Top Travelers Backpack with Brains – Part 3

Continued from Top Travelers Backpack with Brains – Part 2

Ill? Me? Not Likely!

Check out the information for the countries that you may be visiting and ensure that you’ve had the right inoculations before you go. Some countries will expect you to show evidence of inoculations; particularly against Yellow Fever. It is a good idea to pack some basic supplies with you so that you only need to use pharmacies for the out of the ordinary illnesses. Painkillers, diarrhea tablets and rehydration salts are great basics. Make sure you have up to date and relevant cover should you become unwell and need emergency care. Don’t forget to ensure that you are always covered; this needs to be top of list should you decide to stay somewhere longer than originally planned. Bear in mind the activities that you may be tempted to do. If you might go bungy-jumping in the jungle, riding down the world’s most dangerous road or surfing supreme, inform yourself beforehand of any risks and ensure you’re going to be okay in any eventuality.


Top Travelers Backpack with Brains – Part 2

Continued from Top Travelers Backpack with Brains – Part 2

Don’t Take Stuff You Can’t Bear To Lose

You’re going to be living a transitory lifestyle and safe-guarding belongings can be more difficult under those circumstances. Many hostels have security boxes but if you’re constantly trying to navigate the security of your possessions, it will be a burden. Things that are very, very valuable to you are best left at home. Things that are pretty valuable to you, keep on your person or locked somewhere secure. Even if you think you can trust everyone sharing your dormitory you can really never know.

On the street, keep valuables as close to your person as possible (either out of sight altogether or in a bag that is durable in crowds). There is no need for paranoia, but some scam artists operate by causing distractions whilst your bag is slashed and your belongings taken. Buy a bag that’s resilient or wear your rucksack forwards facing. Be careful not to be too flash with your belongings. You never know who may be watching you whilst you Skype on your IPad or counting the money you’ve just taken from the bank. Practice caution and modesty. Often it’s much more cost-effective to buy a cheap mobile phone in the countries that you visit, than to use your state-of-the-art one from home.


When Using Travelers Cheque and Gift Cheques

Some advice from American Express on fraud prevention and safety when using travelers checks:

When Using Travelers Cheque and Gift Cheques

The most important thing to remember is that there is no legitimate reason why anyone would give you a check or money order and ask you to wire money anywhere in return.

If someone asks you to do that, be suspicious. Con artists use the anonymity of the Internet and e-mail to scam unsuspecting people. American Express can validate the authenticity of a Cheque quickly and anonymously.

You should contact American Express at 1-800-525-7641 if any of the following circumstances apply:

  • You are asked to accept Travelers Cheques or Gift Cheques but did not watch the Cheque holder countersign in the lower left-hand corner, or you are asked to accept a Cheque with no signatures.
  • You are asked to cash or accept a Gift Cheques in denominations of $500 or $1,000. The maximum denomination of an authentic Gift Cheque is $100, so any Gift Cheque with a denomination of more than $100 is a fake.
  • The Cheques are offered by someone you met online or from someone you know mostly through e-mail communications.
  • You receive the Cheques by mail.
  • You are asked to wire, send or ship funds from cashed Cheques, especially if the return address is a large U.S. city or another country.

T o find out more on information on check scams, visit www.fakechecks.org. The site is sponsored by the National Consumers League, the US Postal Service and American Express, along with other private, public and non-profit organizations, to educate Americans about the threat counterfeit check scams pose to their personal financial health.