Karen Smith
Executive Director
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Topic of the Month

Travel Safe, Travel Smart 

This July is dedicated to travel tips that could save you money. The economy remains a topic of discussion for Americans and economic concerns cross most travelers’ minds at least once. Traveling this summer does not have to be a financial drain. Neither gas prices nor travel scams should be a concern for the financially conscious traveller. Planning ahead and a little bit of research can go a long way when it comes to travel planning, you will save time, money and a headache. Traveling safe and smart does not require opening the spigot to cash flow as saving money and an enjoyable trip are not mutually exclusive.

  • Saving money at the pump. Underinflated tires could cost six percent in fuel economy; speeding just ten miles over costs about twenty percent in fuel economy.
  • A free getaway may not be free and, in fact, a travel scam. The proof is in the print, make sure to read through all terms and conditions.
  • Timeshares may be an alternative to outright purchase, saving maintenance costs and providing the vacation property only when you want it.
  • Shopping around and comparing rates. Most travel information and the best deals are available at no cost, be wary of paying for what is already free.
  • Thinking about the whole calendar. Even the day of the week affects travel rates when it comes to airfare. Also consider if the destination has an off season. 
  • Steer clear of products promising ‘gas-savings’. Often misleading, these products do not make a significant impact on fuel economy.
  • Make sure to deter burglars and thieves from your home. Your home may be an easy mark for the skilled thief while you are away.
  • Consider a Staycation. You do not have to travel great distances or spend a fortune for a fun vacation, consider a local vacation.

It is always a good idea to thoroughly read through any contract or terms and conditions documents when it comes to your money and making purchases. Look out, this month for tips that will save you at the pump, in the air, at home and abroad. 

Additional Resources

Securing Your Home While You are Away – Tips from National Association of Mutual Insurance Companies.

Staycation – Tips from 

Travel Tips – Travel tips from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).

Travel Scams – A look at travel fraud and the efforts of the FTC to protect consumers from fraud.

Gas Saving Products: Fact or Fuelishness? – Travel tips for the road.

Gear Up for a Great Trip – Travel game featuring travel tips!

Ask about the Consumer Resource Center at your local Montana Credit Union!



Montana Credit Unions for Community Development (or MCUCD) is the award-winning, charitable arm of the Montana Credit Union Network. A state-wide nonprofit organization, MCUCD works together with the state's credit unions to improve the lives and financial independence of all Montanans.