10 Ways To Prevent Identity Theft While Traveling Abroad

travel-id-theft

Identity theft is one of the fastest growing crimes and thieves are smart enough to use many advanced tactics to steal personal data and money by taking advantage of your carelessness while traveling abroad. As a traveler, you’re usually more focused on having fun, but it’s important that you know the different, unsuspecting ways that you can become a victim and how you can prevent it from happening to you.

 

Here are some simple but very helpful steps to follow on how to avoid becoming an ID theft victim while traveling abroad:

 

  • 1. Keep your personal data updated and secured in a protected cloud service such as Snap Secure.

snap secure

  • 2. Use credit cards and traveler’s checks and try to avoid using debit cards. Keep credit card numbers and traveler’s check numbers in a safe place.
  • 3. Never give out personal information on the phone.
  • 4. Keep track of bank and credit card statements. If you’re not receiving them on a monthly basis or you see charges that shouldn’t be there, contact them immediately and request prompt action.
  • 5. Do not put your wallet in your back pocket. Put your wallet in your front pocket or use a money pouch. If you must use a purse, carry it close to your body, holding the top closed and keep it on the front of your body.

pickpocket

  • 6. Use secure wireless networks. The free Wi-Fi networks at cafes, hotel lobbies, and other public places are notoriously unsecured because they do not have the data-encryption protections that closed networks have.
  • 7. Be smart and protect your phone with a home-screen-locking password. We often store a lot of data on our smartphones: text messages with personal information, emails, photos, and important travel information such as boarding passes and itineraries.

home screen lock

  • 8. Use cash more frequently. When traveling, always keep cash and cards on hand. Use credit cards at airports, major chains, and shops that clearly use secure payment systems. Again, avoid using your debit card if you can.
  • 9. While abroad, don’t use your passport as your primary identification. Lock up your passport in the hotel room safe and use a driver’s license or an international ID for places of admission.

Hotel-Safe

  • 10. Avoid being pickpocketed by being aware of your surroundings. Pickpocketers usually work in teams of 2′s or 3′s. One of them will bump into you or drop something in front of you or make a loud noise or do anything to cause a distraction. Once you have been distracted, the other pickpocketer will steal your valuables and walk away nonchalantly.

 

If somebody does manage to steal your identity, then you need to find out about it in the earliest stages possible so you can take immediate action before things get completely out of control. Keep in mind that there are many more preventive measures, these are just some of the most common and important tips you can apply to successfully prevent identity theft from happening to you.  To completely protect yourself from any ID theft mishaps, identity theft protection is always available.

 

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World Cup 2014 Update

Hey Futbol fans!  Have you enjoyed the World Cup so far?  It’s been an amazing ride to this point and there’s only a few games left.  Here’s a quick recap of the important events during the World Cup and a short preview of the upcoming games.

 

Oh, what had happened?

Landon Donovan

Without America’s most recognizable soccer star Landon Donovan, the naysayers were ready to write off the US.  But Clint Dempsey dazzled the world and my heart in the first round of the tournament, rising like a phoenix from the ashes and resurrecting US hopes and dreams.

clint dempsey phoenix

Luis Suarez of Uruguay sunk his teeth into Giorgio Chiellini of Italy because he mistook him as a calzone.  I can’t blame him, calzones are bomb.com.

luis suarez calzone

It burns like Hot Pockets!

The US team played horridly against Belgium in the round of 16.  Tim Howard had a sensational game with a record-setting 16 saves.  He played his heart like a true champion.

tim howard DOD

Neymar has been spectacular all World Cup and has lived up to the hype.  Unfortunately, he took a painful tiger knee shot to his back from Columbian player Juan Zuniga.  It’s disappointing his World Cup experience has been cut short, but I am sure we will see more from this promising young star in the future.

And then there were 4. 

The World Cup semi-finals begin tomorrow with Brazil playing Germany and then Netherlands playing Argentina on Wednesday.  Brazil has been playing great but with the absence of Neymar, I don’t think they will be able to triumph over Germany.  Argentina will steamroll Netherlands solely due to the fact that Lionel Messi is a beast.  Final Prediction: Argentina will beat Germany in the championship game 2-1 and Messi will be crowned the undeniable King of Futbol.

lionel messi king

Messi has more accolades than I have facial hair.

If you’re in Brazil right now catching all the action in person, pray that you don’t run into Luis Suarez and his fangs of fury.  It’s never too late to purchase travel insurance, which covers injuries abroad like human bites!

 


 

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Last Minute Travel Checklist

Travel Insurance

Traveling is exciting, but it can also be very hectic. There are all kinds of things that you need to remember. Some of them, if you forget them, are not the end of the world. Others, however, can ruin your whole trip! The more prepared you are, the less stressed out you will be on the day of your trip. It helps to be organized, so here’s a last minute travel checklist that you can refer to every time you travel. Here are the most important things you will definitely want to check off.

 

You Don’t Need To See My Identification

travel docs

  • Passport (if traveling overseas) – make sure that your passport isn’t expired. For certain countries, your passport must be valid for six months after the date you travel so verify this before you leave for your trip.
  • Visa – if required.
  • Flight Tickets – if you don’t have a physical ticket, confirm your E-ticket with the airline before you leave.
  • Accommodation Vouchers
  • Transfer Vouchers
  • Travel Insurance – consider whether you want to purchase travel insurance to protect yourself & family from unforeseen events.
  • Phone Numbers for Home
  • Health Documentation(s)
  • Emergency Information
  • Local Currency – if you’re traveling out of the country, be sure to have the local currency on hand.
  • Credit Card(s)
  • Driver’s License – do not leave this at home and make sure it is not expired. Be mindful of the driving laws of the place you plan to visit.
  • Make copies of all documentation keep one copy with you and leave a copy of your passport, credit cards, travel insurance with a friend or family member.

 

Dress Accordingly

fashionable beach bum

Before you pack your suitcase, do your research on the kind of weather you will be getting and pack accordingly. Always remember that the weather can change quickly, so pack for unexpected changes.

 

  • Underwear
  • Socks/Hosiery
  • Belts
  • Casual Day Wear
  • Sleepwear
  • Cold weather gear (jumper, coat, warm hat, gloves, scarf)
  • Warm weather gear (swimsuit, shorts, sandals
  • Comfortable walking shoes (must be worn in)
  • Sun Hat

 

So Fresh and So Clean Clean

travel toiletries

  • Comb and/or brush
  • Toothbrush, toothpaste, floss etc
  • Deodorant
  • Soap
  • Shampoo & conditioner
  • Skin-care lotion
  • Razor & shaving cream
  • Personal hygiene items
  • Make Up
  • Vitamins
  • Bath / beach towel
  • Insect repellent
  • Sunscreen
  • Aspirin
  • Antiseptic wipes
  • Band-Aids
  • Upset stomach / Diarrhea medication
  • Regular medication, plus a letter from your doctor for anything unusual.

 

Okay, Just Get The Bare Essentials

travel essentials

  • Cell Phone
  • Laptop or tablet
  • Luggage (Check any weight restrictions)
  • Back pack
  • Wallet
  • Money belt
  • Ipod/MP3 Player
  • Camera & memory cards
  • Guide book and maps
  • Travel journal & pens
  • Games / playing cards
  • Small padlocks for suitcase
  • Luggage ID tags
  • Travel pillow
  • Zip lock plastic bags
  • Electrical converter / adapter if you have AC appliances
  • Earplugs / eyeshades

 

These are important things to remember when making your last minute travel checklist. Most likely you’ll come up with other things to include, depending on your specific plans.

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5 Ways to Deal with a Flight Delay or Cancellation

flight-delayed

Flight delays and cancellations occur more often than we like, and dealing with such scenarios is a stressful experience for most travelers. It’s much more stressful when unpredicted delays, disruptions, and cancellations occur because of many reasons like a passing thunderstorm, mechanical malfunctions, or a psychopath on the runway.

 

By knowing how to cope with delays and cancellations at the airport, you will be able to keep yourself busy and make the experience less stressful.

 

 

1. Check the Flight Departure Board

The flight departure board gives you a heads up on any possible problems. If you are seeing a number of flights delayed or cancelled that are ahead of yours on the same airline company, be proactive and speak to a representative of the airline to see if they anticipate any problems with your flight. They might be able to tell you that the hubs are very backed up. You can also call the 800 number of the airline. If your flight is delayed, try to find out how long of a delay is expected. This will help you assess how your travel plans will be affected.

2. Utilize Your Mobile Phonesmartphone

Time is of the essence. If your flight is cancelled, get in line as soon as possible for an alternative. While waiting in line, get on the phone and call the airline directly. Usually the airline representative at the call center can rebook you on a flight much faster than having to wait in line to speak to the gate or customer service agents. If you’re dealing with a delayed flight, call anyone who was planning to pick you up at your arrival airport to let them know your flight has been delayed. Also, be sure to load your phone with the airlines toll free phone numbers prior to your scheduled flight.

 

3. Ask What Your Options Are

It pays to have an outline of alternatives before you arrive to the airport. Most times you won’t need to take advantage of the alternatives, but with cancelled flights, the quicker you can act on those alternatives, you will be one step ahead of everybody else. If you do not want to have your flight re-booked, the airline can refund you the cost of your ticket.

trip alternatives

4. Stay Focused

Staying calm and being patient is one of the most important things you can do when there is a delay or cancellation with your flight. You should be mindful that especially in the winter there can be a number of things that can go wrong with flights. Play mind sharpening games in either real life or via mobile app.  Games like Sudoku, Chess, Tetris, and Bejeweled.

sudoku

5. Make Yourself Comfortable

When your flight is delayed, there is often little that you can do but wait. Think of the situation as an opportunity to catch up on some quiet time, remind yourself that getting stressed or panicking won’t change the reality of the situation. Try to take the delay in your stride. Listen to music, read a book, or get something to eat while you wait for your delayed flight.  Most importantly, the airport bar is always a good option to kill time while you knock back a few drinks.

airport bar

Whether it’s a flight delay or cancellation, it’s important to remember that you should be respectful without being concessionary. Be firm without being aggressive.  You always have the option to protect yourself from unplanned flight delay and cancellations with travel insurance protection. Happy travels this summer!

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5 Best American 4th of July Destinations

fireworks 4th of july

Nothing says Independence Day quite like a thundering and colorful pyrotechnics display. If you’re lucky enough to be in any of the best holiday destinations this 4th of July, you’ll have a front row seat to some of the nation’s most dazzling fireworks spectacles. Whether you plan on spending the holiday in the nation’s capital, a sunny beach, or even the Big Apple, you can soak up patriotic spirit while marveling at colorful explosions that light up the night sky. There’s plenty to do for people of all ages, activities such as historic tours, parades, and concerts are all available.

If you are planning to travel for the upcoming holiday and haven’t decided where you want to go, we’ve compiled the 5 best 4th of July destinations for you.

 

1. Las Vegas

If you are partygoer who wants to live it up, Las Vegas is the city to be in. In this city, partygoers can drink all day and night anywhere they please as public consumption of alcohol is legal on the Strip. The partying doesn’t stop in Las Vegas with the multitude of casinos and clubs available. The world’s largest observations wheel recently opened up.  The 550 ft High Roller gives an unrivaled view of the Strip and is stationed at the LINQ, a new outdoor shopping and entertainment district. While in Vegas, be sure to check out the virtual fireworks show on the Viva Vision canopy at the Fremont Street Experience, or even better, witness the real thing — times nine — as nine different Stations Casinos properties display fireworks simultaneously.

las vegas fireworks

2. New York

At some point in their life, every American must make their destined trip to New York. It is home to the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and the widely-watched New Year’s Eve Ball Drop in Times Square.  When traveling to the city for 4th of July, you can see a Mets game and fireworks in the evening. You and the family can enjoy the Macy’s Fireworks Spectacular display over the East River, where it was previously stationed on the Hudson River. New York City delivers one of the biggest 4th of July firework displays in the nation and will be lighting up the Brooklyn Bridge this special evening.  The event will be hosted by the hilarious Nick Cannon and feature entertainers such as Lionel Richer, Ariana Grande, Enrique Iglesias, and Miranda Lambert.

NYC Fireworks

3. New Orleans

Here’s another city where the party keeps going. A reveler seeking a nonstop party must consider New Orleans as a 4th of July destination. Similar to Las Vegas, people can publicly drink while walking on the streets.  More importantly, New Orleans is known for their delicious food and good vibes music in a fun atmosphere. If you and the family would like to visit the Aquarium of the Americans on the riverfront, the Audubon is offering $4 off on any single adult or child ticket. At night, the city celebrates the Fourth of July with a “Dueling Barges” fireworks show on the banks of the Mississippi River as 2 ships fire of a spectacular display of fireworks.

new-orleans-fireworks

4. Chicago

The 4th of July is a great time to plan a summer vacation in Chicago. The city is in full swing from the painful winter and summer is the time to take full advantage of the lakefront beaches. Navy Pier combines fireworks over Lake Michigan with a festival vibe: The waterfront Pier Park includes a musical carousel and—of course—warm, delicious food. Navy Pier also has world famous DJ AfroJack playing on July 5th for an outdoor concert so get your glowsticks ready!

fireworks-chicago

5. Washington DC

There’s perhaps no better place to celebrate the 4th of July than in our nation’s capital. The National Mall, with the U. S. Capitol and Washington Monument in the background, creates a stunning backdrop to the country’s 4th of July celebrations. This all-day event in the nation’s capital kicks off with a parade along Constitution Avenue from NW 7th to 17th Streets. During the day, you can enjoy readings of the Declaration of Independence at the National Archives, dance performances and cooking demonstrations at the Smithsonian Folklife Festival, and an evening concert by the National Symphony Orchestra on the West Lawn. The night ends with a spectacular display of fireworks over the Capitol Building and Washington Monument caps off an unforgettable day in history-rich D.C.

DC 4th of july

The 4th of July is a special day to Americans. This Independence Day promises to offer something for everyone. A visit to any of these top cities will result in a grand time for the whole family. With the high number of travelers expected this holiday summer, you can be proactive and protect yourself with travel insurance or rental car insurance.


 

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