Create a travel budget
Creating a travel budget can help you visualize and take accountability in your spending while you’re away. Oftentimes, we have a vacation-mode mindset when it comes to spending, but keeping to your travel budget will help you better bounce back when you return. To create a travel budget, start by adding up expenses you will need on your vacation such as lodging, transportation, food, activities and amenities. Make a list of all the places you plan to see and budget for how much that day will cost. Preparing for your trip beforehand can help adjust your budget where needed.
Carry cash for tips
After making your travel budget, make note of the importance to bring cash for tips when you use a transportation, luggage, or bell service. A good tip is to diversify your cash and avoid stashing it all in one place. In the event a bag or luggage gets lost or stolen, it’s a good practice to have other accessible cash elsewhere. Similarly, it’s best to keep small bills handy when using as tips. Consider trimming your wallet of excess items, such as a library card. Leave unnecessary items such as those at home while you travel!
ATM skimmer awareness
When traveling (and while home) it’s always best to check out ATMs, fuel pumps, and other point-of-sale card inserts to ensure that they haven’t been tampered with. Skimming occurs when legal devices such as these have been tampered with and can access your banking data and then steal from victim’s accounts. It’s estimated that skimming costs financial institutions and consumers more than $1 billion each year. Avoid becoming a victim of these scams by recognizing the signs of tampering.
Caution using public WIFI
Similar in recognizing the signs of ATM tampering, it’s also important to beware of the hidden dangers within the use of public WIFI. There are many risks that accompany using a public WIFI from places such as a coffee shop, airport, or hotel. These risks can include unencrypted networks, malware distribution, and malicious hotspots which ultimately aim to steal your private information, including banking information. Check out these best practices on protecting yourself against the dangers lurking behind public WIFI.
Opt for travel insurance
Travel insurance can cover anything from medical expenses, theft of belongings, or even cancellation of trips. Opting for travel insurance ensures that you are covered if an unfortunate event occurs. Consider different types of coverage for your specific needs.
Make your luggage stand out
Using luggage tags that will stand out to you make it easier to identify your luggage in an airport or hotel. Consider using a neon or brightly colored luggage tag, ribbon, or other form of identification on your luggage. Get creative by using a scarf, stickers, or washi tape to help your luggage stand out!
Keep passports and important info on your carryon
Another good practice while traveling is to keep your passport and another important document information on your carryon. By always keeping this information with you, you can better access your documents at a moment’s notice and ensure they don’t get lost during the trip.
Put a hold on mail and other services
Consider putting your U.S. Postal mail on hold for the duration of your travel. You can arrange this hold for up to 30 days by phone, filling out a form at the post office, or visiting the U.S Postal Office website. Similarly, consider requesting holds for newspapers, magazines, or other subscription services that get sent via mail.
Copy important documents and make a list of important numbers
Before leaving on your trip, make a copy of all your important documents, such as passports, credit cards, and driver’s licenses. Leave one copy with a relative or trusted friend in the event an important document gets lost. You can also keep a copy on you to reference, if needed. Write down important phone numbers or contact information that you may not know by memory. If you need to reach someone, you will have the information handy. It’s also a good practice to let someone know your exact travel itinerary.
Set up account alerts
If you’re planning to travel this season, call Eastex Credit Union and let us know of your travel plans! This will ensure that any card transactions made from a different location won’t trigger potential identify theft or fraudulent activity issues. We can also monitor those transactions that were made from a different area were likely authorized by you. This can ultimately prevent a hold being placed on your card, preventing you from using it in your traveled to location. Contact us today with any questions you may have about traveling this summer at (409) 276-2525!