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Last-Minute Travel Protection

Planning to squeeze in another vacation before the school year gets busy?  Make your trip even more enjoyable and stress-free by planning for great fun, good finances, and potential fraud.
By MSA Staff

Planning to squeeze in another vacation before the school year gets busy?  Make your trip even more enjoyable and stress-free by planning for great fun, good finances, and potential fraud.  Here’s a quick checklist of precautionary steps you can take to ensure a good time:

Review Your Budget

Did you know that the average person spends well over $1,000 on summer travels?¹  Hopefully, your vacation planning included saving up for the costs.  Whether you budgeted or not, think about how much you plan to spend on your adventures.  Ask yourself, how much money is in my bank account?  How much money can I spend on this vacation and still have enough to pay regular monthly expenses?  An assessment of where you stand financially will help you refrain from overspending while you’re relaxing on the beach and thinking about ordering more room service.

Prep Your Credit Cards

If you will be traveling a great distance, notify your financial institutions.  That way, when you make a purchase halfway around the world, your bank won’t flag it as fraud and freeze your account.  This is also a good time to see if they offer any travel insurance/protection for your credit cards.  Also, ask your bank if they have a specific contact number for customers to call in the event of an emergency.  Why?  Almost 32 million people were victims of credit card breaches in the last couple years.²  Don’t let a compromised credit card ruin your vacation.

Keep Your Vacation Under Wraps

It’s hard to maintain your excitement for a big getaway, but sharing too much information could lead to theft.  Do not post details of your trip on social media before you leave or while you are gone.  By posting information, you could be providing fraudsters the details of when you’re not at home, which is their opportunity to steal anything you leave behind.  Tip: wait until after your vacation to share your pictures and stories.

Plan for the Bills

Another tip-off for fraudsters is a pile of mail or an empty house.  Aside from helping themselves to the valuables in your home, fraudsters will also steal your mail in hopes of finding bank statements or bills with sensitive, personal information they can use to access your accounts, or they may find a check they can “wash” to make payable to themselves.  Have a trusted friend pick up the mail, turn on some lights and check the home for anything out of the ordinary.  You can also put a hold on your mail at the post office until you return.

Also, consider any bills that will arrive while you’re gone.  You don’t want to come back from your holiday to find out you missed a payment and incurred late fees.  Consider making bill payments automatic so you don’t have to worry.

Talk with Your Money Coach

Your Money Coach wants to make sure you have a great time.  They can help you create a spending plan and give you suggestions for your vacation budget that you might not have considered.  Your Money Coach can also tell you about how to get identity theft protection services that include high-risk transaction monitoring and an alert system that notifies you of suspicious activity.

Prepare for the best vacation ever.  Call your Money Coach at 888-724-2326 today.

¹“Summer Travel Soars; Many Americans to Spend More.”  New York: American Express, 4 Jun. 2013.  Web.  14 Jul. 2016.

²Holmes, Tamara E.  “Credit Card Fraud and ID Theft Statistics.”  NASDAQ, 16 Sep. 2015.  Web.  13 Jul. 2016.

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