Taking your smart phone and money management

Travel Forums General Talk Taking your smart phone and money management

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1. Posted by Dave_C57 (Inactive 8 posts) 4y Star this if you like it!

Hi all

I'm desperate to take my iphone 6+ but I'm concerned about theft. If i take a cheaper/older Android essentially the same threat applies.
I last backpacked (for almost 5 straight years in 1987-1992) and I got by just fine with no phone and far fewer plans than I'm making this time around.
(Back then, no one could threaten me for a PIN or fingerprint like they could today - so much for progress!)
So I either hide my 6+ or Android on or around my body and hope for the best or what?

So do I take a regular debit card - no, of course not with all the silly charges!
Do I take a travel credit card with a direct debit to pay the outstanding amount each month - seems reasonable?
(there is a decent new travel UK Barclaycard out there with a good start-up deal)
Do I take a money card - no - because they have more silly charges to use/withdraw, etc.

Or what?

Thoughts, advice and/or feedback on either of the above would be most appreciated.

Thanks for your time

2. Posted by AndyF (Moderator 2372 posts) 4y Star this if you like it!

Personally I take a prepaid debit card that I can top up online while travelling, so my real account isn't ever exposed. The login and password for the prepay card can only be used to top it up, so no risk.

Using this at ATMs for large chunks of local currency minimises charges and reduces the number of visits ie less risk.

For the short trips I'm doing at present I often get currency beforehand, shopping around, and the cards are just backup. I prefer using cash as it minimises fraud risk.

3. Posted by Dave_C57 (Inactive 8 posts) 4y 1 Star this if you like it!

Hi Andy
Thanks for taking the time to reply ?

Post 4 was removed by a moderator
5. Posted by hasbeen (Travel Guru 1260 posts) 4y Star this if you like it!

[quote=Dave_C57]Hi all

I'm desperate to take my iphone 6+ but I'm concerned about theft. ....
So I either hide my 6+ or Android on or around my body and hope for the best or what?

Thoughts, advice and/or feedback on either of the above would be most appreciated.

.. /quote]

What do you need the I phone for? With that answer people might be able to offer alternatives.

Personally, without knowing anything else, I would not take the I Phone or any alternate . I get along fine without any internet or phone connection from home at all when I travel.

6. Posted by Dave_C57 (Inactive 8 posts) 4y Star this if you like it!

Hi has been

I want to take photos, move money, write, keep in touch without needing an Internet cafe. I realise I can do all of that in other ways but asking a huge audience via this forum was my first step in making the decision- thanks for your time

7. Posted by greatgrandmaR (Travel Guru 1969 posts) 4y Star this if you like it!

I think the prepaid debit card sounds like the best idea for money.

I have an iPhone and I do take it when I travel, but since I'm not backpacking, I also have a regular SLR camera and a laptop. I take photos with the camera and do emails etc from the laptop. And I make reservations to stay at places that have free wi-fi, so I have never frequented an Internet cafe, or at least not since i was traveling on a sailboat in the Bahamas c 2002.

Anyway, since I have an actual camera, I don't take photos with my iPhone, which means that when I'm wandering around someplace, my phone is in a pocket (or actually it is usually in a passport holder around my neck). I figure that someone is more likely to see the camera and since I am an old lady they may think that I don't have an iphone or will not think to look for the phone. I use the phone mostly as a GPS. Most of the time I am in the car, but sometimes I am on my scooter and want to get back to the hotel the quickest way.

So I would say take the older phone, and be circumspect about using it. Don't wave it around, don't text or get emails while you are walking, and do your writing and emails when you are sitting in your room. And maybe get a cheap camera or a flip phone that will take photos.

8. Posted by berner256 (Moderator 1519 posts) 4y Star this if you like it!

Like Steve (hasbeen) I avoided carrying a smartphone for years. Instead, I used a laptop to communicate via Skype and for other purposes. However, I've been using a smartphone on trips for nearly two years now; and I recommend that you bring one along for just the reasons you describe. It's a handy multipurpose tool that I now consider necessary, particularly since I travel for extended periods.

I live in the U.S. so I have the advantage of using Google's Project Fi, which offers worldwide phone and data access at a reasonable price. No need to buy SIM cards for my Nexus 6P; it just works in a lot of locations around the globe. No need to hunt for an Internet café; just use your phone. If you want to upload a photo or video to Facebook while you're at a waterfall in Iceland, simply take out your phone. My smartphone told me how long a drive would take in Cameroon.

I wouldn't be overly concerned about theft. Put your phone in a pocket with a zipper or velcro closure. Or use your jacket's inside pocket. You see lots of people using cellphones nearly everywhere. So don't hesitate to take yours along.

As for money, I use a U.S. bank debit card that charges no fees, so I have full use of my money (it even rebates the withdrawal fee that other banks may charge). I also carry cash, either in U.S. dollars and/or euros. How much depends on where I'm going and for how long. One set of debit and credit cards go with a money clip for daily use. A backup set is with my passport and international vaccination certificate. Since I consider my passport my most valuable possession, it's always in a secure place.

Rather than theft, I suspect a lot of people lose phones for a variety of other reasons, including forgetfulness.

9. Posted by Beausoleil (Travel Guru 1758 posts) 4y Star this if you like it!

I take my smartphone (an Android) and have never worried about it. I keep it zipped inside my purse most of the time and strap my purse across my body. I've never had a problem. I don't use it for photos because I prefer a camera. I keep that strung around my neck so I look like a tourist but that's never bothered me and if it's bothered anyone else, they haven't mentioned it. I have had people stop and suggest things I might like to photograph and I appreciated it.

We each take our bank debit cards for cash and we each take two credit cards for purchases although we try to use only one so we can collect airline miles on it. We don't have fees for this so it's not a problem. There are a couple good credit cards for traveling that don't have fees. A little research should find what you need.

We look very ordinary so probably aren't a great target for thieves. Leave your Rolex at home and you'll be fine. Just be aware of your surroundings and don't leave things sitting around on counters and tables. Most phones that are stolen are taken from chairs, counters and tables . . . just sitting there waiting to be stolen. Have a place to put it and keep it there unless you're using it.

Don't worry. If you don't worry at home, don't worry when you travel. I don't know where you're from or where you are going, but most people are honest.

10. Posted by Dave_C57 (Inactive 8 posts) 4y Star this if you like it!

Hi to all. Many thanks for everyone's input.
We've pretty much decided on a fee-free travel card.
I doubt we'll find a better option but was just testing
you all in case.

Re the phone - I'm very fussy where I leave it here in the UK
never mind when I'm travelling in the middle of nowhere but again, I'm looking for any other input that might be preferable.

Thanks again all