We’ve all heard some version of this story: an excited traveler lands in a foreign city, hands full they walk to their hotel/b&b and on the way to their room, they are assaulted, their bag of all their money, credit cards and passport stolen. Gone. What was supposed to be a relaxing trip turns into a nightmare within minutes of the start of their travels. You can take extra precautions to keep your cash safe while you travel and hopefully avoid any potential disaster in the process by using these tips and tricks. For more planning ideas, see this guide on travel tips.
How to Hide Cash While Traveling
Hiding cash can be pretty easy and seamless, though you may find it annoying if you need to access the cash often. There are several ways to hide it while you’re touring a city, though the most important tip to remember is to DIVERSIFY. This means that you should not keep all your cash and credit cards in one place. The reason for this precaution is that if you’re pickpocketed, only the few hundred on your person are stolen and not your entire trip fund. So make sure to carry some and leave the rest in your hotel room. Do the same with your credit cards if you’re carrying more than one.
How to hide money on your body
Bra – Hiding money in your bra is probably the oldest trick to keeping your money safe while you travel but it works, though it might not be comfortable or feasible if you’re having to pull out your cash all the time. I know a lot of gals who prefer this method but I’m not a fan myself as I find that I’m too worried I’ll lose it.
Belts – Money belts are traditional cash carrying methods. I remember I bought one (similar to the one on the left) for my very first trip abroad to the Czech Republic and tucked inside my shirt, it was easy to carry around invisibly. The one on the right is designed for belt wearers who want an easy and practical way to hide money without the hassle of wearing yet another thing on their body.
Shoe – Hiding money in my shoe is a fun trick I’ve tried in the past and it works like a charm. If your sole is removable, it makes hiding your cash even more secure so you don’t have to be worried it’s falling out of the top of your sneakers.
Good quality backpack – This is probably our favorite method to carrying our cash while traveling. We always pick backpacks that are sturdy (think thick canvas backpacks that are difficult to slice through) and have multiple interior pockets. Cash is best carried in deep interior pockets that are closest to your back. If someone opens up your backpack, you want your cash buried deep and not easily grabbed. We have the Ona backpack (the backpack on the left) and besides being our all-time favorite photography backpack, it also makes a great cash bag as it is a compartmentalized bag that has various pockets throughout. We’ve taken it to Hawaii, Austin, and Tromsø.
How to keep money safe in a hotel room
Hotel safe – A hotel safe is probably the best option for keeping your cash safe in a hotel room. We usually keep our cash, passports and any important documents or credit cards inside. However, not every room (or Airbnb) comes equipped with a safe so this might not be an option for you.
Random places – If your room does not come with a safe, you can cleverly tuck your money in places that someone wouldn’t look: dirty underwear bag, the bottom of a makeup bag, or you can try a layered type measure: place your cash wrapped inside of a shirt, stuff that shirt inside a dirty laundry bag, hide that laundry bag in the room. I’ve also used the interior compartment (part that separates the luggage structure from the clean interior) to hide belongings.
Hairbrush – You can also use fun secret pocket type things like this hairbrush which has an inside section for keeping cash. This is great if you use a hairbrush naturally as it gives you one less thing to pack. Plus who wants to steal a hairbrush?
How to keep money safe while at the beach
The beach is one of the prime places to have your money stolen. It’s hard to carry cash when you’re constantly wet. And you can’t use a backpack because that’s a dead giveaway that you’re carrying something of value. Plus backpacks are easy to grab and run away with. I recommend leaving valuables at your hotel room; however, if you find yourself in a situation where you have to carry all three, then the best way to hide them while you’re swimming in the ocean is to bury it in sand. We have had to do this several times on cruise stops and it works like a charm. Just be sure to put everything in a plastic bag, dig when no one is looking and then bury your belongings quickly. We always place our flip-flops and beach bags on top to make sure we’ve marked the spot correctly.
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