Traveling Tips This Holiday Season

If you’re traveling this holiday season, it’s important to be prepared and to protect yourself and your belongings. Here are a few ways to implement the season’s best traveling practices:

Be sure to keep all important documents in your carryon

All important documents and belongings should be kept in your carryon, rather than your checked luggage. Having these documents on hand ensures that you will be prepared when you need to show them. It also helps prevent these items from being stolen or lost in transport. For a rundown of important documents that you need at the airport, check out this list that includes a checklist ranging from IDs, to tickets, to vaccination cards.

Easily identify your luggage

Add a luggage tag to easily identify your luggage. An example of this could be using a brightly colored ribbon on the handle of your luggage or bright athletic tape in the shape of your initial on your luggage. Having identifying markers on your luggage or suitcases helps to spot them in a crowd. This can potentially save you the time and hassle of sifting through other similar looking luggage. Check out these other options of luggage marker ideas that include: stickers, handle-grips, and even paint.

Avoid sketchy ATMs

Beware of ATM skimmers everywhere, but especially when traveling. The hustle and bustle of a new city can often cause you to miss an obvious sign of a tampered-with ATM. To see if an ATM has been tampered with, look for signs that include flimsy card readers, tape or sticky glue residue on any part of the ATM, or loose-fitting attachments on the ATM. Any of these signs point to the potential threat of being targeted for theft. Use your best judgement and always check ATMs before inserting your card.

Keep a little cash on hand, especially small bills

It’s important to have cash on hand for expenses. Yes, PayPal and Venmo are convenient when out with friends, but it’s always smart to have a little cash on hand. In the event an ATM machine is down, or there is an issue with your debit card not working, cash is still king.

It’s also good to have small bills that are easily accessible as tips for cab drivers, bellmen, and wait staff. Of course, it’s important to keep this cash on your carryon, rather than checking it.

When traveling with cash at an airport, consider divvying up amounts in different parts of your carryon. A wallet or purse can hold an allotted amount and a carryon bag can hold another. It’s a good idea to split it up if you lose your wallet, then you will have a backup resource of cash already on hand. Be sure to always know where your cash is placed and never let it out of your direct line of sight.

Ship gifts directly or give gift cards

It’s a good option to mail gifts ahead of time in the event they get lost or delayed. If shopping online, consider mailing that gift directly to its destination, rather than traveling with it. You will know that the gift recipient has received their gift and potentially miss paying extra fees on a weighted gift at the airport.

Similarly, you can opt to give gift cards to ensure they make it to their destination. Just like cash, keep these gift cards on your person to ensure they are not lost, stolen, or misplaced during travel.

It’s also important to note that you shouldn’t bring gifts already wrapped to the airport. TSA has the right to unwrap and inspect all packages.

Let us know if you are heading out of town!

If you’re planning to travel this holiday 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. Call us today with any questions you may have about traveling this holiday season at (409) 276-2525!

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