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Ways to Keep Your Money Safe When Traveling Overseas

It’s probably your worst nightmare – traveling overseas and realizing that you don’t have access to your cash; whether it be that the ATM ate your card, or you’ve been targeted as the victim of theft. So it’s therefore crucial that you’re aware of your surroundings when traveling overseas so that your money is safe throughout your trip. It doesn’t matter if you spent years saving for your dream vacation or look out an online loan with Cali Loan Company – no-one wants their money to go missing, especially when it can be spent on enjoying your time abroad.

The following are precautions and steps that you can take in order to keep your money safe. Pickpockets are always targeting tourists, so don’t be careless, otherwise they could swipe your wallet or purse from right underneath your nose.

Hide Your Wallet or Purse

Photo CC Laura Mason

When you’re at home, you’re probably used to carrying your wallet in the back pocket of your pants. Though pick-pockets specifically target tourists, and this is the easiest grab. So hide your wallet or purse, and absolutely under all circumstances, avoid carrying it in your back pocket.

Look into versatile clothing with hidden pockets – fashionable travel clothes which come with secret pockets to stash your cash are everywhere right now.

Though if you enjoy having your back pocket felt up by a stray hand, by all means!

Also common area that pickpockets frequent are the signs which cities have put up to warn tourists about being mindful of theft. When you read a sign like this, it’s quite common to subliminally reach for the part of your body where your valuables or wallet is being held just to make sure it’s still on you. This let’s thieves know exactly where they need to target. So be aware.

Scarf with hidden pockets – brilliant!

…But Don’t Wear a Money Belt

Yes, it’s important to hide your wallet or purse, though don’t wear a money belt. These are bulky even when hidden under your clothes and yells to the world that you’re not from there. You may as well wear a sign in the local language saying “Pickpockets please target me”.

Do everything that you possibly can to blend in as a local – and this often means carrying a handbag or a purse as you normally would if you were at home.

Protect Your Data

Unfortunately, as technology has evolved, so also has the common criminal. In an age where identity theft is an all too regular occurrence, devices and user data should be protected from prying malicious attacks at all costs. Your devices will generally have stored passwords for everything from online shopping which has your credit cards details, to even your online banking, so using devices while on the road should undoubtedly require the same level of care as a wallet or passport.

When traveling stay away from open Wifi networks and malicious software as you may be unknowingly consenting to your internet traffic (including passwords) being open for viewing over a public network. When out in the open at a public place, take the extra moment to ensure that you are connecting to a network that requires a password, the more private the better.

And use passwords!! Passwords are there for a reason. Any modern phone, tablet, or laptop has some sort of password or short passcode protection. While it may sound somewhat basic, it really is the first fundamental step in protecting your devices.

Know How to Contact Your Bank

Using credit cards instead of cash is a great way to keep your money safe while abroad, though on the chance that they get blocked or stolen, you’ll need to know how to contact your bank asap.

So travel with a list of phone numbers, and make sure that you have written down the international calling number and not the local one, as this will differ from when you call your bank at home. There will be area and country codes you’ll need to dial first.

Traveling with backup credit cards is always a good way to make sure you’re never stuck without funds, and you should avoid pulling money out from secluded ATM’s. If a machine isn’t visible under street lights from the street then don’t use it. This is putting yourself in the right situation for a thief to steal your cash and card. There are generally always ATM’s and money machines inside the lobby of hostels and hotels, so use these, and any others which are as public as possible.

Purchase Conservatively and Blend in

It’s never a good idea to parade around your wallet when making a purchase and flash your cash. When you make a purchase, do so conservatively and don’t draw attention to yourself. It doesn’t matter whether you’re shopping, tipping a local guide, dining in a restaurant or having a drink at a bar, make sure that you’re organized your money before leaving the hotel room, and NEVER pull out large wads of cash.

You should only carry as much cash as you need for the day, and leave the rest in the safe at your hotel. Never change money openly in the street or try and count your change in public. You’ll be an easy target for pickpockets and you’re likely to get ripped off, especially if you’re not 100% on the local currency.

Make sure that when you exchange your money it’s done via a recognized trader, like a bank or an official exchange bureau. Remember that if you can exchange your money in town, this will likely save you money as the exchange rate at the airport is always inflated.

Also, when you’re traveling it’s never a good idea to give money to those living on the street. You’re breaking the rule of pulling out your cash in public, this kind of giving encourages begging, and in a lot of countries you’ll find that if you give to one, this means that the rest of your day will be spent warding off others. If you really want to do good while traveling there are options like volunteering.

Meg Jerrard is an Australian Journalist who has been travelling and blogging around the world for the last 7 years to inspire others to embark on their own worldwide adventure!  Her husband Mike is an American travel photographer, and together they have made the world their home.

Follow their journey on FacebookGoogle+ and Twitter.

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