Rewards Mastercard® before your next trip. And of course, don’t forget to pay off your credit card on time once you get home.

Finally, remember to have fun on your vacation. Shop responsibly while keeping in mind things like your overall budget, the exchange rate, duty and taxes you may need to pay on the return home, and of course, how much room you have in your luggage!

If you have any questions about banking abroad, exchanging currency, or developing a budget that works for you before your next vacation, please reach out to a member of our team via email or by phone at 902.492.6500.

Bon Voyage from CUA!

Are you planning to travel abroad? Let us know your travel dates to avoid any potential interruptions with foreign debit card transactions. Learn more under our International Travel FAQ.

Published June 5, 2023

Read more


Find Branch/ATM

Enter address, postal code or branch name