December is one of the busiest traveling seasons of the year. Not only are many traveling to visit families but they’re also making use of leftover vacation days and planning getaways. While you may be busy planning your itinerary and deciding what to pack, don’t forget one of the most important items on your vacation prep list: securing your money.
Being a tourist in an unfamiliar city makes you susceptible to fraud and theft. Whenever you’re away from home, you need to take the necessary precautions to make sure your wallet, money, and important documents are safe. You don’t want them to get into the wrong hands. Take a look at these 5 tips to keeping your money secure while traveling:
Bring Only What You Need
Many people’s wallets contain every essential document they’ll ever need. Before you put your wallet into your travel pack, go through it first. You most likely don’t need everything in it. Take two credit cards for your main purchases and a debit card in case you need to take out cash. Remove any non-essential documents, especially ones that have your social security number. You can also make copies of certain documents instead of bringing the original so you don’t risk losing it.
Notify the Bank and Credit Card Company
If you are traveling internationally, it’s a good idea to notify your bank and credit card company before you go. Otherwise, when you use your card in a foreign country, you might raise a fraud alert and cause a temporary hold on your card. You don’t want to find yourself in a situation where you’re stuck somewhere without a card to use.
Use the Credit Card for Big Purchases
You don’t want to keep a large amount of cash on you while traveling. For bigger purchases, use a credit card to pay for them. Not only is it more convenient, but you’re also protected. Most cards have zero-liability policies. If your card is stolen or lost, you won’t be liable for any unauthorized purchases.
Beware of Sketchy ATM Machines
You might need to get some extra cash from an ATM at some point during your trip. There are many phony ATMs placed in tourist areas so be careful. If you can, use ones found in hotels, airports, or banks. If it looks sketchy, use your better judgement and find another machine.
Beware of Pickpockets and Thieves
The last thing on your mind is keeping your belongings safe while you’re trying to enjoy your trip. But make sure to keep your eyes on your bags at all time, especially in crowded places. Pickpocketers are fast and can swipe your bag in the blink of an eye. Only bring what you need for the day and keep any non-essential valuables in your hotel safe.
What is one important money-related safety tip to keep in mind while traveling?