Divide and Conquer
Divvying up your cash and credit cards across multiple, safe storage spots is probably the most important strategy you can employ. It just makes sense – don’t put all your eggs in one basket, when all it takes is one hit for a thief to completely wipe your funds out and make a mockery of your time away.
No, we don’t mean bum bags – these not only scream ‘tourist’, making you a target, but are also pretty light-on in the security stakes. Newer options in on-body storage include undershirts with built-in pockets and secret bra pouches. These are particularly useful if you’re sleeping somewhere with no secure place to stash your valuables.
Find A Safe Haven
While changing large sums of money in one go minimises the fees you’ll pay, it also leaves you in a position where you need to safeguard your mountain of cash. If this is your plan, you should ensure you have a room with a safe to stowaway your wads of cash and other items you feel nervous about – just remember to take them when you leave!
P.S. It’s a good idea to keep small denominations on you when going out so you don’t pull out the equivalent of $100 for something that costs less than 10 cents.
Making use of multi-use travel cards (for example, London’s Oyster card or Melbourne’s Myki) will reduce the frequency of access to your wallet and, hence, the likelihood of misplacing it or having it taken.
Consider using a cheap, dummy wallet that looks authentic enough to be the real thing and keep it in your bag or pocket. Pad it with some lesser cash denominations and a couple of sample credit cards as a red-herring to throw off opportunistic pickpockets.
Sporting features such as slash-proof fabric and locking zippers, anti-theft bags can do a great job of deterring the criminal element. They may be expensive, but, view it as an investment that will save you money in the long run while providing peace of mind.