Losing Your Wallet

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No matter how careful you are, there's always a chance bad luck will strike when you're on vacation.

If your wallet or passport's lost or stolen, it can ruin your trip. But there are steps you can take beforehand that will minimize the headaches.

One classic preventative step is to make a photocopy of your passport. The copy will speed up the process of getting a new passport if the old one's missing.

Also, write down contact info for your health insurer, credit card companies, and bank. That way, you'll be able to get in touch with them right away and cancel cards and get replacements if necessary.

Toll-free numbers often don't work if you're calling from outside the U.S. So write down local phone numbers too.

Remember to keep your passport photocopy and emergency numbers separate from your actual IDs. They're not going to do you any good if they get stolen as well.

Cash advances and replacement cards won't be available right away, so as a backup plan have a special place to hide a couple hundred-dollar bills and a few traveler's checks. Stick them in your shoe, a toiletry bag, or in several different spots so that you've got somewhere to turn when you're desperate.

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