10 Ways to Protect Yourself and Your Stuff While on Vacation

Community Manager
Community Manager


(UPDATED 11/2020)


Vacation may be a time to relax, but don't let your guard down and lose your wallet. These 10 tips can help protect you from an unexpected loss the next time you travel:


1. Prepare for the unknown. Travel insurance helps protect your trip against forces beyond your control, such as a hurricane or a death in the family. The travel protection program provided for USAA members through Travel Insured International also contains an exclusive special provision to help protect your trip if you're unable to go because of a military deployment.


2. Don't advertise your absence. Announcing your vacation plans on Twitter®or posting beach photos on Facebook®may let thieves know your home is a prime target. Wait until the vacation is over to do your bragging. And be sure your spouse and children do the same.


3. Check your health coverage. An illness or injury could be devastatingly expensive if it happens overseas. If you're heading outside the U.S., review your health insurance to see if you'll be covered if you get sick or have an accident. Many plans won't cover such costs — including Medicare, though some Medicare supplements do. Fill the gap with a travel health insurance policy.


4. Keep an eye on your money. Thanks to mobile apps and account alerts by text and email, you can keep tabs on changes to your bank accounts — a large transaction or a dip in your balance, for example. Set up the alerts before you go.


5. Make the right rental car move. Check with your insurer on your rental car coverage. Typically, if you live in the United States and are renting your car there, your rental will be covered by your personal auto insurance. However, that may not include fees, such as those agencies charge after an accident for not being able to rent the vehicle to another user. Check with your insurance carrier and credit card company to see what coverage they provide. Overseas, you'll generally need to buy protection from the rental car company.


6. Guard your mail. An overflowing mailbox is a sure signal of your absence and gives identity thieves ample material to do mischief. Have the post office or a trusted friend hold your mail.


7. Alert your credit card company. A foreign charge on your credit card may arouse your bank's suspicion, which could prompt it to freeze the account. Let your bank know you're heading overseas. That advice also works for long-distance domestic travel.


8. Write down serial numbers. Record the serial numbers for your camera, laptop or other electronics. This will make it easier to file a claim if they are lost or stolen. For expensive clothes or jewelry, consider making a photographic inventory.


9. Check your coverage. Review your renters or homeowners and Valuable Personal Property insurance to make sure you're covered if loss occurs while traveling, whether from a home break-in or stolen luggage. If not, consider upping your coverage.


10. Cover all your bases. If, like so many Americans, you haven't gotten around to updating your will, appointing a guardian for your children, and securing the appropriate amount of life insurance, use your vacation as the extra nudge to take care of those things.



USAA members receive exclusive pricing when buying travel protection through Travel Insured International. Learn more.


Safety guidelines are not intended to be all inclusive, but are provided for your consideration. Please use your own judgment to determine what safety features/procedures should be used in each unique situation


Alliance services provided through USAA Alliance Services, LLC, which contracts with third parties that are not affiliated with USAA to provide products and services to USAA members and receives compensation on the sale of third party products and services. Third party providers have sole financial responsibility for their products and services.


Insurance benefits are subject to limitations and exclusions, including an exclusion for pre-existing conditions. This page contains highlights of the plans. The plans contain insurance benefits underwritten by the United States Fire Insurance Company. C&F and Crum & Forster are registered trademarks of United States Fire Insurance Company. The Crum & Forster group of companies is rated A (Excellent) by AM Best Company 2018. The plans also contain non-insurance Travel Assistance Services that are provided by an independent organization, and not by United States Fire Insurance Company or Travel Insured International. Coverages may vary and not all coverage is available in all jurisdictions. Individuals looking to obtain additional information regarding the features and pricing of each travel plan component, please contact Travel Insured.


Valuable Personal Property insurance provided by United Services Automobile Association, USAA Casualty Insurance Company, USAA General Indemnity Company, and Garrison Property and Casualty Insurance Company, based in San Antonio, TX; USAA Limited (UK) and USAA S.A. (Europe). Each company has sole financial responsibility for its own products.



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