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Financial safety tips when visiting another country

When you're traveling outside of your native country, you should take precautions to protect yourself financially. You should keep receipts and records of any money that you spend while you are abroad, so you can compare your records to those of your financial institutions. This could help you spot any unauthorized purchases or other unusual activity.

If you plan to use credit cards while you are abroad, you should inform your credit card company that you will be out of the country and provide them with the length of time that you will be making purchases internationally. Otherwise, any transactions that are made on foreign soil may be flagged as suspicious activity, and the credit card company could deny any purchases that you try to make. Should you happen to find yourself in such a position, you can ask friends or family to wire money to help you out of a jam.

People can send money directly to your bank account with a wire transfer company, which means that funds will be available immediately. This can save you the hassle of tracking down an office and making the journey to pick up a money transfer. It can be especially convenient if you do not speak the native language and are visiting an area where people might not speak yours either.

"If your financial institution offers daily balance alerts and other account management tools, sign up for them," Mike Urban, a fraud expert at a credit-score company told the Seattle Times.

It is also important to monitor any financial accounts while you are abroad to ensure that other people are not trying to access your information. Many banks and financial companies offer applications for smartphone users to check their account information on the go.

Take precautionary steps to protect yourself in case you lose your wallet or your credit cards, money and other personal information are stolen. You should write down all of your credit card and bank account numbers as well as the phone numbers you would need to contact your financial institutions in order to report the theft or loss. Keep this information somewhere safe in your hotel room or home in case of emergencies.

If your credit cards are stolen or lost while you are visiting another country, you can have family or friends send money to a wire transfer office. All you need is identification to prove that you are the recipient and you can get funds to help you out while you sort things out.

The U.S. Department of State recommends that while you are traveling outside of your country, you should never carry large amounts of money. While you are visiting another nation, your family can send cash via a money transfer service. They can have the company deliver the funds directly to you or send money to an office in the place that you are visiting, so you can pick it up while you are out and about in another country.

Hotels often have safes in guest rooms that you can use to store valuables and any cash and cards that you do not need on your person when you are out and about. If you are moving to another country, you may want to consider purchasing a safe to protect important documents and money.

Money belts are a common way to carry money safely on your person. They are worn beneath your clothes so pickpockets and other thieves will be less likely to target you. Wearing a money belt can be a good idea if you are planning on going to a fancy restaurant or spending the day shopping, but you are uncomfortable carrying money in a more conspicuous location.

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