travel and money http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/12337/all en-US Travel and Money: Passport Carrying Tips http://www.wisebread.com/travel-and-money-passport-carrying-tips <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/travel-and-money-passport-carrying-tips" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/passport pictures_1.jpg" alt="passport" title="passport" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="188" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p><em>Traveling safely and managing your money along the way is an exercise in balancing multiple risks: theft, loss, high surcharges, and confusing discrepancies. This <strong>Travel and Money series</strong> discusses various ways to address money and security issues while you are abroad.</em></p> <p><strong>Today, we're talking about ways to carry your passport.</strong> Although carrying your passport doesn't directly pertain to your money, losing it (or having it stolen) can be a costly disaster to contend with that could throw an unwanted curve ball into your vacation.</p> <p>Here are some techniques to help you reduce the chances of your passport going missing, and to make the recovery process much easier for you if it does.</p> <h2>Carrying the Original</h2> <p>You need your original passport for border crossings and navigating airports. In most other cases (such as checking into accommodation) you can use either your original or a copy (we'll get to that in a minute). So the only time you need to have your original passport on your person is when you're actively traveling.</p> <p>I keep my passport in a slim passport wallet that I wear around my waist which fits underneath my clothing. I can access it subtly in a pinch, and keep it relatively hidden and secure when I don't need it &mdash; thus reducing the chance of it being stolen from my purse or pocket.</p> <p>When I'm settled in to my accommodation, I leave my original passport in the room. Keeping it in a safe within the room is my first preference; otherwise I lock it up in my suitcase while I'm out of the room. Some hotels and hostels also offer secure storage at reception, which is an option.</p> <h2>The Photocopy</h2> <p>Aside from clearing official security checkpoints and borders, you can usually present a photocopy when your passport is requested. A simple copy of the photo and signature page will do, as it contains all the information necessary for somebody checking your identity.</p> <p>The reality is, the less you need to handle your passport in public, the less the chances are that your passport will go missing or get stolen. So whenever you can use a photocopy of your passport, you should.</p> <p>I keep a photocopy of my passport with me <em>at all times</em>, in my purse. That way, I have viable identification when needed, and if something happens to the original, I have a backup copy that I can march into my consulate with to start the recovery process.</p> <h2>The Scan</h2> <p>I'm all about double and triple backups since I <a href="http://www.theprofessionalhobo.com" target="_blank">travel full-time</a>, so I also have a scan (picture) of my passport's picture and signature page.<strong> </strong>I keep a copy of this on my computer, as well as on an encrypted USB stick that is kept underneath my clothing at all times. Some people also like to email themselves a scan of their passport so they can access it electronically if necessary.</p> <p>With this extra level of backup and security, I know that even if everything I own goes missing, I can still walk into my consulate with the USB stick and get the help I need.</p> <h2>The Extra Backup at Home</h2> <p>And as a last (last) resort, it never hurts to leave a copy of your passport with somebody at home. You never know if or when it will be necessary, and when you travel, it's always better to be safe than sorry.</p> <p>If you're applying for your passport, check out this article on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/cheap-passport-pictures-part-two-online-ordering" target="_blank">getting passport pictures on the cheap</a>.</p> <h2>Other Articles in this Travel and Money Series</h2> <ul> <li><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/travel-and-money-using-your-debit-card-on-the-road" target="_blank">Using your Debit Card on the Road</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/travel-and-money-using-your-credit-card-on-the-road" target="_blank">Using Your Credit Card on the Road</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/travel-and-money-how-to-get-and-carry-cash-safely-and-securely" target="_blank">How to Get and Carry Cash Safely and Securely</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/travel-and-money-using-prepaid-travel-cards" target="_blank">Prepaid Travel Cards </a></li> <li><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/travel-and-money-carrying-decoy-wallets" target="_blank">Using Decoy Wallets</a></li> </ul> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/nora-dunn">Nora Dunn</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/travel-and-money-passport-carrying-tips">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/travel-and-money-using-prepaid-travel-cards">Travel and Money: Using Prepaid Travel Cards</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/travel-and-money-how-to-get-and-carry-cash-safely-and-securely">Travel and Money: How to Get and Carry Cash Safely and Securely</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/travel-and-money-carrying-decoy-wallets">Travel and Money: Carrying Decoy Wallets</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/save-on-car-rentals-with-these-10-easy-hacks">Save on Car Rentals With These 10 Easy Hacks</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-5-travel-reward-credit-cards">5 Best Travel Reward Credit Cards</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Travel carrying your passport passport safety travel and money Wed, 06 Oct 2010 13:00:07 +0000 Nora Dunn 255254 at http://www.wisebread.com Travel and Money: Carrying Decoy Wallets http://www.wisebread.com/travel-and-money-carrying-decoy-wallets <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/travel-and-money-carrying-decoy-wallets" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/6084776479_e3b6478aa1_z.jpg" alt="man with wallet" title="man with wallet" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p><em>Traveling safely and managing your money along the way is an exercise in balancing multiple risks: theft, loss, high surcharges, and confusing discrepancies. This <strong>Travel and Money series </strong>discusses various ways to address money and security issues while you are abroad.</em></p> <p>A friend of mine left the bar he had enjoyed a few drinks at to walk back to his hotel. It wasn&rsquo;t late, but it was late enough. He wasn&rsquo;t drunk, but he had certainly drunk enough. And he wasn&rsquo;t in an unsafe area, but it was dodgy enough. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/disguise-your-stuff-to-prevent-car-break-ins" title="Disguise Your Stuff to Prevent Car Break-ins ">Disguise Your Stuff to Prevent Car Break-ins</a>)</p> <p>He had visited this town before, and had all the street sense of a seasoned city-dweller &mdash; even with a few drinks in him. So he had relatively little to worry about.</p> <p>Alert and aware of his surroundings, he crossed the street and rounded a corner. Wham! Face to face he came with a group of big guys with even bigger scowls on their faces. The exchange of minced English and foreign words that took place was fast and furious. It all ended with my friend receiving a body-doubling punch in the stomach, and a not entirely cordial request for his money.</p> <p>He reached into his pocket and reluctantly drew out his wallet. His perpetrator grabbed it, quickly opened it to reveal a few small bills and a few cards. He sneered at this paltry take and ran off with his friends, wallet in hand, before they could create too much of a ruckus and attract attention.</p> <p>My friend slowly stood up, and once he determined they were out of sight and not coming back, smiled &mdash; just a bit. His robbers hadn&rsquo;t actually robbed him. They had run off with his decoy wallet.</p> <h2>Carrying a Decoy Wallet</h2> <p>Two risks you face when traveling in certain areas of the world are mugging and pick-pocketing. (Heck, you might just as easily get mugged or pick-pocketed in your hometown, however your chances are often lessened if you don&rsquo;t look like a tourist and don&rsquo;t hang out in tourist places. Tourists are prime targets for theft.)</p> <p>The best way to stay safe in the event of a mugging is to give your perpetrator what they want. That is, without giving up what you need.</p> <h2>Decoy Wallet Components</h2> <p>My friend carries his decoy wallet in his jeans pocket, where most people have their wallets. It isn&rsquo;t flashy, and doesn&rsquo;t stand out. But a savvy pickpocket can relieve him of his wallet in a crowded marketplace or subway, and he could give it up on duress and his robber would be none the wiser. Because to most people, this wallet seems as real as it can be.</p> <p>He carries a few small bills in the wallet, and even uses this wallet to pay for items while out and about. He only carries the cash he anticipates needing for each day in his wallet, locking the rest safely up at his hotel. If he needs more than he is comfortable losing in one go, he carries the bulk of his cash somewhere else on his body (like a money belt, hidden inside pocket, or in his shoe), and steals away to the bathroom to replenish his wallet when needs be.</p> <p>He also has a few cards to bulk out the wallet, including:</p> <ul> <li>Blockbuster membership card</li> <li>Library card</li> <li>Inactivated credit card</li> </ul> <p>He ensures that the possessor of these cards can&rsquo;t <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/get-your-own-identity-what-to-do-when-yours-is-stolen">steal his identity</a> or access his funds. They are essentially useless. But on first &mdash; and even second &mdash; glance, they appear to be real.</p> <p>The inactivated credit card is the stroke of genius in this plot. No perpetrator will know that the card hasn&rsquo;t been activated until they try to use it, at which time they&rsquo;ll simply be out of luck.</p> <h2>Over-Compensation?</h2> <p>Some people might suggest that this strategy is an act of over-compensation, and according to the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/budgeting-projection-of-prophecy">law of attraction</a> may actually cause more problems. I say it all depends on where you are traveling to, and how travel-savvy you are.</p> <p>There are many people (around the world, but especially in developing countries) who commit acts of theft and robbery as a way of life. A friend of mine who is an incredibly seasoned traveler was drugged in Bangkok &mdash; where he lived for six months no less &mdash; when he ordered a drink that had been spiked. A couple I know who was traveling through South America got in the wrong taxi and ended up having all their bags stolen. And another friend had her purse snatched in Rome.</p> <p>Would I go to the trouble of putting together a decoy wallet in a city where I blend in and feel entirely comfortable? Probably not; instead I&rsquo;d just use some street-sense (and of course, I still wouldn&rsquo;t <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/travel-and-money-how-to-get-and-carry-cash-safely-and-securely">carry all my cash</a> and ID in one place).</p> <p>But in an area known for petty theft and crime? Absolutely; I&rsquo;d rather be safe than sorry.</p> <h2>Other articles in this Travel and Money Series:</h2> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/travel-and-money-using-your-debit-card-on-the-road">Using your Debit Card on the Road</a></p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/travel-and-money-using-your-credit-card-on-the-road">Using Your Credit Card on the Road</a></p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/travel-and-money-how-to-get-and-carry-cash-safely-and-securely">How to Get and Carry Cash Safely and Securely</a></p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/travel-and-money-using-prepaid-travel-cards">Prepaid Travel Cards</a></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/nora-dunn">Nora Dunn</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/travel-and-money-carrying-decoy-wallets">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/travel-and-money-using-prepaid-travel-cards">Travel and Money: Using Prepaid Travel Cards</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/passport-pictures-for-under-a-dollar">Passport Pictures for Under a Dollar</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-things-the-united-states-should-copy-from-other-countries">10 Things the United States Should Copy From Other Countries</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/travel-and-money-how-to-get-and-carry-cash-safely-and-securely">Travel and Money: How to Get and Carry Cash Safely and Securely</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-carry-on-luggage-can-save-you-time-and-money">5 Ways Carry-On Luggage Can Save You Time and Money</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> General Tips Travel decoy wallets personal security travel and money Mon, 20 Sep 2010 12:00:10 +0000 Nora Dunn 241267 at http://www.wisebread.com Travel and Money: Using Prepaid Travel Cards http://www.wisebread.com/travel-and-money-using-prepaid-travel-cards <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/travel-and-money-using-prepaid-travel-cards" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/2074865805_d28d2a05a4_b.jpg" alt="man in mask" title="man in mask" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Traveling safely and managing your money along the way is an exercise in balancing multiple risks: theft, loss, high surcharges, and confusing discrepancies. This <strong>Travel and Money series </strong>discusses various ways to address money and security issues while you are abroad.</p> <p>Today, the topic of discussion is <strong>Prepaid Travel Cards</strong>, which can be a useful &mdash; and secure &mdash; alternative to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/travel-and-money-using-your-debit-card-on-the-road">debit cards</a> and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/travel-and-money-using-your-credit-card-on-the-road">credit cards</a>, as well as a way to hedge against currency risk. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-essential-travel-tools" title="5 Essential Travel Tools">5 Essential Travel Tools</a>)</p> <h2>Prepaid Travel Cards Basics</h2> <p>A <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-prepaid-debit-cards">prepaid travel card</a> is generally usable in the place of a debit or credit card. You can withdraw cash at an ATM, pay for purchases, and make travel reservations. And as the name suggests, you prepay these expenses by loading money onto the card.</p> <p>It is just as secure as a debit or credit card, since the prepaid travel card is protected by a PIN and/or signature. In fact, some would say that prepaid travel cards are even more secure, since the money is not linked to your <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/financial-iq-test-how-healthy-are-your-bank-accounts">bank account</a> and has a limited balance (which limits your exposure).</p> <p>It can also be a handy tool for <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/financial-iq-test-how-healthy-is-your-budget">budgeting</a>, since you would load only the money you plan on spending for the trip onto the card, which helps you stick to your <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-budget-and-track-expenses-for-your-next-vacation">travel budget</a>.</p> <h2>Where to Get a Prepaid Travel Card</h2> <p>Plug in a simple search for &quot;Travel Money Card&quot; and you'll find a number of financial institutions offering prepaid travel cards that are ultimately backed by credit card companies.&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Basics:</strong></p> <ul> <li>Although these cards look and act just like credit cards, they operate on your prepaid balance instead of credit.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>You can use them anywhere credit cards are accepted, including at the ATM for cash withdrawals.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>You load money onto the card by direct transfer from your bank account. You can keep loading up the card as many times as you like.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>If the card is stolen or lost, your bank account and credit rating won't be compromised. PIN and signature cross-checks also help to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/travel-and-money-how-to-get-and-carry-cash-safely-and-securely">keep your cash secure</a>.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>You load your home currency onto the card, and money is converted with each purchase, using the prevailing rates on the day of purchase.</li> </ul> <p><strong>Watch out for:</strong></p> <ul> <li>Keep an eye on the monthly fees, which can be upwards of $2.50US.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>You'll probably also get dinged for fees for activation, re-loading money, and making your first purchase.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Every time you use an ATM, you could see a fee.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>If you don't use all the money you loaded on the card (and don't keep the card after the trip), you could pay to cash out your funds (e.g., $20).<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Some vendors and cards require minimum amounts to be loaded on the card before you can use certain features. For example, if you want to use your card at an automated gas pump, you'll need at least $50 on your card.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>The currency conversion charge can be up to 7%.</li> </ul> <h3>Travelex Cash Passport</h3> <p>Travelex has their own prepaid travel currency card called <a href="http://www.cashpassport.com/?id=201">Cash Passport</a>. They include &mdash; but are not limited to &mdash; cards backed by various credit card companies.</p> <p><strong>The Basics:</strong></p> <ul> <li>You pre-pay for a specified currency in advance, thereby locking in the exchange rate when you load money onto the card (instead of paying the prevailing rates each time you use the card).<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>You can use the card anywhere debit cards are accepted.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Cash Passports are currently only available in US Dollars, Euros, or British Pounds.</li> </ul> <p><strong>Watch out for:</strong></p> <ul> <li>Similar to prepaid travel cards from the credit card companies, you'll be on the hook for monthly fees with Cash Passports, too; around $2.50US.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Keep the number of ATM withdrawals<strong> </strong>to a minimum, since you will pay for it each time.</li> </ul> <h3><em><strong>UK Residents</strong></em></h3> <p>If you are in the UK, check out the <a href="http://www.holidayextras.co.uk/fairfx-currency-card.html">FairFX Currency Card</a>, which provides US Dollars or Euros and boasts favorable currency exchange rates.</p> <p>Overall, I don't use &mdash; or plan to use &mdash; prepaid travel cards, for a few reasons. First off, as a <a href="http://www.theprofessionalhobo.com">full-time traveler</a>, I tend to juggle many different currencies, and these cards seem a little restrictive for my needs. I also don't like the monthly charges and some of the currency conversion fees.</p> <p>If I didn't own a credit card, I might actually see some value in traveling with one of these prepaid travel cards; however as a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-seven-reasons-why-i-use-my-credit-card-for-everything">devout credit card user</a>, I think I'm pretty well covered (earning <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/become-a-frequent-flyer-master-and-earn-a-free-flight-every-year">frequent flyer miles</a> to boot).</p> <p>Do you have experience with prepaid travel cards? Please share in the comments!</p> <p>Other articles in this <strong>Travel and Money</strong> series:</p> <ul> <li><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/travel-and-money-using-your-debit-card-on-the-road">Using Your Debit Card on the Road</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/travel-and-money-using-your-credit-card-on-the-road">Using Your Credit Card on the Road</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/travel-and-money-how-to-get-and-carry-cash-safely-and-securely">How to Get and Carry Cash Safely and Securely</a></li> </ul> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/nora-dunn">Nora Dunn</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/travel-and-money-using-prepaid-travel-cards">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-5-travel-reward-credit-cards">5 Best Travel Reward Credit Cards</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-sign-up-bonuses-for-airline-miles-credit-cards">5 Best Sign-up Bonuses for Airline Miles Credit Cards</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-steps-to-getting-a-free-or-close-to-free-vacation-in-9-months-or-less-with-credit-cards">5 Steps to Getting a Free (or Close to Free) Vacation in 9 Months or Less with Credit Cards</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-prepaid-debit-cards">5 Best Prepaid Debit Cards</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-buy-and-sell-airline-miles">How to Buy and Sell Airline Miles</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Banking Credit Cards Travel Cash Passport prepaid travel cards travel and money travel currency cards travel visa cards Visa Travel Money Card Mon, 23 Aug 2010 12:00:06 +0000 Nora Dunn 213266 at http://www.wisebread.com Travel and Money: How to Get and Carry Cash Safely and Securely http://www.wisebread.com/travel-and-money-how-to-get-and-carry-cash-safely-and-securely <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/travel-and-money-how-to-get-and-carry-cash-safely-and-securely" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/IMG_4929_1.JPG" alt="traveling safely as a tourist" title="traveling safely as a tourist" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="333" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p><em>Traveling safely and managing your money along the way is an exercise in balancing multiple risks: theft, loss, high surcharges, and confusing discrepancies. This <strong>Travel and Money series </strong>discusses various ways to address money and security issues while you are abroad. </em></p> <p>Today we&rsquo;ll address getting and carrying cash safely and securely while you&rsquo;re actively traveling on the road. Depending on where you go, it&rsquo;s easy to be labeled as a tourist, which automatically makes you a target for theft and robbery. And in some countries, pick-pocketing is a finely attuned art form. In other places, full-on muggings are common occurrences. So it pays to be judicious about how you carry your cash so you aren&rsquo;t left stranded.</p> <h2>Where to Get Cash</h2> <p>You have a few options for where to get your cash if you are in a country with a different currency:</p> <ul> <li>You can convert funds at your home bank and bring foreign currency abroad with you. If the currency conversion rates are fairly stable or at a particularly favorable rate before you leave, this could be a good plan. But think hard about how much cash you want to convert and carry at the onset; if you covert all your spending money right away and carry it with you throughout your trip, you have no recourse if the cash is lost or stolen.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>You could carry home currency and convert it periodically while abroad. However again you leave yourself at the risk of loss or theft of all your coffers.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Lastly is my preferred method, which is to use ATMs abroad. You may be subject to a few different fees, but they&rsquo;re not exorbitant and are often comparable to what you would pay to exchange money along the way. You also have the added protection of not having to carry all your cash with you all the time. For some tips on how to manage fees and make effective cash withdrawals, check out this article on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/travel-and-money-using-your-debit-card-on-the-road">using your debit card on the road</a>.</li> </ul> <h2>Cash Conversion Tips</h2> <p>If you bring cash from home and plan to convert it along the way (or if you are visiting multiple countries and need to convert as you cross borders), take heed of the following tips:</p> <ul> <li>Don&rsquo;t convert your cash at the airport. The currency exchange booths have clued in to how easy it is for us lazy tourists to simply convert our funds at the airport (or other transportation hub), so they jack up the conversion rates and commission fees. Instead, wait until you get into town and find a bank or exchange booth there. If you need money right away (to pay for an airport bus for example), consider using an ATM instead (see tips above), or charging the expense to your credit card.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Beware of friendly locals offering to exchange money for you. There&rsquo;s a reason they&rsquo;re offering up this service, and it isn&rsquo;t sheer benevolence. Even if it&rsquo;s not a full-on scam, they&rsquo;re getting something for playing the middle-man, and it&rsquo;s coming out of your pocket.</li> </ul> <h2>How to Carry Your Cash Securely: Diversify!</h2> <p>Carrying all your cash in one place (usually a wallet) puts you at the biggest risk of losing the whole enchilada if somebody lifts (or if you lose) your wallet. In addition, when you whip out your wallet to pay for something and are sifting through large amounts of money, you will immediately become a formidable target for theft.</p> <p>So carry your cash in a few different places. Put the day&rsquo;s spending money in your wallet (this can also be an <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/financial-iq-test-how-healthy-is-your-budget">effective budgeting</a> technique), and then stash some cash in a few other places which you don&rsquo;t access in public; maybe a money belt, lock some in your luggage (an unlikely place like with your dirty clothes is good), and/or put a few emergency bills in your shoe (underneath the insole is great).</p> <p>I tend to carry emergency cash in a special pocket underneath my clothing, so if I lose everything, I still have some cash to get me out of whatever bind I may have found myself in.</p> <h2>Using Cash to Your Advantage while Traveling</h2> <p>Although it&rsquo;s no secret that I am a fan of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/travel-and-money-using-your-credit-card-on-the-road">using credit cards on the road</a>, there are some instances when you can use cash to your advantage. When you are looking at making a purchase (regardless of whether you are in a country where haggling is the norm), ask the vendor if they will give you a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-a-discount-every-time">discount</a> if you pay with cash. Vendors often have to pay a premium for customers who use credit and debit cards, so if they know you're paying with cash, they could cut you a deal. I&rsquo;ve had great luck with this at home too; especially with service providers like auto mechanics.</p> <p>Stay tuned for many more articles in this <strong><em>Travel and Money series</em></strong>, helping you to travel safely, securely, and effectively.</p> <h3>Other articles in this <em>Travel and Money Series</em>:</h3> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/travel-and-money-using-your-debit-card-on-the-road" target="_blank">Using your Debit Card on the Road</a></p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/travel-and-money-using-your-credit-card-on-the-road" target="_blank">Using Your Credit Card on the Road</a></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/nora-dunn">Nora Dunn</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/travel-and-money-how-to-get-and-carry-cash-safely-and-securely">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-4"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/travel-and-money-using-prepaid-travel-cards">Travel and Money: Using Prepaid Travel Cards</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/travel-and-money-passport-carrying-tips">Travel and Money: Passport Carrying Tips</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/travel-and-money-carrying-decoy-wallets">Travel and Money: Carrying Decoy Wallets</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-well-do-you-know-your-facebook-friends-precautions-for-travelers">How Well Do You Know Your Facebook Friends? Precautions for Travelers</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/save-on-car-rentals-with-these-10-easy-hacks">Save on Car Rentals With These 10 Easy Hacks</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Travel carrying cash safe travel travel and money traveling securely Thu, 22 Jul 2010 13:00:04 +0000 Nora Dunn 184616 at http://www.wisebread.com