Holiday Travel Tips

As you map out your holiday shopping and travel plans, it’s important to be financially prepared. Whether you’re heading home for the holidays or planning a wintertime getaway, you need a travel plan that keeps you and your personal information safe. From tracking your travel spending to canceling stolen credit or debit cards, Origin Bank is here to answer your burning questions about holiday travel so you can ring in the season without worries.

So buckle up and let us guide you through the ins and outs of card safety, ensuring that even if your cards go MIA, your winter wonderland vacation dreams stay alive. Bon voyage!


Holiday Travel Q&A

Q: How can I track my spending while traveling?

A: Before you leave town, sign up for online banking so you can stay informed no matter where you are, as long as you have an internet connection. User-friendly mobile banking apps put you in the driver's seat, allowing you to effortlessly monitor every penny you spend on your holiday adventures. Keep a close eye on your transactions, set budget alerts, and even categorize your expenses to stay on top of your finances while exploring.


Q: I’m traveling abroad. Do I need to notify my bank?

A: You should always inform your bank when you’re heading out of town, especially when you’re leaving the country. Origin Bank can place debit alerts on your accounts to inform you of any account activity via text or email. This helps you keep an eye out for suspicious activity. Origin Bank also provides SecurLOCK fraud protection services via text message to all mobile phone numbers listed on your account. And for extra security, consider setting up electronic statements to make sure that paper statements aren’t sitting in your mailbox while you’re away.


Q: Can I still use my credit and debit cards while traveling out of the country?

A: As long as you inform your bank or credit card company about your travel plans, cashless spending should be a breeze. However, if you neglect to inform them of your plans, transactions may be blocked, especially for large amounts.


Q: Is it safe to use ATMs while abroad?

A: Yes, you just have to be smart about it. To reduce the risk of fraud or theft, use a bank ATM rather than a standalone or independent ATM. Standalone ATMs not only have higher fees – they also sometimes have cameras and skimming devices to obtain your card info and pin number without your knowledge. Bank ATMs, on the other hand, are monitored more closely, reducing the risk of your personal information falling into the wrong hands.


Q: How much cash should I travel with?

A: It depends on your destination and the duration of your stay. However, a general rule of thumb is $50 to $100 in cash per day, per traveler. But if your destination is especially card-friendly, you may only need a couple of hundred dollars for an emergency fund. Whatever the case, do some research ahead of time to estimate daily expenses, and try to use cards for larger purchases and convenience.


Q: Should I bring all of my credit cards and ID’s on vacation?

A: No. It’s best to limit the number of credit cards and personal documents on your person and only bring the cards and identification you actually need. You should, for example, always take your driver’s license and at least one credit/debit card, but you can leave your social security card at home.


Q: I lost my card while on vacation. What should I do?

A: First and foremost, contact your financial institution and place a fraud alert on the missing card. They'll help you protect your account and prevent unauthorized charges. Then, ask them to freeze your card temporarily, so nobody can use it until the situation is resolved. Next, check your credit card statements regularly for any suspicious activity. If you notice anything fishy, let your credit card company know immediately. Finally, request a new card from your credit card company. They'll guide you through the process of getting a new one.

As your holiday adventures come to a close, remember to keep an eye on your statements for a month or two after you return. Some scammers will wait a few weeks to use a stolen card, hoping to pass by undetected. So if you notice a charge you don’t recognize, call your bank immediately to dispute it. But wherever your travels take you, you can rest assured that Origin Bank is here to help. 

Whether you lose your card, need help creating a travel budget, or have a question about international travel finances, contact Origin's Trusted Advisors today or visit our online security center to learn more.