We’ve all heard horror stories of people losing their identification or even of being robbed while on vacation. When you are traveling, ensuring proper care of your valuables is critical. You don’t want to have an exciting time turned into one of filing police reports and contacting embassies!
Here are a few quick and simple tips on how to carry your valuables when you travel.
- Before you leave home: Remember to photocopy or scan all your important papers such as your birth certificate, passport, Visas credit cards, and more. Leave one set of copies with a family member or trusted friend and take a second set of copies with you and store it separately from your money belt or with your travel partner.
- Purchase a money belt or passport pouch: With a variety of styles to choose from, you’ll surely find one that meets your needs. Some go around the waist (just under your pants), some hang around your neck and others fasten to your leg. Choosing which one to wear is a matter of personal preference, how it works with your clothing, and how easy it is for thieves to spot. All your important papers, airline tickets cash and credit cards will be placed in your money belt.
- Credit cards: Everyone should bring at least one or two credit cards with them when they travel. Visa and MasterCard are the most widely accepted. Be sure to memorize the PIN codes so that you can access cash machines if you need to for emergency funds. There are many benefits to credit cards such as keeping track of your finances easily, others can quickly send funds to your account, and you’re entitled to additional insurance when you use some cards to make purchases.
- Bank and Debit cards: Bank and debit cards are becoming more widely accepted worldwide. You’ll be charged a withdrawal fee and a conversion fee, but you won’t have to pay interest on the money withdrawn. Bankcards are also useful in curbing any over spending since the money is immediately withdrawn from your account.
- Travelers’ Cheques: Once the only method of payment when traveling, travelers’ cheques have become less popular due to the convenience of ATMs. However, travelers’ cheques can still be useful because often you can cash them without fees.
- Cash: Of course, you will want to carry some cash with you, but the question is…how much. You may want to keep around $300 on you as an emergency stash in case of a well – an emergency! You never know when you’re bank’s system may go down, when you will find a hotel that only takes cash, the list is endless. A great idea is to stash your money in different spots. Leave some in your money belt, some in a secure pocket inside your backpack – you get the idea.
- Driver’s License: Even if you don’t plan to drive while you’re away, it’s a great idea to bring along your license because it is another form of picture identification and it covers you in case you do end up having an opportunity to drive. In most cases, there is little need to get an International drivers license. However, it is recommended in Austria, Germany, Greece, Italy, Portugal, Spain and Eastern Europe among others.
- Insurance Card: If you’ve purchase travel insurance and/or health insurance (and you would be wise to do so!) then make sure you carry the details or card with you. Remember to bring the emergency contact number as well.
- Phone Card: Phone cards are essential for keeping in touch and making your travel arrangements as you go. Bring the local access numbers that you’ll need so that you have them handy in case of emergency.
By planning ahead and taking necessary precautions, you’ll be ready for any scenario that comes your way when you’re traveling!