Your vacation awaits and with it comes the excitement of exploring new places and spending money on a wonderful experience. But should you pack cash or card? Your credit and debit cards are the best option, many personal finance experts say, because they feature built-in protections if your cards are lost or stolen.
Follow these tips to protect your money so you can enjoy your vacation with no worries.
- Contact your card issuer and tell them when and where you’ll be traveling. Doing so keeps credit and debit cards from being shut down for potential fraud concern if they are used in unexpected locations.
- Debit card: Call the number on the back of your card or your local branch during normal business hours to set up a travel notification.
- Credit card: Call the number on the back of your card 24/7 to inform them of upcoming travel.
- Keep track of the toll-free numbers on the back of your cards so you can report lost or stolen cards immediately.
- Make copies of your cards and leave them with a trusted friend or family member in case you need access to the card numbers.
- Consider carrying more than one credit card to have a spare if one is lost, stolen or rejected, because not all merchants take all credit card types.
- Don’t carry all your cards in the same place because you’ll risk losing them all at once. Keep the extras in the safe at your hotel room or, at least, in a separate pocket.
- Use your debit card at ATMs when getting cash. Use ATMs you trust, such as those at financial institutions.
- To help protect yourself from pickpockets or purse snatchers in crowded, unfamiliar areas, keep your wallet in a zip-up pocket or pouch, and keep your purse zipped or latched while carrying it close to your body.
Few things derail a fun vacation more than money troubles. So be vigilant, keep your money safe and have a wonderful trip!