Neck pouches and money belts? Might as well be walking around with a target on your belly. Stashes of notes in the shoe? Highly impractical especially for paper notes, not to mention embarrassingly smelly.Wallets in back pockets or shoulder bags? Just hand the money straight over; at least you will get to keep the wallet and your bag won’t be ruined.
With the usual ‘tips’ no longer useful against savvy thieves, it’s time to get innovative with where to stash your cash:
- Inside pockets are great on over the shoulder bags as they are usually camouflaged with the inner material of the bag and take an extra step to get through when zipped up. For extra security put something against that side of the bag, even a brochure will do as it will help hide any bulkiness.
- Water bottles can be used to store all kinds of things and most thieves will be none the wiser about what’s inside them. Make sure that the bottle isn’t clear and that the opening is big enough to retrieve the cash again, without having to get the Swiss army knife out. Ensure that the bottle is opened in discreet places such as bathrooms.
- Books can be used to hide passports in – just get an unloved paperback, cut out a passport sized shape in the middle and place your ID inside. Hopefully the thieves have the same taste in novels as you and forgo the literature.
- Pamphlets can be used to store cash and credit cards in as well. Just sticky tape the sides and place the cash which you will need for the day inside. Make sure to put the pamphlet amongst other such tourist paraphernalia so that it both blends in and so that the money doesn’t fall out from the open side.
- Have coins scattered throughout your bag – there should be enough for small purchases and lunch. This will give you access to quick cash, save you from having to use hidden notes and will also make it harder for thieves to steal lots of money at once.
- Have money and credit cards in different places just in case some gets lost or stolen.
- Have a decoy wallet that thieves can quickly grab so as to detract attention from the real goods.
- Keep your hands in your bag when taking out money and don’t flaunt any ‘wallets’ around.
- Take money out of ATMs during the day and if possible near a bank where security is heightened and management has access to the machine just in case your card gets captured.
- Keep the bulk of your cash in a secure and preferably locked place back at your accommodation. This will allow you to walk around with less worry and give you time to enjoy the sights that you came all that way to see.