Keep Your Money Safe While Traveling – Cash
If you’re going to travel, you’re going to need some cash. Parts of Asia, Africa and many small villages around the world are not part of the ATM network so be prepared and do your homework about the area before depending on your ATM card. Here are some helpful tips to help you journey with your currency safely.
- Try converting some money into the desired currency before you leave home. Give your local bank a call a few weeks before you need it and let them know how much you would like to convert into which currency. The fees are negligible if any. Just to reiterate, be sure to let your bank know weeks in advance of your departure date.
- If you have to convert some currency, start by being aware of what the actual exchange rate is. Don’t exchange your currency at an airport, train station, or a cambio booth unless it’s the absolute last resort. Go to at least two or three different exchange booths to compare their rates to get the best value.
- Don’t trust locals who want to exchange your money for you. It’s a bad deal, even if you believe they are good natured.
- Try stashing some cash in multiple places (just like the credit card numbers we talked about last time). Put a little cash in your wallet, which helps with being mindful of your budget, a little in a money belt of some sort and possibly a little in the insole of your shoe.
- Carry your wallet in your front pocket, it’s easier to feel when someone is trying to pick your pocket. Also, position your money belt to the front. Thieves are aware of them and sometimes cut them off of you without you noticing. There are leg money belts and sock money holders too. Find whatever makes you feel the safest. Ladies often suggest storing extra cash in their bra.
- Put a rubber band around your wallet to increase friction for a potential pick pocket. It’s hard for pick pockets to be stealth when fussing with a rubber band.
- Don’t wear loose fitting clothes, because it decreases the likelihood that you will feel your pocket being picked.
- Your clothes and travel accessories have fasteners like buttons and zippers, USE THEM!
- Don’t fumble with your money in public and only bring enough cash on your for the day.
Hide your money!
Here are some places that you stash your cash while you are out adventuring. Just remember all of your hiding spots and give yourself enough time to retrieve it!
- Inside cushions on sofas and chairs in the room, look for the zippers.
- In the shower curtain rod
- Inside older telephones – you’ll have to use a screwdriver here
- Inside the cover on the ironing board and stored in the closet
- Taped to the bottom of a heavy piece of furniture
- Taped to the bottom of a bottom drawer because it’s harder to reach
- Dropped inside the toilet tank, ziplock baggies are your friend!
- Inside an empty shampoo bottle
- Slide it in a used dog chew toy – thieves aren’t looking for tattered stuff
- Inside an empty quart of oil tossed in the trunk of your rental car
- Taped under the floor mats of your rental