Vacation Travel Tips - Tips for Safely Carrying Money and Avoiding Pickpockets
By: Terrie Bryan
If you are planning a vacation, the easiest and safest method for carrying your money is simply to leave it in the bank and use your credit or debit card instead. This way you don't have to worry about losing your money or having it stolen. However, keep in mind that if you are traveling out of the country without cash, there is always the possibility that the ATM machine will "eat" the card and fail to return it to you. Another problem one international traveler had was withdrawing several hundred dollars from her account and not having the money come out of the machine. This could be a real problem if you are out of the country and without any ready cash.
It is common for thieves to hang out by the ATM machines waiting for a "tourist" to withdraw money. They then follow the person for a few blocks and rob them. So if you will be in a foreign country making use of the ATM machines be sure to exercise caution. Remember that some countries have the art of pickpocketing down to a science with purposeful and timed distractions, using fake falls by elderly people, cutting open purses, and other such things so be aware of your surroundings at all times.
There are many people who don't carry any plastic, and they prefer to have their money with them. That's fine, no problem, but you should take some precautions to be sure you don't find yourself devoid of any money in the middle of your trip.
Traveler's checks are always a good idea. You have a record of each check in case of problems.
If you are traveling with your family, a good idea is to divide the money up between all of you. I don't recommend keeping it all in one place just to be on the safe side. That way if somehow someone becomes separated from their money, all of it is not lost.
Another fairly safe method is to use a neck pouch. These are sold in travel stores and online, and as you would probably imagine, you just hang the money pouch around your neck. You could then tuck it inside your shirt or jacket to keep it out of sight.
Another idea is to place your cash in a plastic bag and keep it inside of your shoe. I read about someone using this method successfully and apparently you do get used to the feel of the plastic bag inside your shoe.
A money belt is another option. Keep the majority of the cash in the belt and leave some in your wallet so that you are not constantly having to go to the belt and alerting people as to the location of your money.
When waiting in line to board your plane, leave your passport, ID, wallet, money, et cetera inside your pocket or purse until you are asked to present your boarding pass at the end of the line. With all the distractions it would be easy for someone to snatch your stuff if you are just standing and holding everything in your hand.
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