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Are you already planning this year's vacation? You can reduce your stress by taking a few precautions before you leave home and by taking a few things with you while you are traveling.
Your check-list before you leave:
- Turn your water heater down to the lowest setting.
- Turn your air conditioner up in summer. You want to reduce your bills, but keeping the house from getting too hot will protect your pets and electronics.
- Leave your shades or drapes as you normally do - it looks like someone's home.
- Plug a cheap radio into a timer so you can have some noise in the house during part of the day.
- Lock all doors and windows, including in the basement and in the garage.
- Unplug electronic items, like your computer, to protect them if you have a storm while you're gone. Remember to unhook your phone line from the modem.
- Disconnect the garage door. Unplug it if you can.
Your checklist while you pack:
- Carry some change. You never know when you'll need to pay to catch the bus or train or make a pay phone call.
- Take along your VISA SmartCash Debit Card. You can enjoy instant currency conversion through any ATM and your card also makes it easier to track expenses. Make sure to contact us if you are traveling somewhere you have never been before. Our Fraud Watch Plus watchdogs will be looking for unusual activity on your SmartCash Debit Card.
- Take contact numbers along. Important phone numbers of people to contact in case of an emergency may include your doctor, dentist, pharmacist, and your credit union. Put them elsewhere in your luggage.
- Duplicate important documents and cards. Make two copies of the entire contents in your wallet. (Black out all credit card numbers.) Leave one copy at home and store the second in a secret place in your suitcase. If your wallet is ever stolen, you'll know exactly what was lost and will have all the information and phone numbers at your fingertips.
- Keep track of all your credit card purchases. It's a good idea to leave all unnecessary credit cards at home. You can verify all of your credit card purchases when your statement arrives.
For additional information, visit www.freetraveltips.com for thousands of helpful free tips and links for travelers dealing with airlines, rental cars, hotels, cruises, restaurants and theme parks.