Travelling and exploring a new city or country are unforgettable experiences.
But before you hop onto a plane and embark on your exciting journey, there are several things you need to check off your to-do list.
Besides the basics, such as finding the best accommodation for your budget or which clothes to pack, you should also pay attention to your finances.
So, let’s talk about essential tips for protecting your money while on the move so that you can fully enjoy your travels without constantly thinking about the safety of your finances.
Mastering financial safety while abroad
Understanding how to protect your finances while travelling is the first step towards a more enjoyable and carefree vacation. Here’s where to start:
1. Contact your bank
Your bank or credit card company should know you are leaving the country, so inform them beforehand.
Besides ensuring you can access your finances without any account holds, you could learn about the advantages of using your credit card abroad.
For instance, there could be hotel reward points you could spend in the future.
All you need to do is call customer service several days before your trip and tell them where you are travelling to and how long you’ll be away.
Some banks are diligent about withdrawals in a foreign country and could freeze your account.
2. Use a VPN
A mobile banking app might be the best way to track your spending and stay on top of your expenses.
However, some banks could deny you access to an app abroad because of geo-restrictions.
The quickest way to go around this problem is to use a VPN.
For instance, if you are from the United Kingdom, you will need a UK IP address to log into a banking app.
So once you launch the VPN, select a server located in the UK, and you’ll have a UK IP address.
We have to mention that a VPN is a must-have for avid travellers since it is also an online security app that encrypts sent and received data.
3. Use an ATM before the trip
Many banks allow users to withdraw their money from an ATM when they are out of the country without extra fees.
While this sounds convenient, avoiding using an ATM while travelling is better.
You’ll put your finances in unnecessary danger because card skimming can happen anywhere.
Skimmers are frequently placed on ATMs, and while they are sometimes easy to spot, most of us don’t pay attention.
Since you’ll probably need some cash for your trip, it is better to withdraw the money from a familiar ATM before you leave the country.
4. Carry at least some cash
Using your credit card abroad is a quick and easy way to pay.
But having some cash with you is recommended when going out or visiting touristy places.
This way, you’ll better understand your budget and avoid spending too much money, which often happens when travelling.
Remember to do a currency exchange before your trip so you’ll have some cash as soon as you arrive at your destination.
Search for exchange options in your area and avoid looking for an exchange service with unfavourable rates in an unfamiliar place.
If you have forgotten to do this step, get familiar with the currency exchange rate for the local currency to avoid scams.
5. Improve your security
Theft, scams, and pickpocketing are common occurrences in touristy places.
Most scams targeting tourists have been described thoroughly online, so research your travel destination and learn what you need to look out for.
Scammers are ready to target anyone; you should learn how to recognize their traps.
You could also prevent pickpocketing by carrying your bag in front of you.
That way, you’ll always know where your valuables are.
Another great idea is creating a fake wallet.
Travellers often make them realistic by adding cards they don’t use anymore.
Of course, you can still carry cash in your fake wallet, but make sure it is minimal.
6. Beware of public Wi-Fi
We have already mentioned that a VPN is quite useful for travellers, and one of the reasons is encryption.
Most of us use public Wi-Fi networks when travelling since they are available almost everywhere, and some don’t require passwords.
But you can never really know which network is safe to use.
Cybercriminals often create fake Wi-Fi networks in busy areas and wait for someone to connect to them.
Once they get their next victim, hackers can intercept their communication and steal financial data.
VPN encryption eliminates this problem by creating a safe tunnel for the data.
Cybercriminals can’t do much with your information, even if you connect to a fake network.
So, don’t hesitate to switch on your VPN and connect to a UK IP address abroad.