Buying Money Belts for Traveling

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One thing that can turn a great traveling experience into a real nightmare is having your travel documents (passport, etc.), money and/or credit cards stolen.

What’s the easiest way to ensure all of these things remain safe while traveling?

Getting yourself a money belt or a neck pouch (which usually cost around $15) and keeping your valuables inside them when out and about will mean that even the most cunning of thieves will struggle to rob you of your prize possessions.

Note that when you’re traveling with a money belt, it’s a good idea to carry an old wallet with you (with a few dollars worth of currency). In the event you are robbed/mugged, it’ll be the virtually empty wallet that’s stolen – not your passport/credit cards/money.

What to Look for When Buying Money Belts for Traveling

When buying money belts for traveling, there are a few things that you should consider:

  • Look for a money belt that has multiple pockets (at least 2), with at least one of them being a zip pocket. Having a zip pocket allows you to safely and securely store small items (such as loose change) in your money belt without fear of it falling out.
  • Think about the kinds of clothes you’ll be wearing when you’re traveling. Try to find a money belt for traveling that will blend in with those clothes by being the same (or a similar) color if possible. If you aren’t sure, just get one that’s a neutral color (i.e. khaki) that will blend in with most things, as opposed to a bright orange one!
  • When buying a money belt, if you’re not sure which kind you’ll find the most comfortable visit your local travel supplies store and try a few on there. It doesn’t matter how good your money belt is, if you don’t wear it (because it’s too cumbersome or uncomfortable) you might as well not have one. Too many times traveling have I seen people pulling money belts out of their backpacks because they didn’t like wearing them.

Money belts for traveling

Which Style of Money Belt is Best?

There are 3 main types of money belt (or ‘hidden money storing device’) out there:

  • Money belts/Travel pouches – These clip around your waist and have a pouch at the front (similar to ‘bum-bags’ or ’fanny packs’).
  • Neck pouches/Shoulder wallets – These are a flat, rectangular bag that has a long string around it. You can hang it diagonally over your head and shoulder so that it hangs down by your side.
  • Money belts – A belt (like the kind you’d use to hold your trousers up with) that has a small zip pocket along the inside.

I am ruling out money belts such as this one from this evaluation because their pockets are not big enough to store travel documents such as passports.

During my time traveling around South-East Asia I was lucky enough to see the benefits of each type of money belt, as between myself and my three friends we had one of each kind (and because there’s nothing better to discuss on a 16 hour bus journey through Thailand!)

Of these money belts for traveling, my personal favorite is the neck pouches/shoulder wallets, and here’s why:

In a hot climate, the money belt/travel pouch (the kind that clips around your waist) became extremely hot and sweaty, and was uncomfortable to wear.

My neck pouch, however, never caused any unnecessary discomfort and was virtually sweat-free the whole trip (meaning it didn’t have the same odor of my friends’ money belts by the end).

In addition to this, my neck pouch had a much larger pocket (and lots of individual dividers so I could organize everything), as indeed most neck pouches do, which enabled me to quickly and easily sort through its contents.

Of course, you might have a different opinion, which is why I recommend that you try each kind of yourself.

Related posts:

  1. Frugal Traveling – Top Ways to Save Money Abroad

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