Nothing quite matches the feeling of horror that comes with finding your pockets empty or your purse missing while you’re traveling, whether it be close to home or at some far-flung foreign destination. Finding yourself penniless due to some nefarious pickpocket or discovering that all your credit cards have been canceled thanks to a scammer can be an enormous pain. In order to avoid this fate, travelers would do well to spend a bit of time before and during their journey deciding how to keep their money safe.
The precautions should begin at home with a call to your bank and credit card companies to let them know about your travel plans. Nothing is more embarrassing than using your card abroad only to have it canceled shortly thereafter because the bank believes it to be stolen. Likewise, a bit of pre-trip research will be very helpful, as destinations across the world have wildly different banking infrastructures and money-handling practices. In Europe, you will likely be able to easily withdraw your funds from ATMs, but in many parts of the developing world, cash economies still reign supreme.
Whether you’re carrying cash or cards, however, you will want to consider buying a specialized travel wallet or purse. Many travelers swear by money belts worn under their clothes, which will prevent practically any pickpockets. Others prefer anti-theft purses or bags, which deter thieves with reinforced fabrics and steel-lined straps. If nothing else, however, simply be sure to split up your funds in several separate locations. For instance, you can put some of your cash in your wallet and some in your sock. You can also store your credit cards in a separate pocket, and leave your debit card in the room safe. Of course, those safety tips that serve you well at home are just as useful abroad. Don’t carry all your cash at once, and avoid letting your cards out of your sight.