We’re living in a world where danger can lurk anywhere, even places where formerly were deemed most safe. In this digital age where information travels at the speed of the Internet, one of the biggest concerns is protecting yourself against identity theft. Once a thief gets a hold of your identity they can do a lot of damage that can take years to repair. We can’t take anything for granted yet at the same time we don’t want to be ultra suspicious as this can make your vacations just stressful, counteracting the purpose of our trip. Here are some tips to help you protect yourself and at the same time relax on your vacation:

  1. Use a separate account and debit card where you put only the money you plan to use that day or week. Make sure that the debit card can only access that account.
  2. Use prepaid credit cards for major purchases. Leave your regular credit card in a secure location. Most hotels provide a safe to guests.
  3. Make a photo copy of your passport and keep the original passport in a secure location like the hotel safe.
  4. Keep only cash in your wallet that you plan to use that day or evening out. Again, leave the rest in a secure location.
  5. Be cautious when local strangers begin conversations with you out of the blue. Sometimes this is a tactic to distract you while another steals your wallet, purse, backpack or whatever.
  6. Be always aware of people around. You don’t need to stare at everyone but give a good look and notice the people around. If you eye a potential thief, he will prefer to target someone else that is not aware he’s around.
  7. If you must be around crowds, make sure your wallet or purse is secure on your person.
  8. Do not post information about upcoming trips on your Facebook page, blog or any other place online where thieves can target you and learn your itinerary.
  9. Call your credit card company and let them know where and when you’re travelling.
  10. If you use the Internet on your trip, do not log in anywhere where your password and personal info can be exposed, and especially do not use a credit card to make an online purchase.
  11. Don’t take it for granted that all hotel staff is honest. Do not leave your documents, money, laptop, etc., in your hotel room out in the open where it can be located easily when you go out. You do not want a disgruntled hotel employee to be able to walk in and walk out easily with your most important belongings. Again, use the hotel safe as much as possible.

These tips will go a long way to help you have a fun and relaxing vacation and avoid unpleasant surprises when you return home. Most are common sense but it is amazing how we tend to let our guard down when we stay at beautiful locations. So print this list or visit this page from your hotel just to be sure you check that you follow these very important tips and avoid becoming a victim of identity theft.