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Travellers' Advisories, Safety and Security on the Road Recent News, political or military events, which may affect trip plans or routes. Personal and vehicle security, tips and questions.
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Old 21 Sep 2008
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money security

chef jules my first thread,but im sure not the last. Im planning a trip into Europe maybe Asia if time allows. My question is to you experienced travellers, How do you carry your monies. Would you recommened debit cards {credit card to expensive to draw cash on ] Travelling alone on 1100 Dragstar. What about travellers cheques,. Any tips or advice welcomed thank guys Chef by name and Chef by nature
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Old 21 Sep 2008
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These days most people don't use travelers cheques, plus once you get to some places such as India, it is a massive mission to get them changed and some banks will not even consider changing them.

I take a little cash in a wallet, then two debit cards, one hidden as a spare. If I am further a field, for emergencies I hide some money sealed and water proofed on the bike. I've also laminated dollars in what looks like a membership card before which is in my panniers and avoids the eyes of officials going through my stuff at border crossings.

The other thing people sometime use in far off places with a bit of a reputation for crime, is a muggers wallet. This consists of a cancelled credit card or two, some cash & other wallet like things, pictures of loved ones, just be creative. If you are held up, just hand it over and the robber should be happy.

The other thing I do if I am on the road for a while, is gradually transfer money over the internet into my debit account, from safe internet hook ups. That way it I lose the card, there is not too much money to lose.

I also email myself and take a copy of the numbers to call to cancel my cards.

I always use cash and never pay for meals of rooms with credit or debit card, to avoid cloning and so on.

Hope this helps.

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Old 21 Sep 2008
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Laminated money in a membership card! That's something I haven't heard of before.

A traveler's wallet is what I'm using along with hidden cash in bags and on the bike. Although this morning my wallet screwed me when I got waved over by police in Agra (home of the Taj Mahal). Traffic was too slow to use the ol' "smile and wave and keep riding" trick so I had to stop. 100 rupees I was told.

Usually, I keep my 500 rupee bills hidden in my traveler's wallet, but it was the morning and since I thought I'd need fuel, I had a few 500 bills in plain view. I couldn't argue away the 100 rupee tourist fine. I can usually get it lowered or dismissed with my crappy Hindi (saying basically, yes, I know little Hindi, one o'clock, two o'clock) and the Salvador Dali moustache I'm currently sporting. I also laugh a lot at the absurdity of the whole thing which helps. I mean, getting hassled by The Man for US$2.08 but it's also annoying.

Oh yeah, Visa works better than MasterCard (at least in Asia), and traveler's checks might've been a good idea years ago but a pain to use now. I haven't tried to use any on this trip. Even in the US most places say no.
Not Ted Simon since 1970!
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Old 21 Sep 2008
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Hi Chef Jules, since they came on the market I have been using Nationwide Visa credit and debit cards on my travels all over the world. No commission charged on currency exchanges and it is easy and legal to get 2 debit cards, 1 to use and 1 for backup and you monitor and manipulate your vast fortune through internet banking. This system has saved me hundreds of pounds over bank debit cards. Look it up on the Nationwide website or pop into a high street office. Ride safe.
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Old 21 Sep 2008
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money securities

Thanks fellas for the tips . In particular Iain for a great idea of the muggers wallet. A handy thing to have even when not biking. Its not easy to find a hidding place on motor bike. Unless we take a tip from EASY RIDER .... The old tank trick. Thanks again there will be lots more questions in the future Chef jules
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Old 24 Sep 2008
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A debit card will do the trick in Europe. Once you get into Turkey and beyond, bank machines become a little harder to come by (though you can usually pull money out with a credit card.)

The muggers wallet also works wonders with police. I got pulled over at 4 speed traps in one day in Montenegro! Every time, when asked for a bribe, I'd pull out my muggers wallet and tell the cops that I hadn't been to the bank yet, but they could take my $4 USD if they liked. No one wanted it and they always let me pass.
Jeremy Kroeker
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Old 27 Sep 2008
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The Nationwide credit card has already been mentioned and it's pretty good although there is a 'cash advance fee' but there is no commission on tranasactions. The Post Office also has a credit card that doesn't charge commission and has the added advantage that if you pre-pay your account (i.e. are in credit on the account) then there is no cash advance fee.

The other advantage of using cards is that you get the wholesale exchange rate which is better than the over the counter rate.

I carry both a Nationwide card for purchases and a pre-paid Post Office card for cash withdrawals although you can use either card for either purpose.
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