WanderContest: Win a Moneybelt!

by Beth Whitman (September 8th, 2008)

Twenty Dollar Bill

I’m constantly asked, “How do you carry your cash when you travel?”

My answer has several parts to it:

1. I keep some small change in the local currency in my pocket where it’s easily accessible. I use this for small purchases at markets and for rickshaw rides or other forms of public transportation.

2. I then keep a larger quantity of cash (either in local currency or in U.S. dollars), some travelers checks and a debit and/or credit card in a money pouch. I keep this attached to my body, under my clothes, in one way or another: either a neck, waist or leg pouch. This money is for larger purchases (souvenirs, a nice meal out, etc.). I also carry my passport or a copy of it in this same pouch.

3. Finally, as long as I feel that my room is safe, I leave the bulk of my money and travelers checks in my luggage (zipper locked shut with a cable lock attached to a stationery piece of furniture) or in my room’s safe. (I never leave valuables in the hotel’s safe behind the desk.)

Safe Haven Money Pouch

If you’re trying to figure out which money pouch is best for you, check out the Safe Haven neck pouch from ETA Travel Gear. What I like about this brand is that it includes a moisture-wicking back for those sweaty tropical days as well as a cushioned neck pad that doesn’t uncomfortably rub your neck.

How do you carry YOUR money when you travel? Comment here and I’ll include you in a drawing to win your very own ETA money pouch. Deadline is September 30th. (Please – all should feel free to comment but the contest is open to North American residents only – unless you want to pay the postage :-)

Travel Well!

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On September 8th, 2008 at 6:11 pm, Cathy - wheresmydamnanswer said:

I have a pouch that I strap around my leg and I usually keep a few bucks in my bra!!

On September 9th, 2008 at 8:06 am, travel gear guy said:

I follow most of the steps above, but go with the type that goes inside my pants rather than around my neck. I hate having something around my neck when it’s hot. But I also use a money belt—one of those regular belts that has a zipper compartment in the back for bills. I can store a few hundred bucks in there and nobody’s the wiser. Here’s one version:

On September 9th, 2008 at 6:50 pm, Lulu said:

Actually, due to my upcoming trip to Germany, I’ve been reading a lot about money belts. Especially on Rick Steves Website. I’m really thinking about getting one! However, they look highly uncomfortable. I can’t figure out how you would wear one and it not be bulky??

When I went to London a couple of years ago, I carried an over the shoulder type backpack with my wallet in the far depths of the pack. However, it was very bothersome having to go through it everytime I made a purchase, and I’m sure not the safest way to carry around my wallet. But, I rarely carry large amounts of cash, but my ATM and CC cards are definitely at risk that way.

On September 11th, 2008 at 10:18 am, Pamela said:

I have never used a money belt. They seem to hot and bulky. I carry what I need for the moment in my pockets, and put the rest in my packed items.

I know this is risky!

On September 12th, 2008 at 10:33 pm, Cindi said:

Greetings! When I traveled to five countries in Europe a few years ago, I had a very small coin purse that I carried my travelers checks in. That is all I took with me for shopping. Please enter me in your fabulous drawing. Many thanks, Cindi

On September 12th, 2008 at 10:58 pm, rebecca said:

Hi Beth,

I am an avid traveller and from the UK originally and now a resident of the US. Travelled to some places on my own that I wished I had taken a companion, like Tunisia and also roamed the whole of Europe and a lot of the US.

I am an avid money belt wearer, I even have a waterproof one for the beach/ pool. You can never have too many though, thats why I’m entering..
I’m off to London and Paris in November and taking my son.

they aren’t bulky if you keep just your cards and cash – don’t worry about the change.

On September 13th, 2008 at 2:21 am, SANDY said:

usually a small amount in pocket and id in pocket and some in wallet in purse close to body but am looking at something like this when I go to South America next year, things have changed since I was out of the country last and need to secure luggage to furniture, etc

On September 13th, 2008 at 7:37 am, amandasue said:

I am probably not very smart but I just keep my money in my purse and I usually don’t care much cash usually my bank cards or credit cards

On September 13th, 2008 at 10:14 am, lindsey said:

This would be perfect for our plane and car trips. A big purse is too much to carry around and too easy to lose!

On September 13th, 2008 at 11:12 am, Anne S said:

I keep small amounts of cash and my change in a front pocket. I keep a credit card, larger amounts of cash and my passport inside a money belt, but the one I have is pretty bulky and uncomfortable.

On September 13th, 2008 at 11:57 am, MF said:

I usually just let me husband carry the money :) He is big and strong!!

On September 13th, 2008 at 12:05 pm, Natalie said:

When we travel my husband carries some money, I carry some money and I hide it in various places in our luggage.

On September 13th, 2008 at 1:54 pm, Abby said:

What a handy item!

On September 13th, 2008 at 5:59 pm, Maureen said:

That if a fabulous item to have when traveling in part that you aren’t familiar with the area.

On September 13th, 2008 at 7:16 pm, Angie said:

In my shoe! That’s not the best place! Thank you for the suggestions you posted here! I have to remember them the next time we travel!


On September 13th, 2008 at 7:20 pm, Anne said:

Money belts seem to work for me and also sometimes I put extra in my suitcase. Your suggestions are good.


On September 13th, 2008 at 8:09 pm, Stephanie M said:

Sadly I just usually carry everything in my diaper bag around my neck.

On September 14th, 2008 at 2:20 am, blima said:

I carry it in my wallet in my backpack.I dont think its the safest but till I win this its all I have.

On September 14th, 2008 at 6:38 am, Shannon said:

I wear a fanny pack! Its right around my waist and I can’t miss it

On September 14th, 2008 at 8:36 am, Nyssa said:

I used to have a wallet with two separate clutch-type sections for coins. I’d keep my US coins in one side and coins and a few small bills of the local currency in the other side. Too bad the poor old wallet finally self-destructed a while back. Now I use a small zipper-type coin/currency holder for the local stuff.
As for the rest, I tend to squirrel it in several smaller batches in various pieces of luggage, purse “hidden” compartments, and even in the hems of sleeves that I’ve opened up and slipstitched closed. Just so I remember which shirts have the cash so it doesn’t go through the wash by mistake! lol

On September 14th, 2008 at 9:51 am, chris said:

always in my carry on bag with the tickets or in my pocket!

On September 14th, 2008 at 10:08 am, Janet F said:

I don’t have a special way.

I put it in my wallet, but I mostly carry Travelers’ Checks.

janetfaye (at) gmail (dot) com

On September 14th, 2008 at 11:53 am, Linda Parker said:

usually just leave the most of it in my luggage or try to use a card.
my daughter and her hubby are going to China to get my new granddaughter and this would come in handy for them…..

On September 14th, 2008 at 3:45 pm, CAROLYN said:

I ride the bus and always wear a fanny pack so I won’t leave it on the bus and I love anything that goes around part of the body so it can’t be left or easily grabbed!

On September 14th, 2008 at 4:29 pm, judy brittle said:

I usually make the mistake of carrying my money with me in my wallet. This would really put a stop to that. Thank you so much!

On September 14th, 2008 at 11:05 pm, michelle said:

sadly i carry all of my money one me. i do tend to carry just enough for emergency (places that dont take cards) and try to use my card when possible. i carry it all in a small pouch-type purse or wallet. that then is in my pocket (yikes!) or in a larger backpack , purse or the diaper bag. i guess i pack thinking of conveinience rather than safety. i could really use one of these!

On September 15th, 2008 at 5:49 am, Heather said:

I’m just about to start traveling abroad… I would probably have just kept my money in my wallet that is in my purse. Now after reading the suggestions I think I will re-evaluate things and try these suggestions!


On September 15th, 2008 at 6:15 am, Xenia said:

I let my husband carry the majority of the money and I just carry around some small bills in my pocket or my purse. I guess a money pouch would be much safer!

On September 15th, 2008 at 8:12 am, Genevieve Larson said:

I don’t carry a purse, I just usually stuff everything in my pants pockets. This money holder would be awesome.

On September 15th, 2008 at 11:35 am, Kathy Conley said:

I let my husband carry most of the money and I just carry a small amount in a sling style purse.

On September 15th, 2008 at 12:03 pm, Heather Weber said:

I use the Perfect Pouch from Initials, inc. to hold my money, id, cell phone, and lip gloss.

On September 16th, 2008 at 12:51 pm, Vicki Wurgler said:

I use a money belt

On September 16th, 2008 at 11:24 pm, Tiffany Beth Pettey said:

this is a good thing 2 have

On September 18th, 2008 at 7:54 pm, Megan said:

I have not ever carried a money pouch, but it certainly looks like a necessity! I never carry a lot of cash. Around town I only have $20 cash incase something happens and I need it. When traveling I try and budget so that I wont carry TOO much cash around and I usually hide that in my pockets or purse. I don’t put all of my cash in one spot though.

On September 22nd, 2008 at 11:38 am, Teresa Hoyt said:

When I travel I chain a wallet to my belt loop! Its just a small chain, not a big biker kind, lol! This would be great , thanks!

On September 27th, 2008 at 1:00 pm, Cindy Flores said:

I have been wanting something safer to carry than a purse or wallet. See, I’m in a wheelchair and I feel like an “easy target” even around town. This is the answer to what I’ve been looking for.

On September 29th, 2008 at 6:44 pm, Samantha Pruitt said:

i use a wallet, i guess i’m not very prepared!

On March 4th, 2009 at 5:33 am, Leah said:

I have a great little money belt. It’s meant to be threaded onto your belt, but I just thread it to my bra. It’s quite hard to access, so it’s just for the stuff that I don’t use very often (I keep other money in my wallet for quick access). When I have it stuck to my bra, with a shirt and often a jacket above it, then a backpack over that, it’s pretty much impossible for a thief to get at. Unless I’m wearing a very tight or light top, you can’t see that it’s there. After a few minutes of wearing it I get totally used to it. It’s very nice to keep up my peace of mind!

On September 13th, 2010 at 7:53 am, NATALIA said:

I don’t like money belts, how do you get your money out without looking suspicious? I prefer to hide it in a lot of places, in different pockets in my backpack, adn in my clothes pockes also, some in my wallet, some in my jeans back pockets and so on.
one thing I like to do, is that when I go out to the market, or shopping in small citites where you usually pay in cash, I diferentiate the mone, i.e. in my rght pocket I have small change, and in my back pocket I carry some more.
but I make sure of never having large amounts od cash on me.

On March 30th, 2011 at 3:18 pm, Shannon said:

I use a money belt as well. But when I can leave it in a secure place,and I want to go out with out a purse. I put my money and credit card in a small pocket w/ button that sewen to the inside front of my pants. It’s easy to do, and no one can ever figure out where I keep my money :)

On May 6th, 2011 at 3:55 pm, The GypsyNesters said:

Good tips, thanks. We always split our money up between us and make sure we both have credit cards. Sometimes it’s a good idea to stash some cash somewhere other than on you too.
Safe and happy travels.

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