It’s that time of year again when we all dream of getting away for a break. Now that a negative COVID test is no longer required when flying to the U.S. from abroad (effective June 12, 2022), the sky is the limit! But remember that some countries may still require testing or proof of COVID-19 vaccination, so it’s recommended that you have a picture and physical copy of your vaccine card (leave the original safe at home) and check in advance what your destination requires. We also recommend taking a picture of your passport and driver’s license in case they are misplaced or stolen, and bringing along a physical copy of those documents. Whether you are traveling to an exotic destination or taking a relaxing trip to the beach or the mountains, here are some other helpful reminders on how to keep your information and identity safe and secure while you’ll be away:
Be credit ready. There is nothing more frustrating than trying to use a credit card on a trip, only to have your card declined because the card company has flagged your transaction as unusual and possibly fraudulent because the charge was made from a “strange” location. While not all card companies require advance notification (American Express does not), it is a good idea to check ahead of time, and, if recommended, let them know you’ll be on the move.
Live in a digital world. Think about the last time you went to the bank to get physical money. The ascendancy of paperless transaction is a permanent shift in how business is conducted. More and more, chip cards, digital wallets and credit cards, and peer-to-peer payment tools, such as Venmo, Zelle, and bank-sponsored apps, are the norm. In addition, it is still a good idea to have a physical credit or debit card handy for ATM access and other locations such as restaurants, where digital payment may not be possible. And if possible, have more than one card type accessible, as some places may accept only Visa or MasterCard, while others may take only Amex.
Do before you go. Pre-vacation time can be hectic. You are trying to pack, finish up work projects, and trying to tie up loose ends. Everyday activities such as paying your bills can slip through the cracks, but make sure these are on your “to-do” list. This includes making sure your legal documents and insurance are up-to-date and that you have the right travel insurance coverage you need. Depending on where you travel, you may want to supplement your health, personal, or travel coverage.
Keep someone you trust in the loop. You may dream of going “off the grid” where no can find you or bother you. While that sounds great in theory, it’s a good idea to let someone you trust know where you are in case of emergency. Give them your itinerary and contact information. If you really are going to be inaccessible during your journey for a prolonged period of time, you may need to give your trusted contact official authority to make certain decisions on your behalf.
Stay cyber safe.
We cannot stress enough the importance of staying alert as you travel. Don’t let your excitement at finally finding a strong Wi-Fi connection tempt you into using public, nonsecure networks for activities that require personal or confidential information. Wait until you have access to a secure network or use your own personal device as a hot spot. For some tips on how to keep your devices and information safe and secure, an article from Rick Steves
provides some tried and true advice.
We encourage you to reach out to us as a resource to help you prepare for travel and other major events. For questions or information, please contact us at 212.492.7000. As always, we are ready to serve you, whatever your needs may be.