Keeping your money safe is always a priority, but it’s especially important while you’re traveling abroad. Taking a few simple precautions before your trip and during your travels can ensure a safe, enjoyable trip and can keep your money secure. The last thing you want to do is return from a trip and have to deal with identity theft. Here’s how to keep your money safe while you’re traveling abroad:
- Make preparations with your credit card company.
Before you head out, there are certain things you need to know about using a credit card overseas to ensure you and your money are safe such as alerting them that you’ll be traveling and knowing any fees you’ll get abroad.
- Pack smart.
When you’re packing, leave valuables and flashy jewelry at home. The U.S. Department of State recommends not dressing like an “affluent tourist” as this can make you more susceptible to thieves and scams.
- Don’t keep your money in one place.
If you have all of your money in cash in your bag, and your bag is stolen, it’s all gone. Instead, carry a combination of cash and a credit card or two. Have this cash and credit cards in multiple places. You can carry some in a bag and then some in a secret pocket in a suitcase or leave some in the hotel safe. If you’re traveling with someone, let each of you hold a portion of the money.
- Avoid taking large amounts of cash.
There are many points where you’ll need cash, but carrying a large amount with you is risky. Unlike a credit card, if your cash is lost or stolen, it’s gone forever. Plus, taking out a wad of cash to pay for something can make you a target for theft. Instead, keep the rest of your cash on a debit card you withdraw from, in the form of a traveler’s check, or back in a secure hotel safe.
- Be careful with conversions.
If you’re converting currency, airports will have higher fees. Instead, choose a bank or exchange booth with a better rate. Avoid any local who says they can help exchange your money for you, as it is very likely a scam. Also, be sure you’re aware of what the actual conversion is. Download the free Currency Converter app so you know you’re getting the right rate back.
- Store your money in a safe place.
Purses are easy to snatch, a book bag could be opened while you’re not looking and a wallet stored in a back pocket can be easily targeted for a pick pocketer. Instead, add safe money storage to your checklist for your international travel. A money belt is a common tool amongst backpackers and travel veterans. The belt wraps underneath your clothing around your waist. Or opt for a purse that goes across your body.
- Protect your credit cards.
When you’re using a debit or credit card, don’t let it out of your sight. Someone can take copy the numbers of the card or double swipe it. When you’re entering a PIN number at an ATM, cover it so people can not see your code.
If a debt collector has been contacting you because of false debt from traveling abroad and they have violated your request that they cease contacting you or is otherwise violating your rights, call The Law Firm of Mitch Luxenburg’s experienced fair debt collection attorneys toll-free at (877) 846-1209 to find out how we can help you or complete our online form for a free FDCPA case review.