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Keeping Your Money Safe Abroad

If you like to take a good amount of cash with you on holiday, the chances are you’ll be anxious about keeping it safe whilst you’re away.

Given that pick are rife pockets in many cities and holiday resorts, it can be a worry keeping your money safe, whether that's in your hotel or on your person when travelling.

Here are some useful little hacks on how and where to stow away your cash whilst you’re away.

Do remember however, wherever you are, the most important thing is not to keep all your cash, cards, and traveller’s cheque in the same place, because if your belongings do get stolen, everything will be lost.

Hiding places in your hotel or apartment
Most reputable hotels will provide a safety deposit box in your room. Some are provided free, others you will have to pay for. Some safes require a secure pin number to enter, while others have keys.

Either way, it’s highly advisable that you store your cash, cards, passports and travel documents in one.

If you don't have access to a safe there are other places to stash your cash:

Suitcases
Consider spreading your valuables across your lockable suitcases and other secret hiding places – see the next paragraph on ‘Hide & Seek’ storage places. However, try not to make it obvious by leaving your wallet or travel money bag in full view. Is there a lining to your case that you could discreetly slip things inside?

Hide & Seek
Look around your room and look at where’s likely to be the last place you’d look for cash: -

  • Underneath the television set – if the TVs is the big and bulky kind, carefully lift it up and place a small amount of cash underneath it.
  • In the mini bar – if you’ve got a fridge in your room, roll up notes in a bottle, or even open up a chocolate bar and squeeze in some notes under the chocolate. Do note however, that it's best to do this with drinks and chocolate of a different brand than those provided in the bar in case they get swapped by a maids.
  • Travelling with babies? A large pack of nappies makes an ideal place to hide cash and cards.
  • Sellotape – it might seem extreme packing sellotape, but a small roll can come in handy. Use the tape to carefully stick your cards underneath bedside draws or inside the back of the wardrobe.
  • Toiletry containers – take some empty toiletry bottles and tubes with you, for example: lip gloss tubes, when empty, are the idea size for rolled up notes, or shower gel bottles (not the see through variety) that have removable lids. Kept in the bathroom no one would ever know. Even look at aerosols, as the tops come off some of these cans.

Hiding places when you are out and about:

  • Shoes and boots - one of the places that pick pockets can’t get to is your feet. If you’re wearing closed up shoes, like trainers or boots, stash some cash in your shoes. Notes, not coins of course! It’s an ideal place to keep your emergency money, or for keeping money to pay for things like cafe bills  - when you’re sitting down it’s easy to slip off your shoes. If you feel it’s likely to annoy you (although you’ll be surprised how comfortable it is), tape down the notes to the insole section of your shoe.
  • ‘Bum bags’ or ‘fanny pack’ are a great way to keep valuables safe whilst out and about - they can easily be worn inside coats or jumpers as they aren’t that bulky.
  • Hats and caps - again, it’s unlikely that your hat or cap will get stolen, or blow away, so tape some emergency cash to the inside of your cap. Best to keep this cash as your emergency money as if pick pockets see you accessing it they might well be tempted to whip it off your head.
  • Hidden pockets - if you’re travelling somewhere that is well known for pick pockets, Barcelona for example, then think about taking clothing that has inside pockets. Alternatively, if you’re nifty with a needle add some inside pockets to shirts and T-shirts. Another great idea, again, if you’re handy with a needle and thread is to stitch on a small pocket on the inside of a wrist sweat band – ideal for keep notes safe and secure.
  • Toiletry containers - a great idea to store your cash in when you’re by the pool or on the beach, but be sure to keep them out of your bags. If a chancer happens to grab anything it will be your bag, not your suntan lotion. However, to be on the safe side, put your storage bottle underneath a towel if you go for a dip.