Memorial Day weekend is here, which for many signifies the beginning of the summer travel season. No matter your destination, running into security and safety problems are undoubtedly not part of the plan. So, before you start drifting off into summer mode, here are a few travel 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 around or take with you on your trip altogether. 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 and 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 seedy taxi driving 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.
Your Social Media Updates Can Wait
We understand – it’s hard to resist sharing that awesome picture of you touching a dolphin while it balances a ball on its nose to 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 together in one album when you get back. Similarly, an automated “away” email response could alert the wrong individuals to your home’s vacancy and prove costly. Lastly, don’t forget about your postal mail. Enlist a trusted friend or relative to stop by to prevent mail from piling up in your mailbox or outside your front door to help mask your absence. The USPS can also keep you mail safely at the post office while you’re away by simply filling out an online form.
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? For some, clearing your mind and getting away from it all is a vacation! Regardless of where you’re headed and what you’re doing, keep safety top of mind to avert costly headaches during your travels.