Travelling during the summer months means that, no matter where you go, you’ll be in a crowd somewhere. Walking around a new city in the midst of other tourists and locals, some of whom may not have the best of intentions, means that you need to be vigilant about how to use your paper and your electronic cash. Here are some tips to keep you and your money safe.
Backups upon backups
Even if you lose your wallet, all is not necessarily lost if you plan ahead of time. Keep copies of your key banking information in a locked part of your suitcase or a password-protected USB, and have your bank’s international phone number on file.
Don’t carry took much cash
Many people, despite common sense, carry a lot of cash on hand. Generally speaking, make sure you only carry what you need for the day, and separate your money and valuables into different pockets or cases.
For example, if you have a laptop or phone with you, carry it in a bag, and leave your cash in an under-clothes pouch or wallet. You can also purchase Radio-frequency identification (RFID) protected wallets now, which can track your valuables if they are lost or stolen. Pacsafe has many options that are highly rated for travel protection.
Use credit and debit whenever you can
You can use your credit card the entire time you are on vacation and pay it on your return. This provides you with extra protection; not only is your credit card protected by a PIN, but it also provides you with buyer protection and liability support if your cards are stolen and used.
Many countries are beginning to use chip-and-PIN debit systems such as those in Canada, and your debit card may offer you the same protections as your credit card. Bringing your debit card (or memorizing your bank numbers) will allow you to do online banking and check your transactions while you are away.
In any case, make sure your card of choice is one with no foreign transaction exchange fees. Check with your bank. Also, bring a back-up card so that you have access to a second source of money if you run into issues with your primary card.
A big part of keeping your money safe when travelling is not giving it away unnecessarily. Do your research before you leave. What are the tipping customs in your destination? Should you haggle over prices? How you can you avoid tourist traps? Don’t assume that you have to pay more to meet expectations; sometimes its actually more polite to follow local rules.
Also, remember that not every day has to be a restaurant day. Grocery stores offer great value on fruit, water, bread, and other daily necessities. Browse for local specialties at a fraction of the tourist price, and get the best deal on breakfast if you plan ahead.