How To Hide Cash While Traveling

02.17.23 by Travelex Insurance
Image credit: Getty Images

Pickpockets are stealthy these days, which requires us to be on alert when walking around with money in our pockets. Whether you're concerned about 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 5 tips and tricks we recommend to help keep your cash safe while traveling.

Tip #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 your home base is secure, leave some behind but hidden. If you can, limit your cash-on-hand and use credit cards when you can.

Tip #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 that's not the case 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:

Tip #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.

Tip #4 — Use a dummy wallet

This is a great diversion if you ever 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.

Tip #5 — Don't trust the hotel safe

Unfortunately, that hotel safe is not necessarily “safe." Many hotels don't 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 you're 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 your documents before you leave).

Bonus tips! Debit card and ATM safety

Most of us use debit cards or cash machines these days, so consider these debit card safety tips:

  • Avoid secluded ATMs. 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 an ATM 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 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'll have — and the ability to enjoy your trip — is worth it.

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