Every year, approximately 30% of UK holidaymakers have their valuables stolen including passports, jewellery, credit cards and cash. It isn’t something anyone wants to go through. There are, though, at least five things you can do to keep your money safe while you’re travelling abroad.
1. Carrying Money
Whether it’s cash or credit cards, most people on holiday will need to take some money with them to buy food or pay for goods. How you carry that money matters because, if you aren’t careful, you could fall prey to pickpockets who tend to focus on high-traffic areas often frequented by tourists.
To keep your money safe, don’t carry it in open bags or the back pockets of your jeans. Avoid the outside pockets of bags too, even if these are fastened as it makes it harder for you to feel a hand reaching in and taking your purse or wallet.
Tip: It probably goes without saying but only take as much money with you as you think you’ll need when you go out. If you’re heading to the pool, for example, you probably only need cash to buy a snack, or a few drinks so don’t take your credit cards. If your hotel room has a safe, keep the rest of your valuables locked up.
2. Split Your Money Up
As well as only taking out as much money as you need, you should split that money up and keep it in separate purses or pockets. If you are going out with family members, have each person carry some cash. This way if the worse case happens and you are a victim of pickpockets; you won’t have lost all your money.
Tip: Take a bag or backpack on holiday with plenty of inside pockets, ideally ones with zips. As interior pockets can be quite small, take some zip-lock bags too, this way you can keep your money safe even if your purse won’t fit in a pocket.
3. Choose Your Clothing Carefully
When people are on holiday, especially in warmer climates, they tend to wear looser clothes and lighter jackets. Many of these don’t have inside pockets, which are actually great for keeping your money safe, as are zippered front pockets.
If you plan on being out and about a lot or know there will be days you’ll need to carry quite a bit of money, look for clothes that can help keep that money safe.
Tip: If you use the inside of a coat to hold your money, remember that it’s there when you take your jacket off. You might need to move it to another pocket or bag. You’ll definitely need to keep the coat in sight at all times.
4. Keep an Eye on your Belongings
It’s not just your coat you need to keep an eye on when you are out and about. It’s anything that holds money. You can’t assume, for example, that your bag will be safe because you’ve put it under your table (rather than the back of a chair). Try and place it in clear view or, if you can’t, secure the straps through the legs of the chair, making sure you check it regularly, along with any pockets that hold your money.
Tip: Don’t just keep an eye on your belongings, check out your surroundings too. Also, if you feel uncomfortable, don’t dismiss your feelings. If you’ve just got cash out of an ATM, for example, and think you’re being followed, make a stop to make sure you and your money are safe and secure.
5. Get Organised
Before you go out, think about how much money you need to take with you and where you might be spending it. If you plan on grabbing a quick drink early on in the day for example, before stopping for a large meal later in the day, think about breaking up your money into ‘pots’ for each activity and storing these pots separately.
Tip: When dealing with a foreign currency, it can be hard not to find yourself rifling through your money to work out how much you need. Thieves and pickpockets lookout for this type of thing as it tells them you are a tourist, even if you don’t look like one, so try and avoid making too much of a scene when working out your money.
Remember, too, that organisation starts before you even go on holiday. Take a photo of your credit cards, along with contact numbers in case they are stolen. Keep these on your phone, so you can contact your card company if needed. And don’t forget to notify your bank which cards you’ll be using and which you won’t before you travel so that if there are unusual charges, they can freeze your account, helping keep your money safe. If you are travelling alone or traveling abroad for the first time then read this guide by Lending Expert which covers everything you need to look out for.