By Jim Donovan

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Are you heading out of town on a trip sometime this summer? Chances are you’ve already made your reservations, are thinking about what to pack, and are looking forward to some rest and relaxation. But have you given any thought to your spending money?

Nothing can spoil a vacation quicker than losing your wallet or falling victim to a thief.

So 3 On Your Side Consumer Reporter Jim Donovan has some advice to protect your cash and credit cards while you’re traveling.

Jim Donovan reports…

No matter whether it’s a golf trip, spa vacation or you’re taking a chance with lady luck in Las Vegas. When it comes to spending on your vacation, Adam Levin of says, “You have much greater protections with a credit card than a debit card. With a credit card, it’s their money, with a debit card, it’s your money.”

Levin suggests that travelers lighten up their wallets and always have a back-up plan.

He says, “Take one credit card, one debit card and put it the hotel safe. Take the other ones and use them while you are out and about. The reason why you want to keep a back up set is that in the event that you lose them or they are stolen, while you are waiting for the bank and the credit card company to replace those cards, you’ll be able to operate immediately.”

If you plan on traveling overseas or expect to be out of the country, Levin says, “You should do everything from notifying your bank or credit card that you are going overseas, how long you’re going to be gone, so that they won’t panic if they see a transaction occurring several thousand miles away. But at the same time, they will be alert to the fact that if you say you’re going to be in England and transactions start popping up in France or Germany, they will be on the look out for that, they will be able to help you.

By the way, if you plan on using a pre-paid debit card, which I don’t recommend, at least make sure the PIN works before you end up in a distant location and find out that there is a problem, and you have no other means of paying for things.

For a step-by-step checklist of what you should do if your wallet is stolen, while on vacation or any other time for that matter, visit this link:

Reported By Jim Donovan, CBS 3

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