Money tips for travellers

Keeping your money safe, at home and abroad, while you travel.

It’s always exciting to go on a holiday. There is so much to do when getting prepared – packing, deciding your itinerary, making sure your passport is up to date.

But one thing holiday-goers don’t necessarily think about is keeping their credit and money safe when they travel. Unfortunately, crooks don’t take a holiday and they are always ready to take advantage of a less-than-careful tourist.

Here are some tips to keep your money safe and credit intact while you’re away.

Only carry the money and plastic you need when you’re away. Leave all the extra cards in a safe place at home. Always ensure your money and cards are stored safely in your pocket or purse. Keep the receipts of purchases made on your credit card and compare amounts when you receive the bill to ensure it is accurate.

Another reason to keep all your receipts is that you can get back the taxes you spent depending where you are. The Value-Added Tax (VAT) in Europe is one of the taxes you can claim. There are usually forms at the airport when you are heading home.

Check the policy for return of taxes in the country you are visiting.

Let the bank know you are going on holidays if you are travelling outside of Canada. This is twofold – sometimes banks will block transactions made in a foreign country because it may be fraudulent. Although this is a great move if it was a fraudulent transaction, it would be a real inconvenience if it was actually you attempting to purchase that perfect gift to bring home.

While you are at the bank, ask how much the fee is to take money from the ATM in the country you are going to. Also find out what the daily limit is on spending money in your account to ensure it is enough.

Use your debit card only at ATMs and cash or credit cards at restaurants and shops. Unlike the credit card companies, the banks might not necessarily replace the money stolen from your bank account if someone takes your debit card and manages to steal your PIN.

Do not advertise to all your Facebook friends and other social media that you will be away. Everyone will know when your house will be empty and thieves could take advantage of this fact. Save the photos for when you get back to post on Facebook, and let everyone know what a great trip it was.

When shopping or using an ATM, always ensure privacy when entering your PIN number into the pad. Only use your cards with reputable retailers, and use cash for making purchases at markets and local vendors.

Doing these items will help ensure your money is safe and that there are no surprises waiting for you at the destination of your dreams.

Bon Voyage.

Kathi Bridge is a money coach and educator with Money Coaches Canada. This article is provided for information purposes only. Please consult with a professional advisor before implementing a strategy.