One common concern when holidaymakers are preparing for their trips abroad is security. In particular, keeping money and personal belongings safe.
If this is something that you worry about then we have you covered with this 5-point list for keeping your money and personal belongings safe abroad. And we help you plan for contingencies, should unfortune strike.
1. Keep track of your transactions
Always trust your instincts when travelling, if a shop or ATM doesn’t look quite right then stay away. You don’t want to be given an unfair price or have money stolen from your card. If you want to be sure, check your transactions once you get back home – contact your card provider if there is anything that you don’t think is correct.
Even better, keep track of your spending whilst abroad by arming yourself with a card that linked to a mobile app. This way you can keep an eye on what gets taken from your card as you spend too and query any unusual transactions with your card provider, and where possible the retailer that you just purchased from.
2. Bring back-ups
It’s always a good idea to bring a backup payment option when you’re abroad – just in case of emergencies. Keep another card in the hotel or villa safe as a back-up.
With FairFX, not only is your primary card Chip & PIN secure, but you can also link additional Chip & PIN Family & Friends Cards to your account to use as a back-up option and to easily share travel money with others in your group.
You should also take “back-ups” of important contacts and travel documents. In other words, keep note of emergency and embassy contact details, and make sure to keep a copy of important documents such as passport, driving license and visas. And of course keep them somewhere other than your phone and purse – these are prime targets for thieves and you never know when your phone will run out of battery.
3. Cash is no longer king
No matter where you are in the world, you really shouldn’t be carrying wads of cash around. Cash is easily lost and easily stolen. And if someone does steal it you can be pretty certain that you’ll never see it again – there’s no ‘blocking’ cash or tracking down the thieves that are spending it.
Take a card on your next trip and use it as your primary payment method. If you need some ‘walking around money’, you can always withdraw some cash using an ATM while you’re away. Just remember, if you do choose to take out some cash, don’t choose ATMs that are in secluded streets and don’t take out large amounts. Always remember to cover your PIN and be cautious of the people around you.
4. Travel insurance
It’s quite common to have a packaged bank account nowadays. You usually get travel and/or home insurance cover and other additional benefits for a monthly fee. But have you checked the details of what you’re actually covered for?
To keep your money, your belongings and yourself safe and secure when you travel, it’s best to read the small print of your travel insurance. Unlike standalone travel insurance cover, if you’re using travel insurance bundled with your bank account you may not be covered for much (if any) travel money. If you’re hiring vehicles, scuba diving or doing winter sports, make sure that you take out special cover for these.
Keep a copy of your policy and policy number on you and always check the trip duration and destinations are eligible.
5. Reporting theft
If you do fall victim to theft, or misplace any of your money/expensive items, report it to the local police immediately. Get a copy of the written incident report from the police so that you can use it as part of your insurance claim.
If it’s your currency, debit or credit card that you have lost, contact your card provider immediately. They should be able to help you block the card and learn about replacement card options.
Finally, if it’s your passport that’s lost or stolen, you’ll need to contact your nearest embassy or consulate. Do this as soon as you lose your passport rather than hoping that it will turn up before the final day of your holiday.
With a FairFX Currency Card you get great rates and low, transparent fees, plus an easy way to keep track of your spending with the FairFX mobile app. Link additional Family & Friends Cards to your account for a smart way to share travel money with the family.