Traveling can be expensive. Between airline tickets, hotels, and meals on the go, your credit card gets a lot of action on vacation. Some of these expenses may not be necessary. With a careful eye towards travel, you may be able to save considerably.

Add-Ons like Travel Insurance Are Costly

Sometimes vacations don’t go as planned. Your flight gets canceled, your luggage gets lost, or a hurricane docks your cruise ship. Travel insurance can compensate you for these problems and more.

The concept of travel insurance is sound — of course, it makes sense to protect your vacation from disaster. But travel insurance can be pricey. Travelers can expect to add between four and ten percent to their vacation bill. With average vacations costing $5,000, a $500 charge is a big deal.

Travel Insurance May Not Be Necessary

People are increasingly purchasing travel insurance, but they may have a policy, or a few, already sitting in their wallet. Many major credit cards with travel rewards also provide travel insurance. The best thing about credit card provided travel insurance? It’s free.

Not all credit cards offer this, so you should check with your issuer to see if it’s one of your cardholder benefits. Plans and programs vary, but the coverage is nearly identical to travel insurance as an add-on to a vacation package.

If You Don’t Have Travel Protection, Get It

Before going on a trip, call your card issuers if you do not have travel protection and ask for your account to be transferred to such a program. If they cannot, reach out to a travel card provider and apply for a new card.

While it’s nice to be protected, it is poor vacation planning to buy something you don’t need, except for maybe a few souvenirs from the trip.