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The bags are almost packed and your family is ready to go! We all look forward to summer vacation, and these smart tips can save you money and time, ensuring you have the most relaxing vacation possible.  

Pay Your Bills

Your vacation should be relaxing and rejuvenating, not stressful and worrisome. Pay your bills in advance so you know you don’t have to worry about missing due dates and incurring late fees. Use MAX Bill Pay, a service of MAX Online Banking & MAX Mobile Banking, to pay your bills on-the-go if you must.

Don’t Post Pics

While it's tempting to show the world how much fun you are having, avoid posting pictures while you are out of town. You may unknowingly make your home a target for burglars and thieves.

Did you know that the majority of break-ins are committed by burglars who live nearby? The typical burglar resides within two miles of the targeted home. And most criminals can burglarize a home in less than ten minutes. Posting photos and your whereabouts to social media let’s everyone know that you are far away from home, and gives those with bad intentions plenty of time to take advantage of the situation.

Put Mail on Hold

In addition to not posting pics, you will want to eliminate other signs that you are on vacation. Contact your post office and request to have your mail held until you return. This also ensures that your sensitive information remains secure. You can also ask a trusted neighbor, family member, or friend to pick up your mail and make sure newspapers aren’t piling up at your door.  

Ready Your Cards

Check the expiration dates on your MAX debit and credit cards. Also, make sure you have an EMV chip card if you’re traveling internationally. Some countries require that your card have the chip. If your card expires while on vacation, it can be difficult to get a new one to you in time. Make sure your cards are valid throughout the length of your vacation.  

Also, if you are traveling overseas, it’s a good idea to prepare your PIN before you leave. Some international ATMs only support 4-digit PINS and the pin must be numeric. Some international card readers even require you to use a PIN with your credit cards. Make sure your pins meet the specifications and that you have them memorized. 

And don't forget to take advantage of MAX's digital wallet services. You can use Apple Pay, Google Pay, or Samsung Pay with your MAX debit and credit cards.                          

Notify MAX That You’re Away

We do our best to ensure you are not a victim of fraud. That’s why we closely monitor card activity that could be considered suspicious. The use of your MAX debit and/or credit card in a new location is a red flag, and it could result in your card being closed as a precautionary measure.

Let us know of your travel plans ahead of time, and we’ll know that the “unusual activity” is legitimate. You can give us a call at 334.260.2600 or 800.776.6776 to quickly complete a travel notice.  

Cover Your Health

No one plans on needing medical care while on vacation, but we all know the unexpected happens. Know what your health insurance will and will not cover during your travels. Are you leaving the country? Well, your insurance may not cover you while you are overseas. There are private companies that offer insurance plans specifically for international travel.

Tune-up Before Take-off

Make sure your car has received a proper maintenance check before you hit the road. Ensuring that your vehicle is ready for travel can save you time and money. No one wants to start or end their vacation being stranded on the highway with car troubles.

Before you hit the road, make sure you have done the following:

  • Check your battery – Is the charge strong and are your terminals clean?  
  • Check your brakes – Are your brake pads worn or need replacing?
  • Check your tires – Do you see any bulges or tears in the side wall? Do you have a good amount of tread left? Are all tires properly inflated to the specified tire pressure figures (printed on the placard on the driver’s door jam)?
  • Check oil – Does your car need an oil change?
  • Check fluid levels – Are all of your necessary fluids topped off?
  • Check wipers – Do you need new wipers?

Making sure your car is prepared for the trip will help you avoid unexpected stresses during your vacation.

Pack Emergency First Aid

Always keep an emergency first aid kit on hand. Make sure it is packed with bandages, ointments, and alcohol wipes. If you or your family requires certain medications, be sure to pack it in your emergency bag. Keep all emergency allergy medications or inhalers in mind.

You may also want to pack bug spray to prevent bites, saline solution to clean out eyes, and tweezers for splinters.

Know Your Way

Don't depend on your GPS software alone. Map out your trip before hitting the road. When you take the time to plan your route, you save yourself money. While GPS directions are great, they can be confusing or come too late to take action while you’re driving. One missed exit or wrong turn can cost you plenty of cash in wasted gas.

Carry-on Change of Clothes

If you are flying, carry at least one change of clothing with you in your carry-on luggage. The busy summer vacation season can cause luggage delays and baggage mix-ups. You don't want to arrive in paradise without any clothing to wear.

Roll your clothing and use rubber bands to hold the rolls in place, if needed. Rolling your clothing helps reduce wrinkles and keeps them small so they don't take up much space. Be sure to place your clothing at the very bottom of your carry-on so they are not in the way of items you may want or need during the flight.

Take Advantage of MAX’s surcharge-free ATMs

There's nothing smart about paying fees to get your hard-earned money. MAX provides great convenience and savings at ATM locations across the globe. With MAX, you have access to surcharge-free ATMs at a number of retail locations across the nation.

You can get cash and avoid non-MAX (foreign) ATM surcharge fees when you use a surcharge-free ATM or request cash back during a transaction. It's that simple.