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Precaution List

This is for sure not complete but some of the precautions I take are: 1). Let your bank and credit card companies know what dates that Europe charges will start/end. 2)Open a second checking account (different bank) and deposit some cash into it. This is what I use at the ATM. If lost or has trouble being recognized I use the main ATM card my wife has. This is a fall-back incase of theft or loss. When I get home I close the europe usage account. If I used the main ATM, I have that account changed once home. 3)Take 2 credit cards Visa / M.C. My wife and I each have one in case of theft or loss. When I get home I call the credit card company and have them issue me a new card, different number for each card used. I don't like the idea of that number floating around overseas. 3) Carry incidental cash 50E or so in a wallet in front pocket with a rubber band around it. The band will resist if wallet is pulled on. This wallet also has a few of those dummy cardboard cards you get in the mail from AARP, Visa, whatever,, at first glance they look real. Make that robber happy! 4)Traveler checks are a hassle to use. However, a few for emergency use is not a bad idea. 5) Use a money belt. 6) When you see a sign 'beware of pickpockets' do not pat your money. 7)Carry a copy of your passport tucked away in your locked suitcase. The suitcase also has credit card emergency numbers to call along with the card numbers in a code I know, like the numbers multiplied by 3. 8)Make sure to have dollars set aside for when you are back in the states! OK, maybe overkill but it makes me feel better. Any more suggestions?

Posted by
21859 posts

I agree. I think some of Den's suggestion are a little over the top especially the changing of credit card numbers and account. But if that provides comfort for him, then he should do it. If the bank is doing its job you cards should be protected once your are home and past the travel dates. We have drifted more and more to cash only and only using a credit card when we can see it being used, Just back from nearly four weeks in Italy and Switzerland and didn't charge more than ten items -- mostly train tickets. A rubber band offers no protection -- an urban story -- unless the rubber band is attacked to something, I never put anything of importance in luggage -- locked or otherwise -- locks are easily broken and luggage can disappear -- that is what money belts are for. And more important -- how you behave in public is critical. All the precautions are useless if you get yourself in corner.

Posted by
59 posts

Make sure your pin numbers are in NUMBERS, not letters. There are no letters on foreign ATM machines. I wonder the reason you will be changing your cc's when you return? I've been to Europe 7 times and never had a problem, nor have I heard of one like you mention. I certainly make sure my waiter gives me back the correct card however.

Posted by
31 posts

I am a female so a few different things. I carried a shoulder purse with sturdy handle and placed over my head, not just over the shoulder. It prevents the quick grab, and the thicker handle slows down the guy trying to cut the handle with a knife. That also placed the purse itself in front of me and I could rest my arm on it. My little digital camera was in a holder also on a sturdy belt around my waist. The resting arm also sat on the camera.

I'd put maybe $50 each morning and my cigs (I know, I know)in my purse. Everything stayed in the

I also carried a beach bag that had one side clear plastic. It was quite sturdy but only carried an umbrella, thin jacket, water bottle, maps, and RSs book for the country I was in. The big advantage of the clear plastic is the thieves could see there was nothing to take.

I kept COPIES of my passport, health insurance cards, unique medical information, home phone #, etc. in my purse in case of an accident wherein I was unconscience

Posted by
481 posts

Leave a copy of your itinerary (with confirmation numbers), passport, credit cards and other information (such as health cards and travel insurance information) at home with a trusted friend or family member. If everything is lost, then they can help with credit card cancellations or even faxing a copy of your passport. As for the credit card emergency numbers, make sure with the card issuers that they can be called from overseas. The number my credit union gave me would accept international calls and it wasn't even a toll free number. We had to call my dad who placed a conference call to the Credit Union so we could cancel the ATM card stuck in the machine and that was not returned to us by the bank. I also agree with the other posts, no need to cancel your cards upon your return. It's just a hassle (especially with automatic payments) and an extra expense for the card issuer that eventually gets passed on to us consumers...

Posted by
481 posts

Sorry for the typo... I meant the phone number of my Credit Union would NOT accept international calls.

Posted by
57 posts

A lot of Den's advice is good. If you are a couple traveling carry different credit cards. Each of you should carry a piece of paper with the other persons credit card numbers and emergency call numbers. My husband lost his wallet in both Spain and Italy but we were OK because I had good cards and also we had two bank accounts so we still had access to one via ATM's. Travelers checks are a nuisance but if you use them be sure the other person has a list of the numbers. Be sure to leave a copy of the front page of your passport with someone at home and give one to your travel companion. The American Consulate is very good about getting you a replacement passport rapidly (or the used to be) but be prepared to have someone swear that you are who you claim to be. Also be prepared for suspecious looks at the airport when you present a passport issued in a foreign country.