One of the biggest fears of most travelers includes getting pickpocketed and left with no cash to your name in a country where you don’t even speak the language. To prevent this from ever happening, people have come up with different tactics over the years.
That’s where money belts come into play, as an already proven and effective way to keep your money stashed away safely, and far away from any unwanted attention. However, it turns out that just getting a money belt is only a part of the game, you also need to know how to use it properly, and that’s what we’ll dedicate this post to. Let’s jump right into it.
What exactly is a money belt?
Well, as you might have expected, the answer is fairly simple, it’s a sort of a hidden pouch which wraps around one’s waist. It’s definitely a useful gadget, especially for frequent travelers, designed to keep your valuables all to yourself. When we say valuables, besides money, we also account for documents and keys, but that usually depends based on the size of your money belt.
What also makes these pouches interesting is the fact that you can carry them around your neck, which is an especially useful feature in case you’re visiting a place with a colder climate, where your money will be buried underneath a pile of clothes. This way, you’ll be 100% sure no one will even know you have it.
There are also some more extravagant models
While we’re still talking about different design options, let’s also mention the pouches that can be strapped to one’s leg. In all honesty, this one is pretty much useless. If you can hide the belt underneath your clothes, you’d better make sure to choose a smarter and more easily accessible option.
Furthermore, there’s also a couple of money belts, which look just like a regular buckle, but contain a secret compartment in which you can hide a bit of cash. Unfortunately, this contraption oftentimes does not work properly, and therefore is not safe for use. Additionally, the allotted space is quite small and not sufficient for larger items.
So, can you replace your wallet already?
We wouldn’t recommend it just yet. You see, with the money belt, the whole point is secrecy, which will be pretty impossible to maintain if you have to take it out every time you need to pay for your bus ticket. Instead, you should keep the larger amounts here, just in case you might need them at a certain point of your trip.
Pro tips on how to keep your money close
Not all belts are made the same, but there are some steps in which you can maximize the safety of your funds, no matter the design. First of all, if you’ve decided to keep your pouch hidden underneath your clothes, don’t just let it hang out there, as it will stick out like a sore thumb. Instead, you need to wear it under a slim fit shirt, or use some tape in order to keep it locked in place.
Don’t keep checking out for your money belt in front of complete strangers, regardless of whether they appear to be suspicious or not. It’s always better to be on the lookout, but if you reach for it way too frequently, you’ll quickly give yourself away. Instead, choose a place for your pouch that you find to be the safest, and only check it in the bathroom or elsewhere in solitary.
Don’t make the simplest mistake and mess up all the hard work you’ve done up to this point, and just leave your money belt in the living room in plain sight once you reach your destination. Some people just go out to swim on the beach and leave it behind too, which is a costly error of judgment. Other individuals even decide to carry their money belt while they sleep, which might be a step too far, but it’s better to be safe than sorry!