Mago Tip: Safe Manner to Carry Cash

Eagle Creek hidden pouchWe had another excellent question from a MagoGuide fan…

I’ve not been able to find a safe manner to carry cash during my intended trip to Europe, next year. I thought that given your travel experiences you will have the knowledge I lack on the money issue.

Here’s the answer!

Protecting your money abroad these days involves more than the traditional precautions against kinetic threats like pick pockets, although that is still important so lets start with money belts, neck wallets, and other equipment that keeps your cash stash secure. MagoGuide has used Eagle Creek products for over two decades with very successful results. Eagle Creek sells a variety of body stashes that keep your money safe from all but the most intrusive efforts of the double bump aficionados. MagoGuide’s male spousal unit favors their RFID-blocker Hidden Pocket, but they sell a variety of ways to hide your cash and important documents, so pick one that works best for how you dress and what activities you engage in while traveling internationally. Note that RFID blocking function that also protects against digital theft. Pacsafe is another company from whom we have had good results over the years. MagoGuide’s female spousal unit currently accessorizes with their line of travel purses.

Of course keeping your money and critical travel documents safe has as much to do with behavior as it does gear. With the ubiquity of ATMs in most parts of the world, you do not need to carry a lot of cash at any given point in time. Make sure that you have an ATM card that works internationally before you travel and tell your bank where and when you will be traveling so that your card is not blocked by an algorithm designed to detect unusual and illegal use. Also, carry the contact information for reaching your bank from abroad separately from your ATM and credit cards. Speaking of ATM and credit cards, US banks and other issuers are finally starting to supply their customers with chip and pin or chip and sign cards that are much safer in terms of digital theft. Since you are not leaving for Europe until next year it is worth your time to secure a chip and pin or chip and sign card for your travels from your bank.

Our ultimate fallback consists of old school travelers checks, which can be exchanged for cash at many locations abroad. Travelers checks are offered by multiple vendors and you should choose one that has a lot of locations in the area you are going to visit. Make sure you understand the redemption procedures before you buy. But we only carry a few in case of emergencies. We’ve not had to cash a travelers check in Europe in 15 years!

We hope this helps. Keep the questions coming.

Morgan Hart was launched in 2011 as a website and virtual storefront to showcase Patti's software and Morgan's content. Dedicated to slow travel, culinary excess, and ripping good yarns, MagoGuide is the digital scriptoria for the Mago Scrolls, Morgan's historical fiction series about the Punic Wars in general and one Mago of Syracuse in particular. Although Morgan has written a great deal of non-fiction over the years in the form of specialized journal articles, book reviews, op-ed pieces, and (his personal favorite) the most unpopular coffee table book in the history of the planet, he always viewed himself as a happily frustrated novelist. Get more information about Morgan's novel and travel writing at our Products page.

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