If you’re travelling, especially if you’re going anywhere outside Europe or the US, managing your money can be harder than it is when you’re at home. You might be headed somewhere where there are few ATMs, or where only a few shops accept your cards. You may also fall prey to pickpockets or muggers who see tourists as easy targets.
By following these tips, you can keep yourself and your money safer.
Get internet banking
Internet banking is a great way to keep track of your spending and also to move money between accounts, make sure direct debits back home are in order and to catch any fraud. Spotting fraud and acting on it immediately helps to resolve it and get your money back more easily.
Make – and stick to – a budget
You should work out how much you’ll be spending each day on your travels, so you can visit this website to use the budget calculator. You need to consult travel guides to get an idea of how much everything from a bowl of noodles to a hospital stay costs.
Take at least two credit and debit cards
It’s best to have four – two credit and two debit – cards, ideally Mastercard and Visa. This means that if an establishment doesn’t take one, it might take the other and you’re also not left stranded if one card is lost or stolen. If there’s two or three of you traveling together, then you should hold one each.
Notify your bank and credit card provider of your travels
If your bank suddenly sees activity in Greece, for instance, then it might suspect fraud and block your cards. So make sure it knows you’re off to the islands and when you’ll be back.
Find out where the ATMs are
Some countries have hardly any ATMs so you need to find where they are so you can draw out cash at strategic intervals. Many places will accept US dollars as well as local currency, so always try to carry some.
Get some cash before you set off
If you’re on a long flight, or you’re arriving late at night, you’ll want to have some ready cash so you can get some food and drink, then take a cab to your hotel. You’ll be tired and so hunting around for an ATM won’t be fun.
Keep your cash safe
Try to draw out enough cash per withdrawal to make it worth the charges, but not so much that you’re a walking mugger magnet. One option is to take turns to draw out cash then split it between you.
Watch out for fake ATMS as well – look for cameras pointing at the keypad rather than at your face, or suspiciously loose card slots. If you’re uncertain about a machine, look for another one or head to a bank.
While you’re on day trips…
Keep your cards, passports and cash in a money belt, as well as some spare cash in other pockets and bags so that if you are unfortunate enough to be pick-pocketed you’ve got something left.
Do you prefer cash or credit when you travel? Have you had any money issues before while on the road? What did you do?