You’re all packed away for your vacation, but do you have a clue how to keep your cash and credit cards secure while traveling? Many people don’t. The first thing to do is make a list of all of your accounts and their 800 numbers, so that this information is always handy in the event you lose your wallet or are the victim of a crime.
Tips for Keeping Your Money Secure While Traveling
Before leaving, inform your credit card companies and bank of your traveling plans so that they won’t freeze your account if unusual spending habits emerge.
Lighten your wallet. Don’t travel with a bulky, stuffed wallet; bring only what you’ll absolutely need. On the other hand, don’t stuff your wallet with cash, either. Bring a credit card that includes fraud protection and doesn’t charge foreign purchase fees.
Take inventory of your wallet’s contents prior to traveling. Keep the 800 numbers of your credit card companies handy.
Make copies of your driver’s license and also passport: one for you, your home and a friend.
Avoid ATMs abroad. Tourist areas can have phony ATMs set up by thieves. If you must use an ATM, use an airport’s, hotel’s or bank’s. MasterCard’s and Visa’s website lists legitimate ATMs.
Stash money. Use money belts or pouches but make sure they’re not visible. You can even stash money in your shoe or bra.
But what if your wallet is stolen anyways?
- · Contact the police, file a report. If this occurs before you travel by plane, bring the report for the TSA.
- · Get a credit card report, initiate a fraud alert.
- · Get a new state ID.
- · If you lose your wallet/ID overseas, contact the nearest consulate or embassy.
The author is a security analyst and ID theft expert.