It's a situation that none of us wants to find ourselves in, but losing - or perhaps accidentally spending - all of your cash whilst on holiday is something you should be prepared for. Suddenly becoming broke due to theft or loss is bad enough, but in a foreign country the situation is made all the more scary.
There's no need to fear, though. There is a wide variety of help for cash-strapped travellers whenever they're caught in a far-flung financial muddle.
Chances are that if you're on holiday you're funding your excursions, meals and souvenirs with traveller's cheques. If you lose all of your cheques, though, don't worry - this is precisely the kind of situation cheques are made for. To get your cash back, contact the service who provided them and they should be able to guide you through the reimbursement procedures. If you have the receipt and cheque serial numbers, this process will likely be completed quicker.
If you're solely paying on card and funds run dry, you could contact a friend or family member back home, using reverse charge if needs be, and ask them to send some cash into your account. If you're lucky enough to find someone who can help you out, the money should be there within a few hours.
If you're in need of a new card, contact your issuer. They should be able to cancel your old card and send a new one to an address of your choice. This will likely take a few days, so make sure you're covered for that time period.
Services such as Western Union can be a godsend when you're in need of cash. All you do is call up a friend or family member, getting them to contact the transfer service. Soon the money will be sent over to a location of your choice, usually one of the service's branches, giving the receiver the financial security they need, right when they need it!
British consulate assistance
The services of the British consul are available from within the majority of countries, and exist as a go-to for any Brits in trouble – contact them by asking policemen or embassy staff. They can help you contact friends and family, useful if you've lost your phone, and if you've got a bank card on your person they can cash sterling cheques worth up to £100. They can also provide important info concerning how and where money transfers can be conducted, and as a true last resort they can repatriate you.
Repatriation is when the consul fronts you the money to get back home to the UK, with repayment taking place once you've returned. The service is dependent on a number of circumstances – all other possible avenues have to have been exhausted before the money will be made available, and you will only be given the money if no one is able to help you.
Losing your money abroad can be a stressful experience, but with the above information in mind, you'll be able to travel with complete peace of mind!
Find out more about our travel money services here.