Summer 2020: The Season of Road Trips

I think we can all honestly say that the summer of 2020 will live in our minds forever.  Staying close to home, reducing vacation costs and staying healthy have been the goal for all of us this summer.  Whether you are planning a family road trip, a trip for two or just driving solo, we’ve put together a few tips to help you prepare for the road.

Get Your Feet Wet by Taking a Day Trip first.  If you are planning an extended road trip, we suggest you get your feet wet by planning a day trip close to home.  This will give you an indication of what you’ll need to do to prepare.  For example, how many snacks you will need and how much hand sanitizer you will go through in a day.  Your one-day trip will help you get an idea of what to expect for your longer trip.

Get Your Car Ready for the Road.  AAA published a helpful checklist to help you make sure your vehicle is as ready for your road trip as you are.  It’s especially important this year, as availability of service might be limited, and few outside contacts are desirable.  If your own vehicle is not the best option for a long road trip, why not rent one that’s bigger and more fun to drive?  Picture yourself in a cute red convertible for rolling down Highway One or a sturdy SUV for tackling mountain roads.  Or, you can opt for a sleek luxury car for a smooth, stylish ride.  No matter what rental company you decide to work with, be sure to review their cleanliness policies, along with pickup, return and pricing. 

Plan Your Route and Keep it as Simple as Possible. Preparation for any road trip is essential but especially important during the Coronavirus pandemic.  Limit the number of places you visit and make a note of rest areas that may be closed so you can plan your stops appropriately.  Also, as tempting as it may be to visit as many landmarks and quick stops along the way, keep your list of must-sees short to avoid additional exposure to large groups of people.  Visit the Roadtrippers website for assistance in planning your route.  Know your roads, highways, and freeways to avoid detours and unexpected closures.  Your local AAA can provide up-to-date road information and directions.  

Gear Up.  Make a list of items that you’ll need and want along the way.  Stock the cooler with all your snacks and beverages.  Pack a travel kit, including masks for everyone plus a few extras, hand sanitizer, disinfectant wipes, isopropyl alcohol wipes for phones, travel laundry detergent to wash fabric masks, and a thermometer.  It is also advisable to include an extra cell phone charger, first-aid kit, blanket, flashlight, basic tools, jumper cables and gloves.

Don’t Take a Vacation from Safety.  Keep yourself and others traveling with you healthy during your summer road trip by following CDC guidelines.  Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth; washing your hands frequently; keeping six feet of physical distance; and wearing a face covering.  Car and RV travel are considered lower-risk options.

Research Ways to Save.  While taking a summer road trip can reduce your vacation expenses, it still won’t be cheap.   A little research could help you find great deals on hotel stays and attractions.  See what businesses are offering travel deals online and use an app like GasBuddy to help you make the most of your fuel.

Make Safer Purchases.  It’s always a good idea to bring a little cash on your trip, just for emergencies.  It’s also prudent to rely on your credit or debit card for your expenses on the road.  Remember, these cards add extra protection against theft and fraud while making it easier to track your spending. 

Monitor the Coronavirus Spread.  As your road trip gets closer, be sure to watch for COVID updates from the communities you plan to visit.  Some of your destinations may have adjusted hours or close on certain days for increased cleaning measures.  

We would be remiss not to mention that safe travel isn’t just the responsibility of hotels, restaurants and popular destinations.  Heeding state and local laws are imperative in keeping yourself and others safe.  We will all need to modify our behavior and make adjustments, so travel is possible this summer and for the rest of 2020.

So, if the open road is calling you, play it safe for a truly memorable summer road trip.

Financial Tips Before Traveling Abroad

Your plane tickets have been acquired, your itinerary is set, and you’re almost ready to go – to another country! Traveling the world can be exciting and is probably on your bucket list. Aside from experiencing diverse food, language and customs, you’ll also face financial variations.  Below are five critical things you need to do before departing on your trip of a lifetime.

Update Your Financial Institution

Your bank or credit union goes to great lengths to keep your money safe and secure. This includes flagging transactions that occur out of the country. This means that if you’re using your credit card abroad, the transaction may be declined.  While this can be extremely aggravating, you should also be reassured these are strict security measures. It’s easy to avoid this problem while you are traveling; tell your financial institution when you’re traveling and where.

Research Your Foreign Currency

If you start preparing your vacation early enough, you will have the time to order foreign currency. It’s not necessary to pre order your currency, but definitely avoid exchanging your currency at the airport. Other locations will have much fewer fees. Be sure to use the Currency app for help with the exchange rates Your debit card is another option when traveling. The exchange rate is better and it is safer than using and carrying cash in your pocket.  Remember, always have a second card on hand when traveling.

Get the Right Credit Card

A credit card is an easy option for payment, thanks to Mastercard and Visa. Be sure to review the terms on your card and check for any travel policy or fees. You may even be able to talk to your credit card provider about upgrading to a card that supports traveling abroad.

Research Health Insurance

You don’t want to think about the worse happening while on vacation, but what if you need emergency medical care in another country? Does your health insurance cover you in other countries. Travel insurance often has medical options, so if your medical insurance only covers domestic care, it might be worth looking into.

Once your vacation is booked contact allU.S. to learn about all the services we offer for your convenience while traveling internationally. allU.S. offers checking accounts with E-Services such as E-bill Pay and E-Statements so you can keep on top of your finances while overseas.

Plan ahead and have a fun and safe trip!

allU.S. Vacation Discounts Promise Nothing But FUN This Summer

Summer time is vacation time and allU.S. Credit Union wants to make sure you have an opportunity to enjoy all the fun activities that the season offers.  We have partnered with Recreation Connection to provide members discounts on the price of admission to:

  • Amusement/Water Parks
  • Museums
  • Festivals
  • Sporting Events
  • Movie Theatres
  • Ski Resorts
  • Zoos/Aquariums
  • Performing Arts

Choose from five different ways to order your tickets:

Online.  Visit the Recreation Connection website.  You’ll be asked for your company affiliation at check out.  Please use allU.S. Credit Union.

Walk-up locations.  Visit the Recreation Connection website for locations and hours of operation.

Telephone.  Call (800) 801-7220

Fax or Mail:   Download the order form, complete and fax to 818-240-7410 or mail to Recreation Connection Services, Inc., P.O. Box 1369, Glendale, CA  91209.

Pack Your Bags! It’s Time for a Vacation!

Grab your sunblock, pack your suitcase and head over to allU.S. Credit Union.

Whether your ideal vacation is lounging poolside, climbing a mountain or touring historical monuments, you can get the money you need for the vacation you’ve always dreamed of. And we won’t delay your vacation plans with a time-consuming application process. At allU.S. we get you out of our office and on the way to your destination in no time with our fast approval, flexible terms and friendly service.

BEST VACATION DESTINATIONS FOR 2014

Now that you have the funds you need to take that dream vacation let us help you pick your destination.  New hotels and tours, emerging food scenes, and special events make these places the hottest travel destinations in 2014.

NICARAGUA’S LITTLE CORN ISLAND:  The fresh lobster is cheap; the hammocks plentiful; and the pace slow.  Factor in a new hotel and spa with 16 oceanfront cabanas, and vacationing here is more blissful than ever.

CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA:  There’s never been a better time to visit Cape Town thanks to a proliferation of edgy boutiques, independent galleries and out of the box restaurants. 

URGUAY:  The beach town of Jose Ignacio attracts a high-wattage crowd and the Carmelo region is a go-to weekend getaway for stylish Argentines. 

WARSAW:  Affordable, rich in culture and history, and filled with emerging creative energy. 

ICELAND:  A stay at the Ion Hotel means you can fish on Iceland’s largest natural lake – then let the hotel’s chef cook your catch.  According to NSAS, the Northern Lights will reach the peak of an 11-year solar cycle in December 2014.

PANGULASIAN ISLAND, PHILLIPPINES:  This tiny private island is home to the newest and most luxurious entry in the respected El Nido Resorts collection.  Forty-two airy, thatched-roof villas are just steps from a ribbon of soft white sand.

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL:  All eyes are on the host of this year’s World Cup and the 2016 Olympic Games, where a citywide rejuvenation effort has infused Rio’s neighborhoods with newfound energy.

KERALA, INDIA:  If a vacation on a houseboat is on your bucket list then the Lotus brings an added level of comfort to the backwaters of Malabar in northern Kerala.

MIAMI, FLORIDA:  Miami feels more and more like a world-class city, thanks to a revitalized urban core, neighborhoods with distinct personalities, and a new clutch of innovative restaurants and hotels.

NASHVILLE:  Enterprising chefs are the new country-music stars, bringing refined yet unfussy restaurants to emerging neighborhoods.

MEADS BAY, ANGUILLA:  Facing west, 1 ½ mile-long Meads Bay is ringed by some of the island’s best casual restaurants like Straw Hat, Malliouhana and Viceroy.

cartoon man dreaming about vacations

PLAYA CARIZALILLO, PUERTO ESCONDIDO, MEXICO:  This quiet cove accessible via a 150-step stairway, is home to the Mexican Pipeline for pro riders and waters gentle enough for the rest of us.

BURMA:  This up-and-coming cruise port of Rangoon is home to 2,000 pagodas and temples.

PALERMO, ITALY:  Five compelling reasons to visit are wine tasting, best street food at joyfully chaotic markets, Mondello, one of Sicily’s most idyllic seaside villages, low-key independent hotels and its local art.

CALIFORNIA WINE COUNTRY:  Take a three-hour ride through Napa Valley on a restored 1915 train – passing wineries such as Far Niente, Robert Mondavi, and Opus One.

TETIAROA, FRENCH POLYNESIA:  Mutiny on the Bounty was filmed there in 1960 and is now the setting for the Brando resort, opening July 1st.

PALM SPRINGS, CA:  An antidote to Palm Springs’ retro resorts, the Sparrows Hotel, set in a former 1950’s motor lodge, emits a hip-summer-camp vibe, with reclaimed-redwood walls and concrete floors.

DOMINICA, CARIBBEAN:  This destination has an astonishing purity and variety of landscapes:  volcanoes, deep gorges, rivers and waterfalls, and the world’s second-largest hot spring, Boiling Lake.

So, if we peaked your interest and you now have your next dream vacation all picked out, our competitive vacation loan interest rates won’t last long, so stop by one of our offices before they pass you by. Get rates as low as 3% APR until June 30, 2014.  Contact us today to learn more about our amazing vacation loan rates!