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3 Easy Ways to Carry Cash Internationally

When traveling abroad, money is one of the first things that comes to mind. You need to able to afford and then pay for the trip, but you need to consider the exchange rates and payment methods. 

Unfortunately, no matter where you are traveling, there is the issue of cash. If you look like you are a tourist (or simply like you are from out of town), you mark yourself as a target to thieves. 

Fortunately, there are a few tips and tricks for carrying your money when abroad that will help keep you and your cash safe.

Split Your Money Up

No matter how much money you think you are going to need when traveling abroad, chances are that you are not going to need all of it in one day. So, if you started your trip with a lot of cash then you should take advantage of your hotel’s safe.

You can simply leave the majority of your money tucked away securely in the safe and only take out the amount of cash that you think you will need for the day. You can always take a little bit extra or, if you are not traveling too far from where you are staying, pop back into your hotel room if you run out!

Alternatively, if you have chosen to withdraw money abroad, do not withdraw too much at once. Just keep enough on you to tide you over for the next few hours or, at most, the day. This way if you do unfortunately happen to be caught out by thieves you will not lose too much money.

Wear a Fanny Pack

Fashionable, check. Convenient, check. The glory of the fanny pack!

If you insist on carrying a lot of cash with you, perhaps you are planning an activity that requires a large cash deposit, then the best thing you can do is to keep it out of sight. 

They are worn best under your clothes.

If people do not know that you have a lot of money on your person then you are less likely to become a target. Typically tourists who are flashing their cash are the aim. 

One secure way to do this is to wear a fanny pack or a money belt. These can be fastened securely with a zip and hidden out of sight under your shirt.

Moreover, if you need to keep other items on you, such as your passport, you can carry these documents together with your cash within the snug pouch of your fanny pack.

However, you must make sure that it cannot be seen. There is no point in wearing the money belt if it can be seen through your shirt. Then it will simply scream “I have cash on me”, again making you a target.

Use a Decoy Wallet

The third best way to carry money internationally is to use a decoy wallet. Crafty. Spy-level stuff.

You can carry your actual money in any way that you wish, either in a normal wallet or a money belt as we have mentioned above.

However, by making sure that you keep a decoy wallet on your person you are giving any potential thieves a distraction. Since most people only have one wallet the thieves will simply assume that they have taken all of your money. They will not think twice about looking for a second wallet.

Ensure that you keep a little bit of cash in the decoy wallet (you do not want to anger them or make it seem obvious). This way you will only lose a small amount of cash rather than everything you have saved for the trip. The idea is to make it believable.


Take our advice and use whichever of the methods works best for you. Better yet, combine them. If you use all three methods together then you are sure to protect your money when carrying it internationally. 

Image by Benjamin White

Post Author: Lillia Hall

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Welcome to Foreigner’s Finances, your guide for new money decisions at home and traveling abroad!

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May 2024