The one guaranteed way to have your vacation ruined…by being a victim of theft. Sometimes it is just common sense to stay one step ahead of the thieves. In today’s post, I will discuss clever ways to hide money in clothing while traveling.
You will also read about other ways in which you can protect your money and valuables. I will then offer some general tips which are fundamentals to keeping your valuables safe.
Often, travelers are easy targets for thieves. New to a country, sometimes unable to speak the local language…they are vulnerable. Often carrying new money in a jet lagged state, they can become victims relatively easily.
What do the experts say?
The key advice that they give is to never keep all your valuables in one place. The risk is too great should the worst happen…all your valuables taken.
The key here is to manage your risk by dividing your valuables. Never keep your cash in one place together, so don’t carry all your money with you thinking it is safer. It isn’t.
The best thing you can do is to split the money and hide it in your hotel room. Keep some money on your person but put some in the hotel safe, as well as a few strategic hiding places. This also applies to any credit cards, travelers check as well as your passports and documents.
Even the hotel safe is vulnerable to a degree as staff invariably have access to it. However, we can work around this to further manage your risk. I have more on this further down the page.
You need to stay alert at all times and stay aware of your possessions and your surroundings at all times. This becomes second nature to experienced travelers but new travelers can be too trusting of their environment.
5 clever ways to hide money in clothing while traveling
Hiding money on your person is a safe and clever way of ensuring that you don’t become a victim. Remember, the best way is to spread the risk so that does involve hiding valuables in your hotel room etc.
You should NOT be tempted to carry all your money with you, regardless how well you think you can protect it. Doing so leaves you in considerable difficulty should the worst happen.
When visiting your new location, it is clever and sensible to hide money on your person. There are a number of ways to hide money in clothing while traveling.
Here are my top clever ways to hide money in clothing while traveling;
- Money belts
- Hiding money in socks and shoes
- Hiding money in bras and underwear
- Hiding money in waistbands
- Hiding money in secret internal pockets
Many seasoned travelers will have owned several money belts over the years…the reason? They simply work.
Placing your money in a money belt which sits beneath your clothing is a great way to keep your money safe.
They come in a variety of options. The traditional money belt is placed around your waist. The more recent versions are placed around your thigh and there even a neck version.
The current advice is to opt for the thigh money belt. This is the most difficult one to steal.
Even money belts are not 100% safe from thieves and pickpockets. Many know that they are the favored place to store your money and they have developed ingenious ways of separating you and your money belt.
However, they remain the preferred method of protecting your cash.
Hiding money in socks and shoes
Again, another traditional method…it works. Hiding money in socks and shoes whilst wearing them is a great way to reduce the risk of theft.
Simply slide folded notes down the side of your socks if you are wearing longer socks. If you are wearing shorter socks, place them under your heel so you are effectively stepping on them.
Shoes are also a great place to store some money. Simply lift the internal cushioning and place some folded notes in there. Your money should be secure there.
Additionally, you can now get leg wallets. These wallets are secured to your leg and sit underneath your trouser leg. They are discreet and will not show over looser fitting clothes.
Hiding money in bras and underwear
Another traditional solution that simply works. Simply fold a few notes and place them inside the bra. I’m sure I don’t need to explain to the ladies how this is done!
You can actually get traveler underwear that has pockets sewn into them. This allows you to fold money into them.
An alternative albeit slightly uncomfortable option is to place money in a plastic bag, and place it in your underwear. This is not an ideal solution, especially in hotter climates so only do this if the other options are not available to you.
Hiding money in waistbands
This is another clever method that can fool even the most hardened thieves. This method involves cutting the seam of a waistband and sliding rolled up money into it.
The advantages of this method are that this is secure and discreet.
You can actually buy traveling clothes that already allow for this. Given that it is relatively simple to do and you can stick to your own style, you may as well attempt this yourself.
Hiding money in secret internal pockets
You may need to get your sewing kit out for this one but it is a great solution. You can simply stitch pockets into the inside of your clothes. Somewhere discreet that is not obvious. The advantage of this is the unpredictability. It is almost impossible for pick pockets to target you if you don’t keep valuables in obvious places.
Where else can you hide money or valuables?
- In your hotel room
- In your car
In your hotel room
If you thought hotel room safes were safe…think again. For thieves, they aren’t even a challenge with many having override codes. It also doesn’t help that the staff know how to open them who also happen to have access to your room. Put all this together and you have a potential recipe for disaster.
Of course, I wouldn’t for a second suggest that hotel workers are thieves in uniform, far from it. It is the very small percentage of criminals who spoil it for everybody.
However, we can be a little cunning and beat the thieves at their own game. A little bit of innovative thinking and we can protect our valuables.
Consider the following if you want to hide your valuables in a hotel room;
- Put your money in an envelope and tape it to the base of the bottom drawer of a desk or set of drawers. Alternatively tape it to the bottom of some heavy furniture. This is a tried and trusted technique.
- Use safe tins disguised as household items. For example, I have seen tins of food…which are actually safes. You could apply the same thinking to shampoo bottles or cans of shaving foam. Empty them out and place your money in them. Remember to cover the lids so it looks like they are filled with contents as described on the label
- Wrap your money in plastic and tape it up. If you are satisfied it is waterproof, place it inside the cistern of the toilet on the side closest to you. This way even if somebody looks in there, chances are they will miss it anyway. This is another tried and trusted technique
- The shower curtain is often a clever place to hide money. Simply detach the tube and slide the money in. Make sure you can get it back out without damaging the pole
- If your hotel room is well furnished, you have plenty of options to hide the money inside furniture. Select your furniture and unzip it. Place the money in there so it doesn’t show on the outside. It is highly unlikely that a thief would spend the time taking furniture apart.
- The mattress is still a tried and tested one. On a made bed, lift up the mattress and slide the money into the middle. Better still, tape it to the bottom of the mattress. Anybody lifting it to see if there is anything underneath will miss it
- If you really want to get creative, think about all the technology in the room. Often there are TV’s and telephones in there. You can unplug them and open them up using a screwdriver. Place the money inside them and screw them back up. Nobody would think to look or quite frankly take the time to look.
Remember, everything here is merely a suggestion. Ideally, you need to look at your environment and identify what the best solution is based on risk. If something will take time to undo or find, it improves your chances of resisting a theft.
As a basic rule, you should split your valuables so you don’t risk losing them all. A thief may find one of your spots but not necessarily all of them. Manage your risk.
For some of the above you will need to bring a few things with you such as a screwdriver and duct tape.
In your car
If you are renting a car, it can improve your chances of holding on to your valuables. Remember, thieves don’t really bother with cars if they can’t actually see what they want to steal. They do not break into cars on the off chance that they may find some valuables.
It therefore makes sense to use it, even if you have a hotel room. The assumption is that your hotel room will contain your valuables.
There are plenty of places in your car to hide valuables.
- Behind door panels. Most panels are held with clips and can be taken off with relative ease. There is plenty of space behind these panels to tape things too
- Taping your money under seats or car mats
- Using the trunk to store suitcases…consider using cables and padlocks to prevent them being removed
- Using decoy tins to hide money. For example, you can get WD40 decoy cans that look like the real thing. Simply placing it in the trunk would be enough to fool most thieves. It simply looks like can of WD40 to them
General precautions you can take to protect your valuables
Even if we are to use all the tactics stated above, we will reduce our chances of becoming victims of crime. However, there are some fundamental basics you can apply to reduce the chances even more.
These are core principles, so get into a habit of applying these techniques.
- Use a diversion wallet
- Divide your valuables
- Use pockets with secured openings
- Only carry what you need
Use a diversion wallet
This technique is time served by experienced travelers. In most cases, tourists are relatively easy targets for local criminals. They know the lay of the land and escape routes whereas a tourist may know nothing about the area they wandered into. They are easy targets.
To prevent losing all your money and cards, consider using a decoy wallet that contains little cash and nothing significant.
Should the worst happen and you are mugged or held up, simply toss them the dummy wallet and run. They are more likely to disperse thinking they have what they wanted.
You still have your main wallet with all the contents which you have hidden in a more inaccessible location upon you.
Divide your valuables
I mentioned this above so it is here to reiterate its importance. Do NOT risk losing all your money and valuables by storing them in one place. The better tactic and strategy are to split the valuables so should you lose one, you still have other sources of money.
This may involve hiding money in your suitcase or hotel room as we discussed above. Other ways are to split money across different areas of your body and clothing. Divide and conquer is the theme here and is a proven strategy.
Use pockets with secured openings
It amazes me when I hear of people being pick pocketed, and the detail shows that they had their wallets or purses stolen because they were so accessible to opportunist thieves. This story is repeated again and again.
It does not have to be this way. You can take basic precautions to make it difficult for thieves. The obvious one being pockets and bags. Always keep valuables in places where the pocket can be sealed…zipped or Velcro. Something like this makes it too difficult for a pick pocket to risk.
Only carry what you need
Again, this is common sense. If your items are safe in the hotel, you don’t need to carry all your valuables on your person. If you do, split them around areas of your body.
In most cases, you should be staying in places where the risk is low of being robbed. Even still, taking the precautions outlined above should reduce the impact of any robbery.
I guess the real answer here is to use your common sense and assess the risk. There will be occasions where the best option is to carry your valuables with you.
So, we discussed clever ways to hide money in clothing while traveling, hiding valuables in hotel rooms and some fundamental tips to staying safe.
He reality is that you may be a victim of crime, but you can take measures to limit the extent of the damage you suffer. Obviously, any situation like this is emotional but with a bit of forward planning, you can continue your vacation without it ending in total disaster.
Remember, one of the key things you can do is USE YOUR COMMON SENSE. This will likely mitigate most your risks…add in the advice above and you should be home dry.View the full range of Travel safe products at Amazon
Let me know what you think. Have you taken any of the measures I have outlined and did they work? Do you have any of your own tips that you would like to share…leave a comment below, we would love to hear from you.
How can I keep my money safe while traveling?
Use the advice I have given above to mitigate your risks. The best thing you can do is to assess the risks. Is your hotel safe? Is it safe to hide valuables in it? Is it better that I carry my valuables at all times? These are questions you should be asking yourself.
Regardless of the tactic you choose, it is important that you split your valuables so that if you are a victim of crime, you are not losing everything in one go.
How do you hide money on someone?
The best way to do this is to use money belts or secret places that are not easily accessible to criminals. This may require money belts under your clothing, pockets in underwear or simple secret pockets stitched into your clothes. Whichever method you choose, remember to split your money around your body so you don’t lose everything in one go.
How can I protect my money while traveling?
Simply be vigilant and assume the worst. Assume that you may be mugged so always carry a decoy wallet that is easily at hand. Spread your money about your person in hidden places and only carry what you need. Remember to secure your valuables in your hotel room by assuming that they may be stolen. If you act in this manner, you are giving yourself the best chance of winning.
Are hotel safes safe?
They are to a degree but a rogue member of staff can eliminate any confidence people have. Remember, hotel staff have access to the safe using master codes so your goods are not completely safe. A good hotel will have security procedures in place but not all hotels operate in this way.
You have to assume it is not safe so use them to your advantage by using them a s a decoy. Use the tips above to hide things around the hotel room. This can totally fool thieves as they may well assume that they have everything by cleaning out the safe.
How do I keep my money safe?
Use the tips I have suggested above. Be logical and risk averse. Apply a common-sense approach by splitting your money across locations if it is safe to do so and splitting the money across areas of your body. So for example, a money belt under your clothing, money hidden in your shoes and money in your underwear…yes, I know but it is safe there!
Can I hide money in a bra?
Women have been hiding more than money is bras for a very long time. I’m not sure I’m qualified to answer this question fully but fundamentally, it is a good place to keep your money safe.
Is this going overboard, what are the chances of being a victim?
This all comes down to common sense. There are some destinations that you would rate as safe and some where the likelihood of being a victim of crime is uncomfortably high. You therefore need to judge what precautions you need to take on its merit.
I would always advocate applying the fundamentals that I stated above. That is just good practice. I would also suggest that you err on the side of caution by splitting valuables across your body and hotel room. Remember, losing everything in one go is highly inconvenient and could potentially ruin a very expensive holiday.
A few basic precautions should ensure a smooth trouble-free holiday.