We've all heard of the scenario: You're traveling and you reach for your passport in your bag... and it's gone. You've lost your only means of identification and all of a sudden, you can't prove that You are You! Imagine the frustration you feel when you lose your ID card or passport abroad - or even worse, your credit or debit cards. All of a sudden, your vacation becomes a naycation - no fun!
Let us shed some light on ways to protect you from identify theft so you can have the vacation of a lifetime with none of the worry!
Reducing the amount of sensitive information on your person helps a great deal, so be sure to remove any items that aren’t absolutely necessary from your wallet. We’re pretty sure that supermarket rewards card have no business being in Europe! Here are a few other tips.
BEFORE YOU TRAVEL
- If you are traveling with any debit/credit cards that are linked to your bank, be sure to notify your bank of your travel dates. Many online banking institutions give you the option to submit a travel notice, so that your card gets flagged if it is being used any place other than where you intended.
- Scan the photo page of your passport (which includes all your information) and any visas. Then email a copy to yourself and to someone you trust (your parents for example). Also, print a copy of your passport to carry with you in your luggage. Should anything happen to your physical passport, or you lose the paper photocopy, you will always be able to access a copy from your email or your parents could easily email a copy to the person requesting it.
- You don’t need a fanny pack, but getting any type of passport holder or travel wallet that you can wear on your body doesn’t hurt to keep those straying hands from pickpockets at bay. There are plenty of slash-proof backpacks if you want to feel like your gear is reinforced. Secret compartments in your backpack are always a plus.
DURING YOUR TRAVELS
- When you’re traveling with Contiki, be sure to keep your hotel list handy and, if possible, have your Tour Manager’s contact information on hand. Should anything happen while you are on your tour, you can notify your Tour Manager, who will assist you with any thing you need in getting your documents in order.
- If you plan on carrying a bag, don’t bring a purse that you carry under one arm. Your straps should go across your body so any potential bag snatchers have a harder time running off with your identity.
- Stay alert in crowded areas such as subway stations, metro trains, or in heavily populated tourist traps. If you’re wandering around with your eye behind your camera and not paying attention to your surroundings, you can easily become a target.
- Should you notice any strange activity happening on your debit/credit cards, call your bank and have them put a hold on any suspicious charges.
There is no need to stress or panic over the fact that you’ll become a target of identity theft. Being more mindful of your surroundings and your belongings can go a long way. For more great tips and information, visit Protect My ID at the Experian homepage.