Some people don’t give much thought to keeping their money safe when travelling. Those people are idiots. I have heard enough horror stories to be fairly cautious, so here is my list for keeping those dollars and pounds safe when you are off satisfying that wanderlust.
Divide and conquer
Don’t keep all your money/payment methods in one place, have some in your wallet, some in your luggage and some with your passport and some in a spare sock. That way no matter if you get mugged or if your luggage goes missing on the flight you will always have a way to pay. Extra bonus: once you are home and have totally forgotten where you hid everything you might just find a spare £20 in sock when you are getting ready for work WIN.
Methods in the madness
Have a few methods of payment e.g. credit card, debit card, cash, foreign currency card. I have never bothered with travellers cheques because this is not the 80’s; I just prefer to take a couple of credit cards or debit cards plus cash. Two cards are important because a familiar story with travellers is a cash machine eating your card, so take two! Often I will just make sure I have my NZ bank card on me as a back up to my UK card (which I use as my main payment method).
Make sure you have enough money
This might seem really dumb, but if you are taking a month long trip for fuck sake make sure you have got enough money to last you to the end. To make it extra simple just take the amount of money you have for the trip and divide by the number of days you will be away – BOOM YOU JUST BUDGETED.
Time to cash in
Depending on what country you are going to it can be a good idea to take a couple of different currencies. Best example of this was when travelling to Egypt; yes they have their own currency but some market traders and tour operators wanted American dollars or English pounds. Also, for the Kiwi’s it is far easier to exchange US dollars or UK pounds for local currency (rather than NZ$) when in a foreign country.
As well as dividing your money, you need to hide it. Some people go for the notes in the rolled up socks method, fine as long as you can remember which bloody socks you put them in. Others put it with electronics or make-up, a bit silly because those would be the first items stolen if someone ransacked your luggage. The best method (entirely created by my Mum) is to hide cash with your tampons. Seriously. Get a normal tampon box, take one out, and replace it with a small roll of notes. It is the last place a thief would look.
Get your ducks in a row
In a dodgy market place the last thing you want to do is get out a wallet with high value notes spilling out. Know where your change is, know where your low value notes are and leave the gold bars at home. NB: if you actually have gold bars lying around please be my friend.
Shout it from the rooftops
Well, not exactly. But if you are intending to use your credit or debit card I highly advise warning your bank. If you all of a sudden start making transactions in multiple countries, your bank may think your card has been stolen and cancel it or block the account.
Anything to add? Tweet me @runawaykiwi