Traveling abroad is always a memorable experience; however, not all those memories are always as happy and cheerful as we’d like. If you ever found yourself in a foreign location without your money or identification, you know that a lot can go wrong if you don’t leave home fully prepared. To help protect you and your money, we’ve come up with a few ideas to keep your stuff safe while on the road.
Be Inconspicuous: When you’re away from home, try to keep your personal belongings as out of sight as possible. Don’t leave your wallet bulging in your back pocket or your purse hanging behind you. Consider a money clip that you can attach to a belt or interior pocket, and if you carry a purse, keep it in front of you and in view at all times. Not to mention, try not to flash too much cash in public areas; the less you show, the less of a target you’ll become.
Limit Your On-Hand Funds: Depending on where you go, you may find it easier to carry cash or to rely on your credit cards. Either way, limit the amount you carry on you at all times. If you plan to carry cash, try to keep it in smaller bills. For those times you need a credit card, keep a maximum of two on you (one credit and one debit), and leave the rest at home. This way, if anything were to get lost or stolen, you’ll have less mess to clean up when you get home.
Keep a Safe or Leave Valuables at Home: Many hotels offer safes in their rooms, or can loan you one from the front desk if you have valuables you’d like to keep locked up when you’re out exploring. The safest bet, however, is to keep things you don’t absolutely need with you (and don’t plan on carrying on your person) at home.
Carry a Dummy Wallet: While it may seem paranoid, protecting yourself for all worst-case scenarios is never a bad thing. If you were to come into a situation where someone was trying to steal your belongings, having a fake wallet is a great way to protect your stuff and send criminals away. Consider keeping expired credit cards, used gift cards and maybe a couple dollars in it so it seems believable. It’s unlikely you’d need it, but if the situation were ever to arise, you’ll be very glad you thought ahead.
Before you leave town, be sure to contact your financial institution and let them know where you’ll be headed and for how long. This will help protect your funds while you’re away because they can recognize whether any suspicious activity has taken place. For more info on preparing your finances for international travel, check out our website.
What do you do to keep your money and identity safe when traveling? Let us know in the comments below!
Want more tips on keeping your money safe? Check out this article: Pocket Protection: 5 Things to Avoid Keeping in Your Wallet