On my first trip abroad, I had no idea how to wear a money belt.
I literally wore my money belt high on my belly and had to lift my shirt, up high, to access it. Everyone could see. My money belt. My belly. Oh my.
I should have been wearing my money belt low, its zipper level with my belt line, tucked between my pants and my underpants.
So its zipper is easily and discreetly accessed, like an inside pant pocket. If only the internet and all its wisdom had existed then!
And, now, there's an important reason to upgrade to a new money belt: RFID protection.
This Christmas, I was so fortunate that others were wise to this and that they so sweetly gifted me a Lewis N. Clark RFID-Blocking Waist Stash! (I love that it's called a Waist Stash!)
But where should I access my money belt?
Ideally, somewhere private, like a hotel room or a restroom. So the private stash remains private.
However, with the money belt located at the belt line, one can learn to be quite discreet, on-the-go. Especially if one organizes their money belt well and has swift fingers.
But still, I try to default to finding some kind of privacy (even if it's just turning away from others, or toward the corner of a room) when accessing it.
What do I carry in my money belt?
If I'm listening to the experts, I'll carry the following in my money belt...
—everything from inside my wallet that I don't access daily (except one credit card, one ID card, and a day's worth of cash), OR...
—emergency backups only (emergency cash, one credit card, photocopies of everything in my wallet)
This leaves A LOT of leeway!
So, for me, location and circumstances determine what is best at any given time, and that varies greatly when traveling.
The places I've experienced the most theft are inside hotels, so I don't leave any part of my wallet there. But sometimes, I just don't want to carry a bag or wallet. That is the perfect time to toss my wallet's contents into a money belt and strap it on.
The place I've experienced the scariest theft is in a corrupt country, so it's not necessarily always safe to use a money belt, as it might be targeted. That's when I can use the money belt as my dummy wallet (and keep my wallet's contents tucked elsewhere, like in my bra, in my underwear, under my feet inside my socks, etc.).
I appreciate the money belt as a wise tool, as hidden storage, in a compact package that I can keep on me, whenever needed.
And while I'd love to believe that I don't really need a money belt because I'll never let my guard down, nor find myself in a dicey locale again, the reality is...anything can happen.