USAA Travel Review

Travel With USAA

As a USAA member, you’re qualified for exclusive deals on every facet of your travel experience, including car rentals, lodging, food, cruises, and resorts around the world. This blog is going to help you plan your next vacation and save the most money in the process. We will discuss how to financially and physically plan for your trip so you can take the stress off yourselves and enjoy the time away from work.

How To Prepare For Travel abroad

To save you from repeating myself, check out our “USAA Travel Insurance” for a complete checklist on what you need to get ready. Besides following the checklist from USAA, there are things you can do as far out as you would like to prepare for your vacation. The first thing you need to do is create a vacation goal on USAA to monitor your financials so you can eliminate the stress of not knowing if you can afford the trip.

Should I Get Travel Insurance?

Yes, you should get USAA Travel Insurance if you’re a frequent flyer or travel internationally. Travel insurance is going to protect you from incurring a financial loss if something goes wrong across the globe. Anybody traveling to Europe should always be aware of the expert pickpocketers who patrol the streets looking for international travelers. You may think you’re smart enough to not take any precaution, but these men, women, boys, and girls are literally professional thieves and will swipe a wallet or purse without you noticing. Having travel insurance protects you from any theft or lost object you own.

*If you want to look elsewhere for insurance, click your state below and compare rates in your area. 

USAA Vacation Goal

As much as I like my job, there are certain perks that I get, like researching and writing about topics that I am trying to figure out myself, anyway. I’m going to use the vacation I am currently planning for to Europe in the fall with my wife and her mother (I know). This table is represented in the USAA Vacation Savings Goal page that will organize your financials for you, so you know when you reached your goal. Although, not in the table below, keep a concrete day when you need to be back home.

It’s always important to write down your goals because they become much more achievable and tangible than they are when they’re just ideas. Figure out how much you’re going to need for this vacation and then add $1,000 to make sure you’re covered. So I know I need $4,000, but I am saving for an additional $1,000 to make sure I am covered in case of emergency or my wife really wants to spend money when we get to Prague and Rome.

What do You Want your Vacation Name to Be? My European Trip
How Much Should I Save? $5,000
Which USAA Account Do You Want USAA to Monitor? USAA Checking Account
Do You Have Cash that You’re Saving at home? How Much? $1,000
Total Amount in my USAA Checking Account? $15,000
Saving Per Month or When Do You Need to Meet your Goal? 05/01/2020

How To Budget For Vacation?

Many of us spend too much money on things we don’t need and don’t even use enough to constitute buying it, but in the name of capitalism, we spend our money relentlessly. I used this table below to give you an idea of the % of your income USAA recommends spending each month. There is obviously some wiggle room with how you spend your money, but this is a great start on learning how to budget. For example, if you’re on active duty service, chances are you don’t have to pay for housing, utilities, internet, and repairs. This will allow you to spend an additional 25% to 36% on different categories. I suggest that when you’re saving for a vacation, you eliminate the things that you want to do and replace them with spending money only on the things you must do. If you’re able to save money for your vacation without any sacrifice, then keep up the good work and live your life. I don’t’ know many of those people, though, and I sure am not someone who doesn’t have to sacrifice a little for the thing you want.
* I decided to leave the amount blank so you can use this to print and use as your own guide
How Much of Monthly Income I Should Spend Amount in $
Housing (Mortgage/rent, internet, TV, repairs, utilities, phone, insurance, taxes) 25% to 36%
Food (Groceries, Restaurants) 10% to 15%
Auto/Transportation (Insurance, loan payments, fuel, repairs, fees) 10% to 15%
Gifts/Charitable Giving (Charity, church, other) 5% to 10%
Child Care 5% to 10%
Medical/Dental/Healthcare (Co-pays, deductibles, other) 5%
Insurance Premiums (Health, Dental, Life, other insurance) 5%
Debt Payments (Credit card, loans) 5%
Personal Care/Clothing (Clothing, shoes, hair, makeup, laundry, dry cleaning) 5%
Entertainment (Fun, travel) 4% to 6%
Miscellaneous (Cash, dues, subscriptions, general merchandise, pets, fees, other 4% to 6%

USAA Car Rentals

One added benefit for being a USAA member is getting exclusive deals on car rentals anywhere in the world there is an Avis, Hertz, Budget, and Enterprise car rental store. The discounts you’d receive are very similar to AAA members, with discounts around 25% for a rental. USAA gets the edge if you prepay for the car online with an additional 35% savings that more than cuts the cost of the rental in half (60%).  If you didn’t know that, you just potentially saved yourself hundreds of dollars in car rentals. I would also highly recommend this for younger drivers because USAA waives the young driver fee (under 24 years old) from their affiliates listed above. This saving is worth about $27-$30 per day for members under the age of 24.

Benefits From USAA Car Rental
What is the discount for your rental? 25%
What about the Young Driver, an additional driver Fee? Avoid Young Driver and Additional Driver fees of up to $44.

This fee is waived for spouses and USAA family members who also will drive the car.

Avis: $13/day

Budget: $13/day

Enterprise: $10/day

Hertz: $14/day

Do I Save More if I Prepay? You save up to an additional 35%
Is there a points program? Yes, enroll in priority programs at no charge, earn points toward future rentals, and skip the line at the counter.
Does USAA Protect You against damage liability?  Yes! USAA members are only responsible for the first $5,000 of damage to a rental vehicle. However, if a Loss Damage Waiver is purchased, members are not financially responsible for the claim amount or the $5,000 deductible.
*Renter’s Insurance is also something to take a look at if you’re traveling for longer than a week or two.

Where are You Covered?

Stateside travel:

You’re covered from the liability of physical damage you’ve got on your USAA auto policy, If your USAA auto policy is based in the U.S., Puerto Rico, Guam, U.S. Virgin Islands, and U.S. territories.

International Travel:

If your USAA auto policy is based in the U.S., Puerto Rico, Guam, U.S. Virgin Islands, or U.S. territories and you rent the vehicle outside of these locations, then your rental isn’t covered by your USAA policy for liability and physical damage. If your traveling to Canada, your U.S. auto policy extends coverage while you drive in Canada, but make sure the rental agency provides proof of liability coverage (it’s usually found in the rental agreement). If you’re traveling to Mexico, The Mexican government requires that tourists get auto liability insurance from a Mexico-based insurance company. To get this coverage for your owned vehicle, call the BRAVO Agency at 800-442-7286. 

Conclusion

Planning a trip, whether for recreation or military travel, can be a daunting task to complete yourself, so let us help you with your research.  We have covered how to prepare your family for travel, how to financially plan your next trip, why you need travel insurance, and everything you need to know about USAA Car Rentals. We want you to use this as your starting point on planning for a vacation with USAA. In our next blog, I will show you all the deals for cruises, planes, and hotels or resorts.

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