It is finally here. The kids are out from school, the beach is beckoning and the temperatures are rising. Here are some of our tips to keeping your credit cards safe this summer when you are traveling.
- Take only the cards you need. Leave the local department store and loyalty cards at home in a safe and secure place.
- Have your spouse take different credit cards than you bring. Then, if your wallet is lost or stolen, you can cancel the cards and not be stranded without a way to pay for the fun things you wanted to do.
- Know where your credit cards are. When we are at the beach or pool we sometimes leave valuables in the hotel room or at our chair and that can be risky – just make a mental note on where you have them so you don’t panic thinking they were stolen but instead they are stored in the hotel safe! Just charge your poolside food and beverages to the room and have one consolidated bill at the end of your trip.
- Tell your card company that you are traveling out of the country or will be making large purchases. This will avoid the awkward moment when a card is declined and avoid delays from enjoying the vacation while you call your bank card!
- Traveling abroad? Remember that this isn’t America…my kids think this is hilarious. When we were in Ireland, no one accepted American Express. Go figure. The international travel card wasn’t accepted there. In fact, some of the smaller pubs only accepted cash – and by cash I mean the Euro. Plan ahead, know what cards are accepted and be sure to exchange in advance to save on fees. Then, spend as much as you can there to avoid the conversion fees once you return home. (Besides, the Euro may not be accepted in Greece for much longer.)
- Set a budget. Don’t be shocked by your statement when you get home. Souvenirs are temping as you get off the amusement park ride, leave the museum or zoo. Think back on prior trips – have you ever used the Davey Crockett look-alike pen that cost $9.95 or worn the “I rode the wave” t-shirt that didn’t even feel all soft and comfortable with it’s 50-50 poly cotton blend? Save that money and enjoy a nice leisurely dinner back home and remember how nice it is to eat out!
Have a safe trip and have fun. You deserve a holiday. We will be here for you when you get back!!
~ Mary Ann