14 Ways to Protect Your Money on Vacation
We all look forward to getting away for a break from our everyday routines. Whether you plan to head out of town for a long weekend or abroad for few weeks, protecting your money and personal information from thieves is crucial.
Here are 14 tips for safer, more prepared traveling from bankrate.com:
1. Lighten up your wallet – Only bring the credit and debit cards you intend to use on your trip.
2. Use credit cards for major purchases – Most credit cards have a zero-liability policy so you won’t be responsible for unauthorized charges, should your card be lost or stolen
3. Pack a backup credit card – Keep an extra credit card locked securely in your hotel safe in case your other card get lost or stolen.
4. Watch out for bogus ATMs – Thieves are known to put fake ATMs in tourist areas. Use ATMs that are near banks or in airports and hotels. Or, use your bank’s ATM locator.
5. Keep a close eye on that debit card – Debit cards are linked directly to your bank account. If your card is stolen, your account could be emptied in no time. If your debit card is stolen, call your bank IMMEDIATELY and report any fraudulent activity.
6. Make copies of important financial and travel information – Before your trip, make copies of the debit and credit cards you’ll be taking with you, along with your passport data page and trip itinerary to keep in your hotel safe. You can also give a copy to a trusted friend or family member as a backup.
7. Tell your bank and credit card companies about your travel plans – Most financial institutions monitor customer account and transaction activity. If they notice activity that falls out of your normal behavior and they don’t know your traveling, they may freeze your accounts – not exactly something you want to happen while on vacation.
8. Use the hotel safe – Be sure to lock up anything of value when you’re not in your hotel room. This includes IDs, financial information, debit and credit cards and any personal items like cameras or computers.
9. Protect your cash – Only take the cash you need for the day and leave the rest in your hotel safe. When out for the day you can also protect your cash by splitting it up, putting some in your wallet, and the rest in your shoe or another secure place on your person.
10. Watch out for crowds – Thieves take advantage of large crowds of distracted people. Always be alert in crowded situations and keep close tabs on your possessions at all times.
11. Clean out your rental car – Don’t leave important items in your rental car – not even in the trunk. If you can’t keep the items on you, lock them in your hotel safe.
12. Stay organized – Keep track of purchases and make sure your wallet or purse remain organized. If you don’t, you may be less likely to notice when important documents, credit cards or money are missing.
13. Watch out for pickpockets – Take extra care with your bags and possessions. Never let them out of site, especially when getting out of taxis or sitting in restaurants.
14. Review your purchases – Take the time to monitor your accounts through your online or mobile banking app while you’re on vacation and upon your return. Report any unauthorized activity to your financial institution right away.
Being aware of risks and how to avoid them is the first and most important step to ensuring you have a safe and enjoyable trip.