Keeping your money safe while you travel internationally is a concern for most people. There is nothing worse than something happening to your cash or cards while you're in a foreign country because it's just that much harder to deal with. Be prepared to keep your money safe by bringing and using these few things!
It is true that when you travel abroad, you need to be a little more careful with your money. It's not that other countries are more unsafe ... it's that you're out of your comfort zone and are at a higher risk of making simple mistakes or more prone to be an easy target. That being said, don't let this scare you into staying home! Just like anywhere in the world (even in your own hometown), you need to be aware of your surroundings and belongings. These tips can keep your money safe no matter where you are!
Having the right supplies while traveling is key to keeping your money safe. You may think your back pocket is safe because you'd feel someone taking your money/cards out, but you'd be surprised. We've talked to our ILP volunteers around the world they agree, these are the best ways to keep your money safe!
How to keep your money safe while traveling
- Bring the right kind of wallet
- Use a money belt
- Go back in time with a fanny pack
- Use a travel safe purse
- Avoid putting it in your backpack unless...
- Don't carry it all with you
Bring the right kind of wallet
Picking the right kind of wallet is key to keeping your money safe. You don't want one that is too big that will be impossible to put in a safe place, but you don't want one that is too small that doesn't keep much (like your passport) safe in it. Picking the right size and kind of wallet can be tricky, but we're here to help you out. Use these tips to selecting the perfect travel wallet!
Keep in mind that you are going to be mainly using cash and foreign currencies can take up a lot of room (with all the coins). Make sure you have a good space for coins as well as a place for a debit card -- you'll be making pit stops at ATMs!
Use a money belt
Money belts are an excellent option. There are different kinds of money belts -- one that goes around your waist, under your clothes or one that goes around your neck (like a necklace) under your shirt.
They are great for keeping your passport and cash/cards in, but can be a little weird when trying to pay for something. They can also get a little hot, especially for all your ILP Thailand, DR, Haiti, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Mexico peeps. There are major pros and cons to money belts, but are one of the safest places for your stuff because they're held close to your body.
Go back in time with a fanny pack
Fanny packs are making a come back and may be just what you need. They are great for many reasons .. .they sit in front of you in which means they're in your eye-sight at all times, they won't give you shoulder pain like a purse or backpack may after a long time, completely hands free and you never really have to take them off because they're small enough AND you can fit almost everything in them.
Use a travel safe purse
Not all purses are created equal and some will keep your belongings safer than others. If you want to carry a purse, make sure it meets the following criteria: over the shoulder (one that would be harder to pull away), has a zipper pocket, hard to cut material, not so big that you become an easy target, etc.
Don't carry it all with you
A big rookie mistake is carrying all your cash and cards with you everywhere. If the unthinkable happens and your wallet or bag does get taken and you had everything in it, you will be up a creek without a paddle. If you only carry one debit card and a little cash (just enough for what you need through out the day), you will only have to cancel one card and you will still have some cash.
It's a bummer if you lose any cash, but it will be a lot less traumatic if you only lose a little money vs all of it. Keep most of your cash where you're living in a safe place only you know about.
Traveling abroad (especially with an ILP group) is amazing and can't be beat, but you need to make sure you completely prepared. The more prepared you are, the better off you'll be and the more fun you'll have!
Want some more travel tips? Check out the ILP blog! Want to see some awesome pictures from our current volunteers? Check out the ILP Instagram. Want to be an ILP volunteer? Click that green button below to apply!