Traveling is fun, but there is always a risk when you visit foreign countries where security measures are less stringent. You could end up being mugged, have your credit card cloned in a restaurant, or in these modern times, your smart card could be hacked by a card reader.
Since having an adequate supply of money is an important part of a positive travel experience, it always makes sense to do everything in your power to keep your money and cards safe. In this article, we are going to examine the best ways to do this.
Don’t Carry Too Much Cash
Relying on cash is a risky proposition. If you are mugged and your cash is stolen, it is gone forever. Losing cards is not great, but at least you can report them stolen and minimize the loss. You can also apply for replacement cards, which in many cases will be shipped to you within 48-hours.
By all means carry some cash to pay for drinks, food, and other out of pocket expenses, but make sure the bulk of your spending money is accessible via card. If you do carry cash, use a money belt rather than a wallet stashed in a back pocket so that it’s harder for pick-pockets to relieve you of it.
Be Careful when Withdrawing Money
ATMs let you withdraw cash 24/7, but visiting an ATM in a secluded area late at night is a recipe for disaster. If you need to withdraw some money, use an ATM in a well-lit area, preferably in the middle of the day. Be very aware of who is standing nearby and stay alert to criminal gangs using distraction techniques to steal your PIN or card. If the ATM looks as if it has been tampered with in any way, don’t use it.
Use a Card Protection Device
RFID-enabled smart cards make life much easier. Rather than using a pin, you can take advantage of contactless technology to swipe and go. Criminals have evolved their technology to take advantage of this and they use sophisticated scanners to detect the radio frequencies emitted by credit and debit cards with inbuilt identification chips.
There are several ways to protect your cards from scanning devices. You can wrap them in tin-foil or place them in an RFID blocking case. Both methods will block RFID readers and prevent criminals from hacking your card and spending all your travel money online before you have checked your online bank account. An even better way is to invest in a secure card from Secure Data Recovery. Pop this into your wallet or money belt and it will protect all your cards from RFID readers.
Make a Note of Card Numbers
If the worst happens and you lose your cards, it helps to have a list of contact details for your card providers, as well as a list of your card details. That way you can cancel your cards and request new ones as quickly as possible.
Treat your money with the respect it deserves. Without it, your trip could turn into a nightmare.