Go Back  Fodor's Travel Talk Forums > Destinations > Europe
Reload this Page >

Suggestions for how to most safely carry money in Europe

Suggestions for how to most safely carry money in Europe

Old Sep 21st, 2009, 06:15 PM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 101
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Suggestions for how to most safely carry money in Europe

I'm looking for suggestions for a safe way to carry money/passport/credit cards. As I reviewed earlier threads, most suggested a money belt. But as a female, I often wear dresses.
travellingmom3 is offline  
Old Sep 21st, 2009, 06:29 PM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 118
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I've traveled with a small, flat purse that went around my neck and could be worn under clothing. Sorry, I'm not sure where I purchased it, but it was just the right size for a credit card and my passport. Maybe try some travel gear websites.
travelrene is offline  
Old Sep 21st, 2009, 06:43 PM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 11,212
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I leave my passport in the hotel and only carry it when I move to another location. I carry enough money for a day or two in a small change purse and put credit/debit cards in a zippered compartment in my purse - separate from cash. I wear a cross body purse and haven't had a problem. I only wore a money belt once when I was backpacking years ago and travelers' check were the norm so I had to carry my entire savings with me.

I once met a woman who sewed a purse into a skirt pocket and kept her money there.

You could always make one of those purses that travelrene suggests if you can't find one. I find the problem with those things is that they don't work well if you are busty. The one's I've seen weren't long enough to go to the midriff. And if they are leather or, most likely, plastic and it's hot they will stick to your skin and irritate.
adrienne is offline  
Old Sep 21st, 2009, 06:43 PM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 11,212
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
BTW - I have more problems getting robbed by taxi drivers than pickpockets!
adrienne is offline  
Old Sep 21st, 2009, 06:50 PM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 67,361
Likes: 0
Received 50 Likes on 7 Posts
Use a money belt or the hotel safe -- your choice. But I don't understand the "But as a female, I often wear dresses. " bit.

What has that got to do w/ anything?

Females use money belts whether they wear dresses or not. A money belt is not a substitute for a handbag or wallet. It is essentially a 'body safe'. You do not access it during the day or in public. It is for the surplus cash, back up ATM and/or credit card, passport. Not for your walking around money -- use a handbag/wallet just like you would at home.
janisj is offline  
Old Sep 21st, 2009, 07:02 PM
  #6  
yk
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 24,503
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
When I'm not wearing my moneybelt, I use similar method as adrienne.

I put my 1-2 day's need of cash in my wallet. If there's extra cash I have, I split it up into various inside zippered pockets within my bag. CC and ATM cards go inside other pockets in my bag.

I do use my moneybelt at times - usually when I'm traveling solo and am moving from one city to another. These are times when my hands are tied up with luggage and my mind is occupied by looking for the right bus/train/flight etc.
yk is offline  
Old Sep 21st, 2009, 07:59 PM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 49,018
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I carry the same purse I do in the USA. End of story.
StCirq is offline  
Old Sep 21st, 2009, 08:26 PM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 122
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I was in France this summer and found a small purse (like a kids purse) with a Long strap worn crosswise worked perfect. As others suggested leave your Passport in the hotel just carry a copy with you. The small purse will also accomodate small purchases. Check out Target for the small purse. Good Luck and have fun, France is Amazing.
Laurel61 is offline  
Old Sep 21st, 2009, 10:01 PM
  #9  
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 19,881
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
How do you carry money safely at home?
alanRow is offline  
Old Sep 22nd, 2009, 06:55 AM
  #10  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 101
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Thanks for all your replies - they have been very helpful. At home, I do not have an issue of safety with my money as I live in a small city where we do not even have keys to our house. As I have read trip reports from Paris on this site they have all mentioned the need to safely carry money as pickpockets are an issue.
travellingmom3 is offline  
Old Sep 22nd, 2009, 07:04 AM
  #11  
yk
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 24,503
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I find it's a huge difference between carrying money safely at home vs abroad on vacation, esp if it's a place new to me.

In my home city, I know where I'm going. I don't have to stop and consult my map, or take out my camera to snap photos, or in general being awed by sights (be it architecture or shop windows). As a result, I'm much more aware of my belongings and my surroundings when I'm in my home town. Besides, living in the US (with few exceptions), you are never packed like sardines in the subway, nor rubbed elbows with other pedestrians. In fact, here at home, if someone gets really close to me, I'm very aware of that because there's so much space here it's no need to get close to one another.

However, in big cities in Europe, it can get very crowded (think Leicester Sq tube station). I may be distracted looking for the right exit, or the right train/platform; as a result, I am less aware that someone is dipping his/her hand into my purse.
yk is offline  
Old Sep 22nd, 2009, 07:04 AM
  #12  
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 576
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
We always leave our passport at the hotel. I just use a regular purse that has at least one side that zips. I am a little more aware of my purse when in a city and hardly ever think about it when in the country. We don't carry excess cash as there is always an ATM close.


It is a really good idea to have photocopys of all credit card, passports etc. Leave it home so someone can fax it to you if you have a problem.
jnjfraz is offline  
Old Sep 22nd, 2009, 07:04 AM
  #13  
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 17,549
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Travellingmom3,

i am certain your hometown is wonderful and that there isn't any crime but you honestly need to understand that Paris, among many other places, is not necessarily crawling with thieves, pickpockets, scammers, etc.

St. Cirq has given some of the best advice IMO and I suggest you might at least CONSIDER that a lot of what you have "heard" is frankly coming from a bunch of rather overwrought posters, etc.

I know from experience what it is like to be robbed in a foreign city and if you want to experience that just hop onto the barcelona Metro and wait long enough..they are likely to show up.

OR hang around INSIDE (forget the so-called "seedy" outside) the Termini station in Rome..you can watch the pickpockets working below if you station yourself on the upstairs "balcony" area.

Have you ever considered wearing pants instead of that dress?
Dukey is offline  
Old Sep 22nd, 2009, 07:08 AM
  #14  
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 4,049
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I usually travel in the fall and have my black microfiber raincoat. I made a pocket with a zipper and sewed it to the inside of the raincoat so I can carry something in there. I use a money belt but only keep out cash for the day. If I keep out any large amount, I separate it and carry it in different places on my body. With using ATMs it isn't like when we would carry large sums of money from home.

When I am at home, I don't have that much cash on me and I usually am aware of my surroundings and it is not a tourist site. There are more thieves at a tourist site and usually I am busy looking at whatever I came to see.

So far we have never had a problem - maybe we always look too poor to bother with.
bratsandbeer is offline  
Old Sep 22nd, 2009, 07:20 AM
  #15  
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 2,285
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
My tradition - guy's view - has been to use a flat zipper pouch with a loop that I pass my belt through. Then it flips inside my waistband right against the pocket - but inside. The spending money and one card I might need are in my pocket in a VERY small wallet that sits deep in the pocket and isn't easy to access or even be seen by pickpocket (pretty much the way I operate at home in NYC), but that pouch is for extra cash in case of purchases, etc, and for my passport on a day I need to travel with it. If I need to access it I do it in private, in the restroom or elsewhere.

The best way to carry money is QUIETLY, wherever you are.

My other advice: always be aware of what you are carrying, whether purse, briefcase or packages. Distractions are just as likely to make you leave something behind, or carelessly turn your back. I have finally given up pointing out to women that their purse, hung on the back of a chair in a restaurant, is ASKING to be taken or have the wallet lifted from it. Likewise, a purse on the floor next to your chair: easily noticed by a pro who KNOWS how to access it from the next table.

There's no need to fear pickpockets once you're aware that they will work tourist areas. Carry as little with you as you can, so it can be as close to you as possible - yes, even attached to a string around your neck that ends inside your dress somewhere!
tomassocroccante is offline  
Old Sep 22nd, 2009, 07:39 AM
  #16  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 49,018
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
>

And I find no difference at all. It's all about the level of awareness, wherever you are.
StCirq is offline  
Old Sep 22nd, 2009, 07:40 AM
  #17  
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 25,800
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I put my money in my wallet. I put my wallet in my back pocket. Sometimes it goes in my jacket or bag.

My wife puts her wallet in her purse. Sometimes, if she is going purse-less, she puts it in her back pocket.

Not sure there is any reason to overthink this. Europe is not crawling with pickpockets. Why worry about it?
travelgourmet is offline  
Old Sep 22nd, 2009, 07:52 AM
  #18  
yk
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 24,503
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Europe is not crawling with pickpockets. Why worry about it?

Except that many touristy spots in Europe ARE crawling with pickpockets. A quick search on the topic title for "Pickpockets" and for "Stolen" yielded these:

http://www.fodors.com/community/euro...ocket-scam.cfm

http://www.fodors.com/community/euro...erns-italy.cfm

http://www.fodors.com/community/euro...notre-dame.cfm

http://www.fodors.com/community/euro...interlaken.cfm

http://www.fodors.com/community/euro...cket-video.cfm

http://www.fodors.com/community/euro...t-reminder.cfm

http://www.fodors.com/community/euro...n-in-paris.cfm

http://www.fodors.com/community/euro...ns-learned.cfm

People who post on Fodors represent a very small % of travelers in Europe. So, if it happens to our little community, I'm sure it also happens in the general tourist population.

So far we have never had a problem - maybe we always look too poor to bother with.
Same here!
yk is offline  
Old Sep 22nd, 2009, 08:19 AM
  #19  
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 25,800
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
People who post on Fodors represent a very small % of travelers in Europe. So, if it happens to our little community, I'm sure it also happens in the general tourist population.

And people also tend to post when bad things happen. Perhaps everyone that went to Europe and wasn't pick-pocketed should start threads about the lessons learned? If everyone did that, then I'm sure you would see something closer to the real risk emerge.

People overestimate the incidence of crime. They rely on anecdotal evidence (which isn't really evidence, IMO) and only remember the bad stuff. It is the same phenomenon you see in the US, where folks overestimate crime rates because the news only shows crimes. It is recipe for grossly overestimating your risk.
travelgourmet is offline  
Old Sep 22nd, 2009, 08:40 AM
  #20  
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 14,338
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
"Not sure there is any reason to overthink this. Europe is not crawling with pickpockets. Why worry about it?"

agree completely.
#
StCirq on Sep 21, 09 at 11:59 PM

I carry the same purse I do in the USA. End of story."
me too , only the one with minimum of "hardware"!

I have a very light, black Lacoste purse I wear across the chest. Looks nice and leaves my hands free.

What does a "money belt" look like anyway?
Is worn under a dress or shirt ? Does it make one's clothes look bulky?
danon is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Do Not Sell My Personal Information


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 12:29 AM.