Creative alternatives to money belts?

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Creative alternatives to money belts?

Postby louise67 » Sun May 03, 2009 10:24 pm

The money belt is a classic, but I like to spread out my money and cards over my body and have alternatives for different outfits. The belt can get a bit bulky and noticeable. I was wondering what other solutions people have come up with. Sewing secret pockets into clothing? Homemade variations on the moneybelt? What works for you?

Thanks.
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Re: Creative alternatives to money belts?

Postby jimshu » Sun May 03, 2009 11:10 pm

Good topic Louise!
As we travel together, we'll split up the cash and that will be in money belt on myself, on on a neck hanger purse on my wife.
But here's the secret...shush, don't tell anyone.I made up a dress trouser belt with a zipper along the length of the inside lining.Now in that will be, copy of passport main page and visa in colour.$100US for emergency cash if we loose everthing.


Made a pair of shoes up with a secret internal cavity for cash....but someone said I was likely to get mugged because I had such nice shoes on!Back to the drawing board there...
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Re: Creative alternatives to money belts?

Postby ballu » Mon May 04, 2009 6:18 pm

I bought a leg one then realized how useless it would be as I was going to a hot climate and would be wearing shorts the whole time. :oops:
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Re: Creative alternatives to money belts?

Postby sinecure » Mon May 04, 2009 6:27 pm

I also bought a leg one, and either their "one size fits all" is on the small side, or I am well endowed.
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Re: Creative alternatives to money belts?

Postby Lynds » Mon May 11, 2009 10:36 am

In a pair of capris I have, there is a secret, zippered pocket on the front, inside near the waistband. I guess that's probably where I'll carry money when I'm out n' about, though I wonder about how to go into the pocket inconspicuously and actually get the money if I need to use it!

So, an addition to this topic could be: how does everyone actually get the money out of their secret hiding places to spend it? Do you try to do it inconspicuously? Who has tips on what they do when they want to get the money out and spend it, especially if you're in a market place or somewhere out in the open?
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Re: Creative alternatives to money belts?

Postby ExplorerWannaBe » Tue May 12, 2009 12:25 am

My grandmother just sewed a small pocket that she safety-pinned to the inside of her trousers or skirt. She carried a small amount of cash outside for appearances sake then would make a "pit stop" if she felt she needed more cash.
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Re: Creative alternatives to money belts?

Postby ballu » Tue May 12, 2009 1:18 pm

: how does everyone actually get the money out of their secret hiding places to spend it? Do you try to do it inconspicuously?


It depends on how "safe" I feel I am at the time. If I'm in a not so busy place with my group, I don't have a problem reaching into my money belt. If I'm in a busy market where pickpockets are likely then I don't want them to know I have one on. I keep what I think I'll need in a front pocket...and I walk around with my hands in my pockets.
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Re: Creative alternatives to money belts?

Postby mrzeszow » Fri May 15, 2009 1:13 pm

I agree with Ballu. I always split my money, that I carry around on me, in 3 locations. In front or side pockets I keep enough to use and an amount I do not mind losing. Mostly I do this because I have been robbed before and when they ask me for my money I always have a small amount that I can hand over to pacify them, but not to devastate me. I have a small pouch that I stitched into the underside of a belt that I travel with. And lastly my purse has a hidden pouch so I use that if I cannot wear the belt. Even though the purse can be stolen, it's difficult to pickpocket and it looks so raggedy and poor that often people leave me alone anyways (or ask me if I need money, which I always find amusing). I move money from the hidden compartments to the front pocket whenever I go to the washroom.
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Re: Creative alternatives to money belts?

Postby em_g008 » Fri May 15, 2009 10:37 pm

These are all great suggestions. What do you all do with your money, passports, etc when swimming (ie: tubing in Laos, beaches, hotel pools, etc). Obviously it wouldn't be possible to have it on you when you're getting wet but where could you safely put it?
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Re: Creative alternatives to money belts?

Postby Lynds » Fri May 15, 2009 11:11 pm

Hey em!

If you check out a scuba shop, they have a few different options when it comes to waterproof containers so that you can keep small items on you while you're engaging in water activities... Anything from small, hard plastic, floatable containers you can wear on your wrist or ankle, to flexible, plastic, envelope-type bags you can hang around your neck... They come in different sizes, but they're generally big enough to hold some cash, your passport and maybe an ipod/small camera etc. They all seal to keep out the water, and they're actually pretty cheap! :D
Last edited by Lynds on Sat May 16, 2009 3:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Creative alternatives to money belts?

Postby ballu » Sat May 16, 2009 10:27 am

For hotel pools, I usually bring my daypack down with me with sunblock, towel, book etc. and enough money for...water, a couple beers etc. and keep the rest locked in my bag in my hotel room or at the hotel reception safe. There is a chance hotel staff could get it but at least it's locked away.

If the group is going swimming somewhere, there's usually one person that will be with the bags to keep an eye on them.

As for tubing in Laos, we were given a waterproof bag to take with us so we could carry our stuff...including money, so it was always with us.
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Re: Creative alternatives to money belts?

Postby mrzeszow » Tue May 19, 2009 2:43 pm

For water activities I'm a big fan of the waterproof roll-top bags. You can clip them to a belt, or to your wrist. There are a bunch of different brands that make them but I bought mine at MEC in Toronto. They're too bulky to use for diving but I use these mostly so I can bring my camera along. It was a great help when tubing, rappelling the waterfalls, kayaking, and swimming to an island (so I could keep things dry while swimming).

As for the pool, I leave things in a safe and put the key on an elastic band and tie that around my swimsuit.

Some countries don't mind you carrying a photocopy of the passport instead of the original. So, if I'm arriving and departing at the same airport, I rent a locker at the airport for the duration of the trip and leave the original passport, my emergency credit card, and some cash in the locker and pick it up when I'm heading home.
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Re: Creative alternatives to money belts?

Postby Reditor » Tue May 19, 2009 4:59 pm

Fun topic you guys have going here. I also split up my money in numerous places. One thing I often use for "storage" is a wide-mouth water bottle that isn't see thru. Nobody ever seems to think twice about a water bottle.

I have a classic money belt I've brought with me on many trips, but I've never actually worn it, I find them just too big and bulky.

Keen sandals had a sandal with a built-in secret compartment for storing some small bits of money or valuables...looked kind of interesting.

I have a pair of swim shorts with an inside waterproof pocket that seals up with zip-lock and velcro combo....they are perfect for just using as shorts too, knowing nobody can open them up.

I also plan ahead each day, and set aside $$ in an easy to access spot for planned purchases, so that I'm not rooting around in a bag or secret hiding place.

I find the multi-locations work great for bartering too. I put say $5 in one pocket, $10 in another and $2 somewhere else....so depending on the price you want you can pull out any combination of money from a pocket and show them you have "nothing" else to spend ;) You just have to remember how much you put in each pocket!
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Re: Creative alternatives to money belts?

Postby mrzeszow » Tue May 19, 2009 5:18 pm

LOL, I do the same thing about the bartering. But the last time I did that, I was bartering over jewelry and I managed to get the price low enough to be covered by the cash I had on me (in that pocket). We managed to agree on the price, but then I decided to pull out my CC to cover the full cost and they really did not like that. I could not go back to shop at that store anymore without getting completely swindled.
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