Pickpockets are stealthy these days, which requires us to be on alert when walking around with money in our pockets. Whether the threat is robbery, accidentally leaving your wallet behind or dropping your debit card in the back of a taxi; you should always have cash hidden somewhere. Read on for some of the best tips and tricks we could find on how to keep your cash safe and sound while traveling.
1. Use the Multi-Stash Method
If you split up and stash your cash in several locations, there’s no chance everything will be stolen all at once. If you’re traveling with someone, consider splitting money between your persons. If home base is secure leave some behind, but hidden. If you can, limit your cash and use credit when you can.
2. Store Cash on Your Body
Hide your cash, preferably in multiple locations, on your body. Avoid hiding cash away in your backpack or purse- it’s just too obvious. It used to be that placing your wallet in your front pocket was considered safer, but not so much anymore. Believe it or not, pickpocketing has evolved.
Other than your pockets or backpack/purse, there are many options for stashing your cash on other various parts of your body to help prevent pickpocketing:
- Use a belt with a hidden wallet sewn in
- Sew your own hidden pocket into your jeans
- Ladies scarves and bras with hidden pockets
- Undercover wallets
- Decorative wrist wallets
- Concealed money belt
- Use your socks or shoes
3. Keep Cash Out of Sight
Be mindful of how you’re handling cash in public. When you pull money out to pay for something, pull it out in small quantities so you’re not flashing a huge stack of bills (see tip #2). Plan ahead and keep small bills somewhere on you so you can pull out only what you need.
4. Use a Dummy Wallet
This is a great diversion if you were ever to find yourself in a dangerous situation. Use an old wallet or coin purse with some money in it and some other useless cards that look legitimate. If robbed, you can hand this over knowing your real cash and cards are safely hidden away.
5. Do Not Trust the Hotel Safe
Unfortunately, that hotel safe is not necessarily “safe”. Many hotels do not accept liability for any loss, so it’s best you keep your vital documents and cash on you while out and about. This is especially true if traveling overseas. Always keep your passport, credit cards and other vital documents on you. (For added peace of mind, send yourself an email with copies of all documents before you leave)
Bonus Tips! Debit Card & ATM Safety
Most of us use debit cards or cash machines these days, so consider these debit card safety tips:
- Avoid secluded ATM machines. If you need to use one, find locations that are well lit and preferably need a card to enter.
- If you do enter an ATM location, don’t let anyone in with you.
- If you must use one that is unprotected, be sure no one is close enough to see your pin as you enter it.
- Always take your receipt.
- Guard your pin.
- Don’t linger or count money at the machine.
- Keep your door locked if using a drive up machine.
- If your card is lost or stolen, call your financial institution immediately.
There will always be threats out there, but you don’t have to be a victim. With some advance planning and awareness while you travel, you can keep your cash (and other forms of payment) safe. Practice several ways to hide your cash and see what works for you. The peace of mind you will have – and the ability to enjoy your trip- is worth it.
Subscribe to the Smart Travels Newsletter to learn more about traveling easier, safer and smarter.