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Handling cash abroad involves some risks. After all, clever thieves are lurking, especially in tourist destinations that are well developed, to relieve holidaymakers of their valuables. Not paying attention for a moment and the holiday fund is plundered. But cashless means of payment also entail financial risks. We summarize what you should pay attention to in order to benefit from the greatest possible security.

Secure shopping when travelling

Credit cards - pay conveniently and securely

Cashless payment by credit card abroad has many advantages. For one thing, it's convenient and time-saving. You don't have to count money when paying, which can be stressful with foreign currencies, nor do you have to worry about whether you still have enough cash on hand.

Credit cards are a popular and established means of payment in many countries. It is not uncommon for it to be indispensable because other means of payment are not accepted.

If you don't have a credit card yet, you can take advantage of practical extras or services for your holiday. Among other things, this applies to combination offers with insurance policies specifically for travellers. Credit card contracts are often offered including foreign he alth insurance, the most important insurance cover for tourists. A financial editor of the FTD economic and financial magazine explains which credit card for the trip is associated with particularly sensible travel insurance.

The consumer guide lists reputable credit card providers who, among other things, present credit card contracts with travel cancellation insurance. Among them Barclay, ADAC or the Hanseatic Bank. The mentioned travel insurance in turn has the advantage that cardholders are reimbursed for the sometimes immense cancellation costs that arise when a trip is booked but not taken for important reasons. You must check individually whether offers also include international he alth insurance and travel interruption insurance. The latter policy, in turn, pays if a trip that has been started has to be cancelled. Important reasons are, for example, deaths in family or serious illness. In an article by NDR you can find out which travel insurance makes sense.

More tips about credit cards:

  • Before concluding a contract, compare several offers on the foreign transaction fees that card providers charge for payments and cash withdrawals abroad! Withdrawing cash from foreign ATMs may be free.
  • Clear in advance whether third-party fees from foreign banks will be reimbursed. This is part of the service for some providers.
  • Keep your credit cards as close to your body as possible when you are out and about to protect them from theft and think of a replacement card! However, you should never stow these together with the other credit card, but always separately from each other. If your wallet is stolen, you can remain solvent thanks to a replacement card.
  • Memorize the PIN numbers well! Do not write them down anywhere!
  • Be careful when withdrawing money and paying! Pay attention to your surroundings!
  • You should always have the card blocking hotline with you so that you can block your credit card immediately if you lose it. Carry the number with you both stored on your smartphone and in paper form!

Cash: Safe storage is the be-all and end-all

Whether shopping in busy markets, in shopping centers or taking a leisurely stroll through the city center: Wherever the focus is on retail, thieves are not far away. Their advantage is that tourists like to be inattentive when shopping and are therefore easy prey. Add to that the crowds, which offer criminals a certain degree of anonymity. In principle, tourists are therefore well advised to only carry as much cash as necessary. The less you have with you, the less can be stolen from you. A simple procedure that is worth its weight in gold on the go. Storing money in the hotel safe also needs to be carefully considered. Many models are easy to crack and criminals are not sufficiently denied access in every accommodation. Lockers in hostels are generally not a safe place for valuables.

In order to limit the financial damage in the event of a theft, it is advisable to only take a limited amount of cash with you or withdraw it from foreign ATMs.

There are several storage options to protect against pickpockets:

  • Money Belt: Stealing a belt is far more difficult than one snatching a purse or cutting open a backpack. After all, it is worn close to the body and is connected to the trousers via several belt loops. A money belt is therefore ideal for storing banknotes. The special belts have built-in compartments.
  • Bumbags: Bumbags are practical and comfortable. They offer space for money, smartphones, handkerchiefs and other small items. However, they only provide reliable protection against theft if they are manufactured as flat as possible so that they can be worn close to the body underneath clothing. This way the bag is not recognizable to others and therefore not a potential target. If you want to protect yourself from identity theft, you can use models with an integrated RFID function. It prevents criminals from using illegal RFID readers to spy on data. If you want to wear the fanny pack over textiles to have everything to hand quickly, robust materials are important. Otherwise it could happen that thieves snatch your bag by force or cut it open inconspicuously to get cash.
  • Combination lock: If you prefer a backpack, you should secure it with a combination lock. It protects against unauthorized access and has a deterrent effect on thieves who would otherwise use the crowd to gain access to the contents of the backpack.

The Federal Police publishes an article about the tricks used by pickpockets. Read the information on criminal procedures carefully before your trip and start your holiday well prepared!

Photographs 1 to 3: stevepb, photosforyou, 3005398,

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