One common concern when holidaymakers are preparing for their trips abroad is security. In particular, security of their money and personal belongings.
If this is something that you worry about then we have you covered. We’ve put together this 7-point list for keeping your money and personal belongings safe while you’re away. And because, sadly, sometimes bad things do happen we also include a few points explaining how to plan for contingencies.
- Cash is no longer king
- Split your cash up
- Travel insurance
- Bring back-ups
- Keep track of your transactions
- Keep note
- Reporting theft
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 chip and PIN secure 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, but cards such as the FairFX Prepaid MasterCard are accepted in over 210 countries and over 35.9 million merchant locations – so you shouldn’t run into much trouble.
If you’re taking a FairFX Currency Card with you and want to take out cash, you’ll be glad to hear that we’re refunding our ATM fees until the end of September 2016 through our ATM-Holiday offer. That means great rates, no fees and a secure card.
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.
Also make sure you split up your cash into different hiding places and between members of your group. If you do lose some of it, at least you won’t lose it all.
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. Unlike standalone travel insurance cover, the cover on your bank account may not cover much (if any) travel money. It almost certainly won’t scuba diving or winter sports, so make sure that you take out special cover for these.
Whatever policy you have, make sure you read the small print before you go and have the cover that you desire.
Keep a copy of your policy and policy number on you and always check the trip duration and destinations are eligible.
It’s always a good idea to bring a backup payment option when you’re abroad – just in case of emergencies. Keep a debit or credit card in the hotel or villa safe as a back-up.
If your primary option is a prepaid currency card, you may have difficulty using it at automated petrol pumps and motorway toll booths (due to pre-authorisation checks) – another form of payment may be more suitable here. Same goes for when you’re checking into a hotel room – use a credit/debit card when checking in, use your currency card when checking out.
With FairFX you can get additional Family & Friends Cards linked to your account. This means that you have a backup payment option, and you can share travel money with others in your party.
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. This means you can look out for theft, hotels accidentally charging double and also keep track of how much you are spending. This is really easy to do with the FairFX app. You can see all of your recent transactions, load your card and, if you haven’t already, you can actually order a card straight from the app. Available on Android and iOS.
Record important phone numbers and addresses 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.
You should record the details of the nearest embassy/consulate, the lost/stolen phone number of your card provider and the emergency and non-emergency police numbers for the country you are visiting.
Keep copies of your important documents too (and again keep separate from the originals). It’s good to keep a copy of your passport, driving license and any other travel documents (e.g. Visas).
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’ll 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.
FairFX Currency Cards are secure Chip & PIN MasterCard cards, accepted all over. Find out more about our secure Currency Cards here.