If you’re planning on traveling for your vacation this summer, don’t let the excitement of going new places cloud your judgment. With most large hotel chains having vulnerable computer systems, and in light of several hotel system hacks recently, your personal and financial data could be at risk wherever you may travel. Pickpockets that often target crowded tourist areas are an added risk to your finances on vacation, so always make sure to plan wisely and take all the necessary precautions when traveling.
Below, six members of Forbes Finance Council give their insights into some of the most effective ways to keep your money safe and not be an easy target during your vacation.
These six Forbes Finance Council members explain how they keep money safe during their travels.
Don’t carry a lot of cash. Use your credit rather than your debit card. If your wallet gets stolen, debit cards offer less protection, and dealing with fraudulent charges is less of a hassle on your credit card. However, if you need to withdraw cash, use your debit card; credit cards have high fees. Only use reputable ATMs at large banks, where they maintain and surveil their ATMs much more closely. – Stacy Francis, Francis Financial, Inc.
We tell our clients to divide their credit cards and cash into separate pouches or hiding places. For example, you can carry a money pouch under your clothing, with one credit card and a small amount of cash. Keep a separate credit card and ID hidden in a locking suitcase at your hotel. If a theft occurs, you are not stranded without access to any funds. – Danielle Kunkle, Boomer Benefits
A major source of money theft comes from where you’d least expect it: the ATM. It’s common for thieves to attach skimmers to these devices that will steal your card info, especially in areas where they know they can take advantage of tourists. While abroad, I’d avoid ATMs whenever possible, and if you must use one, find one that’s attached to a bank branch, so it’s highly monitored and guarded. – Elle Kaplan, LexION Capital
We are entering an age of the cashless society. The improvement is you need less cash on hand — and thus avoid attracting robbery — and most cards have built-in protection against fraud. But security is not perfect even in a digital world, so one of the most important things you can do on the road and when you return is to promptly review your statements to ensure there are not any unaccounted charges. – Jeremy Almond, PayStand
Whenever I travel, I follow a simple rule: no cash, no debit. Admittedly it’s a bit tricky in some places without cash, but I find that a majority of the time traveling with one or two credit cards (preferably those with generous reward points) can get me around. – Mahati Mukkamala, Klaviyo
To protect yourself against savvy thieves, be vigilant about watching your purse or wallet, particularly when passing a tourist gathering spot. Exchange enough money at the airport to get you to your hotel with some to spare. Keep a few dollars for tips and small purchases in easily accessible areas. Use credit cards when you can, and bring two in case one is stolen. – Ibrahim AlHusseini, The Husseini Group