There’s hardly anything that people love more than traveling. Seeing the world, learning new things and experiencing one-of-a kind moments, travel creates memories that last a lifetime.
Travel is important to people, it’s what everyone does to get a break from everyday life. Even after work, most people go home and have household and family duties that take up most of their extra time.
However, with traveling, people are forced to take a break and relax. It’s easy to see why everyone loves to travel and hand out our hard-earned money to enjoy a few days or weeks of luxury and relaxation. Travel companies and destinations make some big bucks. In 2017 alone, the U.S Travel Association reports that Americans spent $1,036 billion on traveling.
The Biggest Mistake Travelers Make Happens Before They Go On Vacation
As hard-working Americans, we value traveling almost more than anything because we all need a break from time to time. However, one of the only things that hard working travelers value more than traveling itself is identity. A person’s identity is who they are, and sometimes people share their identity too much. When traveling, most people share with the world where they are going and what they are doing. It’s called bragging, and we all do it.
For example, most travelers share their travel plans on Facebook before they go on their trip. This is one way that their identity can be stolen as people can break into their home or mailbox to try and score some freebies and personal information.
It’s important when one travels to keep themselves and their identity safe. If you are planning to travel soon, taking the proper steps to ensure that you have a safe travel experience should be on the top of your to-do list.
To help you out, here are some ways you can protect yourself when traveling.
5 Preventative Measures to Avoid Theft While Traveling (+Bonus Tips):
1. Don’t Share Your Travel Plans
One of the biggest mistakes a traveler can do is share with everyone that they are going on vacation. Sharing with very close loved ones is fine, but anyone outside of a very tight inner circle should be off limit. There are exceptions to this rule as perhaps your boss need to know that you will be out of town, or your nanny.
An even more important tip is to never let people know on your social media accounts where you’re going or that you even taken a vacation. Especially you travel bloggers and Instagram stars that have thousands of followers.
Think about it this way, even the average person has hundreds of friends on Facebook, and if you’re a social media star you’ll have even more on LinkedIn, Instagram and perhaps Twitter. Those social media outlets are just to name a few.
Not only are you putting yourself for risk of theft and/or danger if you always share your destination and location, yourare also kind-of bragging when you post at each time or spot. Save your vacation photos to after your vacation and limit your posts to a max of one post per social media outlet.
2. Stop Your Mail Delivery or Have Someone Pick Up Your Mail Daily
There are a ton of personal items that come in the mail. If you simply leaving your mail in your mailbox while you are gone, not only will your mailman (or woman) get mad at you and possibly stop your mail, but you may have your mail stolen. While this may not seem like a big deal, it is as you can receive very private information in the mail.
Here Are A Few Examples:
- Credit card statements
- Offers for a new credit cards with your name on them
- Letters from the IRS or other tax documents
- Personal mail that shares the return addresses of your loved ones.
I’m sure there are dozens of things that can be added to this list. If you travel, please stop your mail when you go somewhere (or have a trusted adult that knows that you’re leaving on vacation pick up the mail for you,every day if possible).
This tip may seem over the top, but it’s better to be safe than sorry. If someone notices that your grass is getting too long, or your cars haven’t moved all the driveway, they might just check the mailbox to see if they can get any free goodies.
Mail Tip: Keep in mind that USPS only holds your mail for 30 days at a time, so if you need more time you will need to have someone pick up your mail or your mail can be forwarded it to you for a fee.
3. If Your Hotel Has A Safe, Use It
Use the hotel safe, Use the hotel safe, Use the hotel safe. It only takes a few extra seconds to pick a passcode and lock your items in your hotel safe!
Think about this; you could lose your card, which sometimes has your hotel room number on it. If the wrong person gets ahold of your keycard they could cause some serious trouble.
Honestly, you never know we will somehow be able to get into your room. Additionally, I hate to say this, but you also don’t know what hotel staff is going through your room when you’re gone. I’m sure it doesn’t happen often, but I have heard stories of hotel staff stealing from hotel rooms. You can’t really trust anyone that you don’t know.
4. Keep Your Private Stuff on You At All Times
We’ve all heard the horror stories about people losing something important while they’re on vacation. Whether it be a passport, their drivers license, credit cards, their money, etc., losing any important item while on vacation is not only upsetting but it also can be dangerous. You can be left in limbo if you don’t have your passport, or your identity can be stolen.
If you think about it, most people carry a lot of private and personal items when traveling. To be smart, keep your personal items on you or in your hotel safe at all times to avoid possible theft. Make sure that dangerous people are given no opportunity to steal and deceive you.
Travel Tip: If your passport does get stolen, contact the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate. They can help you get a replacement passport.
5. Be Careful While Using Hotel WiFi
Hotel Wifi is public Wifi. Hotel Wifi gives the illusion of security, making you think it safe to use because you most hotels make you enter a password to join their Wi-Fi. However, this illusion is shattered as recent reports are now showing that hackers and scammers are now hacking hotel Wifi successfully.
When using hotel Wifi, don’t login to anything personal where it’s easy for hackers to steal your information.
Three Quick “Extra” Bonus Travel Tips
While these tips aren’t as important as the ones above, they can still assist you on keeping your identity safe while traveling.
Bonus Travel Safety Tips:
1.Carry A Spare Wallet
If a thief tries to steal your wallet, you can give them your “spare” wallet, which has very little money in it or perhaps even a fake credit card. Additionally, you can just your spare wallet with you and leave your main one that has all of your cards, money and all of your personal information in your hotel safe. Bring only what you absolutely need in your spare wallet if you choose to leave your other one at the hotel.
2. Install A Camera At Home
If you are paranoid about a possible house break in while you are gone, install cameras throughout your house. Cameras inside and outside of your house are a good idea if you are away from your house often, even if it’s just for a 9-5 job.
3. Looking Up An Unknown Phone Number While On Vacation
Let’s say you get a call from an unknown number when you are on vacation. You probably want to see who called you to check if it is a scam, or if it is important. Doing a free reverse phone lookup with National Cellular Directory can give you the answer when you are asking “How can I find out who is calling me for free?” Their reverse phone lookup can tell you person information about the owner of the phone number that is calling you, such as their full name.
Use These Tips For Your Safe Travels
Use the above tips to travel safely in any season. You can’t protect yourself 100% from identity theft, but taking extra precautions can help your chances go way down.
It’s always important to make sure that you keep your personal items either somewhere safe or on you at all times. Make sure that while you are away, someone is in charge of everything that needs to be taken care of at your physical residency.
As I’m sure you don’t like to worry on vacation, knowing that everything is safe and looked after while you are away allows you to fully relax.
If you know of anyone who likes to travel and/or would benefit from this post, please share with them! Sharing is caring!