How to protect your finances while vacationing abroad
With summer in full swing, it’s that time of year when many workers take extended time off for family vacations abroad. Although these trips are meant to help you unwind and have a good time, it can become an unpleasant experience if you fall victim to fraud and scammers.
Below are a few ways to protect yourself during your time abroad.
Ask someone to collect your mail and move your car
Before leaving, it’s crucial to ask a trusted neighbor or friend to collect your mail while you’re out of town. If mail piles up, you may be making yourself susceptible to having important documents and personal information stolen. Also, if mail piles up and your car is parked in the same place for an extended period of time, it could alert criminals that nobody is home.
Make copies of important documents
When traveling abroad, you’ll want to pack your credit cards and passport. To avoid being stuck in a foreign country without identification or money, keep a copy of your passport and credit cards in a safe location or with a trusted family member or friend.
Avoid posting details on social media
Although it’s tempting, avoid posting details about your travel plans on social media. By posting information about your travel plans, you’re telling the internet that your home will be empty for an extended period, putting your home and belongings in a vulnerable situation.
Contact your bank and set up automatic payments
Since many banks put safeguards in place to protect against consumer fraud, it’s important to contact your bank prior to traveling abroad. If you don’t contact your bank, they may assume that your card has been stolen because of abnormal spending alerts and block your card. It’s also important to set up automatic payments for any bills you’ll have to pay while you’re away to avoid late fees.
Carry minimal cash
Although it may be tempting to take out all the money you need in the U.S. prior to traveling abroad in order to avoid foreign transaction fees, carrying large bills should be avoided when traveling to another country. A good rule of thumb is to carry small amounts of cash because there are a variety of secure ways to withdraw money when you reach your destination.
Once all of these steps are taken, it will be easy to relax while on vacation, knowing you’ve protected yourself from potential scams and fraud.