When you are traveling you need to be aware of security considerations, to protect yourself and your money. How smart and careful your are will increase or decrease your chances of getting robbed or of being scammed.
Here are the top five recommendations so you are not an easy target, and you can keep your money safe while on vacation:
1. Counterfeit Money
There is always a risk of receiving counterfeit money particularly when you are getting your change back when using a taxi or buying at street vendors. Your best option is to get to know what currency looks and feels like. You can explore bills beforehand to know what to expect (find them searching through our inventory here).
Here are some traits you can check whenever you receive currency:
- Compare two same denominations bills, they should always look and feel the same.
- Check for blurriness. Genuine bills display fine detail and portraits and pictures usually stand out.
- Thickness of the paper. Usually, counterfeit bills will be thicker than genuine currency.
- Watermarks and other security details. They are present in most currencies and can be seen from both sides. If you hold up a bill to the light or if you use your cellphones light, you will be able to see watermarks and security threads.
2. Combine cards and cash
Whenever you travel you should plan your spending with both cash and credit or debit cards. This will lower your risk of losing all of your money if you drop or misplace your wallet or if you are robbed.
If you are robbed you will not be liable for unauthorized or fraudulent charges and purchases on your debit or credit cards, while cash is not replaceable. Still, it is important to take both and to check for the acceptance of your cards abroad, you can do this online at your credit cards website by checking the acceptance map.
3. Multi-stash Method
Never travel with all your cards and cash in one wallet, break it up to reduce your risk of losing all of your money. When traveling you can stash some in your wallet with one credit card, and have the rest in you suitcase, travel pouch, socks or even divide it with other family members.
Travel and sightseeing with as little cash as possible and always leave some at your hotel safe alongside an emergency credit card that you should not carry with you . There are always ATMs available so you can withdraw money when you need it.
4. Avoid Secluded ATMs
You should always prefer to withdraw money at ATMs located at banks. Avoid generic ATMs that are more vulnerable to identity thieves that install card readers to access your card and pin numbers.
It is important to not use stand-alone ATMs that are not visible because they create a perfect occasion for thieves. Try not to visit them early in the morning or late at night and prefer those inside hotels and commercial and business centers.
5. Record Account and Customer Service Numbers
You should always plan for the worst and have your banks customer service numbers and copies of your credit and debit cards so you can report a theft as soon as possible. Keep this information separate from your credit cards, in the hotel safe, laptop, cellphone or even consider giving a copy to a friend.
When traveling it is important to not let your guard down and to always plan for setbacks, if you do this you will decrease your risk of theft or of losing your vacation budget. A very good way to avoid risk is to do your research beforehand and use safe and reliable services for foreign currency exchange such as the one we offer, check it out here. Have fun but always stay safe!