It’s important to be alert wherever you go, but you can be particularly vulnerable when you’re traveling because you’re in an area you’re unfamiliar with. As such, you’ll want to take extra precautions in order to protect your valuables. Getting robbed or losing your money while on a trip can quickly ruin your travels, and not to mention, can put you in a very difficult situation. The following tips can help you to protect your money while traveling:
Don’t carry too much cash
It might necessary to travel with some cash, but you don’t want to bring too much and you don’t want to carry it all in the same place. If you’re leaving your hotel room for the day, for instance, bring a small amount with you and keep the rest in your hotel safe. When you’re in transit—whether you’re on your way back home or to the next destination on your itinerary—don’t keep all of your cash in your wallet. Spread it out a bit—in your locked suitcase, for instance, as long as your suitcase will be by your side—or in a carry-on bag. If you lose your wallet or if you’re pickpocketed in a large crowd, you can take comfort in knowing that you still have some cash on you.
Invest in an anti-theft bag
Regular bags can be easily swiped off your shoulder in a matter of seconds, or can be slashed, and these incidents do happen in popular tourist spots. Avoid becoming a victim by investing in an anti-theft bag, which has a special design to protect against slashing or swiping. These bags have locking zippers, are slash-proof, and implement other safety features that provide optimal protection.
Bring a decoy wallet
Getting robbed or pick-pocketed can be a very frightening experience, but alas, it does happen. If it’s obvious you’re a tourist, you can easily become a target, especially if you get lost and wander into a bad area. If someone is threatening your life and demanding your wallet, you should never resist, but this doesn’t mean you have to lose everything, either. Carry a decoy wallet in your wallet with a few dollars inside and perhaps an expired credit card with an old number, while keeping your real wallet hidden. If you have to surrender your wallet or you’re pick-pocketed, this decoy wallet can be a lifesaver.
Have a backup credit card, just in case
If you end up losing a credit card or leaving it behind somewhere, you don’t want it to be your only credit card. Have a backup credit card with you, and ideally in a completely different location than your main credit card and cash, such as your hotel room safe. Losing your only credit card while on vacation can end up being a complete disaster, so it’s important to be prepared.
Routinely check your credit card statements online
Whenever you use your credit or debit card, be wary if the card ever disappears for just a few moments, like when paying for a restaurant bill. While this can happen anywhere, it’s not unusual for thieves to take advantage of tourists and steal their credit card information, with the assumption that they will be too busy to notice any fraudulent charges. Keep an eye on your credit card statements by checking your account online (make sure you’re using a secured, password-protected Internet connection) while you’re on your trip, and continue to monitor them daily after you get home for a little while. If you notice anything suspicious, contact your credit card issuer right away.
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Nothing above is meant to provide financial, tax, or legal advice. You should meet with appropriate professionals for such services.