Finances Safe for Travelling?

So you’re going on a trip. You’ve saved up. You’ve been responsible. You deserve a vacation.

But before you jet set to your dream destination, read these helpful tips for safe traveling.

Make a plan
Even small derails, like a delayed flight or lost luggage, can cause you to spend unbudgeted funds. There are several ways to protect yourself from crime while traveling. Research the locations of common destinations such as restaurants, gas stations, grocery stores, taxi pickups and even hospitals throughout your trip. Be sure to locate alternative routes should road construction, weather or other elements interfere with your itinerary. GPS devices can have glitches, locals may have language barriers or businesses might move, so it’s always a good idea to have a backup plan.

Be mindful of your surroundings
Scammers are extremely talented when it comes to earning the trust of tourists and luring them into a trap. Look into vacation promotions and do your homework. If a “hotel clerk” calls offering a one-time-only opportunity and asks for your credit card over the phone, it may not be legit. Avoid making purchases from vendors you are not familiar with and keep in mind, if it’s too good to be true, it probably is. If you think you might have been the victim of a scam, check your credit report for errors and report them immediately.

Pack light
There should be no need for your check book, social security card or even your gym pass, so leave these items secured in a safe place. This way, in the event something does happen to your belongings, your identity is protected and you won’t have to spend time replacing additional items that usually stay in your wallet.

Other items to consider leaving behind might include an expensive camera, luxury travel bags, credit cards and even cell phones. Some of these items can provide scam artists clues that you’re not from around town and make you stand out. If you must have a cell phone, consider keeping it close to your person with a carrier case or small purse so it’s not picked up by a passerby or left behind at a charming café. Consider taking an extra step and carrying cash (but not too much) or a separate wallet so you have a set budget and don’t risk overspending as well.

Communicate appropriately
Let the people close to you know when you’re leaving and when you can expect to be home. When you arrive at your destination, call someone to let them know you reached you’re your last stop safely. While this may seem like common sense, no one ever knows when disaster can strike. Should the worst-case-scenario occur, someone will be informed and better able to help you financially and emotionally.

Avoid posting your whereabouts online and on social media sites. If you must share an image of your delectable daiquiri with your followers, plan for someone to go by the house on the days you’re not home or find a trustworthy house sitter so your vacant property isn’t left vulnerable to predators.

Duplicate important documents
We’ve all heard horrible stories of friends having their wallets stolen and then they can’t get into their hotel room or back onto the cruise ship. Before you go on a trip, especially if it’s an international destination, consider applying for a state issued ID and make copies of important documents. Keep your secondary form of ID in a hotel safe or in another place other than where you keep your primary ID.

This way the important documents, including your license, passport or social security card, are less likely to be compromised in the event of a crime. Many states offer ID cards at a low cost and provide people with the flexibility of having an extra form of identification should something happen to their primary source.

Remember, anytime you are not sure of your surroundings, you take the chance of being in the wrong place at the wrong time which can lead to unexpected events on your trip. Take extra precautions before your excursion to help make sure you and your family is safe from theft and fraud.