Unknownwanderer, you said in one of your comments "i'm not sure if i should get a money belt or the one that hangs round your neck. any thoughts on either of them?"
Personally, I'm not keen on either, for three reasons:
- Everyone knows that people use them so, whilst they may help to evade a pickpocket, they won't fool a mugger;
- Most people put too much in them, so they become quite visible under your clothes (especially the neck ones); and
- I am always seeing people getting stuff out of them, which loses any secrecy about where all of your valuable stuff is, and actually draws attention to it and makes you look like a target.
What I prefer to do, is carry two wallets / purses. One is kept in my bag as usual, and contains some cash and a decoy bank card (either for an old account or even something like an old storecard). You could keep one of your actual credit cards in there too if that is best for you. This is what I use all the time, so what gets seen in public, would go if my handbag were stolen, or would get handed over if I were mugged.
The other is a one that goes either in your front trouser pocket, or better, inside the waist of your trousers, but either way is attached to either your belt for belt loops. You can get one's that are made to do so, but I attach mine with a harbinger. This has other credit cards and most of my cash and my driving license. The downside is it doesn't work for a passport, although you can get some larger ones that would take it.
Obviously this is just my preference, and you should do whatever makes you feel most confident and secure about your valuables.
Hey Tabithag , thanks for the post. the two wallet thing seems like a great idea. right now i'm just taking practicing my saving/budgeting (struggles of an impulse buyer/ remorse buyer lol) all this travel information is overwhelming.
Honestly winging it is starting to seem like a great idea haha.
Saving can be harder than you think - I also found it hard to not just buy things. In the end I worked out how much our daily travel budget was, and then whenever was tempted to buy anything, I weighed up how much I wanted that item compared to equivalent amount of travel time I could "buy" instead.
That is a version of the 'time is money' principle Tabithag. People who plan to retire early for example use the same kind of thinking but somewhat in reverse.
If you earn $20 in an hour and something costs $100 then that item will mean you have to work for 5 hours to pay for it. Using simple math obviously, but you get the idea. So they look at potential purchases in terms of how many hours, days, weeks, months or years it will COST them to pay for them.
In terms of travel day budgets, you could look at an item and know how many LESS days you will be able to afford to travel if you buy the item. That is what you are saying. Or you can look at it in terms of how many MORE days you will need to work before going on your trip.
It is a question of which way you find it more motivating to look at it.
Re the wallet issue. I tried a money belt once. I found it awkward and uncomfortable. I think those neck wallets are a joke. they are always obvious to see which defeats the point. I use a system of separation much like you do Tabithag but I do not use a wallet at all, I just use my pockets.
I should add for clarity that I am a guy. I have yet to see my wife put anything in any pocket at any time. Why do they bother putting pockets on women's clothing? Anyway, I put my money in one front pocket and a couple of cards in the other. I put nothing in my back pockets at all, it's uncomfortable to sit otherwise. I put another set of cards in my bag somewhere. I keep copies of things like airline tickets and passport pages in e-mails addressed to myself that I can call up and print out.
A word on pickpockets. I have several pairs of long pants and shorts which have Velcro on the front pockets. You can easily add Velcro to any pants you want, even jeans. I have yet to see how anyone could open a pocket that is Velcroed shut, without it being noticed.
A word on muggers. Give them everything they ask for. I don't care what it is, the risk is not worth taking if you try to hide something from them. Take my cash (which will be limited anyway), take my cards, take my passport, take my watch, etc. I don't care. I can replace all of them in very little time.
Finally, UnknownWanderer, winging it is simple. Travel can be as complicated or as simple as you choose to make it. Buy a ticket to A and wing it from there. When time or money runs out, go home. That is how I prefer to keep it. Simple.
Hi Oldpro. I think in a mugging, it depends on the circumstances. Quite often they are in a hurry, an just want your wallet or purse etc handed over quickly. If they and there's enough in it, then they may leave you alone. Of course, if it were a different situation, with a more thorough mugger, I would gladly hand it all over to avoid violence. But having the two wallets gives you the option in a mugging, works if my handbag were stolen, and makes it harder for pickpockets.
On the saving thing, it works for me to think of it as "buying" travel time instead of the item, as it helps me to think of it as gaining something instead of the purchase, even if technically it's the other way around. We 'retired' five years ago (in our forties) to travel long term, so the other ways of looking at it don't work for me. These days I have got used to not making impulse purchases, but if I need to, I still use the method, usually weighing it up against saving for another Antarctica trip!