Submitted by: Rashida Lilani, CFP®, CMFC®, Lilani Wealth Management

Planning a getaway for some rest and relaxation? Before you can embark, one of the “to do” items on your list should be ensuring that your financial information is safeguarded during your travels. Taking precautions and preparing for the unforeseeable may not seem as important as packing sun block or that bathing suit, but will seem like a brilliant idea in the event something does go awry.

The following is a good basic list of things to do:

  1. Copies, copies, copies: Make copies of your driver’s license, passport, credit cards and carry all relevant contact numbers in the event your wallet is stolen or lost. Leave a set of copies at home with a friend.
  2. Travel light, wallet included: I personally have trouble traveling light; especially when it comes to shoes. How can one not pack enough shoes, right? However, one thing I always make sure to do before I leave on a trip is to empty out everything from my wallet except for my driver’s license, ATM card and a couple of major credit cards.
  3. Use plastic: The zero-liability policy offered by most major credit cards makes it the obvious choice for payments, providing recourse in the event there is fraud or your card is stolen.
  4. Carry cash: As convenient as it is to use plastic, cash is still king. Not all places take credit cards and it’s a good idea to have some cash on you.
  5. Stay alert: Pickpockets love tourist destinations. Remember, they can tell the tourist from the regular folk; your tan and your flip flops will give you away for sure. Clean out your rental car before you return it, making sure no personal information is left behind.

There’s rarely a thing called the “perfect vacation” but you can certainly prepare. So do the best you can and have a wonderful time!