Guest column: Your summer travel financial itinerary (opinion)
Special to the Tribune
According to AAA, nearly 100 million Americans — 4 in 10 U.S. adults — are planning to take a family vacation in 2019.
Whether you’re going abroad or traveling across California this summer, it’s important to think ahead about how you’ll manage your money on-the-go, and make sure you maximize your rewards along the way, too.
While you’re packing your weekender and grabbing your shades, consider these tips to help keep your finances organized and stress-free as you leave South Lake Tahoe and embark on summer travel this year:
Include financial security on your packing to-do list
When was the last time you updated your phone number? Ensure your contact information is up to date and enable alerts on your mobile device so your bank can reach you if suspicious activity is detected. If your travels take you out of the country, check with your mobile carrier about options to receive SMS texts abroad.
You may also want to consider placing a hold on your mail with the U.S. Postal Service. Leaving bills and other sensitive documents containing identity-related information in your mailbox or elsewhere for a period of time may increase your chances of identity theft.
To stay on top of bills and other financial obligations, schedule automatic payments for while you’re gone.
Maximize your trip with a card that pays you back
As tempting as it might be to let the world know where you’re at, try to save the selfies until you get home, and avoid posting your location or travel agenda on social media. Sharing these details allows potential thieves to track where you are, making it easier for them to time a crime.
And since you’ll be taking those selfies while dining and engaging in fun experiences, consider paying for those memories on a card that pays you back. There is no better time to start preparing for your next trip than while you’re on your current one, so make sure you’re using a credit card that fits with your lifestyle and earns rewards.
For example, our Cash Wise Visa card offers unlimited cash rewards on purchases and rewards won’t expire as long as the account is open.
Back to reality
Because you vacation with intention and potentially spotty Wi-Fi, you likely haven’t been monitoring your account and card activity from your mobile apps as frequently as you normally would. But now that you’re home, it’s important you carefully review your transactions for accuracy.
If you see any unusual activity or unauthorized transactions, alert your bank and card issuer right away to resolve disputes and request replacement cards. After you’ve confirmed all your transactions are accurate, you can then reminisce on the amazing time you just had, and begin planning for the next.
By keeping these tips in mind, it’s easier than ever to keep your finances organized and secure whenever, and wherever your travels take you.
A little thought and planning on the front end can save you time and allow you to focus on what matters — having a great time while on vacation.
Yanus Nelson is the region bank president for Wells Fargo in Lake Tahoe. For more travel tips and tools, please visit http://www.wellsfargo.com/goals-banking-made-easy/travel-tips/.