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money belt

I know that there are many posts in this forum about money belts, but I thought I would add another one.

Just got back from 2 weeks in Spain and only wore my money belt a few times, and only when traveling between cities. We rent apartments when we travel, so during the day we leave the passport and money belt back in the apartment locked in our suitcase.

During the day I carry around a small amount of cash and 1 credit card in my purse, not enough to worry about if it is stolen.

I think money belts are great, but it seems that they have much more importance when you stay in hotels and have to move about constantly. I guess that our apartments could be broken into while we are out for the day, but then the burglars would probably also steal more than our items. And most of the apartments we stay in are behind several layers of doors (the door to the street, the door to the lobby, the door to the apartment.)

I know that money belts are controversial and I am still a big believer in one. I'm just finding that I don't necessarily need to wear them every hour of the day.

Posted by
1179 posts

You don't need them if you have a secure place to store the valuables. An apartment is much more secure than a hotel.
When you had a less secure place to store your valuables then you used your money belt.
Your method doesn't conflict with common risk management procedures.

Posted by
3926 posts

I know that money belts are controversial and I am still a big
believer in one. I'm just finding that I don't necessarily need to
wear them every hour of the day.

I'm not sure that money belts ( or their equivalent belt or neck pouches) are particularly controversial. I don't think anyone will argue that they don't do what they are intended to do, which is safely store your passport, extra cash and credit cards that you don't actually need for immediate use. And that is especially true on travel days. No one is insisting that you wear it 24/7 if you have somewhere else to SAFELY store your goodies. If we gave a room safe at our hotel, we will use it. Others make a conscious decision as to how they will carry these items so as to reduce risk. There is so single right way to do this.

However, unlike previous trips to Europe, we will now be keeping our passports on our persons whenever we are out and about, just in case of an emergency ( however remote that may be). And that means we will be wearing our belt/pouch every day. I've never found it to be uncomfortable, anyway. Most of the time I forget I'm even wearing it.

Posted by
5719 posts

I'll be in Spain soon. Money belts are a bit of a hassle, but I look forward to traveling to Europe all year with countless hours of planning to try to have the best experience when we're there. If wearing one reduces the chance that we need to spend precious vacation time at a police station reporting something stolen, that's an easy choice for me!

Posted by
5697 posts

Wearing a money belt says to me "I'm on a trip!" -- so I wear mine whenever I'm not sleeping at home. Even last month to Salem, Oregon for the eclipse. (Can you spell OCD?) Just makes it easier to put it on every day than to have to calculate my risk factor daily.

Posted by
11490 posts

I rent apartments and stay in hotels. The money belt stays in room safe or apartment.. I dont need to haul stuff around everyday.. but I do use it in transit. I dont find we move any more staying in hotels than we do when we stay in apartments.. we usually like to stay 4-7 days in any one spot.

We like to go to the beach too.. ( south of France, Spain, Greece etc) a money belt does not fit under a swimsuit.

Posted by
13038 posts

I"ve always said that with my passport and a credit card, I can just about get anywhere.

I wear a hidden pocket type moneybelt. It is very comfortable and I hardly know it is there. Except when I'm home, I wear it everywhere. (I find the Rick Steves style moneybelt very uncomfortable.)

If it's in my hotel room or apartment, it's no good to me if I can't get back to my hotel or apartment. In today's world, no one knows what can happen. Terrorism, fire, flood, riots, police activity......while very unlikely, can still happen. Getting access too my hotel or apartment may become impossible. If my passport is there, I could be in trouble. (And if it is in the room safe and the power goes out, good luck with that if you have to evacuate. I can see it now....alarms are going off and you need to get out. But your safe won't open. You call Reception: "Hello Reception, my safe won't open. Yes, I know the halls are filling with smoke but could you please send up someone from maintenance to open my safe?")

I know a lot of you want to argue with me that I'm being pessimistic and nothing is going to happen.....but it could.

And as I said before, with a passport and a credit card I can get almost anywhere. Without the passport, I'm going nowhere.

Posted by
13810 posts

No way would I use the room safe to hold my passport. It stays on me. I use the hidden pocket and the neck pouch if it's cool enough. I'd rather have it inconvenient for me in dragging around the passport when I'm out and about than to leave it locked up in the safe.

Posted by
4326 posts

Just a word of caution. Occasionally apartment breakins are inside jobs. Vet your rental carefully. Just like hotel safes still have master keys. At the very least, lock everything up that you don't want to lose.
I still tend to carry my passport dsily, though not in a belt.

Posted by
3872 posts

We do not consider ourselves, or others like us who always wear money belts when out and about, to be pessimists. We simply think it is being prudent to hope for and expect the best, but be prepared for the worst.

Frank II from Freedonia makes some excellent points in the paragraph that begins "If it's in my hotel's no good to me if I can't get back...". And his final paragraph says it all.

Last time I checked "Murphy's Law" was still on the books. Just food for thought.

Posted by
369 posts

I agree with Frank. Our son's friend was on a domestic US flight on 911 when his plane had to land in Canada. It worked out, but without his passport, his options were limited. He never travels without his passport now.

Posted by
293 posts

Hotel Safes: I think the "House Combination" is 0-0-0-0 or 5-5-5-5...... so I don't trust the safes either. Cards / Money / Passport remains with me, but in a neckpouch.