Most travel experts recommend storing at least some of your cash, a backup credit card, and your passport in a bag inside the hotel safe, but even those aren’t 100% secure and the hotel usually can’t be held liable for theft.
The number 1 key to keeping your travel money safe from thieves is this: divide and conquer. Never keep all your travel cash in one place.
So, we searched around for the best and most clever advice for hiding at least some of your money in your hotel room, in your rental car, and on your person. For many of these 007-style moves, you’ll need:
Once you’ve separated your cash into piles and put them into separate zippered bags, squeeze the extra air out of the bags and let’s start hiding!
Many travelers don’t trust the in-room safes because there’s always a way they can be opened. Often, and especially on cruise ships, they often have a common code that is well-known by the staff who must help travelers who forget how to open their safes.
Some hotels now offer newer in-room safes that let travelers set their own code. These are more secure, but in a pinch, it’s still likely that they can be opened by someone on the hotel staff.
Here are the most clever recommendations we could find for hiding money in a hotel room:
We even read recommendations of cutting the hems of window curtains and storing cash in there, or pulling up the carpet in the corner of the closet and storing cash in there. Now we know why some hotels look a little on the ratty side! But we don’t recommend destroying property to store your cash.
Just make sure you remember where you hid all your money and give yourself a little extra time before you leave to retrieve it from the hiding places!
Here are the most clever recommendations we could find for hiding money in your rental car (again, you’ll probably want to put the money inside zippered plastic bags first):
Of course, this advice won’t help if thieves steal the entire car, so be sure you have cash stored in some other places and see our recommendations to Avoid Rental Car Break-ins and Theft.
Most travel experts swear by money belts, and there are alternatives to the standard waist money belt, such as neck wallets and leg money belts worn around the thigh. As pick-pockets have learned that travelers love money belts, they’ve discovered ways to rob them of those money belts – even slicing them off some travelers.
Of the money belt options, current advice is that the leg money belt is the safest right now.
In keeping with the theory of ‘stash it in multiple places’, there are other places you can safely hide money on your person, including:
Of course, keep these common-sense money safety reminders in mind at all times (not just when you travel):
Damian Tysdal is the founder of CoverTrip, and is a licensed agent for travel insurance (MA 1883287). He believes travel insurance should be easier to understand, and started the first travel insurance blog in 2006.