(FinancialHealth.com) – Theft is prevalent in every corner of the world. This is even more true in popular travel destinations, where local criminals are more than happy to take advantage of someone enjoying time away. That’s a topic far too few people consider before heading out on vacation.
Yet, the last thing anyone wants to worry about is being stranded somewhere far from home without access to cash or credit.
So what can you do to protect your identity, your wallet, and your ability to enjoy your adventure in another place? Take these simple steps to ensure your safety before you go.
Let Your Bank Know
Before venturing out to travel, it’s important to make safety a number one priority. This starts with contacting your credit card company or bank prior to leaving. Let them know where you will be traveling so they don’t suspect suspicious activity on the card.
Some banks will shut the account down if they think it’s been compromised. This can be embarrassing should the card get declined. This is even more important when traveling internationally.
Set Up Identity Alerts
Time is also of the essence when bank and credit accounts have been compromised. That’s why placing an identity theft alert on your cards in advance can be a saving grace. If nothing else, it will prevent thieves from wiping you out before anyone even notices there’s a problem.
This is even more important when traveling because a drained account makes it difficult to get home.
Alerts via phone call and text can be the quickest and most beneficial, allowing the cardholder to quickly respond and shut future transactions down. Just don’t forget to add a backup number, or even authorize a family member you trust to speak for you, in case your phone is stolen, too.
Consider a Line of Credit
When an account has been breached it can take time for resolution and reimbursement to process. That’s normal, but it doesn’t help you much if you’re stranded in another country with no funds available.
An extended line of credit or backup card will let you focus on your vacation while the bank investigates instead of leaving you high and dry.
Try These Other Safety Tips
Aside from these tips, there are other methods you can use to ensure your own safety and ability to enjoy your vacation.
- Keep enough cash on hand for gas and transportation to get home.
- ALWAYS keep your passport and wallet on you at all times.
- Write down bank and credit card contact information.
- Store personal passwords and login information on a protected online cloud account. Never carry them with you written down.
- Stash some cash in your hotel room lockbox for safekeeping.
- Avoid posting your travel plans on social media.
- Buy an RFID-protected wallet to block thieves from accessing account numbers.
- Don’t open a new credit card over an unsecured network.
- Monitor your credit report while you’re away for any unauthorized charges.
- Wear a money belt under your clothing to avoid pickpockets.
Being vigilant on any expedition is important. Whether traveling nearby or halfway around the world, it’s good to stick to the same basic safety precautions.
Finding out your money or identity has been stolen can happen at any time. But don’t let the thought of theft prevent you from living in the moment and enjoying the trip. Being prepared ahead of time can bring peace of mind while enjoying your time away.
~Here’s to Your Financial Health!
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