How to Secure your Finances during Holiday Travel

Traveling for the holidays? No matter how far away you roam, follow these eight tips for a safer holiday trip. 

Looking forward to a getaway this holiday season? You’re not alone. According to a survey conducted by Orbitz.com, nearly 70 percent of consumers plan to travel for the holidays this year. Between packing your bags and planning the perfect route, don’t forget to address one of the most important items on your checklist: security.

“When you’re eager for a holiday trip, whether it’s a vacation or a family visit, don’t let your excitement overshadow the amount of planning that needs to occur before you leave,” says Jamey Boone, a fraud prevention manager at PNC Bank. “It is really important to have a proactive plan to ensure you’re not victimized by fraud while away from home.”

Boone provides a few tips to help keep yourself safe during your holiday travel so you don’t miss out on the fun.

  1. Notify bank/credit card issuers of your travel plans - Financial institutions are continuously on alert for irregularities in your purchase history to detect and deter fraud. If your provider thinks you may be a victim of fraud, your card could be deactivated.
  2. Set up alerts[1] - Keep your email and mobile contact information up to date and sign up for alerts. Your bank can quickly contact you if they suspect a problem. Better yet, you can opt into alerts and keep tabs on your activity.
  3. Pack an extra card - Travel with a backup credit card – or in your phone with Apple Pay™[2], Android Pay™[3] and Samsung Pay™[4] – while on vacation. In the event that your primary card is lost, stolen or destroyed, this secondary card will allow you to continue making purchases and enjoy the rest of your trip.
  4. Make everyone think you’re home - Be sure to make your home look occupied by using light timers and have a neighbor pick up your mail. Delay social media posts about your travels until you return home.
  5. Beware of public Wi-Fi – Save payment transactions, online banking or any other activities involving your IDs and passwords for a secure Wi-Fi location. If you can’t avoid open Wi-Fi, ensure you’re connecting to sites via HTTPS.
  6. Protect your phone - Secure your mobile devices with a pin/password, and be sure to setup and use remote find, lock and erase functions like “Find my iPhone” or “Android Device Manager.”
  7. Be aware of your surroundings - Do not leave packages or valuables in your car while out. Don’t carry large amounts of cash. Be aware that pickpockets target crowded shopping and transit areas. Use well lit ATMs in open areas.
  8. Beware of scams - When shopping for gifts on Craigslist, or responding to marketing emails, be wary of offers which are “too good to be true.”

These tips should help provide you with the information needed to make smart decisions and be more secure this holiday season. For further information on security and fraud protection, visit the PNC Security Assurance page to learn more.  

image of travel safety tips

Jamey Boone
Jamey Boone says it’s important  to think about security before you travel

When you’re eager for a holiday trip, whether it’s a vacation or a family visit, don’t let your excitement overshadow the amount of planning that needs to occur before you leave