Make one stupid mistake, and you could spend your entire holiday in a police station in Paris listening to police officers mocking your best attempt at French.
But you’re smarter than that. You take precautions. You have free Anti-Theft for Mobile on your phone and you know exactly what NOT to do. And while we can’t control volcano dust or weather, there is a lot you can control.
So act now and don’t let silly mistakes ruin your summer vacation or summer holiday or summer getaway—whatever you call it.
1. Alert your credit card company that you will be making a trip cross-country or abroad
It’s a good thing that your credit card company carefully monitors your account activity for fraud. Unfortunately, this can also work against you. If you forget to alert your credit card company that you’ll be traveling far and wide, they can put a hold on your card. This can be a disaster if you’re trying to catch a train or a show. And it’s also avoidable. So make that call now.
2. Create a back-up list of your credit card companies’ contact information
Any PC user knows that backup is important, but it’s especially important for travelers to have access to their credit card providers wherever you are in the world. Just in case you get separated from your plastic, make a list of the contact numbers of your card issuers and pack it somewhere outside your wallet. You may also want to give that list to someone back home who you trust, or email it to yourself (including no identifying account information, of course).
3. Don’t rely completely on credit cards
Before you leave home, invest in some currency for the country you’ll be visiting. Being completely reliant on your credit cards could put you in a stressful, precarious position. You may end up saving money on service fees. And if you don’t use it, it makes a neat souvenir for any young person you missed.
4. Keep your itinerary to your friends and family
The new fad of informing people exactly where you are at all times presents some unique safety and privacy concerns. To make this point, PleaseRobMe.com briefly informed crooks exactly which social network users were not at home. It’s a bit paranoid to assume that you’re being stalked by someone via Facebook or Twitter, but it is possible. So why make it easy for the bad guys? Don’t post your itinerary on social networks and save your pictures for when you’re home. If you really need to share with your friends and family immediately, revert to old-fashioned technology—like email.
5. Be extra careful on public PCs
You know this, but let me remind you: please log out of every public computer when you’re done (for that matter, why not log out of every computer you use when you’re done). And NEVER let a site remember your information on a public PC. Avoid doing anything that involves sensitive data like credit card account numbers. But as this article points out, even encryption won’t help you if there is a keylogger on the PC. And you never can know what sorts off evil spyware is lurking on a foreign computer. That’s why you should always think security whenever you use a public PC.
To your stress-free summer,
CC image: epSos.de
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