Monday, 15 January 2018

When I have needed Money Fast for my Travel Plans

There will be times in your life you will need to get your hands on money fast, especially if you have booked a holiday away and need to be prepared!  I don’t have a regular pay cheque, I am my own boss working from home and some months are better than others. 

My job has its pro’s like the flexibility of choosing the hours I work but there is the definite downside of uncertainty when you don’t know when you will get your next paid assignment.  It can make for some lean times, when you really don’t know how you will pay the bills or put food on the table!  Fortunately, husband has a more reliable income stream and we can juggle it between us usually, although there are times we struggle.  It’s when we need to buy for extra’s and can’t afford to wait until I may or may not get another paid gig.

As I am gearing up for our holiday in Florida I needed some quick cash to make sure I had my travel insurance in place and I sorted out our ETSA’s so we could fly to America.  

Both things I wanted wrapped up before it got too close to my travel date.  Some things you can’t leave too late when going away, things like passports need time to process so you often end up spending money getting them sorted even when your bank account is empty!  For passports you need to leave about three weeks, so if you don’t think you will get money in your account on time, it might be worthwhile borrowing some just to get the ball rolling.  The last thing you want to do is have to cancel an expensive holiday just because you didn’t sort out your passport in time!

My bank account is not playing ball at the moment but luckily there were other options I could turn to!  I researched quick loan options available online as I wanted to be organised.  As it is the Electronic System for Travel Authorisation (ESTA) didn’t take very long to process, it lasts two years but I wanted it sorted in case we encounter any problems.  Not that we technically should as a family we don’t do anything remotely shifty so there is no reason to stop us from travelling!  But even though I know that in theory until all of us was approved I worried.  I like to have everything sorted well in advance.  If you’re a traveller like me you don’t leave anything to chance, you get all the paperwork in place so you can relax and really enjoy going away.  Last minute plans equals extra stress I don’t need.  The ETSA takes 72 hours to process, but can happen MUCH quicker as we found out, but people do get denied every now and then for all kinds of reasons so don’t leave it until last minute in case you need to fill out more paperwork.

The travel insurance I felt I needed to get organised early as if something came up health wise that prevented us from travelling the money spent on the holiday would have been lost.  So, borrowing some money to get that reassurance was worthwhile.  I feel much more prepared for my holiday now.  Passports ready, ETSA approved and travel insurance in place, whether you have money or not some travel preparations cannot be left too last minute!

It didn't add up to all that much, the ETSA's were about £10.42 each (we did need four though), the travel insurance £180 and renewing the passports £72.50 each for the adults and £46 each for our kids.  But when you don't have the money straight away it feels like a real strain paying out those costs.  Don't put off getting them sorted though because a cancelled holiday will cost you a lot more in the long run and some times things take longer than you expect.

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