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Prevent Theft, Save Money While Traveling: Things NOT to Carry in Your Wallet (Second in a two-part series)

travel, wallet, contents conducted an investigation on how to prevent theft and save money while traveling. They found what you put in your wallet – and what you leave out – can make a big difference in whether or not you become a victim or a smart traveler.

Editor Casey Bond’s last installment talked about Important Things to Keep in Your Wallet While Traveling. In this installment, Casey talks about what you should leave out of your wallet to be safe and save money.

While it might make sense to have certain things with you while you’re away from home, carrying unnecessary items in your wallet could put you at serious risk for trouble. Here’s what to leave at home:

When organizing the contents of your wallet before traveling, ask yourself if there’s anything inside you would regret having included if the wallet was stolen or misplaced. Saving money starts with practicing safety, which includes protecting your finances from unnecessary fees and excessive risk for fraud.


Checkbooks full of checks

Leave your checkbooks at home when traveling.

These days, there’s no reason to carry around a checkbook, especially while you’re traveling. An identity theft time bomb waiting to happen, your stack of checks offer an array of personal information, like your name, address, bank account and routing numbers, that would be an identity thief’s dream to have.

Social Security Card

Regardless of whether or not you’re traveling, you should never carry your Social Security card on your person — not even a copy. Keep this in a secure place like a safe deposit box or home safe (the same rules apply to your birth certificate).


While you obviously can’t travel out of the country without a passport, it’s dangerous to carry it around when not absolutely necessary. Keep it in your hotel safe (don’t leave it out in the open and susceptible to theft) and carry a photocopy of the page with your photo instead.

Cash underneath passports

Nothing may be more valuable to thieves than your passport — protect it!

PIN Numbers and Passwords

Especially for those with multiple accounts, it can be tough to remember several account passwords and PIN numbers. However, including this information in your wallet right along with your cards is just asking for identity theft. If you really can’t memorize your most important PINs and passwords, keep them encrypted on your smartphone instead of plainly written in your wallet — but do so at your own risk. —- Casey Bond, editor

Go Banking Rates is a national website dedicated to connecting readers with the best interest rates on financial services nationwide, as well as informative personal finance content, news and tools.

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Bobbie Hasselbring

RFT founder and the website's former editor-in-chief, Bobbie Hasselbring has been a travel junkie her entire life. She's been an award-winning writer and editor for more than 25 years and author of the regional food-travel bestsellers, The Chocolate Lover’s Guide to the Pacific Northwest and The Chocolate Lover’s Guide Cookbook.

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