The Caribbean may seem a world away from Nashville Tennessee but financial problems will follow you to the ends of the earth if you let them. Before taking a cruise around paradise, make sure you have put your finances in order. While a cruise is something everyone should experience at least once in their lives, it’s the memories from these trips you want to cherish, not the credit card bills that await upon your return.
Tip #1. Sort Out A Communication Plan
Smart phones are essential and most people suffer from withdrawal symptoms’ when they can’t check their social media accounts. Using your standard tariff while on a cruise ship will either be impossible or ruinously expensive. Even if you are aware of sky-high roaming charges, you may still be charged for answering your phone or picking up a voicemail. You could invest in a roaming package or international SIM depending on where you are visiting.
Ship phones, like almost everything else on board a cruise ship, are eye-wateringly expensive and you’ll want to avoid using them when at all possible. A good plan is to let your friends and family know you’ll be on a cruise and ask them to text you to keep your costs down. Instead of paying for expensive internet access while on board the ship, try using an internet café when the ship docks.
Tip #2. Find A Balanced Travel Insurance Plan
Like everything in life it pays to shop around but bear in mind that the cheapest policy may not be the best. Travel insurance lets you cancel your cruise at any time prior to departure for a valid reason and protects you before, during and after your cruise without losing your trip cost. A balanced insurance protection plan should include trip cancellation, medical expenses, evacuation, accident costs and baggage loss and delays.
Using comparison websites to compare quotes and see the benefits each plan offers is a must but a common mistake is to over-purchase unnecessary coverage. For example, you may require extra insurance coverage if you are undertaking dangerous pursuits such as skiing but this is unlikely to be the case for going on a Caribbean cruise from Nashville. Travel agents can usually suggest economical ways to insure yourself without spending more than you have to.
Tip #3. Source The Best Exchange Rates
Getting the best deal on your spending money is one of the best ways to make the most out of your cruise when the ship docks. Cruise ships make it easy to rack up debt as prices are never listed, gratuities and taxes are automatically added, and everything is charged to your shipboard account. Most cruise ships make it easy to lose track of how much you’re spending by letting you put everything from alcohol to gambling chips on your account. When the ship docks, be sure to compare a few places to get the best exchange rate. Most Americans find that their trusty credit card is the most cost-effective way to pay for things abroad as you are fully protected for purchases and automatically get the best exchange rate.