Top Five Items for Your Travel Checklist

by: Smith and Howard Wealth Management

How to Safeguard your Money and Your Identity While Traveling

Plane Tickets: Check!  Passport: Check!  Stop the newspaper delivery: Check!  Book Fluffy’s Stay at the Pet Spa: Check!

Where on your checklist is protecting your finances and identity while you are traveling?

At Smith and Howard Wealth Management, we’ve picked up a few tips to help our clients navigate their travel while keeping their money and identity secure.  Here are our top five:

1. Clean out your wallet or purse:  Don’t take all of your various cards on vacation.  Pick out only the ones you are planning on using and leave the rest at home.

As far as the cards you are taking – be sure to let your bank know that you’ll be travelling, especially if your plans include international destinations.  It can help your purchases from being flagged for suspicious activity.  (BONUS TIP:  Let us know, too!  If you do run into problems, we can help you get a handle on things.)

2. Keep an eye out for large crowds: Thieves and pickpockets don’t take vacations.  But, they do love to hang out at vacation hot spots.  Be aware of your surroundings.  Distribute the cash among the travelers in your party.  Use hotel safes and avoid carrying all your travel money with you while you’re sightseeing.

3. Learn a little about money customs in the locale where you’re planning to travel:  In Morocco, tipping is typically done quietly and off to the side.  Peru is not a tipping culture, whereas Dubai’s government mandates 10% being added to all hotel, restaurant, and bar checks.  It’s better to learn the expectations of the country you’re visiting than suffer the embarrassment of a faux pas.

4. Keep your travel plans and destinations off of social media:  Turn off the GPS locator on your social media.  Don’t post vacation plans before you leave.  Avoid “checking in” at the airport, hotel, and various destinations.  Sure, all your friends can’t comment about how jealous they are about your adventures – but thieves that mine social media sites for this information won’t know you’re travelling either.  (BONUS TIP:  It may seem innocuous to post your pictures to your social media pages, but even your pictures store information that can give thieves insight into your travel plans.  Save photos and travel comments for your return.)

5. Travel Light and Carry Copies of Important Documents:   Having a copy of your passport, travel itinerary, and boarding passes could help if you were to lose your originals while traveling.  The copies could make the difference between getting back home or being stranded.

And last, but not least, enjoy your adventure!  Please call anyone on the Smith and Howard Wealth Management team at 404-874-6244 with questions about taking steps to safeguard your money and identity while traveling.