One of the major concerns for any traveler, while traveling abroad, is about the safety, which can be personal, monetary, or health related. But one thing that may stand out in spoiling your trip is getting mugged or robbed. Keeping your money safe, thus, becomes the top most priority.
Volunteering India witness a lot of overseas volunteers joining the volunteering projects available in India every year, and advise them certain important steps that should be taken in order to keep money safe. Here is a list of few of those steps, be sure to follow them in your next volunteer trip to India (or anywhere for that matter);
Prefer ‘plastic money’ over ‘paper money’
Gone are the days when traveler’s checks were used most of the times while on a trip abroad, travelers today rely highly on credit cards and ATM cards. While volunteering in India, one should practice to carry their credit and ATM cards, and less cash. India is a fast developing nation and the banks here accept all international cards on very affordable exchange rates.
Use multi-stash method
This is one very useful strategy to safeguard your money. Even if one decides to carry more cash, it can always be divided into small stashes and can be kept in different spots; for example, in your luggage, pants, money belt, and so on. So even if you lose your wallet somewhere somehow, you still have the remaining amount safe with you. Divide and conquer!
Avoid using ATMs in secluded areas
This may sound ironic considering that India, with a population of around 1.25 billion people, is the second most populated country in the world. However, there are projects in the remote areas as well where there is handful of ATMs available*, which may be located in empty surroundings. If only one is in dire urgency, it is always advised to take along few companions (even if it’s not dark time) to withdraw money.
*Some additional charges are implied on each transaction. Try not to use ATMs more often than necessary.
Do not over display your wallet
While volunteering in India, participants do get time and opportunity to wander around the city, and explore the area. Most of the famous food joints and market places are crowded (and preferred place for robbers) and one should stay cautious about not over displaying the residents of their wallet while paying the bills.
Always recheck your belongings
Leaving from a café, getting down from a cab, or returning from a crowded market, always do a thorough check of your belongings once leaving from a place. It is common to not notice something happening when your mind is busy in selecting a souvenir for yourself. Thus, while leaving the place, just a rough check may save you from losing money.
Be smart in carrying your wallet
While using multi-stashes is a good idea to keep your money safe, it should be kept in mind that the wallet is not in your bag, especially when the bag is on your back. In a crowded place, it is a smooth ride for a picker to swipe through your bag from behind and run away with your wallet. Either keep the bag on your front side or avoid keeping your wallet in your bag.
Stay alert in crowded areas
All the above factors, actually, amalgamate to this one point; stay alert!
Volunteering in India is a wonderful opportunity for gap year travelers and backpackers to learn the diverse culture of India. Many volunteers, over several years, have experienced this opportunity in the best way possible. A little attentiveness and common sense applied to a trip is all what it takes to make a safe and enjoyable voyage.
Do you have any additional advice on how to keep the money safe? Share it with fellow volunteers in comment box.
To know more on volunteer projects in India and other FAQs, simply drop a mail at [email protected].