I told my BFFs LN and SN about my decision to take this trip and we were discussing their recent trip to Paris. LN was showing me the type of purse she wore- a messenger bag style- that would require someone to lift a flap to get into it, and therefore make it hard to steal anything.
I said, “I find a motherf*@#$’s hand in my purse they ain’t getting it back. It’ll be an episode of Locked Up Abroad.” Well, that’s the last thing I wanted. You know what they say about an ounce of prevention.
Before I left I met up with my Uncle DB, a seasoned globetrotter, to ask for advice. Luckily, he gave me a ton! Thanks, Uncle DB!
The first tip I am eternally grateful for; get you a money belt!
This is the one I used from Amazon. It’s cheap, RFID resistant and comes in many colors to match your skin tone. I highly recommend it, especially for women since It’s easier to conceal under our tighter clothes. Still, when you start to get into shorts and tank top territory it might be possible to see it. Just do a quick check to see if any money belt seams are obvious. You’re gonna look in the mirror anyway.
There’s also a pouch that goes around the neck which might be a better bet for men. It was too obvious under all of my shirts, so I never wore it until I temporarily lost my money belt (there’s a funny story behind that one!).
I was able to keep my cash, credit card, ID, passport, physically on me at nearly all times and no one would even think these things were around my waist. Pro tip; some airports would have free baggies to put your liquids in; I’d pull a jack move and use them to wrap your things in! Otherwise they get all sweaty and gross. Also, I would use a bit of laundry detergent and hand wash my belt, then let it air dry overnight.
Here’s what I liked to do; go to an ATM at airport at the destination once I land; that way that country’s currency was available to me. If I had extra cash, I would exchange currency at airport also. From what I understand, you might get gouged on pricing if you go to a bank. They’ll give a good deal at the airport because the philosophy is, “please spend money in our country!”
When it comes to both ATMs and currency exchanges, I favor those that are deeper inside the building, not close to the exits where thieves or sheisters are more likely to see. Once you have your money, go straight to the restroom to put it in your belt. Even if someone peeped you out when you got it, they won’t know where you put it!
Lastly, make sure your bank knows what dates you’ll be out of the country and where you’re going. The last thing you need is to be out of cash and unable to get any, having to sort through the process of informing your bank that it was, in fact, you trying to withdraw hundreds of Pounds/Euros/Baht at random from the other side of the globe. I personally was trying to avoid both Locked Up Abroad and Assed Out Abroad.
Stayed tuned for more safety tips coming soon! Got any you’d like to share? Sound off in the comments!