Travel Safety Tip: Safeguarding Your Money
How to protect your money while traveling, safeguarding cash, hiding cash, replacing lost or stolen money, how to get traveler's checks and money belts.
While on the road, safeguarding your money is a top priority. Disregard safety and loss or theft can destroy your vacation. Follow the suggestions below to help make your trip a safe one.
Money belts are designed to hide and organize your money and documents. One version straps around your waist underneath your clothes. Another is a belt with a hidden compartment for folded money. Money belts aren't a secret anymore; they deter theft but not robberies, so very little cash should be kept here. Keep traveler's checks and small amounts of the local currency in these places.
Traveler's checks are basically insured money that can be cashed at banks and tourist agencies around the world. When lost or stolen they are quickly replacable from almost anywhere in the world. They're easy to get; simply go to your bank and ask for the amount of traveler's checks that you want. They usually come in denominations of $20, $50, $100 or $500 and cost about one cent for each dollar exchanged. The bank will give you a number to call in case your checks become lost or stolen. Write this number down in several places, or memorize it. This is the number you will need to call for replacement information.
With ATM machines springing up all over the world, ATM cards are a convenient way to access your money without the danger of carrying cash. If your card becomes lost, contact your bank to make any transactions with that card void. Bring two ATM cards with different numbers as an extra precaution.
Never carry much money in your wallet while traveling, just enough to get you through the day. Carry your wallet in your front pocket to discourage prying hands. If something happens to your "dummy wallet" you only lose a day's worth of money, not a week's worth.
Because U.S. cash is in high demand world-wide, it's a good idea to keep at least $100 stashed somewhere. Hide your cash (both U.S. and the local currency) in more clever places than a money belt. Hide cash inside a pen or flashlight, stuffed in pockets sewn on the inside of your clothing, at the bottoms of your shoes, or between the binding of hardbound books.
Follow these suggestions and a criminal will have to search through every piece of your belongings for you to be stripped of money, and you'll still be able to get your traveler's checks replaced.