One of the questions that travelers often ask is how to carry money when traveling. There are plenty of options when it comes to wallets, clips, belts, etc., and there isn’t a right or wrong answer to this question. But here are my thoughts …
How to Carry Money When Traveling
When I first traveled internationally on my own in the late nineties, I wore a money belt everywhere. I remember reading about them in travel books, and they seemed like the most convenient way to carry money around. Though when I think back, I remember how uncomfortable they were to wear in the hot and humid weather, and also how inconvenient it was to pull money out when paying for things.
Money Belts and Clips
What I didn’t realize at the time was that I didn’t know how to use the money belt correctly. I was wearing it correctly, but I was using it like an actual wallet. The correct way to use a money belt is to keep it out of sight at all times and to only load what you need into your pockets. Basically, the money belt’s purpose is to keep your passport and money safe, not to be a wallet.
A friend of mine uses a money clip whenever she travels, and basically reloads her travel wallet in the bathroom or whenever she is out of sight. It seems to work great for her!
For me, I like to keep my passport and money in a hotel safe, and just carry a wallet in my front pocket. Carrying a wallet in your back pocket just begs to be stolen by a pickpocket!
Bellroy Card Pocket Wallet
If I’m traveling to a country where electronic payments are more prevalent, then I’ll generally carry my normal wallet, which is a Bellroy Card Pocket Wallet. This is a great wallet, especially for folks like me to have a ton of credit cards to maximize purchases and points. It’s super small, high-quality, and durable … I love it. In fact, I’m a huge fan of all Bellroy products! They are an Australian based company that is obsessed with creating convenient and elegant options for carrying our cash, cards, and keys.
Mitchell Leather Money Clip Wallet
When I travel to countries where cash is more commonly used, I choose to carry a more traditional wallet. I actually have a travel wallet that I absolutely love too … and it’s the money clip wallet from Mitchell Leather. I used to carry this wallet as my normal daily wallet, but since I’ve started to use less cash in my daily life, I’ve decided to use the wallet as my primary travel wallet. It’s an awesome wallet for cash, as it makes everything so accessible, while still keeping a relatively slim profile.
What I love about this wallet is that I can pull cash from the wallet from anywhere in the cash or notes stack. Like if I want to pull the second bill from the stack, I can do so without having to pull out the entire wad. In this case, it functions even better than a normal money clip. It also helps that it’s made from premium leather, which smells and feels amazing!
Lastly, I’ve heard and seen people use a minimal binder clip in lieu of a formal money clip or wallet. While it’s definitely effective, I still prefer to have a real wallet. Plus, I like that my money clip wallet helps me to discretely pull cash out.
So, in summary, if you plan to use a money belt, make sure you treat it like a portable safe rather than a wallet. And if you’re looking for an awesome travel wallet, I highly recommend any of the Bellroy wallets and the Mitchel Leather Money Clip Wallet.
And more importantly, always be careful and aware of your surroundings. I’ve never been mugged while traveling, but I have traveled with friends who were pickpocketed. It’s such a horrible feeling to have your money, or even worse, your passport stolen while traveling. Always always always exercise caution!