If losing your wallet is being punched in the gut then losing your wallet overseas is being punched in the gut with a wrecking ball. All your problems are immediately amplified and you’ve got little if any support.
Upon losing your wallet overseas, follow these steps ASAP to minimize your losses:
Step 1: Start a checklist
While it’s still fresh in your head, list down all the items in your wallet. This will give you a good idea of what you’ll need to recover and keep you on track.
Step 2: Cancel your Cards
Start cancelling the list of lost cards on your checklist immediately before it can be used by anyone else. Start with debit card first as it is linked directly to your bank account and will be harder to recoup if abused.
Call your bank to cancel or if you have the bank’s app you’ll be able to lock the card directly from your mobile. Once the dust settles, remember to ask for a new card and update all your automatic payments with your new card details.
Step 3: Make a Police Report
While filing a police report doesn’t mean you’ll have a good chance of retrieving your wallet it is still helpful in many ways. Some travel insurance policies require a police report to be made within 24 hours. Also, just in case your wallet is returned, at least the authorities have a way to notify you.
However, the local police might not always be receptive to a foreign traveller. This is especially so if you don’t speak the language. In these cases, skip ahead to the next step instead.
Step 4: Head to the Singapore Embassy
If language is a barrier your best bet is the embassy. The embassy will be able to help you with your police report and if you’ve lost your passport, they can also help you with temporary travel documents.
Beyond that, the embassy can also help you to reach out to your emergency contacts and make recommendations for your next steps. Think of it as a safe base for Singaporeans who are in trouble abroad.
Step 5: Call your Insurance Company
It is a good practice to file your insurance claims once you have your police report. Some policies require you to do it within 24 hours deadline, so be sure to check your policy’s details and do it as soon as you can.
Step 6: Access Emergency Funds
If your bank has a branch in the area you will be able to access an emergency cash transfer using just your ID. However, do note that there will usually be extra charges for the emergency service and expect to fill out quite a few forms.
Alternatively, try to make the best out of your network. If you have acquaintances or friends in the country, reach out to borrow cash to tide over this trip. If not you can also ask a close friend or family member for their credit card information and live off online expenses.
As a last resort, you can always try your luck at hostels, charity organizations or associations affiliated to your religion or company. If they are sympathetic, you might be able to borrow money or get a room on credit and pay back when you’ve everything settled.
Bonus: Future Preparations
Have “3 Baskets”
When travelling, it’s best not to put all your eggs in the same basket. Try splitting your cash in three places the next time round. Your wallet should have the least amount since it’s the most common target for thieves. Have another stash in your carry-on bag and lastly, the pack with the most amount should be safely stowed away in your luggage.
Online Credit Card
Reserve a credit card just for online purchases and keep it safe at home. Save only the card details securely with you so that even without your wallet you have a working credit card to fall back on.
Multi-Currency Mobile Wallet
Sign up with YouTrip for a multi-currency wallet that comes with a prepaid debit YouTrip Mastercard. Before you travel overseas, top up your mobile wallet and you will be ready to spend anywhere in the world in 150 currencies with no fees. You also don’t have to worry about exchange rates, because YouTrip’s Smart Exchange will convert the SGD for you in real-time with Wholesale Exchange Rate (as competitive as money changer rates).
This article is brought to you by YouTrip, a multi-currency mobile wallet linked with MasterCard that helps you pay with no fees overseas. We have previously shared with how you can use YouTrip to save on unnecessary payment overseas and agree that it is one of the best payment options for travel. Download the app to start saving for your next trip.
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