8 Ways to Stay Financially Safe on the Go
05/23/2023 | Archive
There's nothing more exciting than traveling to a faraway destination, but it's essential to prioritize your financial safety while traveling. However, being in unfamiliar environments can expose you to potential risks and scams.
When we're traveling for any reason, we're outside of our normal comfort zone. We rely on payment systems, internet connections and transportation options we have little knowledge about. It's critical to stay vigilant to protect your finances while on the go.
Keep reading to learn eight practical tips to ensure your financial security while you explore new destinations.
1. Plan and budget wisely:
Before setting off on your trip, you need to make sure that you're budgeting for all expenses. Research your destination to determine the cost of accommodation, transportation, meals and activities. Starting a savings account – like our Vacation Club account – can help you create a financial cushion for your vacation and prevent any sticker shock while abroad.
While you budget, be sure to check out the Visa Offers and Perks available with your Apple FCU Visa ® Debit or Credit card. You can find exclusive deals on hotels, flights, food and entertainment, retail and more. This can help you maximize your budget and make the most of your vacation!
2. Inform your bank and credit card company:
Before you set off, notify Apple FCU about your travel plans, including the countries you'll be visiting and the duration of your trip. This helps us monitor any suspicious activity on your accounts and prevents us from freezing your cards due to perceived unauthorized use.
You can easily set up travel notices in the Apple FCU Mobile App. Simply tap More, Accounts, Manage Cards and Travel Notice to notify Apple of any travel destinations and dates.
3. Carry multiple payment options:
While traveling, it's wise to have multiple payment options. Pickpocketing and theft are a possibility anywhere you go, so it's wise to carry a combination of cash, debit and credit cards, and digital wallets. Distribute them across different locations, such as your wallet, a money belt, or a hidden pocket. This way, if one form of payment is lost or stolen, you'll have backups to rely on.
If your wallet is stolen, you can easily disable cards or request a new card through the Apple FCU Mobile App. Under the Manage Cards menu, you can block or unblock cards to place temporary freezes on transactions. You can also replace lost or stolen cards under Card Replacement.
4. Be cautious with public Wi-Fi networks:
While traveling, it's common to rely on public Wi-Fi networks for internet access. However, these networks can be vulnerable to hackers who may attempt to steal your sensitive information.
Avoid accessing Online Banking or making financial transactions when connected to public Wi-Fi. Instead, use a virtual private network (VPN) for secure internet access or rely on your mobile data plan.
5. Use secure ATMs and avoid currency exchange scams:
When withdrawing cash from ATMs, only withdraw cash from secure and well-lit locations, such as those attached to banks or reputable establishments. Be cautious of card skimming devices that may be installed on ATMs by criminals seeking to steal your card details.
Also, research the local currency exchange rates in advance to avoid falling victim to unfavorable rates or deceptive exchange scams. If possible, bring enough cash with you ahead of time or consult your hotel about places to exchange for the local currency.
6. Safeguard your documents and valuables:
Protect your passport, credit cards and other important documents by making digital copies and storing them securely online. Consider using a hotel safe or a travel security pouch to store your valuables when you're out exploring. Keep an eye on your belongings in crowded areas and avoid flashing large sums of cash, as it may attract unwanted attention.
Additionally, be sure to shred any travel documents, such as ticket receipts, boarding passes, hotel bills, etc., when you return. Anything with personal information can be recovered and used to build an identity-theft effort by crooks. Shred everything as soon as it's no longer needed at one of Apple's Free Shred Events.
7. Watch where you charge:
A recent concern when traveling is bad guys exploiting publicly available USB charging stations to steal data. Any time you plug your device in to a USB port to charge it, there's a chance that it may create a data connection to something on the other side.
Bring a fully charged external battery if you think you'll run your device down, or get a data blocker device to prevent a data connection over USB.
8. Stay updated on travel advisories and scams:
Stay informed about the latest travel advisories and warnings for your destination. Visit official government websites or consult reputable travel resources to get accurate information.
Also, be aware of common travel scams targeting tourists, such as fake police officers, overpriced taxis or overly friendly strangers offering unsolicited assistance. Research common scams and learn how to identify and avoid them.
By implementing these practical tips, you can enhance your financial safety and enjoy a worry-free travel experience.
Planning ahead, informing your financial institutions, diversifying your payment options and staying vigilant are key to protecting your money while exploring new horizons.
Remember, maintaining financial security will allow you to focus on creating unforgettable memories during your travels. Bon voyage!