I have often heard of people saying that they were pickpocketed when traveling or that they believe a hotel worker stole money from their belongings. Whether your wallet gets nabbed at the Colosseum in Rome or a pickpocketer swipes it when you’re hopping on a local train line in Barcelona, you’ll never suspect your money is missing until you go to use it. Fortunately, there are many creative ways to keep your money safe when you’re traveling.
Use an old lip-balm tube
An old lip-balm tube is a fantastic way to smuggle a few bills. This method is great if you’re headed to a street market, walking around a new city, or headed to a tour of a particular site but don’t want to bring a lot of cash with you.
Here’s how to do it:
- Align your bills on top of each other.
- Roll your bills into a tight cylinder shape.
- Place the cap on top and you’re all set!
Your bills’ height will fit perfectly inside of a standard (cleaned out) lip-balm tube.
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Tape it up
Many of us probably carry money in our suitcases, in between some clothing, which can leave it vulnerable to theft. But if you don’t want to walk around with wads of money and there’s no lock box in your accommodations, what can you do?
There are many places within your accommodations that you can place your money. All you need is tape and a bag—something small but not clear, to place your money inside of the bag and tape it to these unsuspecting places:
- Underneath a chair
- Inside of the ironing board cover
- Behind the bed frame
- Under the bottom of a drawer. No, not the inside of the drawer, but the very bottom, underside of the drawer.
- Under a mattress, closer to the center
- Inside the toilet tank
- Inside the shower curtain rod
For extended stays of over a week, I like to carry a dirty clothes laundry bag. I have also used this bag to keep my money safe. I would hope that no one would take the time to search through dirty underwear or shirts with sweaty pit stains, and so far it has done the job.
Stick your money inside of a pair of socks and roll them as you would once you’ve taken them off for the day. You can always use that same pair as a “dummy pair” by marking them with your initials and making sure it’s not an actual pair or brand you’d normally wear. Keep these as special decoy socks.
Big bills on person, small bills in pocket
I have used this tactic from when I used to be a waitress in college. If anyone is looking to pickpocket you or demand money from you, keep smaller bills in your pocket. A bunch of small bills always looks like a lot of money until you realize it’s only about $5 rolled up or folded.
Bigger bills could go in your bra if you wear one. Sports bras and bras that come with inserts tend to have pockets where you can keep big bills. Big bills can also go into your shoe if you’re wearing boots or sneakers and socks if you’re in a climate where your feet won’t sweat.