- Consider your money. Leave checkbooks at home in a locked safe. Use cash, traveler’s checks, or credit cards for purchases. Leave any debit cards or credit cards that you will not be using at home as well, and take no more than two credit cards with you.
- Trim down your wallet and purse. Don’t keep anything in your purse or wallet that is not absolutely necessary. Leave all cards with your Social Security number on them at home in a locked safe.
- Put mail on hold. Put your mail on “postal hold,” stating that for a period of time you wish to have your mail held at the post office. We prefer that term rather than “vacation hold” so that postal clerks will not know that you will be gone. Learn more at holdmail.usps.com/holdmail
- Make your home look lived in. Arrange for friends or family you trust to pick-up newspapers, mail, and advertisement flyers to avoid drawing attention to your home. This will reduce the risk of break-ins, which may result in the loss of valuables, including your identity. Nothing says “we’re out of town” more than a pile of newspapers! Don’t forget to stop delivery until you return. Also, stop any other automatic deliveries, such as bottled water.
- Neighbors, relatives, and house sitters. If you have someone that is going to check the house and has a key to your house, then lock up any documents with account numbers or Social Security numbers.
- Register in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program: Visit step.state.gov/step to enroll in STEP, which provides comprehensive traveler information, including travel alerts and restrictions; information on visas or vaccinations; crime, stability, and road conditions; laws of the country you’re visiting; and consular contact information.
- Scan important travel documents and store them in a secure online repository. In the event that your information is lost or stolen, using an online repository allows you to easily access copies of your passport, drivers license, visa, and any other vital identification from anywhere in the world. Remember to do this for every person traveling with you, including children.
- Make copies of your itinerary, passport data page, visas, and driver’s license to leave with designated emergency contact.
- Notify a neighbor to watch your house. Let them know you are not moving.
Ready to go? Wonderful! Don’t forget to check out list of safety precautions to take while you’re on your trip.