When traveling to a different country, it can be confusing to know how to carry around money. Do you stash cash in different places on your body and in your suitcase? Do you bring travelers checks? Do you bring credit cards? After all, the fear of getting your money stolen is constantly at the forefront of your mind while on vacation. Here are some tips to protect your wallet while on vacation.
Tip #1: What Cards to Bring
Bring at least 2 major credit cards on your vacation to ensure a backup plan if one goes missing. Keep one in your wallet and one in your hotel room safe deposit box. Make sure they are really credit cards and not just debit cards with a credit card company’s logo on them. Debit cards may be useless to your as store locations do not accept debit cards (although you may be able to get money from ATMs).
Tip #2: Contacting Your Credit Card Company
It is important to notify your credit card company when you are leaving the country. If you do not notify them and they notice an unfamiliar spending pattern, they might suspect that the card is being used fraudulently and delay your approvals.
When speaking with your credit card company, you can ask them to assist you further in arranging to pay bills that come in while you’re gone; they will tell you how acceptable their credit card is in the country you are going to; they can verify acceptance at certain foreign locations; they can explain cash advance, ATM, foreign purchase and foreign exchange rate policies and fees; they can explain any services they offer, such as, extra insurance for car rentals, luggage or purchases; etc.
Tip #3: Using Your ATM Card
It is a good idea to use you ATM card at a local machine if you run out of cash. It is always important to have cash on your in case of emergencies. ATM machines will give you local currency, but the best idea is to go to a bank for a better exchange rate. Shop around from bank to bank to see where you’ll get the best deal.
Tip #4: Using Traveler’s Checks
The upside of traveler’s checks is if you get your wallet stolen, the checks become useless to the person who stole them, and you do not lose any money. There are a few things you should check out before buying traveler’s checks. Firstly, check with your bank to be sure that they are acceptable in the country you will be visiting. Secondly, are there any fees for purchasing and using the checks? Lastly, make sure you are aware of the traveler’s check company’s loss, replacement and refund policies.
Take the same precautions you would to protect your cash. Be sure to follow the procedures required if you lose your traveler’s checks. Make sure you know their serial numbers, the denominations, the date and location of their purchase, and the phone number to call to report them missing.
Gillian Johnson is the blogger for LastMinuteVacations.ca, Canada’s source for last minute vacation deals on flights and cruises.