8 Things You Can Do to Keep Your Money Secure During Travel

8 Things You Can Do to Keep Your Money Secure During Travel

06/08/2022 | Safety & Security


Travel rewards the wanderlust in us all, but to make the most of your journey and avoid undesirable surprises, it’s important to know how to handle your finances before and during a travel adventure.

Of course, mishaps happen, but you can help prevent careless errors or theft by doing just a bit of legwork before you hit the road. Follow these smart money tips to help make your travel experience as smooth as possible.

Before You Depart

  1. Scan or keep a spare copy of your important documents

It may seem like an extra step, but scanning copies of your passport, identification and credit card information, then saving them in a secure online storage platform, can save you a massive headache in the event of a theft or loss. If your documents are lost or stolen, having that information readily available and accessible (though password-protected!) can be critical in getting new copies made.

  2. Give your bank a heads-up that you’ll be traveling

Call your local bank and all the credit card companies you use to alert them where you will be traveling and the dates you’ll be gone. Even if you’re traveling domestically and are a state or two away from your own, banks and credit card companies may flag any transactions outside of your usual visits as suspicious. Sometimes, credit card or account freezes due to suspicious activity can take a few hours — or even days, if there’s a time difference — to correct, which can put a real damper on special dinners and outings at your destination.

  3. Make sure your bills will get paid while you’re away

This may seem obvious but making sure that all your bills are either scheduled for auto payment or paid ahead of time gives you one less thing to worry about on your vacation. Imagine how much less relaxing lounging on the beach or camping with the kids will be if you’re interrupted by a phone call from the cable company — or worse, hit with a late fee.

  4. Research local spending customs and resources

If you’re traveling abroad, it’s wise to do a little digging on local norms regarding taxi payments, regional rideshare apps, whether or not tipping your server is expected, and other day-to-day transactions and exchanges. While there are worse things than over-tipping or paying a few dollars more for a taxi than what is typical, a little preparation beforehand can help you avoid getting swindled (or simply overpaying) in ways you wouldn’t expect.

  5. Consider how much cash you’ll need

Have a plan for your cash, no matter what. It’s always a smart idea to have a little local currency on hand, especially if you’re somewhere where English is not the primary language. Whether you decide that it’s worth paying the exchange rates to get foreign currency in advance or prefer to just find an ATM at the moment you arrive, think ahead.

Although exchange rates can be a bother, it can be worth swallowing that extra cost in order to have at least some cash upon arrival. It doesn’t need to be your only plan for spending, but it’s smart to carry some cash because you never know when it might get you out of an awkward, lost-in-translation situation.

Once You've Arrived

  6. Break up the bulk of your money

Savvy travelers avoid keeping all of their cash, credit cards and checks in one place, like a wallet or purse. If that one item somehow goes missing, you’re going to be in trouble. The better choice is to keep some in your wallet, some in your bag and some locked in a hotel safe. Better yet, if you’re traveling with a companion, split it up between two people so that one person isn’t left vulnerable.

  7. Find an ATM

Everyone wants to avoid foreign transaction fees. These vary between individual banks and credit card companies, so it’s imperative that you research your specific bank’s policies, networks and locations before you actually need to use an ATM. Other times, you might not be able to avoid exchange rate fees, but the ATM is still likely the best option compared to airport kiosks or stores.

  8. Keep an eye on your accounts as you go

Although you can prepare and protect against theft, you can’t always control your susceptibility. And, unfortunately, you don’t always know right away when something shady has taken place. One of the best measures you can take is to make sure you have downloaded the Bank with United Mobile App and check it daily. It will only take a few seconds to monitor your transactions and skim for any fraud, and it gives you a better chance to catch the incident before it goes on too long. If you suspect fraud, you should contact your bank immediately.

In addition to allowing you to easily check on your transaction history and account balance, the app offers a wide variety of features that make banking convenient and easy — even when you travel. Features include:

  • View account balances and transaction history
  • Transfer funds between your accounts
  • Make bill payments and change/cancel scheduled payments
  • Deposit checks with Mobile Deposit
  • Manage your debit card by freezing or un-freezing as needed



Download the Bank With United App Today So You’ll Have a Reliable Financial Travel Companion



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