Traveling is a fun part of summer for me. I just went to Fort Collins, Colorado to visit friends, and I’ll be going to Nashville, Tennessee for a bachelorette party in a couple months.
For a lot of people, summer is full of fun and traveling. Obviously, it’s important that you can afford your trip. But what’s not talked about as much is how to protect yourself and your money while you travel.
To maximize your fun and minimize your stress, remember to be careful when you travel. Here are 9 ways to keep your money safe while traveling.
1. Talk to your bank
Notify your bank that you’ll be out of town. Give your bank the location and dates you’ll be there, so they can notate your account. This will ensure your transactions are not flagged or stopped while you’re there.
2. Only carry cards you need
If you carry multiple credit cards, remove some for your trip if you won’t need them. If you lose your wallet, you’ll only have to worry about one card going missing instead of multiple cards. This goes for gift cards, too. Might as well leave them home if you won’t use them. That way, you know you’ll have them when you get back.
3. Leave your checkbook home
Leave your checkbook at home while you travel. Checks have your bank and bank account number on them. And it is possible for a blank check to be cashed.
4. Remove your social security card
Do not keep your social security card in your wallet. Your social security number is used to verify your identity online or over the phone, so if someone gets ahold of your social they could steal your identity.
5. Guard your passport
Be careful with your passport while you’re traveling (and while you’re not traveling for that matter). If you lose your passport while you’re in a foreign country, it is a pain (you’ll have to go to the embassy). Not only that, but your information is now in the hands of whomever finds it. Try using a safe while you’re on your trip instead of bringing your passport with you.
6. Carry cash
Bring some cash with you when you travel. You’ll need cash for a variety of things, including tipping at the airport, activities that do not take card, an emergency, or for anywhere else you go that does not accept cards. Not only that, but if for some reason your bank suspects you’re not you (i.e. that someone is improperly using your card because you’re in a different location), you’ll have money to use while you sort it out with your bank.
7. Do not carry receipts
If you put receipts in your wallet, remove them daily. Receipts may show your signature, card number, or phone number. It’s better to remove these items regularly so you limit the likelihood of someone getting ahold of them.
8. Change your passwords
Make sure only you know your passwords. Change your passwords before you travel. And make sure your phone is password protected. We keep so much information on our phones, that losing your phone could mean giving someone access to your financial life. Even if it’s not to your bank accounts, it could be to your other accounts such as Paypal or Amazon. Don’t let this be you!
9. Don’t wear expensive jewelry
Wearing expensive jewelry in a different environment is risky. If you wear the jewelry, you could get mugged. If you change your jewelry, you could misplace it. Or, if you leave your jewelry in a hotel room, it could get stolen. The bottom line is that traveling with jewelry presents risks that may be better left not taken.