Travelling abroad is exciting, but packing for the trip can feel overwhelming. In addition to striking a balance between packing light and being prepared, it's also important to consider safety. Although most travellers experience no difficulties overseas, you can take some extra precautions to keep your money and travel documents secure during your trip.
Wear a money belt or use hidden pockets
It's best to keep small amounts of money, a copy of your passport and other important documents with you at all times during your trip. However, don’t carry your wallet in your back pocket, it makes it easy for pickpockets to take it without you noticing. If you do use a money belt (to keep important items on your body but out of sight), don’t treat it like a wallet. Use it to store excess cash and documents that you won’t need throughout the day.
Women may prefer a pouch that clips to a bra strap or a wallet with a neck strap to wear under a blouse. Some athletic gear and hiking apparel also have hidden pockets that can be useful for travellers. Again, it’s best to use these items for storing additional cash.
Here is an article that you may find useful when deciding to use a money pouch:
Take advantage of ATMs
Thanks to the proliferation of ATMs around the world, most travellers can avoid carrying large amounts of cash by withdrawing only what is needed for a day or two at time. Most bank cards allow you to access local currency directly from your account at the daily exchange rate, but many withdrawals incur fees. If your bank's foreign transaction fees are reasonable, it's a small price to pay for the convenience and peace of mind that comes from having easy access to cash during your trip.
Create copies of important Documents
If your passport is lost or stolen, you will need to contact a local embassy to replace it, and this can take time. Bring several photocopies of your passport to use as ID during your trip, but keep the original in the hotel safe while you are out and about. You could also scan a copy and email it to yourself for safe keeping. If the worst comes to pass, having a photocopy or scanned copy to print out can expedite the replacement process.
You may be interested in a previous article that we have written, on what to do when you lose your passport overseas.
Purchase travel insurance
Sometimes loss or theft happens despite careful precautions. Travel insurance can provide cover for stolen items and any costs incurred due to delays or cancellations that may occur due to a stolen passport. Click here to see what cover is available under the TravelCare travel insurance policy.