Money Safety while Backpacking

  • Written by  BPP
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Wallet Wallet By Martin Kingsley from Melbourne, Australia (Cashmoney), via Wikimedia Commons, Creative Commons Licence

Taking care of your money while on a trip relies really on common sense and a just a few accessories. If you follow some guidelines, there is really a small chance you will get robbed and left penny-less far away from home.


Money Belts
Money belts are a tried and true way to hide money while traveling. They are light, cannot be easily identified as a cash stash, cannot be easily ripped off and come in various shapes and colors to match your needs and style. They have a limited money space and are not for stashing credit cards. Also, keep in mind that you should "hide" in some way when you take money from it (like in the toilet), so you don't pinpoint the money location to a potential thief.

money beltMoney pouches
These are thin pouches that are worn under your clothes, most often hung around your neck. They have more space so they are ideal for hiding your passports, credit cards as well as your money.

Secret money pockets
Nowadays, you can find them everywhere, from backpacks, to bras, underwear and other pieces of clothes with built-in secret money pockets. These, on-body places are particularly good if you have to sleep over somewhere suspicious.



Now, after we mentioned most common ways to hide the money, let's focus on some tips that will add to the safety of it.

Use safe-deposit boxes in hotels/hostels
If you have anything worth guarding, this is probably the best way to do it. Why carry your valuables around and even risk of losing it when it can be safely stored in your room

Trim your wallet
A big fat wallet pulled out from your pocket is a big invite for thieves. Do you really need your library or gym card half way around the globe? Another alternative is to buy a travel wallet - something you will only use for trips and will populate with just the needed stuff before you go

Keep small bills handy
Those big bills with a lot of zeroes belong either in your secret pocket or in the ATM. Keep the amount needed for the day in your pockets so you don’t have to pull out a big pile in front of people showing them both how much you have and where you keep it

Divide the money in different places
Divide everything you have money-related. In the safe-deposit box, in your pocket/wallet, secret pouches and backpacks. If you lose one, you still have the alternative. With this tip, be sure to always have at least two credit cards/debit cards with you on the trip

atmBe safe on the ATM
Watch out for fake machines or skimmers, always take the receipt with you and cover the keyboard while entering PIN. If you lose your card, immediately contact your bank to cancel it.

Use credit cards for bigger purchases
Most credit cards have zero-liability policies, so you won't pay a penny for charges if a card is lost or stolen. Just be sure to report the theft ASAP, to your Bank and to the police.

Do not count the money in public
We think this requires no additional explanation

Act normal
Being identified as a tourist (backpack, fanny pack, tour guide and a map) along with a paranoid face and touching your body parts every few seconds for money check is just an invitation to get stripped off your valuables. Stay cool and enjoy the sights if you followed the main rules for money safety.


>> Backpackers Commandments

>> Means of paying on the go

Last modified on Saturday, 07 September 2013 09:57


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