Choosing a Money Belt
There are several types of money belts to choose from, neck or shoulder type, leg, pocket or belt type but the most popular is the waist type.
They should be worn under your travel clothes and tucked away from view.
If you choose to wear a neck type, keep in mind that on hot days your neck may get irritated.
I prefer to wear the waist type which I keep inside my skirts, shorts or pants.
Regardless of the type of money pouch/belt you choose, if the weather is warm the contents may become a little sweaty.
To solve this, take a few clear plastic sandwich bags, the same size as your money pouch, and cut off the excess portion from the top. I measure mine with a measuring tape, find zip lock bags that fit and cut the zipper portion off.
Keep your money, credit cards and other information in these baggies and everything will be nice and dry in your money belt.
Travel Money Issues
A travel money issue is knowing how much currency to take with you and how much to carry in your your money pouch. Purchase some foreign currency before you leave.
Take enough cash for the first 3 – 5 days until you become comfortable with your travel surroundings and have figured out where to easily find ATMs. Carry most of it in your money belts and a small portion in your wallet for daily purchases at the restaurant, the cafe, grocery store or museums.
If you are travelling to several destinations, you may consider bringing the some currency for those other destinations as well.
Money Belts and Credit Cards
Decide which credit cards to take and which ones to leave at home.
I would recommend taking 2 credit cards and a debit card.
The purpose of taking more than one credit card is in case one card gets stolen or a specific bank server is down.
This has happened to me and it can be embarrassing, especially when you are dining in a classy restaurant (that has happened to me). I would have been washing dishes or sweeping floors for hours. Do not carry all your credit cards together:
- Place one in your money pouch and hide the other one in a different location such as in your hotel safe box, or wherever your creative mind thinks of.
- This way if you have any problems with one card you will have another card to rely on.
I was thankful to have second credit card hidden away, when one card got stolen from my little purse because I didn’t feel like wearing my money belt on one of my vacations.
When you travel, contact your credit card companies a few weeks before your departure and inform them of the dates you will be in other countries and the day of your return home.
Banks and credit card companies monitor unusual transactions and may freeze your account if they don’t know that you are travelling.
One of the most important travel packing tips is to keep a list of the contact phone numbers in your money belt.
If you have notified your banks and credit card companies of your travel plans, they will be in a better position to send you a new card when you contact them:
- if you have problems with a debit card in stores or with ATM machines,
- or if a card gets stolen.
Personal Travel Information
Create a compact list of all the locations you will be visiting, flight information, the hotels, their addresses and phone numbers to keep with you for quick reference.
- Make a few photo copies of your passport details, visas, credit cards, driver’s licences, bank cards, emergency contact numbers, and flight and hotel confirmations.
- Place a set of these copies in your carry-on bag, and leave some copies with a trustworthy person at home and/or a close friend or relative in case they need to reach you and also for your protection.
- Keep a photo copy of your passport in your money pouch in case the hotel where you are staying has a requirement to hold your passport in their custody during your stay.
ATMs and Your Cash
Keep your money pouch out of view and try to access only once a day when you are withdrawing from an ATM or when you need to present a ticket or your passport.
Withdraw funds from ATMs in very open and public spaces rather than dark hidden areas.
Important information regarding your pin numbers: Ensure you have a 4-digit pin number as many ATMs internationally do not accept pin numbers with more than 4 digits.
Do not keep your credit cards and your money in your back pocket. Use a wallet for daily transactions and keep only your daily spending amount in it but place your wallet in an inside pocket if possible.
If you are in a hotel or hostel with shared bathrooms, place your valuables, money, cards and cash in a zip loc plastic bag and hang it from the shower head.
What Goes in Your Money Belt?
Your money, credit cards, debit card and driver’s licence, passport (and visas) and your airline and train tickets.
Pull your airline tickets apart, placing only the vouchers in your travel money belt, keeping the other portion in another location.
If you have an e-ticket and rail-passes, keep them with you at all times.
When checking your luggage at an airport or train station baggage storage facility, place your claim ticket in your money belt so that no one else can claim your baggage.
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