It’s a big old world out there with some unbelievable sights to see and experience, and when we can, we try to get out and see them. We’re a nation of travellers; last year 7.7 million of us left for an overseas holiday, 59% of those being over 2 weeks long.No matter where you are travelling to: Bali, Fiji, New York, LA, the Caribbean, London, Paris, Croatia, New Zealand, or Australia, not everyone is as friendly or trusting as we would hope. Take Barcelona for example – the pickpocket capital of the world.
With travel season creeping up on us, what do you need to do to keep your passport, travel documents and money safe while enjoying all the sights and experiences your destination has to offer?
One Before you leave, invest in a travel credit card with no foreign transaction fees. Get a travel card that is ideally linked to airline and restaurant rewards. Some may offer in-built travel insurance too. Most Big-Bank credit cards take (some) ownership for fraudulent transactions. They also can replace them a lot quicker, through partnership banks where you are. Do your research and read the small print.
Two Buy travel insurance . No matter how short the trip and no matter how experienced a traveller you are. So many unplanned events can occur in the midst of travelling, even in the big cities. Actually they are probably the worst with baggage issues to sudden health problems, and lost or stolen passports happening every day. Again, read the fine print.
Three Store your credit cards in an RFID blocking wallet. At the very least, get an RFID card to stick in your wallet with your credit card. Today, RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) technology is used constantly to track sensitive data, especially credit card information and transactions, and has become a concern against the unknowing tourist. This even extends to passports embedded with RFID to track one’s personal data and photo. Counterfeit readers can easily scan this information, quickly replicate a card or passport and sell it on, and they don’t even have to have your credit card in hand to skim it. Even the contents of most hotel ro om safes can be skimmed.
You may not see unknown transactions on your statement for months, but they will come if your personal data has been stolen. It’s not just your money that can be stolen; it’s your identity too and that’s almost impossible to recover from. With RFID blockers, a Faraday cage works to prevent illegitimate scanning of RFID-embedded items by making them electromagnetically opaque, or unreadable.
Four Before you go, print all of your travel documents twice. Take a photo of your credit cards, passports, and itinerary. Store one on hand (in a carry-on bag), and one in your checked luggage. Additionally, store these documents on a USB drive carried on hand with you. As a final precaution, also save these documents to a Cloud drive such as Google drive, DropBox, or iCloud in the case of losing both paper copies, and the USB drive (This includes credit card information/contacts/scanned copies, flight confirmations, accommodation bookings, passport /ID copies, frequent flyer information, emergency contacts, any important health information, travel insurance documentation, etc.).
Five Store your cash in multiple locations. Keep your cash on hand in a wallet (tucked beneath your clothes in either a neck or waist pouch), in your shoes, inside an empty Vitamin container, on the inner-flap of a journal kept on hand in a backpack/purse/carry-on, or inside the case of your mobile phone (just don’t lose it). As a female, you could even stash some cash in your bra if you really aren’t comfortable with your surroundings (desperate times call for desperate actions). Never put cash or phone in your back jean pocket for obvious pickpocket reasons. And only carry enough cash for the day.
Six Don’t trust the hotel room safe. Whilst your hotel room safes won’t be broken into every day, it does happen, and it’s usually the hotel staff that have access to your room. Hotel staff can override these mini safes for the reason that guests forget their codes, leave without emptying it, and even for malfunctions. So what should you do instead? Use a good padlock on your suitcase. Not one used when flying as those are designed to be opened, but one which is sturdy and is less easy to hack and open. A thief isn’t going to spend all day on a chance.
So whilst those safety tips may seem extreme to some, they are simply a case of being pre-organised and prepared. Don’t be foolish or ignorant, and don’t leave safety and security to chance as it is a real concern when travelling and it makes sense to err on the safe side.
When planning your trip, don’t leave your big experience to chance either. Sure, you can spend days, if not weeks, self-researching your holiday, planning the destinations, but when you are ready to book, do yourself a favour and use a travel agent for itinerary planning. They have the booking tools at their fingertips to get the best price, the best route, and if you use a travel agent who has “been-there”, a service that https://www.going.expert offers, you will also get a huge dose of local knowledge to make your vacation an unforgettable experience.