Friday, 8 April 2016

What to do when you lose your money in a foreign country???

Funny thing is that a holiday requires a lot of work....especially if you plan to go abroad. Getting a visa means arranging for salary slips, bank statements, letter of employment, medical insurance, filling forms, multiple visits to visa offices, arranging for bookings, flights, Forex and many such small but necessary things. By the time you leave for the "holiday" you are tired of it all. But then the thought of exciting locales, exotic food keeps you going. 

Now imagine....all this excitement gets wipes off in one moment.....you get robbed or you lose your money. What will you do? Well the best advice is to have a back up. We all have heard our parents tell us, "don't keep all your money in one place, don't count it in public, be mindful of your bags" and if it was possible they would even suggest we chain ourselves to them. But bad luck doesn't differentiate between the cautious and the careless. Most careful ones can also end up losing money. In a situation like this i have a few words of advice since I went through it myself. 

- your priority should be to cancel your cards first. Internet banking comes handy here and one click of mouse can block your card.
- call a friend in India to block your cards in case you cant, simultaneously send an email to the customer care regarding the same. 
- In case you have lost all your money don't worry. There are ways to get money. The best and fastest is Western Union, in case you have a friend living outside India. Western Union doesn't allow money to be sent outside India so you will need someone in another country. It take a steep commission but then when you lose all your money its a matter of life and death. 
- http://www.westernunionnearme.com/ is a good way of searching for the closest western union agent. The money gets transferred in a matter of minutes. Just make sure you take your passport to pick up the money. 
- One good way of avoiding loss of money even if you get robbed is to reduce the amount of cash you carry and instead get a travel card which you can choose according to how much you want to take and the unspent will be reverted back to your account. Ask your bank about it. It also save you from fluctuating currency rates and commissions on transactions that your regular card is subject too. 
- Many times if you make a cash withdrawal in Latin American countries or Caribbean countries, your bank might block your debit card calling it a suspicious activity. It might be a god idea to keep your bank informed if you are taking trips to these countries so that they know it is you who is making those withdrawals and you don't get stuck with a useless piece of plastic. 
- In case you lose your passport then the only option is to head to the closest police station. They will file a complaint and help you get connected with your embassy. Remember, in a foreign country your embassy is there to help you.
- a few things that you could do to avoid getting stuck in a jam in case you lose money is to pay for the hotel room in advance, book your tickets to museums and other places online beforehand and save yourself the waiting time at ticket windows and also the risk of having to skip the trip coz of lack of money. 

Lastly, if you do lose money...do no feel too bad and let it spoil your holiday. At the end of the day its just money...there are worse things that can happen on a holiday and consider yourself lucky that they didn't. 
Enjoy the rest of it!!!!