Now that Memorial Day weekend has passed, the beginning of the summer travel season has arrived. Before you start drifting off into summer mode, here are a few tips to help keep you safe:
You Can’t Lose What You Don’t Have
Limit the number of credit and debit cards you plan to carry or take with you on your trip. Having fewer cards will not only reduce the risk of having one of your cards stolen, but keeping track of two cards is easier than keeping track of six cards when you’re on the go. The same rule applies to any documentation. And whatever cards or documents you are unable to carry safely are best suited for a hotel safe.
While it’s a good idea to carry some cash with you, paying by credit card is your safest bet. Credit cards provide a bit more security in cases of suspected fraud when compared to debit cards, as the purchase amounts aren’t drawn from your checking or savings account immediately and your liability for unauthorized use is much lower. Upon your return home, don’t forget to check your credit card statement and/or bank statements for any suspicious charges.
Don’t Let Your Guard Down
It might be your vacation, but scammers and identity thieves will be hard at work during the busy summer months. The US Travel Insurance Association has four scams you’ll want to familiarize yourself with prior to departing, ranging from common too-good-to-be-true sweepstakes to fake taxi schemes. Be aware that tourists caught up in the new scenery and exciting events make for easy targets – so stay alert and try to blend in with the crowd as best you can.
Social Media, Email and “Snail Mail”
I understand – it’s hard to resist sharing that awesome picture on your Facebook wall. However, it stands to reason that if you are there – your house or apartment is empty and a prime target for burglars. Resist the urge, save all your photos and put them on your social media sites when you get back. Similarly, an automated “away” email response could alert the wrong individuals to your home’s vacancy. Lastly, don’t forget about your postal mail. Either stop your mail at the Post Office or ask a trusted friend or neighbor to stop by to prevent mail from piling up in your mailbox. And don’t forget about the newspaper – 4 or 5 of those in the driveway are a dead giveaway that you are not home.
For any and all international travel questions and concerns look no further than the U.S. State Department’s Travel directory. Here you’ll find everything to cover your security bases including what to do if you lose your passport and how to keep your children safe.
It’s easy to lose sight of a few details when you’re on vacation, and who can blame you? Vacations are for fun, rest and relaxation. Hopefully these few tips will help keep you safe so that your vacation can be all that you hoped it would be.
President & CEO