Travels with Bob

Protect Yourself & Your Identity When Traveling

If you are like me, you probably leave half of your brain at home when you travel for a vacation by focusing solely on sightseeing, fun and relaxation. Yet, leisure travel is no time to let your guard down when it comes to your personal safety and protecting your identity.

Rome’s world-famous Trevi Fountain is a must-see site for tourists and pick pockets alike. Enjoy but be careful.

Be especially cautious in airports, tourist areas and cities unfamiliar to you. Most thieves are not so much interested in hurting you as they are in stealing your money or, in today’s wired world, your more lucrative identity.

Here are a few tips to keep your identity safe when you travel:

  • Limit the number of personal documents, including credit cards, that you take with you, especially if they do not serve a purpose on your trip. I also suggest copying both sides of the credit cards you do take and store this information in your luggage and away from your purse or wallet.
  • Avoid public Wi-Fi in foreign countries where shared networks are more likely to hackers and identity thieves than on secure networks. Better yet, getting off the grid entirely will only enhance your vacation.
  • If you must post photos and other vacation details to social media, wait until you are home to do so. Posting during your trip may alert thieves to the fact that your home is probably an easy target.
  • Leave valuables at home, especially if you have no practical use for them during your trip. Costume jewelry works just as well as fine jewelry when you travel.
  • Protect your mobile phone and other electronic devices with a unique password and activate “find device” functionality that may help you find a lost phone or tablet.
  • Travel with empty hip pockets. Always carry your cash and credit cards in your front pockets and stash emergency cash in a different location.
  • When traveling abroad, safeguard your passport like your life depends upon it . . . it just might!
  • Always budget for travel insurance when planning your trip because “stuff happens” at the most inconvenient times when you travel. And when it does, you will save more than the cost of the insurance. Without such protection, you are on your own.

Following these simple precautions will help assure a worry-free vacation, while protecting both you and your identity.