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10 financial safety tips for travelers

Although the pandemic has changed how we travel, one thing that hasn't changed is the need to keep your accounts secure and have a financial back-up plan to help ensure smooth sailing while you're out of town. Before you board a plane or herd your family into the minivan, read these 10 financial safety tips.

Before you go:

  1. Let your bank know your plans. Informing your bank or credit card company about when and where you are traveling can help them monitor your accounts for unusual activity. At Wells Fargo, you can create a travel plan online or by calling the number on the back of your card. A travel plan will limit the chance of your card being blocked when you make purchases. If you are traveling internationally, note the international phone numbers for your bank and credit card providers and store them separately from your cards.
  2. Photocopy or snap a picture of important items. These include your passport, driver's license, and the front and back of the debit and credit cards you will be bringing. This step can be helpful in case your passport or wallet is lost or stolen. Store these copies separately from the originals and locked in your hotel safe or upload to a secure, password-protected online storage service. 
  3. Update your mobile number. Ensure your contact information is up to date so your bank can reach you in case they detect suspicious activity. If your travels take you out of the country, check with your mobile carrier about options to receive SMS texts abroad.
  4. Set up alerts . Alerts can help you track your account activity while traveling. Get notified when anyone uses your debit or credit card, so you can contact us quickly if something doesn't look right. You can choose to receive alerts by push, text, or email, as available.
  5. Hold your mail. Bills and other sensitive documents containing identity-related information may increase your chances of identity theft if thieves get their hands on them. Set up automatic bill payments while you’re gone and request a mail hold with the U.S. Postal Service.

While you're traveling:

  1. Have multiple payment options. Keep an alternate form of payment in a different bag in case your wallet is lost or stolen. If you’re a Wells Fargo customer, you can also add your eligible debit and credit cards to a digital wallet so you can pay with your phone where digital payments are accepted, in stores, online, and in apps.
  2. Use secure Wi-Fi networks. Don’t access your financial accounts through public Wi-Fi networks, such as coffee shops or airports. Keep in mind your information and financial accounts may be at risk if you use an unsecure network.
  3. Save the selfies until you get home. Avoid posting your location or agenda on social media. Sharing these details allows potential thieves to keep track of where you are, making it easier for them to time a crime. Hold off on posting your vacation photos until you return home.
  4. Limit your use of Bluetooth. Turn your Bluetooth off when not in use. Cyber criminals can pair their device with your Bluetooth and steal your information without you knowing.
  5. Report your lost card. If your debit or credit card is lost or stolen while traveling, report it to your bank right away. Wells Fargo customers can report a lost or stolen card and request a replacement online. Eligible replacement cards can be added to your digital wallet for use right away using the Wells Fargo Mobile® app.

Following these tips can help ensure a relaxing vacation. If you need to contact your bank while traveling, help is just a phone call away – just dial the number on the back of your card or your bank’s website.

Review other travel tips and tools for managing your finances before, during and after your holiday.