It can be hard to find a good place to put your cash when traveling. Here's how you can stash your cash in different places of your travel gear so that it will be less easy for someone breaking into your room or backpack in the night!
You don't want to lose it all
One thing people worry about when traveling, is what happens if their money gets stolen?
The idea of being stuck in a country where you might not know the language, and having no money or local contacts can be a worrying one.
This guide will show you how you can stash away both cash and other valuable things without risking them being stolen by using multiple methods of hiding. Having at least one or two backups should give you an extra level of peace when traveling.
Keep in mind: Don't keep all your eggs in one basket, and keep your travel money in different places either on your body or hidden within your travel gear.
Related: Money in Greece
First off, don't carry your wallet in your back pocket
It seems so obvious that I shouldn't say this, but a surprising amount of people carry around their wallet in their back pocket. And their phones.
Don't do it!
It's a really bad idea, and you might as well carry a sign saying ‘Easy pickings here'.
It's so easy for pickpockets to lift your wallet from there, and these days they are very good at it.
If you find yourself in a situation where you have to carry your wallet with you, at least keep it in your front pocket where you stand a better chance of noticing if it is being lifted.
Only keep enough money for the day in a wallet
If it's your first day in a new country, and you've just gone to the ATM machine to withdraw a stack of cash, don't keep it all in one wallet.
Instead, have a ‘carry' wallet with just enough money to get you through the day safely on your person. This way, if it does get taken from you, you won't have lost too much and the majority of you cash will be safe.
Which brings us to my next tip…
Separate Your Money
I know we're talking about wallets, but I'm using this as a general term to refer to all of your money and cards.
Don't keep all your money in one place if you can help it. Split up your cash into different amounts and store them in different places so that if something does get stolen, at least you haven't lost too much!
I just use different pockets or bags for my money when traveling. For example, I always try to have an emergency cash stash in a travel money belt. There are plenty of other ways to divide it up though – think creatively!
Travel accessories to hide money
Here's a few commonly used items that travelers use when looking to secure cash and cards when they travel:
- Money Belt for Travel
- Diversion Safe Hair Brush
- True Utility TU251 Cashstash
- Zero Grid Travel Security Belt
Wear a travelers money belt
This is one of the safest ways to carry currency and cars with you as you travel. If you've gotten into the habit of carrying just enough money with you for the day in an easily accessible place, you put the rest on a traditional money belt.
These are designed to be mainly worn around the waist or hip, and are made with a hidden pocket where you can hide your money. This type of on body storage is also great for putting passports and credit cards in – after all, the less obvious places they can be lifted from, the better!
They come in both men's and women's designs, so you'll have plenty of choice. I'd recommend getting one before you leave home as it might not be available to buy once you're on the road (especially if there is another local currency to get used to!).
A good one will cost under $30 and will last you years if looked after correctly. Choose one with RFID protection blocking material so your cards can't get scanned.
Use a Security Belt with Inside Zip
This is perhaps my favourite way of carrying around emergency cash with me. Even when not traveling, I wear this sort of belt with a spare couple of hundred Euros in just in case.
It's designed to look just like a regular belt, and has a secret zipper running along the inside of it which is just big enough to fit in a few carefully folded notes.
Even if I were to be shaken down or mugged (it's never happened to me yet, but you never know!), it would be highly unlikely they'd look here.
Try wearing one on your next trip, or even every day. These type of money belts are a good way to keep money hidden but also with you at the same time.
Related: International Travel Checklist
Sew hidden pockets into clothes
This can be a good way of hiding your cash and valuables, but it does mean you need to get a needle and thread out. If you're handy with the sewing machine already, even better – if not, maybe I'll teach you some day!
It's a simple way of getting money safe from prying eyes though – just sew a pocket into the inside of something like your shirt or pants where nobody would normally look for one. Put whatever you want in there (could be money, or important travel documents).
A zipped pocket would be best of course, and it's one of the ways to hide and carry cash that is simple but effective. The only problem is you have to remember to take the cash out of the secret pocket before doing laundry!
In a Hair Brush handle
For obvious reason (see my reasons why being bald is awesome for travel), this is not a tactic I can deploy when it comes to keeping money safely hidden away when traveling. If you are less follically challenged though, this could be a good tip to use.
Many hairbrushes have hollow handles where with just a little creativity, you can make a secret compartment to keep cash safe. You might also find specifically designed products on Amazon that double as a hair brush and place to hide cash.
You can leave this in the hotel room in plain sight, and no one will think to look there.
In Your Bra
This tip on where to hide money is probably more relevant to women, but if you aren't and want to use it anyway, I'm not here to judge!
A bra is a good place to hide money because it's pretty much regular wear (reasonably safe), and nobody would think of looking there.
I saw this style of travel wallet when researching this article. I think in terms of being an anti theft accessory it works pretty well, but I question it's practical use, particularly in hot countries.
However, I did think that it would be a good idea to use this at a gig or festival, or when out running. Take a look at an example on Amazon here: Wrist Locker
Where to hide money in a hotel room
This is really a subsection in itself! If your hotel room has a safe, then it makes sense to leave passports and some cards and cash there – if it looks secure enough.
If not, here's a few more ideas of where to keep separate piles of valuables and cash:
Inside a sleeping bag
If you're backpacking with a sleeping bag, perhaps you want to leave some cash in a pocket within or just at the bottom. If someone does break into your room when you're out, they're unlikely to take the time to unroll your sleeping bag and look inside it.
In a water bottle
Water bottles make great secret hiding places, and it's unlikely that anyone would think to look in there for any valuables. The same can be said of food containers like pringles cans. This is a trick I sometimes use when keeping valuables safe at the beach.
In your dirty laundry bag
No one likes to go near old smelly shirts and socks, so this might be a good place put some of your travel money. Wrap up the cash in a plastic bag, and put them in an old pair of socks at the bottom of your collection of dirty laundry . No one will want to go near that pile of stinky stuff!
Inside cosmetics or shower gel bottles
One idea, is to take an empty shower gel bottle with you that you only use to keep cash inside. If someone starts to go through all your stuff, there's only a very small chance that they will bother to look for your money inside an old shower gel bottle.
In an empty plastic soap container
This is similar to the shampoo tip above – use an empty soap dish instead and stick your money in there (maybe even put some soap flakes over the top of it). Nobody wants to go near Soap! This is particularly good at keeping valuables safe when using communal showers or bathrooms in hostels or dorms .
In Aspirin Bottles
These can also be a creative place to keep some emergency cash away from your main stash. You might not get much in there, but at least it will be safe!
In Deodorant Tubes
They can hold quite a lot of cash, and again fit in with the overall theory of separating money out and hiding it in different places. If you don't have any empty deodorant tubes, try an old lipstick one instead.
And finally, the old Prison Wallet
You probably don't want me to delve deeply into too many details with this one. Nuff said!
Wrapping up these suggestions of where to hide money while traveling …
The best way to hide money while traveling is by hiding it in different places. In this guide I've outlined a few tips on where and how you can stash your cash when going abroad. From sewn pockets hidden inside of clothes, to bra stuffing, there are plenty of ways for you to keep your valuables safe from prying eyes when out exploring the world!
Do you have any suggestions to make on where to hide money as a traveler? I'd love to hear them, so please leave a comment at the bottom of this blog post!
FAQ About hiding money when you travel
Some of the most popular questions people have about keeping money save when traveling include:
Where do you put valuables in a hotel?
If the hotel has a safe or a room safe, you can consider using that if travelling with cash.
What's the best way to carry money while traveling?
Don't put all your eggs in one basket. Risks are minimized if you have a few different options for where the money can be hidden. Keep a reserve of cash in your carry on luggage or back pack just in case you can't find a way to hide cash at your destination.
How do you hide cash on your body?
Cash can be hidden inside of the seams of clothing, in shoes, and between layered clothes.
Where can I hide large amounts of cash?
Large amounts of cash can be best hidden in a false wall. This is a permanent fixture that is made on the inside of your home to conceal large amounts of money and valuables. This wall usually contains a false panel that can be inserted with compartments for storage. You may also consider purchasing an armoire or a piece of furniture which also has this type of hidden compartment inside.
Get Yourself Some Travel Insurance
Hiding money as you travel is all well and good, but things can and might go wrong on a trip.
Travel insurance is a good idea because it covers you against the unexpected. For example, if you cancel your flight and have to buy a new one on the same day, they will cover the costs.
In the case of theft or loss of your possessions, they will also cover these costs. Good insurance means that if anything goes wrong while travelling, you won't have to worry about being ruined financially.
Find out more here: Travel Insurance
Dave is a travel writer who's now living in Greece. If you enjoyed reading this travel guide on how to hide money while traveling, you might also like his other travel tips and guides. Follow Dave on social media for travel inspiration from Greece and beyond: