7 tips for last-minute traveling

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Nina Pineda has the details (WABC)

There is still time this summer to plan a vacation.

In fact, you can find some last-minute deals.

But you have to be careful.

A little planning can save big headaches!

"I think Americans have a tendency to overspend on vacation," said Ross Kenneth Urken, with TheStreet.com.

As a seasoned traveler and Personal Finance Editor, Urken says vacationers overshoot their budgets by 20 percent.

"You want to try to have a separate fund for your vacation that way you're not charging it on your credit card," Urken said.

But what you have charge on your card could help your budget: remember to use or lose those points before they expire.

"Try to cash in on rewards miles or loyalty programs," Urken said.

When it comes to booking airfare, sign up for low fare alerts on travel websites, then lock in a cheap fare before officially booking. United allows a 24-hour "farelock" for free on many flights.

"If you set up a price alert for a cheap fare and you need to check with a spouse or friend before booking, secure that fare for 24 to 72 hours," Urken said.

Ross warns about a new growing epidemic: bogus hotel websites. Scammers are constructing fake websites designed to snag your credit card and other personal info.

"Travelers are booking on their mobile devices and the screen is so small it's hard to tell whether a site is legit or not," Urken said.

Use Safari or Chrome when browsing for hotels, which are set up to scan for spam. Or go directly to apps like Expedia or Marriot to book.

Next, Urken says some forethought will help you if you should need healthcare when travelling.

Refill prescriptions, and know the extent of your coverage geographically before you go.

Apps like ZocDoc check in-network options.

If you plan to be away for an extended period of time, you can buy international health insurance.

"International Medical Group is a great provider of that, there's also a good program through Blue Cross Blue Shield," Urken said.

If you do get sick, Urken says avoid the Emergency Room in foreign hospitals.

"That's actually a terrible idea for the health of your wallet because you can often get just as good of care at an urgent care facility at a fifth of the price," Urken said.

Two other tips: don't overdo it. You can avoid getting sick on vacation by hydrating, and eating and drinking in moderation. Lastly, in the age of adventure travel use caution, check state department warning lists before you book some tourist destination are a lot more dangerous than you may think.
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