How to keep your travel money safe? One of the ultimate nightmares of any trip is to lose your money or the ability to withdraw cash. Whether it’s lost, stolen, or forgotten, the trip becomes an instant disaster.
Fortunately, there are strategies to keep your valuables secure. Even if something does go wrong, you won’t lose everything. Here are seven tips to help you decrease worry and increase security:
- Split it up. Never carry all your cash and credit cards in one place. Keep small bills in one place. Larger bills can go into a secure pocket or different compartment in your purse. Ditto with credit and ATM cards. Also, don’t carry all your money and credit cards; leave some cash and a credit card in the safe in your room.
- Keep small bills or coins handy. This way, you’ll be able to pay for coffee, gelato, or postcards without having to pull out an attention-attracting wad of bills. In countries where coins replace dollar bills, such as in the European Union, Canada, and the United Kingdom, learn to use the coins as soon as possible, so you can lighten your pocket and purse.
- Only carry enough for the day. You should be able to estimate your daily expenses: meals, museum entrance fees, transportation, and souvenirs. Don’t try to calculate every penny; the idea is to keep enough money available so you’re able to get through your activities without having to dig into your money belt. You also have peace-of-mind, because if a pickpocket is successful, all you’ve lost is one day’s cash supply.
- Wear it. Of course you already know to wear a waist pouch or money belt, the best way to keep your important items secure. Check out the best money belts for 2017 here. What goes in these small pockets? Click here for suggestions. A guide in Florence told me how to wear a waist pouch to avoid the “bulky” look: wear it backwards, with the clasp in the front. It fits nicely into the small of your back.
- Purchase anti-theft and RFID-blocking products. Cross-over bags prevent someone from running–or cycling–by and grabbing your shoulder bag. A bag that has a reinforced strap stops thieves who try to cut the strap. Until credit/debit cards with magnetic strips are entirely replaced with chip technology, you’ll need a way to block “electronic pickpockets” who can scan cards and get information without touching you. (Learn more about RFID here.)
- Put your shoe in the safe. If you’ve ever left something behind in a hotel room safe, you know the horrible feeling when you realize what happened. Whenever you use the safe, such as when you’re going out for the day, put in a frequently-used item before you close the safe door. A shoe, the book you’re reading…even your toothbrush! You’ll automatically remember the safe when you’re packing.
- Store credit card information on the cloud. Travel advice used to include making paper copies of all your documents (passport, credit cards, health insurance) and distributing them to family members before setting off on your adventure. You probably made a couple of copies for yourself, too. Now you can easily keep–and access–all that information from your smartphone or a computer, no matter where you are. Google Drive and Dropbox are two places to store information. Peace-of-mind in the digital age.
Money mishaps can happen anywhere. Don’t assume that because you’re going into your favorite local city, that your purse or wallet are safe. Use these tips in your everyday life, too.