A key part of making sure you have a safe and fun break is keeping your travel money safe. A good trip can soon turn sour if you are the victim of theft, or lose your travel money.
Whether you’re heading to the Eurozone or bound for the States, here are a few tips to steer you in the right direction on travel money security.
Make sure to also check out the Foreign & Commonwealth Office’s Travel Aware site for further advice before you travel.
Don’t take a big pile of cash
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 let’s face it, you never know what to do with leftover travel cash when you return home.
And if someone does steal cash 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.
Caution at ATMs
If you take a card with you but want to withdraw some cash, make sure to use ATMs wisely. As you would at home: use ATMs in well-lit and public areas, don’t take out large amounts of cash, be cautious of the people around you and remember to cover your PIN at ATMs and in stores.
Most insurance companies should cover up to £300 in cash but you should still be careful with your money, and check your travel insurance policy to find out how you’re covered.
Take a backup and keep it in a separate place
It’s always a good idea to bring a backup payment option when you’re abroad, just in case of emergencies.
Consider taking more than one means of payment with you (prepaid card, debit card, credit card, cash). But make sure you keep your back-up separate from your main means of payment.
This way, if you are unfortunate to lose some money, your holiday doesn’t have to turn into a panic about paying for the rest of your trip.
Prepare for emergencies
Before you head off, find out where the nearest British embassy or consulate will be. In the event of emergency, they will be able to provide you with assistance.
Whilst you don’t want to take a year’s worth of savings with you, you should have access to more than just the amount you need for day to day spending. Make sure to take enough money to cover emergencies and any unexpected delays.
Report theft immediately
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.
Write down the lost/stolen card number from the back of your card before you travel. 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.
For further guidance on staying safe and healthy whilst abroad, read the Foreign & Commonwealth Office’s Travel Aware advice.
Have you got a long list of countries that you want to explore this year? Follow our tips on planning your holidays like a pro and your money will travel much further…