Nothing kills the holiday vibe quicker than losing money. So we've put together a few tips to help you keep your money safe when you travel.

Give me the main points

  • Carry a bit of cash for times when cards aren't an option.
  • Keep money well hidden.
  • Spread the risk. Stash your cash in several places.
  • Use cards where it's safe to do.
  • Only use ATMs in safe and 'legitimate' looking locales.

1. Carry some cash

It’s inevitable—you'll need cash when you travel. Even though card facilities are increasing at a great rate around the world, some merchants insist on cash.

Others might not have a choice. What if you’re travelling through a part of the world where modern technology's limited? You’ll need cash.

What if you have to get from point A to point C but the taxi—or tuk-tuk driver or bus or camel caravan—only takes cash? If you don’t have any, you’re stranded. Always carry cash. Only not too much.

2. Withdraw money safely

When using an ATM, be mindful of your safety. If someone follows you to a dark, secluded ATM, use your common sense. Ensure you do your dealings somewhere well-lit and out in the open.

Never—ever—take out too much cash. How much is that? How much can you afford to lose? If losing the amount you’ve just withdrawn will ruin your trip, you’re taking out more than you need.

3. Use credit or travel cards

While some cash is a necessity, it’s often safer to use a credit card or travel card instead (at least where cards are accepted).

Unlike cash, if your card gets lost or stolen, you can cancel it almost immediately. It becomes useless to the thief. And you haven't lost your money.

If you’ve got more than one card, don’t carry them together. If your hotel room has a safe, leave one locked away while keeping the other in hand. If your cards are kept together, you’ll lose them together.

4. Wear a money belt

A money belt's a common travel accessory. Designed to be worn out of sight, they’re good for carrying cash and valuable documents.

Don't confuse a money belt with a bum-bag which you wear in plain view. No one should know you’re wearing a money belt, so don’t overfill it or wear it over your clothes.

5. Try the multi-stash method

Whether it’s cash or a card, scatter your money around. Keep some in a backpack or handbag, some in luggage, and some on your person. Just remember where you put it all!

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