Traveling Abroad? Remember More Than Your Passport and Toothbrush

November 24, 2014

There is no doubt that traveling abroad can be exciting and stressful. Before you leave for your next trip, take care of a few items of business aside from packing your liquids in small containers and selecting choice restaurants to visit. One of the worst things that can happen during your next trip is identity theft or credit card issues. Almost nothing is more embarrassing than getting your card declined after attempting to pay for your hotel room. Plus, trying to get cash from an ATM that is in Turkish is difficult enough. You do not need to worry about your ATM card in addition to language barriers.

The good news is that you can take care of business in about an hour. There are a few things you can do to keep your identity and your sensitive information safe. Also, there are a few things you can do to help keep your bank in the loop.

Tell Your Credit Card Institutions Where You Are Going and When

Go online the day before your departure and keep your bank and credit card institutions in the loop. Identity theft does not stop just because you are out of the country. Fill out a simple form that explains where you will be, what airports you will travel through, and when. The whole process takes about five minutes, and it can be invaluable. If you prefer, you can call financial institutions over the phone to make arrangements.

This can be especially invaluable if you are in a place with poor or no cell phone reception. Your credit card institutions and bank might not be able to contact you in the event of suspected fraud, and you might have a difficult time contacting them while traveling through developing countries.

Take Simple Precautions to Keep Your Cards and Passports Safe

A traditional money belt might not keep your information safe from savvy criminals. Chips embedded in your passport and credit cards give off signals which can be stolen by international criminals in tourist hotspots or immigration lines. First, use a card to scramble signals from the chips that hold your sensitive information. Second, always keep track of your stuff. Do not keep your passport or wallet in an open purse pocket or an open pocket. As a final precaution, make a photocopy of your passport in the event your passport is lost or stolen.

Keep Sensitive Information Safe Without Ruining Your Trip

It is important to remember that you do not want to spend the majority of your time overseas filing police reports. Additionally, it can be very difficult to track identity theft over international borders. Granted, identity theft is truly a global crime. It is better to take a few simple precautions than risk a nightmarish experience while traveling.

You do not have to wrap your cards in an envelope. In fact, envelopes are fairly ineffective in general. Also, you do not have to worry the entire time or make large security investments. A few simple things can give you peace of mind when traveling abroad. Instead of worrying or chancing it, spend about an hour of your time and a few extra dollars to keep your information safe.