Although highly effective when used properly, money belts aren’t the only way of hiding valuables on your person. There are a number of other ways you can do so should you either chose not to use a money belt or hidden wallet or pocket.
Here are a few suggestions and pointers on where to start:-
In socks/shoes/underwear – A few folded notes slid right down between your ankle bone and the sock with do the job for shorter periods of time although this may not be ideal if you are doing a lot of walking. If wearing long pants, a leg wallet is a great
An even better solution is to put a bit of cash and a credit card into a small Ziploc bag and pop that down the front of your underwear (as long as they are not too loose or holey!) – if you get mugged, it’s more likely that you’ll lose your shoes (and therefore your cash) than your undies. The conceal wear pouch is great for this solution as you can attach it to fabric.
Your underwear or the fabric of a pants pocket are ideal for using this clever pouch, and it’s non-metal so it won’t beep when you pass through a metal detector like at the airport. Ladies should consider the lingerie body pouch found here.
In a hidden pocket in pants – This is a bit of a backpacker favorite, and for good reason. Now, there are many ways to go about this and it can be pretty effective, especially if you are a little creative with where you put the pocket. If you’re not sure how to make a cheap hidden pocket, there’s a neat little guide here.
If you are patted down, however, even a hidden pocket may be found if it’s behind an existing pocket, so consider putting it elsewhere. A credit card sized pocket can easily be sewn into the bottom of the inside of a pants leg and can go completely unnoticed. Some travelers have carried a spare card and a small fold of notes like this for years, with it never being detected – even by airport staff during searches. The only risk here though is actually breaking the card yourself. While undressing, you need to be carefull when you pull your pants off and not stepping accidentally on the card in the process. If you hear a little snapping noise in the dark that evening you will realize the gravity of the situation the following morning – so beware!
This kind of pocket can be secured at the top with a little Velcro (one strip on the inside of the trouser leg and one on the piece of pocket material). Even if you don’t use it for a spare card then it’s still a great place to stash money (again, in a Ziploc bag).
There are plenty of other options, too. For example, someone recently left a comment on the hidden money belt article sharing with us how they hide money actually inside a handmade, copper tube necklace. Obviously it’d have to be pretty innocuous and seem of little value so not to entice or encourage thieves, but it is most definitely another option.
Even without hidden pockets and anti-theft wallets there are other tips that may help to limit damage if you were to get robbed.
Fake wallet – keep some of your more valuable possessions in an obscure pocket hidden wallet like one of those mentioned above and have a ‘fake wallet’ with a few dollars in it. If you were to get robbed then, it may throw your assailants of the scent – ie they may well think they have what they came for. You could even go as far as chucking it on the floor – away from both you and them – and getting the hell out of there quickly.
Carry only what you need – If it’s safer to stash things at your guesthouse/hostel/ hotel than on you then do that. Sometimes it will be safer, other times it won’t. Again you have to evaluate the risk. This is where a portable travelsafe which you can lock down in your lodging accommodation may be just what you need. Also, if you do draw money out of an ATM, try to do it on the way back to your lodging as opposed to just before you go exploring for the day – you never know how many pairs of eyes may see you make the trip to the ATM.
Split your valuables – If you do have to carry valuables on you while traveling store them in at least two places. Again, it works on the same principle as the fake wallet. If someone finds one half decent stash of money then they may think they’ve got what they came for.
Use pockets with fasteners – You’re more likely to lose valuables to stealthy opportunists such as pickpockets than you are to direct confrontation – so don’t make it easy for them. If you have pockets with zippers, buttons or Velcro, get into the habit of using those instead of open pockets – and get into the habit of re-securing them afterwards. When I get a new pair of pants for travel I want them to have good, secure pockets. I even try them out (sad, I know…). But the more involved they are to open, the more secure they will be! If you prefer, use wallets that attach to you clothing with a chain or to you like a small stealth expanding pocket sized to hold a phone and passport. This is our current favorite style.
Of course, prevention is always better than cure. You should take all reasonable steps to avoid getting into a situation where you could be parted from your valuables (such as by learning about the area, staying alert, not overtly display signs of wealth, or unnecessarily exploring new locations after dark etc), then you can drastically reduce the likelihood of being victimized in the first place.
To see a variety of other unique travel wallets, money belts, as well as other products that help you hide your valuable while traveling, visit www.corporatetravelsafety.com