It’s summer vacation season! Millions of Americans hit the roads or take to the skies during the summer months. If you’re one of them, we have a few important tips to share to help guard your financial security while you’re out and about.
- Make copies of important documents, like driver’s licenses, passports, credit cards, and birth certificates. Either place them in a safe deposit box at a local bank, put them in your safe at home, or leave them with a trusted family member or friend. Also create an electronic version and save it to the cloud. The documents can then be accessed from anywhere.
- If the kids are staying home, leave important medical documents and powers of attorney with their care-taker. If anything should happen to you or to your children in your absence, these documents will ensure that the people you trust can care for your children.
- Clean out your wallet. There is probably no need to have credit cards for Macy’s, Home Depot, or Sears with you while you’re on vacation. If a wallet or purse is stolen, you’ll be glad you limited the items that were lost. Do, however, take more than one major credit card. If something happens to one of them, you’ll have a back-up.
- Use credit cards. Most card companies are excellent about protecting consumers from theft. Notify your company that you’re out-of-town. It will help them protect you and will prevent them from accidently suspending your card due to “suspicious activity” that arises from your unusual use of the card while traveling. When you return home, review your credit card activity online or when your statement arrives in the mail. Report any transactions that weren’t made by you.
- Reduce cash use. There’s no getting back cash once it’s lost. If you absolutely must carry a substantial amount, split it up between the parties in your group and keep some in your wallet or purse and some in your pocket. Avoid leaving cash or valuables in your hotel room. If you must, use the safe in the room.
- Don’t publicize your absence by posting on social media sites. Thieves monitor these sites and look for opportunities to burglarize homes when they’re certain the owners are out of town. Similarly, make everything seem normal in your home. Leave the porch light on and request that the postal service holds your mail and newspapers until you return.
We wish you a safe and exciting vacation!
Image courtesy of Photokanok at FreeDigitalPhotos.net