Whether you’re going on a short ski trip or traveling abroad for several weeks, what you do before you leave helps ensure a carefree time, as well as a stress-free homecoming.
As a bank, Investors takes the security of our customers’ money and the protection of their identity very seriously. To that end, here are some tips to help protect your money, your identity, and even your belongings while traveling.
Keep your identity and money safe and your finances in order
- Scan your passport and visa pages and save them in the cloud. Make two photocopies and leave one set home and take the other with you, but pack them separately from your passport.
- Make photocopies of your debit and credit cards to leave at home.
- Write down your card numbers but, don’t keep that information in your wallet.
- Contact your bank and credit card providers to let them know you are traveling. Otherwise your cards may be declined.
- For domestic travel, be sure to take cash out from your own bank’s ATM to avoid fees. If you’re traveling overseas, use local ATMs where generally you will receive the most favorable exchange rate.
- Know exchange rates ahead of time.
- Know how to contact your bank and credit card companies. Toll-free numbers do not always work outside the U.S.
- If you use your cards, check your online statement each week to make sure there are no fraudulent charges.
- Keep all of your receipts, and compare them to the amount charged on your statements.
- Set up a budget and keep track of all your spending.
- Set up your bills for automatic payments to avoid any late fees.
- Consider purchasing travel insurance. Depending upon the plan, it can provide reimbursement for cancelled trips, lost luggage, as well as supplemental health insurance and medical evacuation coverage.
There is no place like home – safeguard it and your belongings
- Unplug electrical devices to prevent fires, protect from power surges and reduce energy usage.
- Consider turning off all the water, or shut the water supply to the washing machine, dishwasher, ice-maker and toilets.
- Close all windows, curtains and blinds.
- Set up a few lights (inside/outside) on timers.
- Adjust the thermostat to 50° F in the winter and 85° F in the summer.
- Place “Stop Delivery” on regularly occurring services such as mail, newspapers, housecleaners, etc.
Traveling abroad? Plan ahead
- Make sure your passport is up-to-date. Most countries require that your passport be valid for six months after your return date.
- Go to travel.state.gov to check visa requirements for American travelers.
- It is a good idea to get an International Driver’s License in case you have any issues while driving. You can get one at any AAA location.
- Go online to the US Centers for Disease Control at cdc.gov for health information and vaccination requirements for anywhere in the world.
- Set up an international data plan for your phone when you are travelling out of the country.
- Pack converters and adaptors so you can use your electronics while abroad.
- Leave a copy of your itinerary with a family member or friend.
- Register your itinerary online with the U.S. Department of State through their Smart Traveler Enrollment Program at step.state.gov. Then, in case of an emergency, they will know how to contact you. You can also check ahead to see if a travel warning or alert has been issued for your destination(s).
Are you a world adventurer or weekend wanderer who is looking for the perfect checking account to take on the road? Look no further than Investors Bank’s YourStyle Checking. It comes with cell phone protection, identity theft coverage, and UChoose Rewards for your Debit card. Plus, if you download our CardValet® app, you can control how, when and where your Debit Card is used.
“7 things you must do before your next International trip”, NE Achieve Newsletter, NEA Member Benefits,
Posted by Heather; “Pre-Travel Checklist: 24 Things to Do Before You Travel”, November 2013