every solo traveller's worst nightmare. What happens if my bank
cards or credit cards are stolen? What do I do, who can help and
how can I possibly avoid ending up with no money at all? Unfortunately,
I've learned that you can't protect yourself completely. You've
got to plan for the worst and then try to be as savvy a traveller
as possible. Here are a few helpful tips and suggestions from
our Journeywoman files. I've started with the one that I love
best and that I've used since I began travelling. If you have
a favorite "protect-your-money tip, please add it here.
We'll share all of them in an upcoming issue.
backpack, I carry a plain school notebook that I've clearly
labelled, "My Travel Notes." This is actually the book
where I write my findings for future Journeywoman articles,
in it I tape business cards that I collect along the way
and I also include some personal photos that I share with
hosts and sister-travellers. This notebook gets quite
dog-earred as I travel and that is a deliberate tactic
on my part. I don't want anybody to think it has any value.
this is the best part...
that I will never be without money, I tape five $10.00
bills and an extra credit card to the inside cover of
this notebook. Over it, I staple a copy of my itinerary
which protects and hides this stash completely. Nobody
ever suspects that there is money there and I sleep easier
knowing that I always have a cash backup in case of foul
(Source: Evelyn Hannon, Journeywoman Editor)
my cards are gone!
Bachand is the Royal Bank's Manager of Retail Foreign
Exchange Services. Journeywoman asked what she would do
if her credit card and bank card were stolen in a small
town in Italy at 11 o'clock in the evening.
writes...if I've prepared properly, this theft would only
be a terrible inconvenience, not a huge calamity. Here's
a few of my know-before-you-go hints....
take two $100 travellers cheques (for emergencies only),
credit cards, bank cards as well as cash (U.S. cash
is best because it's recognized in most places).
prepared! Before you leave home,
record (in triplicate) the numbers on your travellers
cheques , credit cards and bank cards. The same applies
to all the 800 numbers you might need to report a theft.
Leave one list with someone at home, one goes into your
money belt and one stays in your suitcase.
creative! Hide your emergency money
in strange places-- a vitamin pill bottle with a few
pills in it is great. The bottle isn't see-thru and
thieves are generally not interested in your Vitamin
very sure to check the restrictions
on your credit cards. Did you know that some cards are
not replaceable internationally if they're stolen?
your bank for an extra client
card. If the first is taken, you still have the second
one to withdraw cash with.
journeywoman bonus tip...
other travellers ask you what you do for a living and
you're not sure if they can be trusted, tell them you're
a policewoman on holiday. I do it all the time just to
be on the safe side.
(Source: Evelyn Hannon, Editor Journeywoman)
do's & taboos of withdrawing cash
your surroundings -- if the ATM
is in a poorly lit or hidden area, use another one.
your card ready -- don't wait
until the last minute to go through your purse to find
your body to hide the transaction
so that anyone behind can't see you entering your PIN
leave your receipt behind --
always take it with you for your records.
about anything? Cancel your transaction
and leave immediately!
tourist con games...
Brazil, bag slicers are common. Your pocket, knapsack
or soft-sided suitcase is slit open with a concealed razor,
often you don't even feel it, nor suspect the innocent
looking child or smiling lady standing quietly beside
you. Beware tourist con games!
(Resource: Sandy Huff, Travel Writer, Safety Harbor,
cards on the plane...
may sound silly to you but I'm extra careful about my
valuables even on the airplane. My credit cards, passport
and extra cash are in my moneybelt which is worn next
to my body at all times. Think about it -- If you are
travelling solo, chances are that this is the first time
you've laid eyes on your seatmate. 99% of the time that
person has absolutely no evil intention and is worried
about losing his/her valuables as well. It is the 1% that
I'm worried about ever since a friend of mine lost her
wallet on an overnight flight to Italy.
(Source: Evelyn Hannon, Editor, Journeywoman)
bra is my money belt...
at home or when I'm travelling, I find that padded push-up
bras are great for a night out. When I dress up for the
evening, I take the pads out of my push-up bra, wrap the
money I need for the evening in tissues and put the packets
back where the pads originally were. Great solution. Works
(Source: travel tip from Mary in Dublin, Ireland)
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