On April 8th, 2024, we will get to experience an incredible natural phenomenon – a Total Solar Eclipse. To determine where you are in the path of totality, visit nationaleclipse.com.


What is a Total Solar Eclipse?

A Total Solar Eclipse occurs when the moon passes between the sun and the earth causing the moon to completely block out the face of the sun. Because the moon passes in front of the sun, a night-like shadow is cast onto Earth for a few minutes turning day to dusk. The shadow of the moon will allow us, the viewers, to see the Sun’s corona – the outer atmosphere – which we are otherwise unable to see due to the bright face of the sun. People who are not in the path of totality will experience a partial solar eclipse.


Other types of solar eclipses…

You may recall other solar eclipses occurring during your lifetime. According to NASA, a Total Solar Eclipse is one of four solar eclipse types. Other types of solar eclipses include Annular, Patrial, and Hybrid. The type of eclipse that occurs depends on how the moon aligns with the path of the sun and the Earth. Learn more about the four types of eclipses at science.nasa.gov/eclipses/types.


Total Solar Eclipse Eye Safety

While you may be tempted to watch the eclipse with a regular pair of sunglasses, this can be dangerous and cause severe eye injury. Specialized solar-viewing glasses, or “eclipse glasses,” are thousands of times darker than normal sunglasses and will protect your eyes through the entirety of the event. If you are viewing the eclipse through a camera lens, telescope, binoculars, or other optical device, be sure you have the proper eye-protection gear. Ensuring you have proper eye protection during a solar eclipse can allow for a more enjoyable experience.

Vacations are a wonderful time to relax on a beach, enjoy a cruise, or stroll through a new city. But one of the best parts is not having to stress over how to pay for it.


The first step for any vacation is to identify your budget. By planning out your finances, you can enjoy the perfect vacation that won’t break the bank. To help you get started, here are five tips to consider when you begin planning your budget-friendly vacation….


  1. Open a savings account.

How much you save for your trip will help determine your budget. Having a separate savings account devoted to vacations, trips, or other getaways can make the planning process easier. Consider having a certain amount automatically deposited into a travel savings account each week. By putting funds into a dedicated travel account, you can create a healthy saving habit and build up your vacation spending money therefore lessening stress and allowing more time for rest and relaxation.


  1. Plan ahead and take advantage of cost-saving tips and tricks.

When planning your vacation, do research to find any discounts or deals on activities, accommodations, transportation, rentals, etc. Early scouting can save you money whereas last-minute decisions may cost you extra.


  1. Drive or fly?

Because you’ve successfully prepared, you’ve already done research on where you’re going and how long it will take to get there. Now is the time to answer the infamous question – do we drive or fly? Fortunately, there is no right or wrong answer. Consider how long it will take to drive, how many times you’ll have to fill up for gas, potential food costs and if you will be staying overnight. Then, research flight and rental car cost and decide which one is more economical for your situation.


  1. Choose an unconventional location.

If you plan on vacationing in popular hot spot locations like Panama City Beach, FL; Miami, FL; or Gulf Shores, AL, it may be more expensive than if you travel to less popular destinations. If you are set on going to a vacation hot spot, consider looking at the surrounding areas to help decrease costs.


  1. Set up card controls and keep track of your spending activity.

Two thing no one wants to worry about on vacation – money and fraudulent activity. By setting up card controls, you can easily keep track of all your purchases and identify if there is any suspicious activity. By actively tracking your vacation spending, you can stay in control of your budget as well as ensure your hard-earned money stays safe.


Ultimately, being in control of your budget (and sticking to it) can empower you to have the relaxing, worry-free vacation you deserve.


Get on top of your vacation savings today! Open your savings account now and start saving up for your dream vacation.