Don't Let a Thief Steal your Vacation
6/29/2012 4:58:45 PM

It's true that money makes the world go round, but it's equally true that you can't go round the world without money - so don't take your funds for granted when you are traveling.

These days, sticking twenties in your sock won't cut it anymore. You have to take extra precautions to ensure that you don't end up without access to funds, whether you're vacationing in Boston or Belize.

"I think we can all agree that nothing ruins a vacation quicker than financial trouble,” said Christa Comeaux, Assistant Vice President with Lakeside Bank. "Of course, you can't go on vacation without taking some credit cards, cash or traveler's checks with you, but it pays to do some advance planning to minimize the chance of theft.”

She recommends that travelers avoid leaving town with large amounts of cash. "Instead, plan on using traveler's checks, credit cards or a pre-paid gift card that can be used in place of a major credit card.

"Be very careful not to flash any cash you have,” Comeaux adds. "Pulling a roll of cash from your pocket or wallet can make you an easy target for thieves. Also, don't bring all your credit cards with you. Two credit cards should be your limit. If you stuff all your credit cards in your wallet and then your wallet is stolen, the liability on those cards can add up quickly.”

Comeaux offers these additional theft-prevention tips for travelers:

  • Don't pack any valuables, such as jewelry or money, in checked luggage.
  • Never carry large amounts of cash at one time. If you need to take a significant amount of cash with you on your trip, carry only enough for the day in your pocket or purse.
  • Don't carry cash all in one place. Use various pockets on your clothes.
  • Never carry both credit cards at the same time.
  • Don't let your credit card out of your sight. "This means you may have to actually follow someone to a register, but it's worth it,” Comeaux says. "In fact, this is a good rule to follow in general, even when in your home town.”
  • Make copies of all vital information, including copies of your credit cards and pertinent travel documents. Keep a copy separately from the bag you are carrying with you, and leave an extra copy with someone you trust back at home. "Then if your cards are stolen, you can quickly access the information you need to cancel the card,” says Comeaux.
  • If possible, research popular "pickpocket” techniques of your destination. Certain destinations are sometimes known for particular thievery methods and areas in which this type of crime is more common, particularly among tourists.
  • Always be aware of what's happening around you. Thieves have usually developed a fairly sophisticated system, especially for targeting tourists. "Something as simple as a bump in a crowded marketplace could result in your wallet being pick-pocketed right from under your nose,” Comeaux says.
Posted by: Kristy Armand | Submit comment | Tell a friend

Categories: Finances  |  Vacation

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