How to keep your personal documents secure while traveling
Traveling is a great way to immerse yourself in new experiences, see the world, try new foods, meet new people, and just generally unwind from your day-to-day life.
But preparing for an upcoming trip is about more than just deciding which shoes to pack.
With many of our customers planning upcoming vacations and trips for the spring and summer of 2019, Cornerstone Bank sees this as the perfect time to go over a few ways to help keep your personal documents safe and secure while traveling.
Keep the following tips in mind if you or your family plan on going out of town, especially out of the country, this year.
Use safes whenever possible
Generally, it’s advised to keep your most important documents and larger bills in a safe or secure locker.
Typically, hotels will provide these in a closet or underneath a bed. Sometimes, though, if you are in a shared space such as a hostel, this may be in the form of a locker.
Beware of any lockers that are secured electronically, as you never know who else may have been granted access to this space.
In this case, to keep all your personal documents secure while traveling, you may consider bringing your own locks to secure this space.
Check the website of the place you plan on staying in advance, or give the front desk a ring before your visit, to see which accommodations, if any, will be provided.
Bring your own locks
Even if your hotel has a safe, it may still be advisable to bring your own locks along on your journey.
This is especially helpful if you plan on carrying a bag of any kind.
Some foreign countries are notorious for pick pocketing, especially in big cities and areas surrounding tourist attractions.
Having the extra security of a lock on the main compartments of your bag will help deter any wandering eyes from targeting you or your belongings.
Try not to keep all of your important documents, money, and/or credit/debit cards in the same place while traveling.
Use cash in small bills, and divide them between the various pockets on your person, preferably keeping any larger bills or lump sums back at your hotel for emergencies only.
That way, if you are a target of pick pocketing or other scam or robbery, there will be far less risk that all of these important things will be taken together.
Because it’s easy to get distracted when you’re on vacation, this method will also be helpful should you simply lose your bag or leave something behind in a public place, such as a bus or train.
Consider RFID protection
With advanced technology comes advanced methods of abusing that technology.
The popularity of RFID (“chip” cards) is on the rise; however, RFID readers are relatively easy to come by and make it even easy for someone to subtly and quickly take your personal information without ever even taking it.
All it takes is walking past a person in close proximity to scrape the information from their card with a special RFID reader.
Luckily, this technology is still relatively rare in usage, and there are lots of various products on the market that cloak these contactless signals from reaching the wrong people.
To err on the side of caution, you may be interested in purchasing a wallet or bag with RFID Protection.
Leave copies at home
Scan and copy the front and back of your passport, driver’s license, and other personal documents you plan on bringing with you.
Bring one set of these paper copies with you and keep them in a separate, secure place; leave another set with someone at home whom you trust to keep this information safe while you’re gone.
In the event that one of your documents is lost or stolen, having a copy of this information will help you more efficiently restore your access.
For safety reasons, it’s also advisable to leave a copy of your itinerary with this same person.
This can include dates, flight times, layovers, and hotel contact information.
Should an emergency arise, they’ll know exactly where you are in your journey and can notify the appropriate authorities on your behalf.
Overall, you’ll be surprised by the peace of mind you experience when you have a trusted, designated point of contact back home while you’re away.
Simply being aware of your surroundings, along with keeping diligent track of your belongings, is one of the best ways to keep all of your personal documents secure while traveling.
Pickpockets and other criminals target the most distracted, unaware tourists around.
In general, you will be much less of a target if you simply seem awake and aware of everything around you.
Cornerstone Bank is here to help.
What questions do you have about your upcoming trip? Contact Cornerstone Bank today and we’d be happy to help you keep your documents secure.