Safely Carry Cash, Credit Cards, and Passports
International travel brings with it the opportunity to see and learn new things that most of us have only dreamed of before. While most people travel internationally with no problems, it’s important to travel safely, especially where carrying your money, credit cards, and passport. Many travelers are so excited by their travels that they forget that tourists are often thought of as easy prey for those who are hoping to steal money, credit cards, and even passports. While you should be able to enjoy your travels, you must also be aware of where your money is, who may see it, and the best ways to carry it on your person to avoid becoming the target of a thief.
Before you travel internationally, you should think about your plan of how you’ll carry your important items such as cash, credit cards, your passport, and other documents. Planning ahead will make you more comfortable so that you will be able to focus more on the places you are going and the sites that you are seeing. Having a plan will also mean that you’ll have less of a chance of losing things, and you’ll be less likely to become the target of a thief. Tourists usually stick out, but when you are carrying your money and personal items safely, the wrong type of people are less likely to pay you the wrong sort of attention.
First, you’ll want to decide how you’ll carry cash, because carrying a credit card may not always be an option, as many areas simply do not accept them. A good idea is to have traveler’s checks with you so that you can exchange them for local currency. Traveler’s checks are a great idea because there isn’t much that can be done with them if you lose them, but like cash, once they are gone, the money is gone. Keep your travelers checks in a wallet or money belt for safekeeping. If you are going to make a purchase and you do not feel safe paying with cash because there are too many odd people lingering around, pay for your purchase with a credit card instead.
Next, you might want to have a couple credit cards with you in the case of an emergency and you need more cash. Only take the credit cards that you believe you might need, maybe two or three, but leave the rest at home. Take note of your available balance on each credit card as many Americans have been arrested when traveling internationally because they have gone over their limit. Carrying a small amount of cash with you and cashing in travelers checks only as you need them is the best idea, so even if you do happen to be robbed, the thief will get away with as little as possible. If you happen to run out of cash and there isn’t a certified currency exchange official around, use your credit cards. You’ll find that having credit cards in your money belt is a necessary back up when traveling internationally.
When you are traveling internationally you’ll have a passport with you. When traveling you’ll want to keep this in an easily accessed area, but once you arrive at your destination you’ll need to find a safe place for it. You don’t want to carry the passport around with you because it’s something that will be easily lost, so the best idea is to put it in the hotel safe. Even if your room does not have a safe, the hotel usually has individual safes where you can easily store your passport, extra travelers checks, and even an extra credit card. Your passport is something you’ll need to get home, so be sure to store it in a place that it will not get lost or stolen.
In your daily life you might use a purse to carry around your personal items, but this isn’t always the best option when traveling internationally. As we mentioned above, tourists are usually perfect targets for theft because they carry cash. Carrying a purse will make you a great target because someone can just run by and pull the purse from you and keep running. A money belt, worn around the waste either over or under the clothes, is more difficult to get off, and smaller ones may not even be noticed by anyone but you.
When you do cash travelers checks, put the currency right into a pocket or a money belt instead of walking away and counting it. Also, be sure that you only cash your travelers checks with certified individuals, which limits your risk of being robbed on site. When you pay for items, attempt to only take out the amount of money you need, instead of flashing all of the currency you might have on your person, as this will attract the wrong kind of attention. Simply use your common sense and try not to bring attention to any money you may have, or the amount of money you spend in any one place.
Chances are your international travels will come and go without any negative incidents, but where safely carrying your cash, credit cards, and passport is concerned you cannot be too careful. Plan ahead, be discreet, and be aware of your surroundings and you’re likely to have no problems whatsoever!
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