How to Protect Your Money When Traveling Abroad

Although traveling abroad is an exciting adventure, you can be worried about the safety of your money and personal belongings while you’re not home. Unfortunately, Americans lost a record $10 billion to fraudsters in 2023, according to new Federal Trade Commission data.

The last thing you want is to have to worry about your finances while you’re enjoying exotic food, soaking up the sun on a paradisaic beach, and exploring new cultures. Fortunately, there are some things you can do to minimize the risk of losing money while you travel. 

In this guide, let’s explore together a few practical tips to protect your money and enjoy your travels peacefully. 

Protecting your money while you travel abroad

Before you set off, take some time to plan how you will manage your finances while you’re not in your home country. Here are some suggestions:

  1. Notify your bank

Make sure your bank knows that you want to travel because otherwise, they might flag your transactions as suspicious and block your card to prevent fraud, even if you’re doing something completely normal. Most banks have specific channels of communication so that you can notify them if you’re going to travel. 

  1. Use travel-friendly payment methods

Make sure to choose payment methods that are travel-friendly, like a prepaid travel card or your credit card. These are safer than carrying cash everywhere, and you won’t get scammed as easily, either. 

  1. Split your money

A basic security tip is to avoid keeping your money in one place. Simply put, don’t cram everything into your wallet. Separate cash in several places, and put your cards aside. It’s best that you don’t carry all your cash all the time; put some in a safe in the hotel room, for example. 

  1. Pay attention to pickpockets

In crowded areas especially, pay attention to the people around you and never go out with something that people can easily steal. Pickpockets usually target people who aren’t paying attention. France, for example, has the second-highest number of pickpocketing mentions at 283 per million visitors. You can even invest in an anti-theft bag if you’re scared of them. 

  1. Use ATMs wisely

If you’re in an unfamiliar or secluded spot, try not to use the ATM. If you must, make sure you use the ones that are inside banks or reputable establishments and cover the keypad as you enter the PIN. 

  1. Beware of scams

There are a lot of scams targeted at tourists, like fake taxi drivers, fake currency, and even overcharging in some shops and restaurants. If you’re traveling somewhere new, make sure to do your research about the most common scams in the area. 

Research common scams in your destination country and stay informed to avoid falling victim. If you use public Wi-Fi networks, you might consider getting the best VPN for travelers you can. This way, your digital information will stay as safe as your money. 

  1. Monitor your accounts

When you’re traveling, and especially if you use social media and banking apps, pay attention to your credit card accounts and your bank app.  One in four people who reported losing money to fraud since 2021 said it started on social media

To avoid getting scammed, make sure you check your transaction history and report any suspicious activity directly to your bank. 


While traveling abroad is an incredible experience, taking precautions to protect what’s yours is always necessary. Plan, pay attention, and monitor your accounts from time to time. A little prevention goes a long way.


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