7 (Genius!) Ways to Hide Your Money While Traveling
Roll it into a Chap Stick tube
This is a great hack that we've used a lot. Save an old Chap Stick or lip balm tube, take off the cap, and remove the inner piece that holds the actual balm (you know, the part that annoyingly falls off each time you open the tube when it's getting low?!). Then roll up the bills, slide them into the empty tube, and snap the cap back on (do not replace the the holder part.) Note: the number of bills you can fit inside depends on the size of the bills and the size of the tube. We were able to get two to three $100 USD bills into each 'regular-sized' Burt's Bees chap stick tube.
Fold into Maxi pad
It ain't pretty folks but it's super easy to do and it works! I mean really? What thief is gonna ask you to hand over you purse AND maxi pads? Simply open, take out the pad, fold the bills flat inside, and then refold.
Stuff it in a plastic tampon applicator (gasp!)
I repeat it ain't pretty, and the words 'stuffing' and 'tampon' in the same sentence can give many people the willies, but the same logic applies as with the Maxi pad and this method is flippin' genius. First, gently open the bottom of the tampon wrapper, like a bag of chips, so there isn't a tear in the wrapper. Then remove the whole 'device', save the wrapper, and push out the cotton tampon. Now separate the applicator into two pieces by pulling the bottom part out of the top piece of the applicator. Roll up the bills and push them inside the top piece of the applicator (you'll have to play with the size and probably fold the sides of the bills to make them fit.) Then gently push and lock the bottom piece back into the top piece of the applicator so it looks like a regular tampon again and slide it back into the wrapper. Use Scotch tape to discreetly re-seal the bottom of the wrapper. FYI: I fit three $100 USD bills in each tampon when we went to Panama and stuck a few inside Ziplock baggies in case anything came lose or...wait for it...leaked out! ;)
*Guys, just stick with the chap stick trick OK?*
Slide it under the insole of your shoe
Most tennis shoes, hiking boots, or other walking around shoes have removable insoles. Simply take out the insole, slide the flat bills underneath and then replace. You or any scouting thieves will never know its there. I know what you're thinking though: "Eeeew, it's gonna smell!", but hey, stinky money spends the same...Just make sure you don't forget it's in there and toss the shoes!
Tuck it in your bra
The good ol' bra trick. Women have been 'stuffing' their bras for many reasons for a long time, and this is as good a reason as any. Personal tip: I like to fold the bills in half 'hamburger style' then again 'hot dog' style so the bill is a rectangle and then I lay it flat against my skin right underneath my boob. The weight of 'your girls' will keep the money pressed firmly against the bra and in place.
Throw on a FlipBelt
It's like a fanny-pack and a money belt had a really hot child. And that child comes in all colors and can securely hold credit cards, keys, phones etc. As a consistently be-legginged 'jeans-hater', yoga pants and work out clothes make up a solid 85% of my travel attire and the FlipBelt fits right over the top to look like an attached fold over waistband. It's not only cute, but comfy, functional and safe. Yes please!
Because no post about hiding money would be complete with out the standard bearer of cash-stashin'. It's an oldie but a goodie, and we still use ours on every trip; particularly on flights and in-country transportation. They're not super comfy, but unbeatable in their ability to keep all the essentials safe on your person. We're talking passports, cash, cards, vaccination records, visa info, even printed flight details and important itinerary or entry documents.
Do as your financial advisor says and always diversify your funds. By that I mean, do not keep all your cash or its equivalent in one place. If you're traveling with others share the load, if you're solo, keep a little cash on your person and a card hidden elsewhere. Example: Keep cash in your bra, shoe or belt, a card in your purse or wallet (easy to cancel immediately if need be), and then a tampon or chap stick tube in your luggage back at the hotel.
Most of these little nuggets of wisdom we learned from our personal experiences or from other travelers on the road. As fellow Vino Vagabonds, what do you guys do to stay safely strapped with cash while traveling?