…to Prepare for Vacation
If you are like me, your summer travel planning has already begun. One important piece to vacation planning that is often overlooked is the financial preparedness component.
Below is a checklist of eight financial “To-Do’s” to keep both your vacation spending in check and your money safe during your summer travels.
Eight Best Financial Practices to Prepare For Vacation
- Set a Budget. Before you purchase your airplane tickets, first things first, set a reasonable budget. If you have to borrow money or use a credit card to travel, consider a staycation or traveling to a nearby city.
- Inform Your Financial Institution. Once you set your travel dates, let your bank know that you will be traveling. Out-of-state purchases with your debit card could raise a red flag of potential fraud with your financial institution. By notifying your bank when you will be out of town, your access to funds on your trip will not be impeded.
- Update Your Information. Make sure your contact information is current with your financial institution and other service providers, such as security companies. Updated information ensures you can be reached in case an issue arises at home while you are away.
- Request a Chip Card. If your summer travel plans include Europe, ensure your bank debit card and credit cards are security chip enabled. More and more, merchants in Europe require a chip-enabled card.
- Make Copies. Photo copy your driver’s license, passport, and the front and back of all debit and credit cards you will carry on your trip. Keep one copy secured in a hotel safe or hidden in a safe place and leave another copy with a close friend or relative back home. If your wallet or purse is stolen, you will have a copy of your identification as well as phone and account numbers to cancel compromised cards.
- Purchase Foreign Currency Ahead of Time. Ask your bank if it offers the ability to purchase foreign currency. Having a little local cash when you step off the plane can be a life-saver.
- Use a Bank ATM When Withdrawing Funds. If you need to withdraw cash when traveling, locate and use a bank’s ATM. ATM skimmers are very prevalent and are often found on ATM’s in public places. A bank’s ATM is not as likely to be compromised due to frequent servicing and the likely presence of cameras.
- Enroll in a Fraud Alert System. Check with your financial institution to see if it has an automatic fraud alert system to notify you of unusual activity on your bank card or credit card. This is a wise practice, regardless if you are planning a vacation or not.
All of the steps above are easily implemented. With a little financial planning, your summer vacation will be memorable for all of the right reasons.
Philip Wong is vice president, Oklahoma City Banking Center manager, with Republic Bank & Trust.