I have read a lot of the threads on money belts, which seem to be mostly for spare cash/credit cards/passports, items we dont necessarily access when we are out shopping. So, where do all of you keep the cash you are using during the day?
You might want to consider sewing velcro just on the inside of your pocket. I keep hearing stories about pickpockets.... I would think velcro would keep their sticky fingers from sliding in there.
In your pocket . . .the idea of the money belt or neck pouch is to keep larger amounts of cash, your passport, etc safe. Just carry around a day's worth of dough in your pocket. It is not like there are pickpockets on every corner - don't let yourself get paranoid. I get several hundred euros out of the ATM at one time - most get stashed in the neck pouch. About 150 euros go in my pocket in the morning and that gets us through the day without having to dig into the neck pouch. Have fun!
Question about ATMs in Europe:
Do most have withdrawl limits like those here in the States? We have a family of 5 going to Italy. Entails a fair amount of "walking around" money.
I have heard that some banks in Italy have very low maximum withdrawal limits (you have to make more withdrawals; they get more fees), but I have always found that the withdrawal limit in Germany is the limit imposed by my bank (converted to Euro, of course). So, at today exchange rate, if you have a $500 limit from your bank, you would be limited to about €350. If you tried to get more, you would just get a message that the transaction could not be complete - contact your bank.
I would suggest taking two different cards, even if you need to just open a temporary account before your trip. This would be insurance in case one of them doesn't work (that happened for reasons the bank was never able to explain to me on our last trip!), lost, etc. It would also help you, with a larger group, get "around" the daily limit issue. I have learned it helps to plan a day or two ahead what your admissions, etc. will be- some days will be more than others. That's a good thing to do on the plane! I would never keep more than 25- 50euro not in the money belt- go access more in a bathroom if need be, later in the day. Have everyone in your group carry a little and pool the resources...
Our friends were in Barcelona and a jogger came
by and pointed to my friends back and pointed to
the sky, the bird doing its thing, and he brushed
him off. Our friends thought what a nice man.
The jogger had gone underneath his jacket into a
buttoned pocket and took his wallet.
They can take the money out of your front pocket,
just be brushing against you, and you won't even
feel his hand in your pocket.
My husband keeps a few euros there and keeps his
hand in his pocket, and the rest goes in a money
I have a small black zippered Eagle Creek travel wallet that I use to hold daily spending money and things like phone cards. I keep it in my front pocket.
All the other stuff (credit cards, passport, railpass, etc.) stays in my money belt.
Keep it in your front pocket (no wallet). It's very hard for pickpockets to get into your front pocket. If you are in a croud, just keep your hand in your pocket and you will not have any problems! happy travels. If this is your first time to Europe and you are nervous about all you hear and read about theft, Relax. It's NOT THAT BAD. If you are a smart traveler, you will not have any problems. Happy travels!!
I think Mark's right. You tend to hear all the bad things. I travel to Europe regularly both business and vacation and I have never had a problem. I carry one credit card and some cash in my wallet in my zip up purse and then carry that on my shoulder and keep it close to my body. The bag I use has short straps and so is easy to hold close to my body with my upper arm. I don't open my bag to get my wallet when I'm in the street, only in shops when I'm buying things. For more cash I use ATMs.
When our RS tour group was in Rome, four were pickpocketed on the subway - one had her purse unzipped very quickly, wallet taken and thief jumped off just as the door closed, second had his wallet taken from his front pocket(thankfully not a lot of money), third had his money taken from a velcro closed cargo pants pocket, and fourth had just a small amount of change taken from a back pocket.
The thieves in Europe are very good - they watch for any lapse and quickly take advantage. That's why I keep anything really valuable in my moneybelt or the hotel safe, and I carry a Pacsafe pouch with one credit card, daily spending money and I do not open my moneybelt unless I am in a washroom out of sight.
The pouch has a wire through the strap and is made of slashproof material. I keep it under my arm with my hand held over it when walking.
Be aware of your surroundings - those who have not been robbed use street smarts and also are lucky. Read Rick's tips such as Tourist Scams on this site.