Your Wallet on Vacation
Travel

Your Wallet on Vacation

EPF Last Update: September 1, 2018

There are two types of people: those who pack their things two days before going on vacation and those who do it two hours before leaving their home.

However, all of us have things that we always carry in our suitcases and wallets. Here is a list of things that you should and shouldn’t carry in your wallet when going on vacation.

A list of all travel essentials

When you are packing your stuff for the trip, it is very helpful to list all of it on a piece of paper. But make sure to carry it with you because you will need to pack the same stuff before you fly back home.

We all know what travel essentials are:

  • a passport
  • a trusted traveler card
  • a driver’s license
  • an emergency contact card
  • a credit and a debit card
  • some cash, etc.

Maybe you have additional things that you would put on this list. These can be things like medicines or other things you cannot live without.

You can type the list in your phone, but if you are old-school, you can write down all things on a small piece of paper and put it in your wallet. That’s how you will always know where to look for it.

One debit card, one credit card and one backup

It is very important to separate your cards as you won’t be using them for the same purposes. In case you are stopping by an ATM, make sure to carry your debit card in your wallet and put your credit card somewhere else.

Also, it is wise to pack a backup credit card issued by a different company. Make sure to hold it separated from your primary credit card. In addition, there are some people who carry two credit and two debit cards if a few ATMs fail to recognize their primary cards.

But it is essential never to stow the information associated with these cards in your wallet. Always remember your PIN passwords and keep other details in a digital wallet protected by a password. Never make copies of your cards because a physical copy of a card is one more thing to take care about.

Just enough cash for one day

If you want to make fewer withdrawals of larger amounts, you should open a travel account with an institution where ATM fees are waived or refunded. But it is not very smart to carry around large amounts of cash.

Even if you use credit cards in a majority of cases, you should carry some cash at all times if anything unexpected happens. You may enter a store or restaurant that does not accept credit cards or you can get a better deal for cash.

For this reason, always have enough cash for one day. Also, put some coins and small bills in your pocket for convenience. The majority of your cash should be safe ‒ in a money belt or under-clothing security pouch.

Other documents

There are many more documents that you may need on your vacation. Here are the most important ones:

  • your driver’s license

Even if you don’t plan on driving a car in a foreign country, your driver’s license can come in handy. You can use it as a means of identification instead of your passport or to confirm your identity in case you lose your passport.

  • your emergency medical insurance

If you have an insurance client card, carry it with you. In case something bad happens, most insurance providers will require you to provide this information before seeking treatment.

  • an emergency contact card

You can create your emergency contact card very easily. It can be the size of a credit card, just big enough to contain emergency contact numbers. This list can include contact numbers of your loved ones, financial institutions, consular services and your emergency medical insurance administrator. Make sure to create a few copies, get them laminated and have one of them in your wallet.

Business cards

What if you meet a person on your vacation who could help you in your future career? Wouldn’t it be great if you had your business card to share your contact information with them? Yes, you are on vacation, but who knows when you can run into someone who could change your life.

Make sure to always carry a few business cards in your wallet. Not only will this help you create new business relationships but it can also help people identify and contact you in case your wallet is lost. You can also use your business card as a baggage tag if it contains enough information.

But it is not only your own business cards that you should have in your wallet. What if you get lost in a city you know nothing about? Because of this, you need to carry the business card or some contact information of your hotel or host so that you can show it to a taxi driver or local who can give you instructions on how to find your accommodation.

What not to carry

Besides the things that you must carry with you, there is also a list of things you should leave at your home or at your friend’s place.

  • a Social Security card

Identity theft has been a burning issue over the past few years. Your Social Security number can be easily used by hackers to steal your identity, rob you of your money and destroy your credit score.

  • a spare key to your home

If you keep both an I.D. with your address on it and a spare key to your home in your wallet, how long do you think someone would need to realize how easily they can break into your home?

  • a list of your passwords

Never carry your credit card PIN with you because if your wallet gets lost, the thief will be able to use your card for any purchase they want.

  • blank checks

Fill out your checks in advance to prevent anyone from stealing money from you.

 

This was a list of things you must carry in your wallet and those that you shouldn’t carry with you. Have you ever regretted having or not having carried something important on vacation?

Elite Personal Finance

August 16, 2018

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