From busy trams to city sidewalks, pickpockets can strike in any heavily-touristed area around the globe, and with astonishing skill. A wallet, phone, or passport can be stealthily extracted without you ever feeling a thing. Then you’re left to clean up the mess, cancel cards, order replacements, and, hopefully, salvage what’s left of your trip.
It’s a total nightmare, but one you can easily avoid with a little forethought. Consider stashing your cash and valuables in these clever places.
Where to Hide Money While Traveling
Don’t get too excited about the resurgence of the fanny pack. Not only do they look just as bad as they did in the ‘90s, but they still make easy targets for thieves. Instead, opt for leather belts like this one with secret inner-compartments. Zip it up to safely hide your cash, keys, and other small items. This classic men’s style is available in sizes 34- to 50-inches.
Belts are great, but women may find a bra pouch to be more practical. The Silk Undercover Bra Stash from Eagle’s Creek can hold credit cards, money, keys, and more under your clothes where no one can see. The three-by-four inch pouch can be clipped easily to any bra. Best of all, it’s washable and comes with a lifetime warranty.
Walking around with both a phone and a wallet bulging out of your back pockets is a surefire way to get robbed. Instead, get a phone case that can do both. Incipio's Wallet Cover can protect your phone from drops while keeping credit cards safe. Plus, the kickstand is excellent for selfie-taking, facetiming, and Netflixing on the go.
If "purse patrol" shifts at the beach have prevented you and your travel mate from enjoying a swim together, the Beach Vault can change all that. Store your wallet inside and burrow it into the sand under your towel. Includes a beach towel and pillow.
Stuffing cash in a shoe is about as creative as hiding a key under the welcome mat. But flipflops? No one would ever suspect, and even if they did, it’s unlikely anyone wants to get that close to your barefoot. The overfoot strap includes a large pouch with enough room for credit cards, key cards, cash, and more. Available in multiple colors.
If you’re staunchly anti-flipflop, Sanuk sneakers offer a much more solid option. Sanuk places its hidden pouch overfoot, unlike similar sneakers with compartments in the sole where it can affect comfort.
Related: What Not to Wear in Europe
Create a Decoy Wallet
If you’re traveling to an area that is particularly notorious for its pickpockets, it’s not a bad idea to keep a decoy wallet in a prominent place where thieves might tend to look first. Fill your decoy with old gift cards, public transportation cards, and even fake junk mail credit cards. Place it in your back pocket or near the top of your day bag where it could be easily grabbed. You could even find it useful if you happen to get mugged.