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6-15-homespun-vacationRISMEDIA, June 15, 2009-While recent polls show fewer Americans plan to vacation this summer, those who do are more likely to come back relaxed and rejuvenated if they make simple financial preparations in advance, says the American Financial Services Association Education Foundation (AFSAEF).

“It all starts with choosing a vacation that’s affordable,” said Susie Irvine, president and CEO of AFSAEF. “Depending upon your current situation, this could mean a “stay-cation,” a long weekend getaway or several day trips to local places of interest.”

In addition, the foundation offers these recommendations:

Set a budget – and stick to it – so you don’t come home to bills you’re unable to pay.
Pay any pending bills or schedule online payments. That way, you won’t think about them while you’re lying by the pool – plus you will avoid late payment fees.
Limit the credit cards that you carry to only those you plan to use. The fewer cards you bring, the fewer you have to keep track of.
Check the spending limits on your credit cards, as they may have changed recently.
Notify credit card issuers of your travel plans – particularly if you’ll be traveling abroad or through multiple states – to avoid your purchases being flagged or declined.
Avoid carrying large sums of cash to reduce the worry of theft. Don’t let financial statements pile up in your mailbox while you’re away. To deter identity thieves, stop delivery of your mail or ask someone you trust to collect it for you.

“With a little planning, it’s still possible to have an enjoyable summer break that doesn’t create additional financial stress,” said Irvine.

For more information, visit