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money belt

I've just purchased RS money belt. I've been wearing it a few days just to get used to it and it's amazing how comfortable it is and how easy to get used to. I wear it in the small of my back. I'm wondering though how some of you deal with having to get to it if you need to as you're out and about? Thanks

Posted by
5678 posts

I was wondering the same thing last year when I went on the Rick Steves, Berlin, Prague and Vienna tour. I'd used security neck pouches, but never the money belt. Our first night, Christof, our guide, told us to think of it as Deep Storage. You do keep out somewhere handy the cash you need for the day. If you have more than one credit card, you might keep one of them handy if you're going to be making big purchases. What you want to do is limit the losses to a day's worth of cash. My passport, hotel list, credit cards, drivers license, and extra cash were in the money belt. And, BTW, you'll need that little plastic insert. Otherwise, everything gets damp. ; )

Posted by
23245 posts

If you need access, find a restroom or a very dark corner with someone standing guard. The idea is to never need access unless it is a real emergency. Some people wear them in front behind their belt buckle and treat it as a concealed billfold. Personally, I don't think that is a very good idea.

Posted by
10344 posts

Robert: Some do find wearing it in the small of your back instead, of in front, to be more comfortable; downside is that makes it more difficult to access. Okay, here we go, step by step: For the gentleman traveler who is okay with wearing it in front, wear it over the shirt, instead of under; then access is pretty straightforward by sucking in the gut a bit (more of an effort for some of us than others, I have a bit more gut to suck in than some, but oh well...), then gingerly reaching into the top of the trousers about an inch (if you wear it in the right way, it's not necessary to reach in to an embarrassing extent) and pulling the belt out. Since you prefer to wear it in the small of your back, access in public is more difficult. You'd have to figure out how to rotate it around to the front, then the procedure would be same as described above.I agree with Frank (above) that you want to plan things so that you minimize having to access your money-belt. This can be done by keeping the cash you estimate you'll need for the day separate and not in your money-belt. However, on some days you're going to need your ATM card or credit card, but some of us (me included) are uncomfortable saying to ourselves: "oh, I'm going to need my ATM card or credit card sometime during the day, so I won't put it in my money-belt today." The reason I wear my money-belt over my shirt, under my trousers, and in front is so I can access my ATM card or credit card without having to go off to a totally secluded place--but the downside of doing it my way is that if you access it in public people can see where you're keeping your stash, although for a pick-pocket to get into a moneybelt under ones pants means they would basically have to be able to get into your....well, you know.

Posted by
23245 posts

Kent's approach is very common and you see tourists all the time during the same thing. I think it compromises the security of a money belt. Being more difficult to access is NOT a downside. While it is very pickpocket resistant, I don't like the idea that you are telegraphing where you are storing your valuables. I think a money belt and how you use it is part of a security system and not the security itself. Personally I like to keep the pickpocket guessing where and what I have. Since I don't show them, hopefully they will move to a more tempting target. So far they always have.

Posted by
189 posts

I had the same concern this past summer in our travels. After awhile, I just hoisted it out from around my waist yet under my pants, even in the middle of a store. I suggest wearing it in front. Seems safer because you can gently keep your hand on your tummy. Downside is I looked fatter than usual, but upside of that was I got to eat more since I looked fatter anyway.

Posted by
643 posts

I wore a money belt on our first day walking around London, and I put it away after that and never used it again! It was uncomfortable and awkward to have to dig into it for a 20 pound note. Also we had an apartment that was in a secure building so I felt fine leaving my passport there.

Posted by
2775 posts

I wear a money belt every trip I take. It's so comfortable that I forget I even have it on. You should decide in the morning the amount of money you think you will be needing for the day and put that else where. Of course, there will be those times that you will need some out of your money belt, as mentioned above go to the the restroom or to a corner and someone stand guard. The purpose of a money belt is for security, if you get money out of it eveytime you need some during the day then you destroy the security of it.

Posted by
2788 posts

I may have missed a post or two, but I haven't seen anyone say they were pickpocketed out of their money belt if it was being worn properly. I do know, first hand, of folks loosing things that were not in their money belt.
I go to Europe every summer and always ware a money belt with the usual important documents and extra money inside. I do keep money for the day, and sometimes one credit card, in my front zippered chest pocket. I can relate to folks saying that they find money belts uncomfortable, but I can also relate to being pickpocketed.

Posted by
780 posts

The money belt may be uncomfortable and inconvenient, but wouldn't it more uncomfortable and inconvenient to be stuck in Paris/Germany/Italy with no credit cards, passport, money, ID, Airline ticket, etc......If you got pickpocketed?

Posted by
11507 posts

I hate wearing money belt. I do own and wear one, but only while in transit. When I arrive at hotel stuff goes into the safe.
I only carry a days cash with me in my purse.

I should note that once while in transit I almost lost a CC fiddling with stupid money belt in train station, trying to " discreetly " withdraw a CC when another one slipped out , luckily I noticed it. Definately don't asseess it regurlarily in public. And while I often will go somewhere private to assess it ( like a washroom) never lean over toilet,,LOL

Posted by
206 posts

I wore my money belt every day of my three week trip, with no worries. After the first day, you won't know it's there. It's not used for documents/money/credit cards you'll be using that day, just the ones you need to store. So, there is no need to dig into it in public. Keep daily cash/credit card in a very secure (but accessible to you) location (i.e. an interior zippered and pinned pocket).

Posted by
11507 posts

Tami,, keep that stuff in safe. No need to lug it around is my point.

Posted by
780 posts

I dont trust people at hotels with my identification!

Posted by
11507 posts

Tami,, what has that got to do with anything,, ?? You put it in the safe?? And you are REQUIRED to give them your passport anyways ,, which they then record your PP information , or photocopy it anyways,, so they aren't likely to need to steal it anyways?? I am sure you have experienced this anyways ,, right?

I have never heard of anyones PP being stolen by hotel staff, or for that matter I have never heard of anyones PP going missing from their safe...

Posted by
780 posts

Well, i'll be staying in Easyhotel and i dont think they even have a safe. I would feel uneasy leaving my IDs in my hotel room!

I havent left the country before, so I am not familiar with requirements. I am going abroad in December for the first time.
Its a personal thing I suppose, if some people feel better carrying their Identification stuff with them, then a money belt works for that (as well as cash and cards) doesnt it!

Posted by
360 posts

Tami, do whatevery makes you comfortable. The following is a quote from RS. I heard him say it the first time I saw him on TV. He was in Amsterdam walking along a shopping street.

"With a money belt, all your essential documents are on you as securely and thoughtlessly as your underpants. Have you ever thought about that? Every morning you put on your underpants. You don't even think about them all day long. And every night when you undress, sure enough, there they are, exactly where you put them."

I saw that show years ago, but I've always remembered that bit about the underpants. I use a moneybelt. If I have a room safe I use it. If I don't, everything (cards, passport, large bills) go in my money belt. I've found that the waist one works best for me. It's so comfortable, I have to touch it once in a while to make sure it's still there. Good luck & enjoy your trip.

Posted by
14944 posts

Remember, there are many different types of moneybelts:

1) The type you wear around your waist

2) The type that has loops for a belt to go through and then hangs inside your pant leg. (This is my favorite and I hardly feel anything.)

3) The type you wear around your neck

4) The type you wear around your ankle/leg.

5) There is one that attaches to a bra but it isn't big enough to hold a passport (at least that's what I've been told. No personal knowledge :) )

Posted by
11507 posts

Tami,, if hotel does not have a safe then I would not leave my stuff in the room either. I am not familar with Easyhotel either so I have no idea what they offer. I have stayed in hotels where the safes are assessed by the desk clerk behind the desk. I have never had a problem with using them. If you don't feel safe unless carrying all your stuff then do it,, just make sure you get comfy belt that has a good quality fastner, , and that you do not assess it in public. Carry a days worth of cash in your purse ,, and only assess moneybelt in private( bathroom or hotel room for example) .

Posted by
12172 posts

Here are a couple of rules I use when wearing a money belt:

  1. Only put stuff in it that you don't plan on accessing during the day. It's storage for stuff you don't want to lose rather something to get in and out of regularly.

  2. When you need to access it, do it in a private place. A bathroom stall is one good option.

  3. When you access your money belt, don't be in a hurry. Everything in there is important; you don't want to accidentally drop something and leave it on the floor because you didn't realize it fell out.

I wear mine outside my shirt just below the beltline. Small of the back works fine if you can live without getting into it.

Remember you will sweat if you're doing a lot of walking. Get one with a plastic liner or put your stuff in a plastic ziplock to keep it from getting soaked.

Posted by
934 posts

I always wore a waist moneybelt in the back.Comfortable and easy.My last trip I also took a neck belt along.I put anything I might need that day in it.It is comfortable and easy to get at.Works for me and that is the main thing.

Posted by
113 posts

I've worn a RS money belt for years - it IS amazing how comfortable it is. I wear it in front with either low-hung jeans and an overshirt, or w/ (horrors!) an elastic waist. That way if I need to get into it, I can slip it up and access it fairly easily. I do keep most of what I'll need for the day in a wallet (with NO credit card) toward the bottom but not ON the bottom of my backpack and replace my stash from the money belt as needed at bathroom stops. The only time I have ever been pickpocketed in 30+ years of travel was a last day - I got sloppy! - in Prague, when I just tossed my billfold on top of my pack after buying my ticket and got the old 'blocked way onto the subway' trick. They got $50 and I had nearly a thousand in my money belt, so I didn't mourn too much - but I'm always careful now on my last day before flying home!

Posted by
1357 posts

My husband got pickpocketed in Prague by the "blocked way onto the subway" trick, too, and, luckily, I had his passport in my money belt. But we did waste a day putting a hold on his bank account, because his debit card was in his wallet.

Like others have said before me (and Rick says, too), use it for your "deep pocket" stuff, like your passport, credit/debit cards, and extra cash. I carry a small purse with my money for the day. The money belts are wide enough where you can space stuff out a bit and not have it all in one pile, so there's less chance of having a credit card fall out when you're reaching in for another one. You do have to lose a bit of modesty, though, and get over the fact that you have to reach into your pants to get your credit card out. I mostly pay for stuff with cash and keep my credit card for bigger things like the hotel or rental car.

And I stay in very budget places, usually costing 50 euros/night or less, so hotel safes aren't even an option.