The excitement of going on a vacation after working hard throughout the year is vast. You deserve to have fun and relaxation. However, it is important to be aware of the potential dangers of vacationing. This is especially true regarding the safety of your funds, as having your wallet, purse or bag stolen could quickly turn a well-planned vacation into a nightmare.
Below are some tips for keeping your funds safe when travelling:
1. Never Leave All Your Eggs in One Basket
There is a famous saying, “Don’t keep all your eggs in one basket”. Likewise, keep your cards stored in separate locations. If you are carrying cash, split them into smaller amounts and keep them in separate pockets or bags as an extra layer of security. This way, if you get robbed, you can afford to lose a small amount of funds without losing everything. This is also a good practice to store your money in your prepaid card account, as charging is easy and much safer than carrying huge amounts of cash.
2. Try Using a Money Belt
Sometimes you will be amazed to observe how most men keep their valuables, such as mobile devices and wallets, poking out of their back pockets. On the other hand, women keep everything in their handbag zipper unzipped and loosely hung over their shoulders. Carry your cash, cards and passport in a money belt, hidden under clothing, or even a zipped pocket. Keeping your valuables out of sight will save you from potential theft or loss. Keep your money in your prepaid card and only withdraw what you need. Certain Visa prepaid cards have load limits as high as USD 50,000, making it easy to store all or the majority of your holiday funds in one card.
3. Use Passwords on All Your Mobile Devices
When we vacation, we usually take our mobile devices such as a notebook, tablet and smartphone. These devices contain all personal information, a true goldmine for online hackers and fraudsters. Be sure to have strong passwords on all these devices and program them to auto-lock after 30 seconds of inactivity. Specific devices even provide a function to erase personal data should someone attempt to enter the password incorrectly multiple times. This handy feature can help protect your data and passwords for your credit, debit and prepaid cards.
4. Keep Your Cash to a Minimum
Because of the convenience of having ATMs virtually everywhere, most people prefer to pay with cash when going on holiday as they feel this helps control their spending. While this is somewhat true, walking around with a big wad of cash is the opposite, making you vulnerable to theft. On the other hand, using credit cards can also be unsafe, as the potential financial damage can be devastating in the case of a lost or stolen credit card. Instead of placing yourself in this risky scenario, why not use a prepaid Visa card for larger payments such as hotel bills, car rentals and restaurant bills? Prepaid cards function similarly to your traditional credit or debit card, allowing you to make purchases where traditional debit and credit cards are accepted. Unlike credit or debit cards, prepaid cards are not linked to your bank account or any line of credit, which will prevent potential monetary loss to what was preloaded onto the card. Thieves, hackers and fraudsters will have no access to your primary bank account, nor will they have access to your credit score.
5. Always Keep Your Card Provider’s Hotline Number On You
Once you discover that your prepaid cards are lost or stolen, you will need to block the cards as soon as possible. It will only be possible to cancel or block your prepaid cards if the only place you can find the customer service number is on the back of the card itself. Record the critical numbers and keep them in a safe place separate from your other cards. Inform your prepaid card provider about the loss of your card with the required identification information. Customer support will then block all activities involving the lost card account and make arrangements for a new or replacement card to be sent to you as soon as possible.
6. Be Cautious of Your Surroundings & Avoid Secluded ATM Machines
Most prepaid cards are accepted around the world, which in turn makes it truly convenient for globe trekkers. Who can use prepaid cards anywhere traditional credit or debit cards are accepted? When you need to withdraw cash from your prepaid card, try to use an ATM in a busy area during daylight hours. Bring a friend or a travel companion to accompany you to the ATM. It is highly recommended that you use your prepaid card at an ATM in your hotel, as this would be the safest option.