Ten Top Tips To Keep Your Money Safe While Travelling
Keeping your money safe while travelling can be the difference between disaster and game over for your travelling adventure.
Make sure you heed our top ten tips for keeping your money safe while travelling:
- Stay Awake! Falling asleep on public transport, especially with headphones on, is a really easy way to have your cash stolen – it makes waking up with a hangover on the overnight train even worse.
- Don’t put all your eggs in one basket. Take a card, take cash, have a secret compartment in your bag with some emergency money or (a popular one) hide it in a wash-bag in a plastic film canister. Carrying your whole travel budget around with you is a terrible idea. We’ve even got a guide to travel light in Europe, just to help you out that little bit more.
- Call the bank in advance – let them know where you’re going. If you don’t you may find that your card will get blocked, which isn’t a great situation to find yourself in when you need to withdraw some cash to get a taxi back to the hostel.
- Don’t get mugged. By this we mean, don’t walk down an obviously “dodgy” un-lit alleyway or wander off from your group while tipsy. Remember to trust your gut – if something doesn’t feel safe or right, get yourself to somewhere safe. Stick to well-lit streets in the evening and be wary of strangers, who want to “help you with your bags” immediately outside the train station.
- Keep it close.While not very fetching money belts can be lifesavers. They’re an ideal way of keeping your money close to you. There’s a huge variety available from simple “belts” to clever, concealed straps a little like a bandolier – go with what feels comfy, can be worn all day, and doesn’t make you feel like a smuggler.
- Discretion. Avoid outrageous shows of wealth – throwing your cash around in a bar can make you feel good (probably because you’re drunk, but it marks you out as someone worth shaking down to the less desirables.
- The back-up plan. Make sure you have copies of all the important numbers you’ll need, if something does go wrong. Make sure you have card details somewhere safe and emergency contact numbers for the bank back home.
- Don’t lose sight of your card. Most scams involving card cloning and the like require a little bit of alone time with your card. If you can’t see the card machine the merchant is using then cash is always a better option.
- At the ATM. Some scams involve the rigging of ATM machines, so always have a quick look at any ATM machine you’re using, if it seems a broken or something feels off about it you may be better off walking to the next one. Additionally you should make sure you’re aware of the charges a machine may have and the rates of exchange – while many are fine some can be extortionate. Find an ATM you trust and understand in a city and use that for all your transactions.
- Stay in a group. While we mentioned this before it’s usually better to make some decisions as part of a group – and makes bad decisions a little less scary!