Traveling Without Worry

Tips to secure my stuff when away.

It is the eve of your departure -- you've been dreaming of for months, the day before you depart that vacation. However, before you embark on your journey, there are a few important steps for you to take.

And there is one other matter. "Be sure you have sufficient available credit on your charge cards," said Tammy Levent, CEO at Elite Travel Management Group.

  1. Alert your credit card company. - To make sure your credit card works while you are traveling, your credit card company should understand your travel plans. If you've waited this long though, you might need to call rather than submitting an online form.

  2. Contact your cell phone company. - Traveling abroad? Call your service provider to assist you install the least expensive plan for making calls, sending text messages, and accessing Web from the smartphone. Many cell phone companies -- including AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile -- offer cheap day moves to U.S. customers for International talk, text, and information programs.

  3. Your house security system operator. - "If you're leaving fourteen days or more, it's a good idea to inform your regional police department you're going to be gone," Levent explained. "Should you ask, they could do extra runs by your house."

  4. Confirm all reservations. - Double-check all your bookings: your flight, hotel, car rental, restaurants, attractions, and some other experiences or services you've planned. You do not need any surprises at a check-in counter. In case you have access to your printer, then it's not advisable to print out confirmations. If you don't, write down confirmation numbers (and customer service telephone numbers) and keep the paper readily accessible in your wallet or carry-on.

  5. Make progress payments on bills that have due dates throughout your trip. - Don't want to get hit with late fees? Make certain all credit cards, home expenses (e.g., rent, utilities), along with other monthly invoices will be paid on time.

  6. Check the weather. - This can look to be an obvious one, but many travelers forget to take action," said Levent. When you're going to be returning, check the forecast for your destination and your hometown, and pack.

  7. Eat, throw out, or give away any perishable food. - The last thing you need is to return home to a stinky fridge. Additionally, run the dishwasher, then take out the trash, and wash the sink to make certain that there's no food at the drain that could rot or attract bugs as you're away.

  8. Leave an itinerary with a friend or family member. - Your emergency contact needs to have a duplicate of your travel programs, Levent advises.

  9. Clean out your pocketbook. - Sift through your wallet and remove any things you don't want on your trip. Leave loyalty cards, gift cards, additional charge cards, and any other unnecessary contents in your home.

  10. Place a hold. - If you are going away for more than a couple days, this is an intelligent move, Levent states. As an alternative, you can arrange for a neighbor to collect your email until you get home.

  11. Bring in outside furniture. - Don't leave any outside wares (e.g., patio seats, cushions, pool equipment) unguarded, particularly lightweight items which are easy for thieves to steal.

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