The world is a vast and diverse place, and it would be a shame if you didn't get out every now and then to explore it. Not only do you likely need a vacation from the chaos of everyday, but a change of scenery can do you good and help refresh your outlook on life.
That being said, any traveler knows to prepare for bumps along the way; you might have a missed or cancelled flight, lose your luggage, or find the hotel has lost your reservation.
While most of the problems you encounter on your journey are easily fixed, finding that your wallet or cash has been stolen can leave a traveler in quite the predicament, especially if you're not in your own country.
Even so, the possibility of falling victim to theft shouldn't keep you at home. There is an array of steps and tips you as the traveler can take to ensure you don't find yourself sans money. Before boarding the plane for your next destination, consider these eight ways to keep money safe while traveling.
1. Purchase Clothing with Hidden Pockets
Your pants pockets or purse might seem like a safe enough place for your money, however, thieves have a knack for sneaking into even the most delicate of places and snatching items without you ever knowing.
Instead of relying on the accessible closure of your handbag, you might consider purchasing clothing that specifically has hidden pockets. You can find everything from under garments to shirts, vests, and jackets all with inside and hidden pockets made specially for the purpose of keeping your money close. There's even a scarf with a hidden pocket!
Or, you can buy sew in pockets to add to clothes you already have.
2. Don't Bring Everything With You
It's easy to want to bring along all your money or cards when traveling, just so you're always prepared. Chances are, however, you only need a fraction of what's in your wallet.
To keep your money safe, only take one or two credit cards with you to begin with. Once you've reached your destination, be sure to only take portions of your cash with you at any given time. Leave the rest hidden or locked away for safe keeping, so should you find yourself victim of a theft, you'll still have funds to fall back on.
3. Notify Your Bank
Fortunately in our world today, banks and financial organizations are exceptionally good at monitoring your accounts to ensure no fraudulent activity occurs. That being the case, it's important to notify your bank of any travel plans you have before heading out.
Not only will you keep yourself from getting locked out of your account, but your bank will then be more aware of what activity is actually fraudulent versus what isn't.
4. Use Only Bank-Certified ATMs
Whether you're in the US or another country, you can no doubt find ATMs in random places and on random streets. If you're in need of cash, it's easy to want to find the first one you can in order to withdraw.
Unfortunately, thieves and scammers have a way of inserting bogus card readers and tampering with said ATMs. As soon as you insert your card, they'll acquire all your information. To prevent this type of theft from happening, stick to ATMs located specifically inside of banks and trusted institutions.
5. Utilize the Safe
There's a safe in your hotel room for a reason; it's there for you to use to specifically store anything valuable you don't just want lying out.
Whenever you leave your hotel room take advantage of the safe and put any valuables or spare money inside. While you could no doubt try to hide these items, it's better to be safe than sorry by utilizing the password or lock protected device.
6. Purchase a Money Belt
Just like the special clothing, another valuable item to invest in is a money belt. While basic in construction, it's just a small pouch that wraps around your waist, a money belt is one way to keep your cash literally close.
Kept under your clothing, a money belt makes nearly impossible for someone to pickpocket you. Although it is a little harder to reach when needed, as mentioned, you can spread out your cash to keep a small amount on-hand and easily accessible.
7. Take Photocopies
If you have multiple credit cards and get pickpocketed, it can be difficult to know for sure which ones. Moreover, not having access to any of the information available on your cards make things difficult.
Before your trip take time to make photo copies of all your important documents, credit cards, debit cards, and passport information. Then, should you find yourself in a situation without them, you'll still have access to the cards should you need to make any emergency payments or cancellations.
8. Be Aware
The most important way to keep your money safe when traveling is to simply be aware of your surroundings. Be wary of where you set your purse or wallet, and don't let it leave your side. All too often, in the comforts of our own hometown we forget this, and although that might be fine where you live, it isn't when traveling.
Moreover, be conscientious when walking through large tourist areas, as those tend to be popular pickpocket spots. Another thing to be aware of is how much cash you pull to each time you make a purchase. Try to keep just a few dollars together so you aren't alerting any potential thieves to the fact that you have a larger amount with you.
The Bottom Line
Overall, just because you're in a different city or country, doesn't mean you have to be paranoid about every stranger or that you should be afraid to travel. What it does mean is that you should be aware of your surroundings and take steps to protect yourself from potential theft.
By establishing a few easy practices and using some preventative measures before you leave home, you'll not only keep money safe while traveling, but ensure you a relaxing and worry-free getaway.