Saturday, September 5, 2009

10 rules on how to stay safe on your travels Part 1

My money belt with its secret zipped compartment for hiding my survivor cash.
My money pouch which I wear under my clothes. It never leaves me except when I take a shower.

There is nothing more frightening than being robbed of all your money or, worst, seriously injured or killed whey you are travelling. If you often travel solo like me, staying safe is a top priority.

Here are the first 5 rules to stay safe on your travels.

1. Buy a money pouch.
Instead of asking your grandmother to sew a secret pocket in your jeans or hide your money in your smelly socks get a money pouch. It is for your secret stash of cash, credit cards, passport, ATM cards. The pouch is to be worn UNDER your clothes, preferably next to your skin. A friend refused to buy one, and when he was robbed in Indonesia he was left high and dry.

2. Get a money belt.
A money belt is like your ordinary belt that holds up your pants/trousers but it has a zipped secret compartment on the inside. This is my survival cash. If I use big notes I can easily hide up to $500

3. Never accept drinks from strangers. They may be drugged. As a safety precaution, it's better for drinks to be opened in your presence (but this is not 100% foolproof).

4. Never follow anyone home or to a place unknown to you. A friend broke this rule, and was robbed in Vietnam. He followed a Vietnamese woman to an apartment. I broke this rule in China. I followed a teenage boy in Shanghai to his apartment for lunch with his family. I think I was being greedy at the time! But, seriously, I wanted to see his home. I won't break this rule again even for a meal of lobsters or giant prawns.

5. Never wander into deserted areas at night. Common sense. Criminal elements usually appear under cover of darkness.


  1. Like your travel blog. Mine to exchange link?

    My travel blog -> Travel & Living Bliss ->

  2. Roger, these are great travel tips! First time hearing about money belt and pouch. Look odd to me, but it's a good measure to keep your money safely. Normally, when I'm boarding a public transport, I always push my wallet as close as possible to my long pants pocket. I nearly lost my wallet to a bunch of crooks years back. I was trying to board KTM train. It was jam packed. People were pushing forward . I can felt people were trying to take my wallet!

    I always remember tip number 5 :)

    Thanks for sharing. Looking forward for more tips!!

  3. Alex, even security officers at airports can't detect my money pouch and money belt. Only one airport could. Guess which one. It's Sri Lanka international airport. I never leave home on my travels without my money pouch and money belt.Pickpockets always look for an opportunity to steal.

  4. I'll try to get one in Malaysia. Very handy for travel!

  5. Ya, get one. A small price for peace of mind.

  6. #1&2 : keep the passport in the room... never bring too much cash...

    #3 : a turkish guy treated me a cup of very nice turkish tea...we enjoyed the conversation over the carpets....

    #4 : i got on a lady car and she brought me to the hotel,

    #5 : it's safe at least for me!! what you need to do is not to be afraid... walk proudly and dont think yourself as a tourist!

    travel safe :)

  7. Thanks for your contributions, fufu, though I think it may not be a good idea to leave the passport in your room. I always leave it in my money pouch, and carry it around in case the police ask for some form of identification (never happened). Wow, you must charmed the lady!