You may have seen the story this week about John Jukes (70) who was mugged just before he went on holiday with his wife Eve. In total he had travel money worth €3000 stolen. This was a particularly sad story as the point of the holiday was to help get of chemo therapy. There was an online appeal and the couple received donations worth £2652 and were able to take their holiday, in fact they are away right now I believe. This is obviously a sad story but it highlights something. You would probably never normally walk around with nearly £2500 in your pocket would you? When you buy your travel money from your local post office, travel agent or bank, on that walk home, that is exactly what you will end up doing. There is always a risk you could simply lose it, leave it on the bus or on the roof of your car when you drive away or being mugged like Mr Jukes.
It can be a pain having to be home to sign for a special delivery, the service normally used for travel money, but at least until you have actually signed for the money you are not responsible for it.
When you are away, literally from the minute you leave home you are covered by your travel insurance but there are strict limits on how much cash they will cover you for and on the cheapest policies it is not a lot. Many policies seem to set the replacement limit for cash at just £250 or £500 and at todays exchange rates for the Euro that is just €339 to €682. The average order we see placed for Euros this year is for £995 or €1365.
Losing your holiday money while you are still in the UK in some ways it not as bad as it could be, you speak the language, you know how to go to the police and all of those every day logicistics we take for granted. Lose your holiday money overseas and it can be a real nightmare!
The best advice has to be to know the contact details for the local British consulate or embassy. They are all on the FCO website just find the country you are going to visit and make a note of the contact details.
After that it is all about not making yourself a target:
- Don’t flash large amounts of cash around and don’t go over the top with jewelery.
- Don’t carry more cash than you need.
- If you use an ATM use one inside the bank, not on the street (these are known targets for bag snatchers and muggers).
An alternative to cash is the prepaid currency card, these isolate your holiday money from your regular bank account and you can have more than one card on your account. If you do lose one you can use the other to withdraw your remain holiday money before thieves can get their hands on it.
When it comes to all forms of holiday crime prevention is by far the best policy with your travel insurance just there as a safety net.