Megan has over 6 years experience in the travel and foreign exchange industry. With a passion for travel, Megan is continually looking for more "off the beaten track" destinations to explore.
The last thing you want while overseas is for any of your valuables (including your travel money and bank cards) to be taken from you. Not only is it a huge inconvenience on your trip, but can leave you feeling very vulnerable, unsafe and with a bad association against that destination or experience.
We want to avoid this and ensure you’ve got some of the basic tools needed to remain safe and ensure your travel money isn’t the target for any foul play. Best place to start? Looking at how you carry your currency while abroad. The more discrete you are with your money, the safer you should be.
1. The Inside Job
Believe it or not, internal clothing pockets can provide a use other than just a storage spot for a tissue!! It’s often a sneaky and secure place to store basic valuables including cash and your pre-paid travel money cards.
If your main jacket or coat doesn’t feature an inside pocket, you may be able to sew one on yourself, or safely pin a make-shift pocket in. Logistically, the inside of your jacket is somewhere that people can’t easily reach, making it a secure place to store backup currency. Although, we recommend keeping a small amount of cash in your pocket, bag or wallet so you don’t need to reach into your internal pocket in public areas and show you have more money.
Whatever you do, remember you take your cash out of your jacket before you wash it, or leave it unattended at a restaurant etc!
2. Divide and Conquer!
This one may seem obvious….. but always avoid storing all of your money in one place if you can. If you trust your hotel/resort/backpackers – you may have the option to leave a portion of your cash/valuables in a safe in your room, or locked in your suitcase while you do day trips. While you’re out and about, divide your money between your wallets, a hidden pouch or split with a travelling partner. This way, should anything happen while you’re out for the day, you should have money left elsewhere to rely on.
3. Hidden Figures
Hidden money bags are a great way of hiding your money on body as most tend to be flat, so you can strap them underneath your clothing with ease leaving it out of sight, out of mind! You can wear your money belt in many different ways e.g across your chest, around your waist, or even, around your neck. Money bags aren’t just for money; it’s a great place to store your passport and any important travel documentation.
4. Play Dumb
The dummy wallet. This is genius and something to consider if you’re visiting a destination where mugging to crime is common. The concept it easy, should anyone approach you for your valuables, you can quickly throw them your dummy wallet and have them think that’s all you have. Purchase a wallet that looks very real, pop in a few dollars, expired cards such as a gym membership card or an old public transport card – things that aren’t of significant importance, or that share private information about your identity and ta-da, you have yourself a dummy wallet.
4. The Original Tourist
Fanny pack, external money belt, bum bag – whatever you’d like to call it, this old school cash carrying invention is coming BACK in fashion, especially for festival goers. Essentially this piece is just like a money belt, except it’s often larger and is placed outside of your clothes and around your waist with a pouch at the front. If you’re the type of person who likes to see their wallet, this could work for you. Glance down and it’s there – and, it’s relatively obvious should someone reach for your waist and unzip it.
If you’re going for this option, buy a pack that can’t be easily unclipped. Buyer Beware: these packs often scream tourist, so assess whether it will be the best option depending on the area you will be visiting. Bum bags will be most useful in areas where risk of pick pocking and mugging isn’t extremely high.
6. If you’ve got it, DON’T flaunt it!
This is a MUST-DO. NOT OPTIONAL. COMPULSORY. MANDATORY. Promise us you’ll follow this, always. Never have your big bills in plain sight. If you are buying something and a sales person sees you have a lot of money they might up the price, or people around could see and you could become a target to be stolen from. Separate the big notes from the small notes; you don’t want to pull out a $100 bill for a $2 can of Coke if you don’t need to.
These are just 6 ways you can carry your currency abroad – there are a million other creative ways that could work for your next trip including some very quirky things like carrying cash in your shoes. Interesting! We want to ensure you at least know some of the basic ideas, and from there figure out what best works for your style of travelling and the destinations your visiting.
It goes without saying, but if you can’t afford travel insurance, you can’t afford to travel. Travel insurance is critical to have, and can be your lifeline should any of your valuables be taken from you while abroad.
This blog is provided for information only and does not take into consideration your objectives, financial situation or needs. You should consider whether the information and suggestions contained in any blog entry are appropriate for you, having regard to your own objectives, financial situation and needs. While we take reasonable care in providing the blog, we give no warranties or representations that it is complete or accurate, or is appropriate for you. We are not liable for any loss caused, whether due to negligence or otherwise, arising from use of, or reliance on, the information and/or suggestions contained in this blog.