If you plan well and take advice on avoiding some destinations, then your travels should go without a hitch.
You do have to keep your wits about you as mishaps can occur from time to time. There’s a good chance that you’re not familiar with the place, the language or the culture. You may get lost, or encounter a local who takes advantage of you.
You obviously need to watch your purse, but there is no need to be paranoid. Most people in most places, the world over are very welcoming.
Prudence dictates taking some worthwhile precautions. To make sure you’re always covered, no matter where you are in the world it is a good idea to carry with you about $ 200 in smaller denominations packed in several places in your luggage and on your person.
US dollars can be exchanged almost anywhere. If you find yourself in any trouble, these will always help. For example carry $50 in your shoe, $50 in your wallet $50 in a hidden place in your backpack or suitcase. Use your imagination.
This way you will always have something for emergencies even if part of your luggage is lost or stolen.
In some parts of the world where pickpocketing is a problem, you may want to think about carrying a dummy wallet to distract thieves. Keep a little money in it along with a couple of expired credit cards or old loyalty cards, scratch out the numbers on the back. This is a masquerade, doing this you’re aiming to protect your money and your identity, if you are held up, hand over the dummy.
There are companies that specialize in producing pickpocket proof clothing, it’s worth having a look at the likes of Clothing Arts and Clever Travel Companion are just two of them.
Money belts are uncomfortable, and they get sweaty and smelly after a while. Paying for anything when you have to scratch around in a belt is complicated and irritating. Smart thieves will be looking for money belts anyway.
You could opt for underwear which has pockets, a pocket on the side of your bra is well hidden. You may not, however, want to be scratching with your underwear when you need to pay.
Any clothes can, in fact, have hidden pockets sewn in. Money kept around your person is safer than keeping it in a bag as you are unlikely to sleep through a burglary involving someone else scratching in your pocket.
Take a larger amount than you need from an ATM to minimize fees, but avoid carrying all your cash with you. Lock the extra up in a locker of safe at your hotel or hostel and take only what you need for the day. This way if you are accosted by thieves you will lose only what you have with you. Also, keep more than just one credit or debit card with you and store them separately.
Just as you photograph all your travel documents it’s worth photographing your cards as well, both sides. That way you have more proof of who you are and you’ll have any details you need to cancel the cards etc.
It is possible to notify your bank that you will be abroad and how long you expect to be away, they can then use this information to know if any charges go on your card somewhere you’re not supposed to be and will enable them to block your card speedily if the need arises.
The ATM machines that are inside banks are safer. ATMs in tourist hotspots make ready pickings for thieves and card skimmers.
If you want to purchase something expensive, it is safer if you use your credit card so that details will be recorded and you may be eligible for an insurance refund, it also means that you’re not carrying around large sums of cash.
When traveling from country to country, you should be in the know about what the exchange rates are. Airports and other tourist hotspots are crawling with thieves and unscrupulous money changers who can spin you a yarn if you do not have the correct information.
Prepaid cards are an excellent option particularly if you have someone back home who can deposit small amounts regularly so that in the case of it being stolen you will have only lost a smaller amount.
When you’re at the airport do not let your bag travel on the conveyer for any time out of your line of sight. Theft at airport security checks is rare, but is has happened. Be there ready to immediately grab your bag before anyone else does. If you’re on a coach the same rule applies, be there waiting to receive your luggage before anyone else can take it.
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