Whether you're traveling down the road, across the country, or abroad, managing your money is of the utmost importance. What you'll spend and where you'll spend it doesn't matter if your money isn't there for the spending. A recent trip to a local casino and a pending move to international territory mean my mind is on my money. What can I do to safely manage my money when traveling?
Don't take out local currency before you depart.
If you're traveling internationally, you may consider taking out local currency from your bank before you depart. I did this when I first traveled abroad, and incurred additional costs from and several extra trips to our bank. I thought taking out money before traveling was safest. Instead, it was an unnecessary hassle.
Withdraw money with caution.
Pay attention to where you withdraw money and in what sums. When I travel overseas, I always try to withdraw local currency from an ATM machine at the airport or in a city from a big-name bank, and always during daylight hours. Be aware of your surroundings and don't withdraw large sums of money unnecessarily.
Use secure Wi-Fi.
If you need to check the status of a credit card, bank account, or your PayPal account on your smartphone, tablet, or computer, take the time to verify that you're using a secure Wi-Fi connection. Skip the local coffee house, instead opting for the connection at your hotel. Verify that you see the secure lock symbol in your browser window when necessary.
Take only what you need.
When you're heading on vacation, reasonably assess which items in your wallet you must have and which can remain at home. One or two credit cards, your ATM card, and your license/passport should be all you need. Carrying more than what you may reasonably need simply increases the risk that you'll lose something (and it's also how I spent some of my trip to Paris at the local police station trying to find my entire wallet).
Use a money belt.
If you want to carry a larger sum of currency, a money belt may be a good purchase. Avoid the risk of pickpockets by keeping your money close to your body and out of sight. This is especially helpful if you want to avoid leaving money in your hotel room and know you'll only need a small amount of money while you're out.
It's a simple step, but one that's often overlooked when sitting at our home computer. Take the time to log out of your accounts when you're checking your accounts while traveling. If you lose your smartphone or have your computer stolen from your hotel room, you'll be thankful that you took this extra step.