Keep Your Money Safe – Travel Tips for Vacation Finances

in Tips

Keeping money safe is one of the chief concerns of any frugal traveler. No one wants to secure the best deals on airfares and accommodation, only to have those efforts wasted when their vacation budget evaporates. While you might encounter pickpockets and muggers on your travels, there are a few tactics you can employ to keep your money safe.

Your efforts should begin before you even head out the door. Take stock of your wallet and decide what you really need to bring, and what’s better left behind. Some cards contain vital personal information, so taking them with you could do more than cluttering your wallet.

Then make a photocopy of all cards that have survived your cull and leave the papers with a trusted friend or family member. If your wallet is stolen on your travels you’ll know which cards need to be replaced, and even have the account numbers to make the process run smoothly.

One clever traveling tactic is to create a diversion known as a dummy wallet. Fill it with expired credit cards, old licenses, and other unwanted pieces of plastic, as well as a small amount of cash. Then if you are unlucky enough to meet a mugger you can simply hand it over, smug in the knowledge that your vital finances are safely hidden.

A slim wallet or money clip is a great option for carrying a small amount of cash without attracting attention. These slender money holders aren’t as bulky as traditional wallets, so they should escape any pickpocket’s eyes. They’re also not made to hold a lot, so you’re forced to consider what you really need, which puts less financial assets at risk.

Money belts and other purses worn underneath clothes are also great secure options. As your money is worn close to your body, it’s virtually off limits to pickpockets. And if they’re slim enough and worn with the right clothing, they can be virtually undetectable. Meet a mugger and they might just fall for the dummy wallet without knowing what you’re hiding!

These days we don’t need to just worry about our cash though. Our personal details are also under threat. Modern credit cards, drivers’ license, and even store loyalty program cards typically contain RFID chips which hold sensitive personal data. If these details were to fall into the wrong hands, you could kiss your bank balance or even your identity goodbye. Several companies now sell RFID blocking wallets which stop the transmission of such sensitive information.

New Zealand money and calculatorWhile your accommodation may seem secure, that’s generally not the case. There’s daily housekeeping to consider, and if you’re staying in a hostel dorm other travellers will also stop by. Ensure the security of your wallet and any other personal documents by keeping them on your person or stashed away in your hotel safe.

However, perhaps the most important tools of the trade when it comes to financial security are your own wits. Be aware of your location, its seediest streets, and your surroundings at all times. Withdraw money in secure public places like bank or hotel lobby teller machines, rather than the ones tucked away in dark alleys. Sometimes simply exercising caution and appearing alert can be enough to deter a prospective pickpocket.

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