It would be a true nightmare for something to happen to your money when you are traveling. Without the right funds, you will have to cut your trip short, or – worse still – you might have trouble getting home at all. This is why it is so important to protect your money when you are traveling and take all the precautions possible to ensure that it (and you) are completely safe for the duration of your trip. It may sound like a difficult task, but with some planning and care, it can easily be achieved. Here are some of the ways to do it.
A Good Bank
Before you start your travels, it’s wise to find a good bank to help you keep your money safe. International travel banks provide specific measures that make them ideal for moving your money to for the duration of your trip. When searching for the right bank, take into account:
- Fees for using an ATM abroad
- What would happen in a financial emergency
- How you can wire money
- What the foreign transaction fees are
- Whether they offer a credit card for travelers
- Which countries they operate in
Putting all of this information together should make it easier to find the ideal bank to use when you are traveling. Move your spending money to the bank you have chosen, and know you can access it when needs be.
Don’t Use Cash
Although it isn’t going to be possible everywhere, you go, and in every situation, if you can use as little cash as possible, and instead use a credit card specifically obtained for your travels, it will be a lot safer. Having a lot of cash on your person is a temptation to pickpockets and thieves, and you could find that you are a target for violence and theft if you are not careful. By only having a small amount of cash and using credit for everything else, you are much safer; if someone steals your credit card, transactions can quickly be stopped, and a new card obtained. The important thing to remember is that the card should be paid off in full once you return home, otherwise your trip will cost you a lot more than you budgeted for.
Alternatively, if you prefer to use cash or can’t apply for a credit card then only take the cash you need for the day out with you when you leave your hotel room. Again, this is much safer. Hire a safe for the room for the rest of the money to ensure that it stays protected.
Use Small Bills
Another useful tip when traveling with money is to use small bills where possible. When you exchange your cash, ask for smaller bills, or get them changed up at your bank as soon as you can. Pulling out large notes to pay for items is a sure signal to those looking to steal money that you have a reasonable amount of it on your person. Smaller notes won’t give that impression, plus it is easier to tip people and buy smaller items when large notes don’t have to be broken up to do it.
The Dummy Wallet
Most people will never be in a situation where they are being mugged on the street, but it can happen, and if you are in a strange place and potentially vulnerable, it’s good to have a backup plan in case this should happen, and this could be the dummy wallet.
Pre-prepare a dummy wallet with a few small bills, tickets, old cards and so on. If you are going to be mugged, this is the wallet that you can hand over to the mugger. They will grab it and run, and your real wallet will be kept safe. It’s not a pleasant thing to think about, but it does happen, so it’s best to be prepared.
Be Wary When Using ATMs
When you are at an ATM withdrawing money, you need to be extra vigilant of what is going on around you. If you are traveling with other people, they can stand guard and keep an eye out for anything suspicious when you are withdrawing your cash. If you’re alone, make sure that you only ever use ATMs that are in busy, well-lit areas or, even better, the machines that are found inside your bank – there is far less chance of being mugged this way.
Once you have withdrawn the money, hide it away as soon as you can, keeping your activities secret. You won’t want anything to see where you are keeping your cash.