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Protect Your Finances—While on Vacation

“What?” you’re saying—“Can’t I even relax on vacation?”

Of course you can, and that’s what a few simple precautions will let you do, even if something goes wrong.

Protecting your finances at home while you’re away

If you have a bank account, sign up to be notified via email or text about deductions made to your account. You’ll know what’s going on, and know what your current balance is.

While you’re at it, arrange for your bank and credit card statements to be delivered electronically. Then your banking information won’t be sitting in your mailbox, at a neighbor’s house, or languishing at the post office.

Pay any current bills and any bills you can expect to receive. You can pay online with your bank, with the service provider, or at any PayDayHawaii location. If you don’t have your bill yet, pay in advance what you estimate the bill will be.

Make copies of important documents and stash them in a safe, secure place. Think protection not just from theft, but also from fire or floods. You can hide them in your house in a fire-proof safe, at a relative’s house, or maybe even at work. You could also get a safe deposit box. At the same time, make TWO SETS of copies of any documents and ID you are taking with you—an extra set for your suitcase, and a set to leave at home. If your wallet or travel documents get stolen, you’ll have back-ups.

Tell your reliable and trustworthy neighbors that you will be away. They don’t have to do anything, but they can keep an eye out for suspicious activity—be sure to give them your phone number!

Stop your mail at the post office, and plug-in some inexpensive timers to turn your lights and TV or radio on and off.

On the road

Bring your copied set of IDs and travel documents. Stash them in a somewhat hidden place in your luggage or your car.

Slip some extra cash in your phone—tuck it between the phone and its case. In some phones you can even put it inside the phone, just inside the battery door (make sure it doesn’t overheat the phone, though!).

If you are traveling by car, hide a pay-as-you-go phone, a prepaid calling card, a prepaid debit card, important phone numbers, and some cash in a secure place in the car (hint—NOT the glove compartment). If you are renting a car, don’t forget to remove it when you turn the car in!

Take prepaid debit cards in fixed amounts with you. You can then budget what you want to spend on food, gifts, souvenirs, etc., by assigning a debit card for each activity.

If you are taking your own car, double-check your insurance to make sure you are covered both for where you are traveling and for any activities you might be participating in.

It’s not a long list, and you’ll be able to relax that much more knowing that you’ve done all you can to both travel safely and to make sure you come back to a secure home.

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