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Gearing up for Travel – Safety Check by Susan Dawson

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Travel is opening for lots of the world, and the RFG team is no exception.  Mike and I recently completed a Rhine River Cruise we’d planned for March of 2020.  This trip exceeded all our expectations.

Here are a few suggestions we implemented to keep our information safer while traveling the world.

Banks/Credit Cards/Cash/Accounts

  • You must notify your bank and credit card companies of the dates and countries you will visit. Some card companies only require you to log into your account and search for the Travel Notice feature (Citibank’s term) to record this information.  Your bank may do the same or call them to put this protection in place.  They can notify you if charges are made outside your intended travel agenda.

 

  • Cash: To exchange or not to exchange, that is the question.  We’ve read lots of information regarding using the country’s currency during your visit.  Most of our cruise ports were located where the Euro is standard, so this was pretty easy.  But no matter where you travel, having some small bills for tips to tour guides, taxis, and bellhops is preferable.  The use of credit cards is acceptable in most places.  Most cities will have ATMs where you can withdraw cash in the local currency or options to exchange in a hotel or bank.  Check the current exchange rate to know what you should be receiving.

 

No traveler’s checks!

I know this used to be the standard for international travel, but now debit and credit cards are the way to move around the country.  Use your plastic.  Debit cards with a Visa or Mastercard logo are the most accepted by ATMs for cash.  You also may want to bring a 3rd card (1-debit, 1-credit plus one more) in case there’s a glitch along the way.

 

  • Public WIFI is not secure. Use your laptop or phone if you log in to your RFG Connect Portal  Here.  Make sure you have the two-factor authentication set up before you leave home.  To set this up, log in to your RFG Connect Portal and select this option for two-factor authentication.

 

  • Contact your institution immediately if you suspect fraud on your cards or bank account. If you suspect fraud or any unauthorized transactions on your Schwab accounts, contact RFG Wealth immediately at 940-464-4104.  You can also contact Schwab Alliance directly at 800-515-2157.

RFID/Securing your Information

Some travel experts say that RFID protection isn’t necessary unless you carry credit or bank cards with the touch pay option.  My cards have a magnetic strip and chip but aren’t touch pay enabled.  However, I chose to act like they were during our recent travels.  Besides, it allowed me to buy a new purse!

Travel Professional Rick Steves and several other travel bloggers still recommend protecting your cards and passport using RFID sleeves or cases.  Below are several purses I considered before making my final purchase which I adore.  This bag served several purposes.  The anti-slash, crossbody strap, RFID protection, highly efficient card slots, and pink inside lining (easy to see) were all very useful.  In addition, the fold-over design gave me the option to expand the bag for purchases or keep it small when the space wasn’t needed.  It also has a handy outside pocket for my phone!  Perfect!

Purse Options:

Travelon Anti-Theft RFID-Blocking Cross-Body Bag $45

Baggallini RFID Journey Crossbody $31.86

Pacsafe Citysafe Cx Anti-Theft Convertible Crossbody $89.95  *** My choice and I love it!  I particularly like the anti-theft locking zipper options

Hubby’s Backpack Options:

My hubby opted for an over one shoulder sling pack to carry his phone, an umbrella, or occasional snack or purchase.  See several options below.

Peak Gear Crossbody Day Bag $19.97

Leather Crossbody Bag for Men $34.95

Pacsafe Vibe 150 Anti-Theft Crossbody Pack, Lockable Zippers $79.95

None of the above are the one we purchased when we planned this trip in 2020.  However, all these are highly rated on Amazon.  It just depends on what you want to carry and the material you find comfortable.  CAUTION:  We were warned in Germany and the Netherlands many times to be cautious of pickpockets.  Men, don’t carry your wallet in your back pocket.  You’re just inviting trouble.

There are all kinds of RFID sleeves for your debit/credit cards, passports, etc.

RFID Card Covers $9.95

Choose whatever is suitable for you and your comfort.  We spent most days on city tours, in crowded squares, using public transportation, and walking in high traffic areas.  I wanted my hands free to hold on to safety bars in buses and stairways.  This brings up another MUST!

Hand Sanitizer

I recommend Bath and BodyWorks spray.  It’s readily available in the US at local retail locations, or you can order online.  Their sprays or pocket-sized gels (pocketbacs) will fit in anything you can carry.  They also have pocketbac holders that can be attached to the outside of your backpack or purse for quick access.

You can search and order them here.  If you’re not familiar with the scents, I personally love the Ocean or Eucalyptus Mint fragrances since they are lighter and not sweet.  They also have hand sanitizer wipe packs that fit nicely into a carry-on bag for a quick wipe of the airplane drink tray!

Bath and Body Works Hand Sanitizers

We can’t wait to hear about your next adventure, whether you stay local or travel the world!  Forward us your favorite picture, and we may feature it in an upcoming RFG Newsletter.

Chris, Susan, and Team RFG

 

Sources:

SchwabSafe Travel Tips

Rick Steves Travel Bags

Amazon

 

 

**The links contained in this article are not affiliate links.  RFG Wealth does not have an affiliate relationship with Amazon, Bath and Body Works or any other retailer.  We do not receive any money if you purchase one of these items.  This is merely for information purposes ONLY!


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