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Old 09-23-2010, 09:03 PM   #81
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Great thread !
I also have put money under my shoe insole when going out in sketchy places like Rio in Brazil. In my many years of international travel I have been robbed twice, once about 15 years ago in Athens Greece and once in San Jose Costa Rica about 4 years ago. Keeping a low profile and not showing signs of wealth is important. Even wearing a $50 watch or sunglasses in some countries is asking for problems.
I Got robbed in Athens by a pickpocket gang headed by a fake orthodox priest.
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Old 09-23-2010, 09:38 PM   #82
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I Got robbed in Athens by a pickpocket gang headed by a fake orthodox priest.
In Athens, I was robbed by two (very skilled) Albanian Gypsies....but, I followed them until I saw a policeman, went to the police station, and got my money back.
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Old 09-23-2010, 11:21 PM   #83
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I Got robbed in Athens by a pickpocket gang headed by a fake orthodox priest.
Are you sure he was fake?
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Old 09-23-2010, 11:24 PM   #84
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A quick thread update, I have not found Traveler's Checks very helpful. They were very difficult to cash in Colombia and they are almost worthless in the Philippines. Since I am headed next to the Philippines, I decided to sell them during the few weeks I am in the USA. I don't have a local bank account where I am currently located in the USA (as would be expected from most travelers). So I went to the bank (even the same bank branch) that issued me the traveler's checks some time ago, on a previous visit, and they would not cash them. Sorry, no account here, sir, we can't cash them even if you bought them here! I went to the next closest bank listed on American Express web site, sorry can't cash them here, no account! They both said the reason is that without an account they have "no recourse" (e.g., collecting the money from you later in case the checks turn out to be fraudulent) -- I think Traveler's Check fraud must have become more widespread.

Finally, the third bank cashed them for me (Citibank), mostly as a favor. I may never get Traveler's Checks again.

I did pick up the Pacsafe Travel Safe 100:

Pacsafe Anti-Theft Bags & Travel Security Products

Actually, I got two, one for a friend. I got a barely used one on Ebay ($35) and a new one for $40 including all costs from an obscure outfit called Tamper Seal: TSA Luggage Locks, TSA Locks, Luggage & Travel Supplies Free Shipping.

I also tested xoom.com for sending money to someone overseas and it worked like a charm. It took about 4 hours from going to the web site until the friend picked up the money overseas. They take that time to approve the transaction. It gets faster as you use it more often. I plan to send money to myself next time.

I talked with the two relatives who would send me money in a crisis and already told them the personal information, something that only they and I would know, that I would share with them in a message in the event I needed money in an emergency. So they could be sure it was me.

Happy traveling!
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Old 09-24-2010, 08:29 AM   #85
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I Got robbed in Athens by a pickpocket gang headed by a fake orthodox priest.
You probably forgot to tithe, so he was just helping himself to God's share!
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Old 09-24-2010, 09:24 AM   #86
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I lost my virginity while traveling, and I have not gotten it back ...
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Old 09-24-2010, 11:00 AM   #87
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I also tested xoom.com for sending money to someone overseas and it worked like a charm.
That's good to know.

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I plan to send money to myself next time.
I'll be interested to hear how that goes. Thanks for the update.
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Old 09-25-2010, 08:01 PM   #88
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A quick thread update, I have not found Traveler's Checks very helpful. They were very difficult to cash in Colombia and they are almost worthless in the Philippines.
Yes, travelers checks have gone the way of the typewriter. I have not used them for years. ATMs are a far better option for getting cash.

Here is another way to avoid a major hassle when PT or living overseas. When overseas, make color copies of critical documents (such as your US drivers license) and carry a plasticized color copy. It only costs a few dollars. The local police can never tell the difference and if it gets lost or stolen while your out, you can just make another copy of your original drivers license. I also carry a black and white copy of my passport and leave my passport in a safe place.

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