Photo: All you need is a backpack.

Gear and equipment forum

How/where to store money & cards?

Posted by cheeco on 15/7/2009 at 19:10

Whoops- hit enter before I wrote my question.

My husband and I are planning a 6-9 month trip to Southeast Asia in the fall. I am contemplating the best way to carry around the stuff I usually keep in my wallet- money, credit and debit cards, ID, etc. I have worn a money belt before, and found it very uncomfortable and hot (and I was just flying from Canada to South Korea- not hot areas!).

My first option is to just put my normal day-to-day wallet in a small pocket in my backback and lock the zipper.

Second option is to buy a PacSafe wallet/sling bag of some sort (I have a few in mind)

Any other options? What do you think is the best way to keep this stuff safe, and yet be comfortable and easily accessible??

Thanks for your replies- because I don't have experience traveling, I would love to hear what you have to say!

#1 cheeco has been a member since 22/4/2009. Posts: 29

Posted by BruceMoon on 16/7/2009 at 08:06


Have a look at the discussion at:

At #5, I discussed my 'solution'.

I don't like leaving the really valuable stuff in my pack (I have a 40litre daypack as THE pack - go see this post).

But, I do leave my Passport and some backup credit cards hidden in my daypack. For example, I use a particular bank's Mastercard as this particular one has no fees, but in Vietnam, the dominant brand at ATM's is Visa (which have fees). So, the Visa cards are hidden in the packpack.

I use ATM's to get cash, so don't have the problem of carrying 2 months supply of cash with me (only about a week's worth at best).


#2 BruceMoon has been a member since 27/12/2008. Location: Australia. Posts: 1,941

Agoda coupon: Get an extra 7% off selected properties with the coupon code

Posted by busylizzy on 6/8/2009 at 14:36

I have been considering the travel wallet option, but loathe the idea of anything around my neck or waist, especially in the heat. On my travels last year, I carried a small wallet with enough money to get me through the day in a small shoulder bag (worn across my body) - and kept the rest of my cash in another wallet hidden in the back of my daypack.

I have come across a different kind of travel wallet that I am now considering. It's a zipped wallet that has a loop that you thread through your belt, then flips over into the inside of your shorts/pants. In my case, I don't like wearing belts, so I would look at using a keyring loop to hook the wallet to the belt loop on my shorts.

The reviews that I have come across have been favourable (except by those that like to wear tight pants).

Two versions are found here:

I'd be interested to know if anyone on TF has tried them.

#3 busylizzy has been a member since 31/12/2007. Location: New Zealand. Posts: 2,152
 Send busylizzy a private message   Where has busylizzy been? 

Posted by BruceMoon on 6/8/2009 at 15:10


Snowgum has similar here.

A discussion on this topic was undertaken here.

As noted (in post #5) the Chinese use a different approach, and I reference a pic there.

I use a little zipped wallet I bought in Myer for my credit cards and big notes - the little notes are kept in a wallet in my side pants pocket (if that goes, I don't lose much). I've noted the same product range elsewhere in Oz, and no doubt kiwiland. It's marketed by OneGo, but I can't find the same one on their website. They've some smart options. Try these idea 1 and this one and some more here.

I leave my passport in the back of my daypack (or my top shirt pocket). I'm not so worried about passports, as they don't appear to be the target of robbers, and are recoverable if stolen (cash isn't, and credit cards are difficult to re-issue)

Here are some other alternatives one and two, and three.


#4 BruceMoon has been a member since 27/12/2008. Location: Australia. Posts: 1,941

Posted by somsai on 6/8/2009 at 21:25

I notice from all those "I've been ripped off" threads that they usually begin with someone leaving things at the hotel room or getting a day pack swiped.

A small pack that you keep with you all the time is a great big blinking light to a thief. That's the prize right there.

#5 somsai has been a member since 1/3/2006. Location: United States. Posts: 566
 Send somsai a private message 

Posted by BruceMoon on 7/8/2009 at 07:13


I've worried over that dilemma. My 'daypack' is my 40 litre (largeish) backpack. I've a lightweitght 'fold-up' sort of daypack, but if I take that, I don't take my passport (it's in my 'daypack' backpack).

I've consoled myself that if I keep the strap of my 'daypack' over my arm, I'm unlikely to be robbed.

Is there a web-based 'history' pointing to 'daypack' robberies: not where ppl leave them lying around, but off the person?


#6 BruceMoon has been a member since 27/12/2008. Location: Australia. Posts: 1,941

Posted by think87 on 4/10/2009 at 11:24

Regarding things being taken out of hotel rooms or guesthouses, I always wondered how safe your things are in the safes they provide? Granted I've never lost anything but i always wondered " OK so they no that everyone staying here has put all there valuable bags in this steel cage.... whats stopping them from going in and picking away? "

maybe im just paranoid.....

but do to this fact I carry everything on me.... i know im probably a thiefs dream but but quite frankly I have to know where all my items are at all times... i have a money clip exactly like the chinese national shown in the other thread, and keep smaller bills in a similar ,money clip in my shirt pocket for daily purchases.

I carry my backpack around aswell. Just feel safer having everything with rather than worrying about them getting stolen from my room etc.

But i guess i should add that nightlife doesnt exist in my travels... I dont drink and not a partyier so when it gets dark i retire to my guesthouse and sit by the river or something for the night... so im not out and about when most robberies would take place..

#7 think87 has been a member since 5/3/2009. Location: United States. Posts: 116

Posted by johnjones on 12/12/2009 at 00:27

I would normally carry around only credit cards with low limits on them and then leave everything either in a safe at the hotel or if I know I'm going to be there for a long period of time keep it in a lock box at one of the local banks. I feel more secure if I know it is in a safe place like that rather than in my hotel's safe.

#8 johnjones has been a member since 24/11/2009. Posts: 4

Posted by cheeco on 12/12/2009 at 11:04

Hi everyone,

Thanks for all your input. My husband and I have been traveling now for almost 4 months- Japan, China, Tibet, Nepal, India, Vietnam, Cambodia, and next to Laos.

I finally decided to buy a black North Face "purse"- it has 5 different compartments, 4 which zipper up. Inside these pockets there are smaller organization pockets to keep my cards, keys, money, passports, pens, etc. I have to say that this has been THE best investment for traveling that I have made. I always keep everything on me and wear it across my body, and always have it hanging in front of me, where I am able to hold it closely when I am in crowded places.

So far, it has worked brilliantly. I have never even had someone attempt to reach into my space to get it.

It also hold ALOT of stuff- all my money, cards, plus camera, camera cord, sunscreen, small bug sray, wet naps, kleenex, hand sanitizer, batteries, lip balm. Sometimes my husband can't believe all the stuff I pull out of it when we are on a day trip! It is so much better than hauling along a backpack every day (although we do use one when it's necessary), and so much better than wearing a money belt.

I guess the biggest thing is just to be aware of your belongings at all times (without being paranoid- because there is no need!), and just use common sense (when eating outside, I just keep my bag on my lap, not hanging off my chair, and not on the ground).

I have commented many times to my husband how much I love this "purse"!

That's my two-cents!

#9 cheeco has been a member since 22/4/2009. Posts: 29

Please login to add a reply

You need to be a Travelfish member to be able to add a reply to this post. Please use the button below to log in. After logging in you'll be returned to this page automatically to add your post. Not a member? Join up here.