¨Travel because money returns; time doesn’t¨
- Keep your money hidden (and in more than one place).
- Put your money in a money belt that goes under your clothes or for men in the front pant pocket.
- Try to keep one credit card, a little cash, and your passport somewhere other than on your person, just in-case you are robbed. Always have copies of your cover passport page (with your photo) on you (in case you need it for identification), at home, and in your luggage, in case it is stolen.
- Keep a little cash aside and an extra credit card just in case of problems. Though it has never happened to me, I have heard stories of people who had troubles using their ATM or cashing travelers’ checks overseas, particularly in Japan. Besides, if someone steals your wallet; you may not have any money for a couple of days. In 2017, a pickpocket stole my wallet on a bus in Milan, Italy. Fortunately, I only lost 50 euros. The bank (in this case, Citibank) sent me a replacement ATM card by express mail, which left me without cash for three days. At the time, I stayed in a homestay, and the woman in charge kindly lent me 50 euros, which sufficed.
- Be aware of your surroundings when using an ATM. Make sure that no one is looking over your shoulders to see your PIN code. Also ignore anyone who is trying to distract you while you are making your transaction. Take out your card from your purse or wallet away from the ATM. Be careful that no one is following you out of an ATM.
Other Money-Related Issues
Issues with banks
Though less so than in the past, it is best not to exchange money inside a bank. Banks are only usually open on weekdays, leaving you without money on weekends and weeknights until the banks are open again. Even when they are open, banks often have long lines. Besides, there are no advantages in exchange rates at a bank over an ATM.
Problems with Travelers’ Checks
Travelers’ checks are rare nowadays. You can be only able to cash them at banks for a relatively high commission charge. Traveler’s checks may, however, have some utility if you are going to visit a country that is either:
- so off-the-beaten-path that they have few ATMs and/or
- has a high degree of pickpockets.