Jul 7 2015
There is no question that a traveler needs to make a number of preparations for a big trip, but repeatedly one of the biggest problem areas tend to be managing finances when on the road. Chalk it up to the excitement of the trip, being in a new place, or finally relaxing from work and stress everyday in a commute, but people get sloppy. And when that happens, the problems occur when traveling.
Fortunately, most issues that cause situations of fraud and money loss when out of country can be prevented. A number of simple steps can be taken by any person, both before the trip and during it. And the ramifications can be awesome in terms of making sure that a trip is enjoyed without disappointments, at least financial ones.
1. Inform Bank and Credit Card Companies
The first step anyone should take is to inform his or her bank and credit card companies of the pending trip. This includes the general location and dates of the trip. It’s a simple matter; one just needs to call the institution and make sure the information of the trip is posted to the account information. Just about every time the account is pulled up by a financial company, so is all the immediate information, including notes. This data gives a flash view of pertinent account status, which is critical when fraud occurs or a valid purchase occurs in an unusual place.
2. Use Paper
Second, a traveler shouldn’t put all of his reliance on digital payment tools. There are plenty of places in the world that don’t take a credit card, no matter whether it’s a Visa, Mastercard or an Amex. Cash rules in these locations, and a wise traveler is one who plans for these situations or, worse, when a card gets lost. Having a back up plan allows a person to complete their trip instead losing it altogether. Cash is also good for avoiding suspicious-looking card reading machines too. Not every vendor is on the up-and-up.
3. Keep Wallet Close At All Times
Third, never ever put a wallet out of sight. That means not leaving it on a desk, a nightstand in a hotel room, or on the restaurant table when paying the bill. In public, wallets are immediate targets, easy to grab and run with even in a crowded, public place. By keeping it secure, even with a covered harness inside pants or a jacket, it makes a wallet difficult to grab. Pickpockets rely on distraction to do their job. Most travelers never see a hit coming. Instead, burying a wallet in a hard to reach place force them to choose other targets.
4. Check and Monitor Accounts Daily
Fourth, if you can do so, check and monitor accounts daily. Stuff happens when one is on the road in unfamiliar places, and they will show up immediately on an account screen. However, be careful about your connection. If it’s not yours, Wi-Fi and hotel connections are often compromised and a fast way to lose a password to a hacker. Use our own account or not at all. It’s better to then check with a phone number and account dial in update.
These are practical, simple steps that everyone traveling should practice regularly. Most fraud is done because people are careless. Tie up loopholes like these and you won’t be a statistic.