By Francisco J. Colayco




Vacation is for relaxing and not worrying. But the reality is that you need money to enjoy your vacation unless you are spending it at home. You are also so used to your set ways of daily living including what you keep in your wallet or purse. Chances are you carry the same purse with your ID, ATM and credit cards kept in the same place. If you don’t do it yet, keep your loose cash (both paper and coins) separate in a smaller light purse so that you don’t have to open your entire wallet each time you need cash thus exposing your cards.


For your vacation, plan with the safety of your money in mind. Think in detail of the places you are going to, particularly the transportation, lodging and eating facilities. Have a budget focusing on exactly how much cash you should bring. Check if there are ATM machines available to further lessen your actual cash on hand. If the place you are visiting will have places accepting it, bring a credit card and if you have more than one, just take one or at most two cards for safety.

But remember, credit cards should still be used the way I have always advised. You should have the cash to immediately pay for your purchases on your credit card statement due date. Just one day delay in payment can be the start of your credit card debt misery that can last you a long time if you are not careful. There are too many stories about overspending and credit card debt which is the most expensive kind of debt. Don’t add yourself to the sad stories and keep your vacation memories happy.


The safety financial tips for travelling are actually the same ones you should follow while you are home. But you just need to be more focused since you will be in a new place and precisely more relaxed without a care.

Have a copy of your important documents in a separate safe place that you can refer to if necessary. This includes your Passport, ID, SS, Driver’s License and other similar important documents. Also copy all your credit cards and other discount cards back and forth on one sheet, again for reference.

Bring a copy of your health insurance and leave another copy of your important documents and your itinerary with your family.

Keep most of your money in the bank but whatever cash you have divide into different parts for storage in your home. This is especially true if you live with others and househelp. Do not tempt them.

Even within your purse or handbag, try to divide the money into different compartments. Unless your entire purse or handbag is stolen, you may have a better chance of not losing all your cash to theft. You could also keep a money bag inside your clothes.

At the end of each day, review your purchases especially those made with a credit card. Remember the cut-off date and the due date fixed for your credit card. The cut-off date is based on your date of purchase. If you purchase right after your cut-off date, you can wait until the next cycle of your due date.

File your credit card receipts carefully and keep tab of the total amounts and due date. If you will still be away on due date, make sure you make arrangements for payment. Again, you do not want to add to your stress after your vacation. Even if the credit card company could give you a chance for the one time that you are late, you will still need to exert extra effort and time talking to them.

As always, you should be focused when you use the ATM card. Check the machine you are using to make sure it is not a fake one and look around you for privacy before using it.

Keep your contact numbers for your bank, your credit cards and your hotel in your phone in case of an emergency.



Take extra precaution when you know you will be in a crowded area. Never use a backpack unless you do not put anything of monetary value in it. Never lay your bag on the floor beside you. Do not assume that your belongings are safe because your entire group is around. This is particularly true in a crowded space.

You will be surprised at how fast thieves work and you will never even know you were robbed until you need your money. I have seen this in action several times and was truly amazed because thieves work in a coordinated team. They will create all kinds of diversion to distract all and thus easily steal your possessions.

You need to always look focused and organized while walking around. The way you carry your purse or bag will be a dead giveaway to the thieves on how easy it will be to rob you. If your bag is always under your arm and not swinging around, they may look for someone else to prey on.



Whatever lodging or eating place or even vehicle your enter, be aware of your surroundings. In a restaurant, choose the safest place for your purse or bag. In a vehicle, put your bag with your money always on your lap. In a hotel room or sleeping area, understand what is included in your room rate, especially if there is a bar provided. Use the hotel safekeeping facilities but put your own safeguards for whatever you leave so you know if anything has been tampered with.

Remember to give every place you leave a careful look-through including closets, cabinets, drawers. In a vehicle or restaurant, do not assume that what you are carrying is the only article you have with you. Always still look at where you were seating. Many times, a shopping bag is left behind.

Enjoy your travels and remember to keep praying for your safety as well as all your loved ones!
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