Personal Resource Center

10 Important Tips Before Traveling

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The USPS, FedEx and UPS all offer vacation holds for mail and packages. Filling out a simple form online can help protect you from porch pirates.
  1. Alert credit card companies that you will be traveling. When new charges from a new location appear on your account, it could trigger your credit card company to suspect fraud. And if it does suspect fraud, it may shut down your card — not a fun way to start a trip. Some scenarios that are more likely to make your credit card company suspicious:

    1. International charges (especially if you don't typically travel outside of the U.S.)
    2. Charges on a new credit card that begin when you're far from home
    3. Charges when you're far from home but booked your airline ticket using a different card


    In addition, be aware of the rules your credit card companies may have regarding international charges. Incidentally, Synovus Travel Rewards cards do not charge a foreign transaction fee.

  2. Be sure you have fraud alerts set up on all your credit cards, especially those you're taking with you. That way, you'll get alerted while you're away and can deal with the problem promptly. Just make sure that the alerts are set up to go to an email or phone number that you'll be checking regularly while you're away. Be aware that fraud alerts via text messaging may not come through internationally (depending on you plan), so it is important to have an email on file.

    Be aware that fraud alerts via text messaging may not come through internationally (dependent on plan), so it is important to have an email on file.

  3. Have the post office hold your mail. Mail left in your mailbox is ripe for theft, and an overflowing mailbox is a tipoff to thieves that your home may be empty, too. Plus, stolen mail can enable thieves to steal your identity. The United States Postal Service (USPS) will hold your mail for up to 30 days if you put in a request in advance. You can request that the USPS hold your mail by filling out its online hold mail form.1 If you have any trouble, stop by your local branch to ask for help. (It's still wise to ask a trusted neighbor or pet sitter to make sure your hold mail request has been properly executed.)

  4. If you are expecting any non-USPS packages while you're gone, request vacation holds for those, too. Packages that remain outside are also ripe for theft — and a strong signal to thieves that your house may be vacant. FedEx offers a vacation hold of up to 14 days, and you can complete the holds process online.2 United Parcel Service (UPS) also offers an online hold option for packages.3 (Again, ask a trusted neighbor or pet sitter to collect any packages that may have slipped through the holds system.)

  5. Take other steps to hide that you're not home. Empty homes are an appealing target for thieves. Make sure that your house doesn't look deserted. This includes things like putting a paper newspaper delivery on hold, having someone move your garbage out and back on garbage day, and setting automated light timers. If you have a pet sitter, have them open and close different blinds in the house during each visit to further the illusion that the house is occupied.

  6. Prepare for Wi-Fi safety while you're away. Traveling inevitably means having to use Wi-Fi when you're away from home. But using public Wi-Fi — like at an airport, cafe, or hotel — means you're more at risk of being hacked. To minimize the risk, follow these Wi-Fi safety tips from Norton.4 Tips include installing and using a VPN on any device you plan to use on Wi-Fi when traveling, and not accessing any sensitive information while you're away. As an aside, the Synovus Travel Rewards card offers a NortonLifeLock™ Benefit.

Important disclosure information

This content is general in nature and does not constitute legal, tax, accounting, financial or investment advice. You are encouraged to consult with competent legal, tax, accounting, financial or investment professionals based on your specific circumstances. We do not make any warranties as to accuracy or completeness of this information, do not endorse any third-party companies, products, or services described here, and take no liability for your use of this information.

  1. USPS.com, "Hold Mail Service," accessed February 20, 2024. Back
  2. FedEx, "Free Vacation Hold Request For Packages," accessed February 20, 2024. Back
  3. UPS, "Change Delivery Options," accessed July 9, 2023. Back
  4. Clare Stouffer, "Public Wi-Fi: What are the risks? + how to stay safe," Norton. Published September 15, 2022, accessed February 20, 2024. Back