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12 Tips for Safely Carrying Money in Europe


If you lose your credit card, cash, or passport on your trip to Europe, you’re not without options—but it goes without saying that your trip will go much smoother if you can hang onto these trip essentials.

Travelers in our forums recently shared their tips for keeping money and other necessities safe while traveling abroad. For example, some minimize pickpocketing risk by investing in an inconspicuous day pack, or splitting cash and credit cards with a travel partner.

Below are some other useful strategies. Does one in particular work for you? Add your own method in the comments section below.

From the Forums: “Suggestions for how to most safely carry money in Europe?”

Tip #1: Don’t carry your wallet in your back pocket

“Resistant at first to the idea of keeping his wallet in his front pocket, my husband is now sold on the idea after several instances where he detected his back pocket being checked out by a stray hand, (we were in crowded areas).” — brioche

Tip #2: Divide and conquer

“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.” — yk

Tip #3: Do not treat a money belt like a wallet

“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

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Tip #4: Or ditch that money belt all together

“A million years ago when I started traveling I used a money belt all the time, and carried a nifty backpack or daypack that just screamed ‘tourist.’ Now, I carry a regular purse that is big enough to hold a pocket umbrella, map, camera and whatever guidebook I am carrying that day, but doesn’t advertise ‘strange person in a strange land.’ I finally realized that I live in a major metropolitan city that is a huge tourist area, so if the way I’m dressing at home isn’t attracting pickpockets, I should try to replicate that when visiting another tourist area.” — tejana

Tip #5: Get crafty with your clothes

“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.” — bratsandbeer

Tip #6: Don’t make a scene rifling through your money

“The best way to carry money is QUIETLY, wherever you are…Distractions are just as likely to make you leave something behind, or carelessly turn your back…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.” — tomassocroccante

Tip #7: Organize your cash ahead of time, Monopoly-style

“The one thing I do when I get bank notes, I fold them in half so I can easily see the denominations and put the same denominations together. That way I don’t have to flash a wad of cash about looking for the correct Euros, etc. I reach into my purse and pull out the correct note to pay for my purchase. No one can see exactly how much money I have – they may think I only have 10 Euro on me.” — adrienne

Tip #8: Choose a familiar tote

“I find that if I try carrying something different from what I’m used to doing, it becomes a distraction in itself. With a familiar bag, I instinctively know it’s on my shoulder, under my arm, and I’m more likely to carry it with confidence and awareness.Trying something new on a trip when you’re surrounded by new things to figure out and absorb, makes me less comfortable and I’m more likely to be unwittingly careless.” — cw

Tip #9: Pay attention to your surroundings at all times

“As I just came back from London and was robbed on the underground, I say be careful of very packed places. I made the mistake of getting some pounds out of an ATM near the underground and was followed. As there was 4 of us, I was feeling very secure…until we got to the hotel and discovered my wallet was missing.” — tenmom

Tip #10: Shop around for pocket-filled travel clothes

“Check out for great travel clothing. ‘Pity the poor pickpockets’ used to be their motto.” — bigtyke

Tip #11: Don’t assume your bag is safe under a table

“When in Prague we witnessed a stolen purse incident where the victim had just put her bag on the ground beside the table in an outdoor restaurant. If you must put your bag down keep it in your lap or put a chair leg through the straps if placing the bag on the ground. It would be a pain to have a bag stolen even if there was little money in it.” — mimipam

Tip #12: Send yourself an email with your essential info

“I took the advice of scanning everything (CC numbers, account numbers, cell numbers, PP, etc) and emailing it to myself and friends in the USA. I had a back up account all set – yes, I had the foresight to open a travel account and used it in addition to my regular account – it was suited to travel.” — JayMazz

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