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Money-belt advice?

Although I understand the reasoning behind money-belts and have used them on several occasions, I'm also hesitant to use one on my upcoming trip to Europe. Perhaps I'm the only guy who feels this way, but I don't like it when my money-belt rides up in the back and gets mistaken for a thong... Does anyone have any good ideas for "modifying" their money-belts to make them less awkward, or does anyone know of a good alternative to money-belts?

I'm not a fan of the whole neck-pouch idea, but I've been looking at the Rick Steves "Hidden Pocket" a lot lately. Does anyone out there use one of these? If so, would you recommend it?

Posted by
3313 posts

Umm,

Jason, I think you're putting too much thought into this.

The money belt sits up front, It can make you look a bit fat but if that concerns you well...

Posted by
4 posts

Haha, thanks for your concern, Doug!--but since I weigh about 130 pounds my figure isn't really the issue. The problem is that, in my experience, the elastic strap on money belts always slides up above my pants in the back. This is neither flattering nor comfortable. While I realize this certainly isn't a life or death issue, I also understand how important it is to travel comfortably--and it's really not comfortable to have your money belt mistaken for a thong when you're surrounded by homophobic strangers (true story, unfortunately). Basically, I just want to explore my options.

Posted by
14904 posts

I use the hidden pocket and have for nearly 20 years. I hardly know it's there. Very comfortable. (I use Eagle Creek's version.)

I'm also starting to use the neck pouch for my passport and credit cards on days I'll need them.

I'm one of those people who finds the regular money belt to be a little uncomfortable.

Just remember, with the hidden pocket, you have to wear a belt.

Posted by
4 posts

Thanks for the help, Frank II. It's good to hear from someone who's used one of these "hidden pocket" things--especially for so long! That's exactly the kind of confirmation I was looking for.

Assuming it doesn't move around a lot while I'm hiking, biking, etc., I think it should work perfectly.

Posted by
312 posts

I use a hidden pocket (the version from Magellans; saw it there first). No, you do not need to use a belt with it. In fact, according to one review I saw, it could be better not to. When you have to take the belt off for security, you could lose the pocket when it slides down your leg!

I put the hidden pocket on a landscape orientation (zipper runs east/west instead of north/south), and safety pin it to my pants' waist. The safety pins are on the inside, so you can zip/unzip.

Definitely recommend this pocket and attachment method. Cheers.

Posted by
12172 posts

There are at least three other options for you: A neck pouch, a money belt that hooks onto your belt and hangs inside your pants and a leg wallet that straps around your leg.

Try them out and pick the one that works best for you.

Posted by
12040 posts

You mentioned "elastic". A solution would be to get an adjustable money belt. I've never worn one with an elastic band.

Another solution- in non-touristy areas of Europe, you can go completely without a moneybelt. I'm currently on a two week trip in the Low Countries, and I only wore my belt in Delft and Keukenhof... and even in Delft, it probably wasn't necessary. But, if you go the no-money belt route, choose your locations carefully.

Posted by
2025 posts

We have used the Lewis N Clark neck pouch and find them very comfortable and easy to use/wear. Lightweight and well designed for our needs (credit cards, passports, cash, tickets). Purchased for about $20 or so from local luggage/travel shop. Also online. The only trick is to remember to tuck them back in....a favorite photo: sitting with a glass of wine in San Gimignano, neck stashes blowing in the breeze.

Posted by
14904 posts

I would suggest you stay away from the one you wear around your leg. I used this for awhile and hated it. As the day progressed, due to sweat and muscle contractions, the leg pouch would slip down to around my ankle and feel very loose.

I use the hidden pocket and wear it through security. No metal in it and if I get a pat down it's easy to pull out and show security.

Posted by
23223 posts

I don't think there is any "approved" method of wearing a money belt. Some like to wear it in front behind the belt buckle where it is primarily a hidden billfold. Jason, if the elastic band is showing sounds like you are wearing it outside of your shirt.

I wear mine just below the rib cage with the pouch in the small of my back between the undershirt and outer shirt. No way to "ride up" since it is already up, nothing shows, and I cannot get to it without partly undressing. If I cannot get to it, neither can anyone else. It is more of a question of how you wear it.

Posted by
4 posts

I've never worn the money belt on the outside of my shirt (that would kind of defeat the purpose). It usually only shows when I have to bend over to do something, or when I'm wearing a backpack and it makes my shirt ride up in the back. And I know I might not have any problems if I wore an undershirt plus an outer shirt, but if I'm travelling in the summer in Morocco or Spain extra layers are the last thing I need.

Thanks for your ideas, everyone. I think I'm going to go with Frank II's suggestion and try the "hidden pocket."

Posted by
588 posts

I use the hidden pocket and use a large safety pin instead of a belt. You can buy blanket or kilt pins at any fabric/notion stores (Jo-Ann's in the NW). I just pin it inside by pants and then I can flip it over if I need to get to it. I actually found a great hidden pocket at The Container Store. It has several different color zippers so I can separate money, passport, credit card, plane ticket, etc. I use a neck pouch on the days I'm traveling.

Posted by
934 posts

I also wear a moneybelt in back and so does my wife.Very comfortable.I also wear a neck moneybelt that I put items in if I will need them that day.Also comfortable.

Posted by
180 posts

I agree, the money belt I thought was too uncomfortable. I have found using the neck pouch and placing it diagonally across my front is more comfortable. I put my left arm through it and it lays on my left side of my waist

Posted by
26 posts

I wear one around my leg, just below my knee. I've taken a neck one and cut the strap so it fits. I can sit down and pull up my pant leg to get to it, if necessary (taking out passport when checking into hotel). It's not hot as the waste ones are, nor dose it hurt my neck. Joanne

Posted by
16 posts

Another option is true hidden pockets. I add lightweight pockets on the inside of our pants. This is especially good with cargo pants, where I simply use the outline of the outside pockets to create the inside pockets. Secure the top with a narrow strip of velcro and you are good to go.

Posted by
206 posts

The money belt waist straps didn't work for me, either. So, I safety-pinned mine (horizontally) to the back of my pants (kind of in the small of my back). Another alternative is to safety pin one vertically in the front right or left (about where your pants pocket would be.

Posted by
119 posts

I converted a regular money belt into a version which I wear like a holster with an elastic band over my shoulder and the zipper bag under my arm. It is very comfortable and when necessary, I can discretely pull it down to retrieve something and then let it pop back up in place! I did not like wearing one around my waist.

Posted by
808 posts

Ive tried this moneybelt and that moneybelt...I dont really like any of them! But I understand their purpose and never travel with out one.

I like the Eagle Creek one by MEC Mountain coop Equipment.

I modified it or should i say I asked my tailor to...
Here's what I did:

I removed the elastic band b/c it really annoyed me when it rode up the small of my back or front.

I put a removable zipper across the top. The other side of the zipper track is sewn into my uniform pants or skirt. I have a seperate travel wardrobe so all pieces have the track which I can interchange and remove the moneybelt as needed.

It works well and a few of my colleagues have copied the concept.

Posted by
1 posts

A woman I know was on a train in Germany and someone came up to her, reached down the front of her pants and grabbed her money belt.

Luckily, it didn't tear off, and the person wasn't able to cut it off in time (they were messing with the wrong woman). Still, the point is, thieves KNOW travelers wear money belts or neck pouches.

So, when I used to use a moneybelt, I'd shift it to the right side over my hip, right below the waistline of my pants. Thus, it was in a non-traditional place, when I leaned forward I wouldn't squish what was in the belt, and the best part was I could access it discreetly: if I needed to get something, even if it was in a very public area, all I needed to do was to turn my right side against something (a counter, a wall, whatever), and as I reached in to access my stuff, it simply looked like I was digging in a pocket.

Posted by
23223 posts

Well, I would suggest both you and the German lady are not using a money belt as it was intended to be used. A lot of people like to use a money belt as hidden billfold that is relatively easy to access. And, as you pointed out, if it is easy for you to reach, someone else can reach it also. Wearing a money belt at the waist line or behind the belt buckle as I see many people do is far less secure.

Wear it under your shirt, in the small of your back, and it will be comfortable, and no one can get to it -- including yourself.

Posted by
273 posts

I wore a money belt and hated it! Since they don't make pants with a deep security pocket for women I bought 2 men's pairs from Magellons and hemmed them. I also bought a flat wallet from them that holds your passport, credit cards & money and slips in to the security pocket. The nylon ones from Magellons had the deepest pockets and now I will NEVER wear a money belt.