There’s nothing worse than being stuck in a foreign land with no access to money or losing your important travel documents such as your passport.
Keeping these secure may vary from trip-to-trip and the good news is that there are loads of money/document keeping products to choose from. Your choice won’t be limited to those fanny packs or bum-bags.
Here are my top picks that I’ve tried and tested over the years. Of course, feel free to share your own tips and tricks as well!
Belt it on with Pacsafe Cash Safe
It’s not as daggy as it looks. My husband wore the Pacsafe Cashsafe™ 25 anti-theft deluxe travel belt wallet throughout our backpacking trip to South America. We kept some US dollars (easy to convert and widely acceptable) as emergency. To access the cash, he would usually duck into the nearest toilet cubicle or somewhere secure away from prying eyes…and sticky fingers.
If the shoe fits
This is an oldie but a goodie! Keeping some dollars in my shoe or socks has proven to be quite effective time and time again. After a while, I forget that it’s there. But when a situation calls for it, smelly feet will be the least of my worries.
Divide your cash
I tend to hide money in pockets of various pieces of clothing. Jeans, jackets or socks are great for hiding your emergency stash.
We also opened up various accounts from different banks. We divide our travel savings in these so that if one credit card gets depleted or hacked into, we can access other accounts in the interim.
I found the Clever Travel Companion singlets via another traveller. A little bit on the pricey side, I decided to purchase a black women’s singlet/tank and a t-shirt for the hubby. You can’t really keep too many items in there as it tends to show the bulk – not to mention very obvious. But I do zip my passport in there when leaving Sydney Airport for easy access. Again, some emergency cash.
No bag lady
I don’t usually carry handbags or purses when taking a stroll on the streets of another country. I carry one credit card and some local cash in my front pocket. And that’s another thing – when I wear skirts or jeans, I usually opt for ones with tight pockets so that it’s a challenge for pickpocketers to get to.
Wads of cash
Hear me out. Got a couple of small bills? Wrap it around some paper, fold it like you would if you had a wad of bills, and keep this in your front pocket. If you happen to get pick pocketed or God forbid, held up, you will have something to surrender, giving you enough time to run or yell for help. Fortunately, we’ve never been in such situation *knock on wood* but another traveller actually gave us this advice.
There are so many travel cards available. We used the 28Degrees Mastercard more recently and it’s been great. They are also easy to reach on Twitter and the customer service reps are usually quick to get back to you. This will save you an expensive phone call, however, if you need to reach them by phone, they have a 24/7 Concierge service.
We also carry a card each – one of us is usually the primary cardholder and the other, the second cardholder. Each card with different pin codes.
A (phone) case of…
I’m sure many of you take your smartphones with you. Those phone cases are actually a great place for keeping small bank notes.
When we travel, we give both of our parents copies of our itineraries (or at least rough dates of when/where we’re going to be), passports, credit card/bankcard numbers, photo IDs (drivers licence), our contact numbers and local Australian Embassy numbers. We also keep the same set of copies with us. We carry around copies of our passports and keep the real ones in a secure place back in our hostel/hotel/B&B/guesthomes. We use Dropbox to keep electronic copies of these documents as well.
Ok, maybe just one bag
Pacsafe should really give me some royalties for these plugs (ha!). A few years ago, we bought one of their anti-theft day packs (Citysafe? Venturesafe? Can’t remember) and it’s lasted us for a while. Really light and easy to carry, with a belt that secures around the waist.
What’s your money/document keeping products or tips when travelling?
Featured Image: Flickr 401(K) 2012