3 Ways to Keep Your Money Safe When Traveling Abroad

September 3, 2010 | Posted By: Duncan Heath | Categorized in: Travel
Did you know that you are around five times more likely to have your money stolen while on vacation than you are normally? And this is not just because the place you are visiting might have a higher crime rate. Its a sad fact that tourists are often victimized by thieves as they are in unfamiliar surroundings and might not know how social rules and the legal system work in this part of the world. Additionally, holiday makers are usually not as vigilant as they might be at home, due to the fact they are on vacation to relax and not worry about everyday concerns. Another fact is that most thefts could be easily prevented with a little consideration and forward planning. Here are three of the best ways to prevent your holiday from being ruined by money theft.

Travelers Checks
These can be picked up in many different places, including travel agents, banks, and even big hotels. There are also various forms of traveler's checks available, but the most common and widely accepted is American Express. Traveler's checks require a signature when they are cashed in, and the signature has to match the one already on the check. As you will have signed this when you picked up the checks initially, nobody can use them but you. This makes them very unattractive to thieves. As most thieves only go after low hanging fruit, this is a great way to transport money and keep it safe.

Use a safe
If your hotel, guest house, villa, or any other place youre staying has a decent safe, then use it. Firstly you should hunt out accommodation that has a safe as these places are known to local thieves and avoided due to the low hanging fruit situation as mentioned already. Secondly, keeping things in a safe means you dont have to carry all your valuables around with you all the time, or worry about your valuables if youve gone out for the day and left the stuff in your room unsecured. When it comes to money, store it in the safe and only take out as much as you need each time you leave your room. Furthermore, most hotels have insurance for items taken from their safes if the occupant can proof that they used it and it was properly secured.

Belt Bag
Not to be confused with bum bags, these slim-line wallet-type money holders sit between your underwear and your trousers/shorts and secure around the waist. They might sound uncomfortable, but I wore one of these for three months while traveling around India and South East Asia. Not only was it surprisingly comfortable, but I never lost a penny and could relax while walking about some of the most notorious pick-pocketing cities in the world. Incidentally, some of the friends I was with just had wallets or lose money in their pockets and had things stolen, almost on a daily basis. See what I mean about low hanging fruit now?


Duncan Heath is a keen traveller who has so far managed to keep his money safe in crime hot spots all over the world. He blogs about finance whilst marketing for a Mexican tanda loans company.
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