How to Keep Your Money Safe While Traveling

By Preety | May 26, 2020

How to keep money safe while traveling

How to keep money safe while traveling

Planning to travel somewhere and saving money for that? Then surely you must be worried about how to carry that money safely while enjoying the trip right? Also, a few of us might have some questions like:

  • How will I hide my money from a thief
  • Shall I rely on cards only?
  • What if there are restrictions from my bank on overseas usages?
  • Which currency is safer to carry local or other?
  • How will I manage to find trustworthy money exchanges around the city?
  • Will they charge me a lot if I withdraw from the ATM?

Trust me I have gone through this as well as a solo traveler. So based on my experience, I have prepared a list of tips to keep money safe while traveling:

1. Do not keep all your eggs in one basket aka Split it up

As they say, never put all your efforts in one thing to avoid loss, we travelers say never keep all your money and cards in one place. Despite following all the measures just in case any thief got access to your one pocket it will be still a smaller loss than losing everything you got. So always split up your cash and cards in multiple places based on your requirement to use them.

2. Small denominations and coins

Apart from splitting up and hiding your cash, always ensure you keep the smaller bills and coins easily accessible for yourself. It saves you from a lot of bad situations like buying a 1 euro souvenir with a 50 euro bill where the shop keeper might not have enough change or will try to talk you in buying more then you need. 🙂

3. Let your wallet do some GYM aka thinner wallet

Do you really need that grocery store membership card on your trip or your local library card or any such other card which you won’t be able to use at all in that other country? No? Then try to leave all such extra cards at home and only carry the ones you will actually be using on a daily basis to roam around the city or in an emergency while traveling. The thicker your wallet is the more chances it will draw all the attention by pickpockets.

4. Options to hide money?

Traveling solo makes you smarter than others and you have to trust me with this. I have been hiding (trying to keep it safe) my money while traveling alone and the places are always different which makes me feel like I have got a master’s degree in this now, lol.

  • Only keep the smallest denominations handy (based on the currency) in easily accessible pockets.
  • At the base of the backpack carry a tiny pouch/wallet wrapped in a noisy plastic bag just to keep some big notes which you might need for the day (not all of them together). And always keep a very noisy plastic bag at the top of your backpack, just in case someone tries to open it you can hear it immediately.
  • If you are a girl, you have plenty of places to hide your excess cash like hide it in your bra, in your makeup pouch, inside your make up pallet and inside the sanitary pads (I have done this one a lot of times), etc.
  • Plan your expenses for the day before leaving the hotel room and keep only that much of cash out in multiple pockets and hide the rest of it.

5. Currency exchanges: yes or no?

Always gather info about the currency before traveling, like the exchange rates, the denominations, acceptable notes or coins, etc. Once you have enough info about the above then I guess you might end up avoiding money exchanges completely and that’s what I recommend also. But if this is your last option then try to do below:

  • Firstly find out which places are legally allowed to exchange money with or without charging commissions and at what rates etc.
  • Use the XE Currency app to check current exchange rates( I always rely on this app as living away from my home country from few years)
  • Don’t buy currency from the airports, they always dig a big hole in your pockets.
  • Avoid those tiny exchange booths or the money agents walking around on the tourist spots as all they can do is rob you.

6. Quick chat with the Bank

I always make a checklist for my travel plans and calling my bank to inform them that I am traveling is one of the tasks in the checklist. Below are some things you might need to discuss with your bank before traveling:

  • Tell them about the country and start and end date of your trip or if the end date is not decided then give them a tentative date to ensure your cards are active for overseas transactions.
  • Always ask your bank about the extra charges you might need to pay on your debit and credit cards in particular countries.
  • Ask about the ATM withdrawal fees for different types of currency if there is any. Some banks charge on different types of transactions so always be aware.

7. Keep a fake wallet

Buy a cheap wallet, fake enough to look like a real one you could use. Such wallets can help you when you are traveling in a place known for pickpockets or muggings. Stuff the tiniest denomination of local currency and some fake credit cards you get at malls just to make it look real. These wallets work as a shield for your main wallets and keep pickpockets busy before they get to the real one. In a situation where you are actually getting mugged, you can throw this and run, as it buys you time to escape to safety with your real wallet.

8. Frequent traveler? Buy an anti-theft bag

If you love to travel or your job makes you travel a lot then it’s wise to invest in an anti-theft bag. Usually, these bags are safe from all the possible scenarios one could face. Most of them have features like cut-proof, steel-cable-reinforced shoulder straps; slash-proof fabric; and locking zippers. I won’t mention any brand name here as it looks like I am promoting them but you can always visit Amazon app to find out some amazing bags or do a google search for anti-theft bags, surely you will get something amazing.

9. Multi use cards

These cards basically can be used in all types of transportation systems and can get you access to the local tourist places easily. So if you are traveling to any such country where you can use these cards then grab one. It’s always better to use such cards everywhere instead of grabbing cash out of your pocket all the time and inviting unwanted attention from people. I have used them most of the time in Europe as they are convenient, less expensive and time saver as well.

10. Alternatives to cash and cards

There are a lot of apps that can keep your money safe and are widely accepted in the world by most of the stores. Apps like PayPal, Google pay, Venmo, etc. are accepted at most of the tourist destinations. You can easily pay with them and no need to reach into your wallet all the time.

Money Safety

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Written by Preety Gera
Hi! My name is Preety Gera and like all of you I am trying to travel the world but on my own. The more I see, the more I WANT to see. I am writing my solo travel blog also called Pretty Explorers ( My goal is to travel as much as I can and share all the tips with people who actually need them. I hope they will be useful to any of you somehow. :)

There are 2 comments

Jul 7, 2021 at 09:37

Really useful and nicely put.


Jun 1, 2020 at 11:27

Nice content

Thoughts? Questions?

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