Summer is here, and that means it’s peak travel season. Families across America are packing their bags, loading up the cars, and setting off on road trips to national landmarks or family members who live afar. Others are boarding planes to check out exotic international destinations during some downtime from school and work.
Wherever your summer travel plans take you, it’s essential to keep your safety in mind as you go. And we’re not just talking physical security. While there’s no doubt that keeping yourself and your belongings secure is a top priority, you shouldn’t forget about keeping your finances safe and secure as you travel. By taking a few smart steps, you can give yourself peace of mind when it comes to your money while you’re on the go.
Not sure what you should do to keep your finances secure? Here are a few ways to keep your money safe during the travel season:
Use Cash When You Can.
While it was once considered safest to use credit cards when traveling in unfamiliar places, skimmers and scanners that capture card numbers have become increasingly common, making it less and less safe to swipe your card. Instead, try to carry some cash – especially when exploring in foreign countries – to use for daily purchases.
… But Don’t Carry Too Much.
Keeping all of your cash in your purse or wallet while you travel is an easy way to put yourself at risk. Instead of carrying all of your money at once, leave some tucked away in your hotel room – hidden in a pants pocket or other concealed spot – in case the unfortunate happens.
The same goes for cards. If you’re traveling with credit and debit cards, don’t bring them all with you at once. Leave the ones you don’t need at all at home, and be strategic when it comes to carrying the rest.
When you’re traveling, there’s a good chance you’re jumping onto any wifi network you can find to send an email, check the news, and keep yourself from eating up your phone’s data. However, it’s crucial to ensure your connection is secure before logging in to online banking, making a payment online, or doing anything else that could expose your information. Many public networks, like those you find in shopping malls, hotel lobbies, and airports, are unsecured, making them easy gateways for cybercriminals to steal your credentials – and your cash.
Tell Your Bank Where You’re Going
As you get ready for your trip, give your bank or credit union a call and let them know when – and where – you’re going. This will prevent them from flagging your purchases as suspicious and locking your card while you’re gone, and it’ll help them identify potential cases of identity theft or other fraudulent activity. Check out Navy Federal’s Travel Protection Checklistfor tips to protect your identity and your accounts before you leave, while you’re away and once you return.
Keeping your finances safe and secure as you travel doesn’t take a lot of work. With a little preparation and logical thinking, you’ll be well on your way to protecting your bank account while you explore this summer season.
Also, see all the ways you can enjoy safe, secure banking with Navy Federal Credit Union. If you’re part of a military family or are affiliated with the DoD, you can become a Member at Navy Federal Credit Union.