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Financially Fit

A Safe Travels Guide


According to AAA, an estimated 35% of Americans plan to take a vacation this year of more than 50 miles away from home. Traveling to new cities and countries is fun and exciting. Whether your up-coming trip is a family vacation, a honeymoon, or a solo adventure, you need to make sure you are doing everything you can to protect yourself and your loved ones. Even we understand that sometimes you have to spend a little more money to remain safe, and that is okay!

It is not fun to think about what could go wrong on a vacation, but it is important to recognize the potential dangers you can face in an unfamiliar place. To make sure you have a great time and only create happy memories of your adventure, keep these travel tips in mind.

Keep important medical information on your phone
Do not let this be confused with sensitive information like social security numbers. You do not want anything on your phone that would allow for someone to easily steal your identity or money if it was robbed or lost.
If you have a medical condition or severe allergies, consider using an app to display this information on your phone’s lock screen. You can use the Health App if you have an iPhone or Medical ID if you have an Android. This is especially helpful if you are traveling alone. You may also want to add emergency contact info to your lock screen such as the name and number of a person you would want someone to contact for you if you were unable to do so yourself.

Have a room reserved for your first day
Some people like to travel spontaneously, pulling into towns with no idea where they will stay. The idea is fun and very adventurous, but what if there is a special event going on and all the hotels are full? Prepare ahead of time and make sure you have somewhere to spend the night when you arrive. And don’t skimp too much – you will probably be tired the first day and not feel at your best, so choose a place that has good security and amenities.

Be willing to spend when you don’t feel safe
What if you did reserve a place to stay and your Airbnb rental or motel turns out to be in a neighborhood that doesn’t make you feel safe? Grab a cab and head to a hotel or motel in a safer area for the night. The next day, look for something in your price range and stay there for the remainder of your stay. Saving a few dollars by lodging in an unsafe area is not worth the risk.
At night, if you have a ways to walk back to your hotel or lodging, don’t brave it if you don’t feel safe. Download apps like Uber or Lyft before you leave for your trip to receive safe and trusted travel back at night for not very much money. Both have high quality safety features to protect you.

Be aware of your surroundings
Always be aware of your surroundings and keep your belongings close to you. If you drink alcohol, drink responsibly. A drunk person is easy to rob or worse. Pick pocketing is a huge issue in major cities in the U.S. and around the world, so keep your eyes out for people trying to scam you. Also, when walking anywhere, especially at night, if you have the option to take a short cut through an area you don’t feel comfortable with or the longer, safer way, always go with the safe way. Don’t risk it for a five minute shorter stroll.

Hide cash in your shoe
If your wallet gets lost or is stolen, having a $50 or $100 in your shoe can be a lifesaver. Without a debit or credit card, you’ll have a difficult time getting food or even getting back to your hotel. The cash will help you get through the night until credit unions are open the following day.

Don’t keep all valuables in one place
Split up your cash, credit cards, and hotel keys so they’re not all in one wallet or purse. Put some in a pocket or money belt. That way, if you are robbed, you can hand over the wallet without losing everything.
Some people choose to have a “throw away” wallet handy. You can keep about $10 in it with some empty gift cards and other non-valuables. Keep your real wallet hidden and secured, but keep this one in a more easily accessible area like your front pocket. If you do get pick pocketed or robbed they will likely take this wallet and will leave with only a few dollars, keeping your more valuable belongings safe.

Act quickly to protect your finances
If something does occur while you are traveling, such as your credit or debit cards are lost or stolen, call CESCU right away with this information. We will be able to deactivate your card for you so no more money is lost. We can also direct you to shared branching locations near your place of travel where you can make fee free deposits, withdrawals, loan payments, cash checks, and transfer funds. All you need is your account number and positive ID.

Don't forget to give us a call before you leave for vacation so we can make a travel note on your card accounts! From all of us at CES, we want to wish you a happy vacation and safe travels!

Copyright 2018 Credit Union National Association Inc. Information subject to change without notice. For use with members of a single credit union. All other rights reserved

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