Traveling overseas should be safe and enjoyable, and most of the time, it is. Being far from home in a foreign land can occasionally lead to misadventure and sometimes even disaster. What will you do if your wallet and passport are lost or stolen? Being abroad with no money is a terrifying scenario, luckily keeping your money safe while traveling is easy.
Talk to your bank
Before you head overseas, notify your bank of when and where you are going and the duration of your trip. Some banks will automatically lock down an account if suspicious activity is noted, such as transactions made overseas.
Talk to your bank about your account and its features. Does your account allow you to send money overseas? Does your bank have a presence overseas? Will your card be accepted at international ATM’s? It pays to know the features of your bank account as well as its limitations.
Carry small amounts of hidden cash
Having a small reserve of local currency hidden on your person can save your life if the worst were to happen, and you lost all your documents and cards. If you don’t want to withdraw local currency, US dollars are accepted in many places around the world and can be withdrawn before you leave for your destination.
Copy and protect your documents
Creating a digital copy of your documents is fast and easy and will ensure you have a lifeline in case your bags are lost or stolen. Emailing a copy to yourself will ensure that these copies are reachable. Take a picture of your overseas card and email this to yourself; if this card was lost you could still pay for accommodation or flights with the card’s details.
By using your everyday banking card overseas, you risk your bank account being compromised. A pre-paid cash card or credit card can be an excellent way of paying your way while keeping your money safe. A card with a pre-paid value is less of a blow to lose as it isn’t linked to your accounts. Losing a few hundred dollars is vastly preferable to having to talk to your bank while on an overseas holiday.
Using your everyday banking account will also attract hefty transaction and conversion fees, another reason to consider using a prepaid cash card. Cash cards are limited, however, and you won’t be able to receive or send money overseas, a big problem if you get stuck without a bank card.
Become a less appealing target for thieves.
Muggings and petty thefts are tragically common occurrences for tourists in some countries. You don’t need to be aggressive or wired like a soldier defending his territory, be mindful, and keep your eyes open. Thieves are mostly opportunists, so present the least appealing option, and they will target someone else.
Money belts have become a dinner bell for would-be pickpockets and muggers, and they become uncomfortable after several days of use. Instead, consider clothing with concealed pockets, but remember, every time you reach into a hidden pocket, you are showing potential thieves where you keep your cash. Be aware of your surroundings, and don’t be gaudy with your money.
Heading overseas can be exciting and fun, but we desperately hope our money will be safe. Avoid the stress of money and discuss your upcoming trip with your bank. Have a back-up of all of your important documents and cards and make sure you can receive or send money overseas in case you get in a bind. Staying alert and keeping inconspicuous will reduce your risk of becoming a victim of theft.
Keeping your money safe while traveling overseas is straightforward and easy, it just takes some common sense. Hopefully this guide will allow you to spend less time worrying and more time enjoying your next trip overseas
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