What’s in your money belt?

Posted by Ted on Sep 19, 2010 in Travel, Vagabonding

At T-1, we’re one day and 13 hours from leaving everything behind us except what fits in our two 35L backpacks, a camera bag, and a satchel.

Because of our self-imposed domestic homelessness for the past month, we’ve been moving bits of our stuff around the Bay Area for much of that time. “Recreational moving” to the extreme. On the one hand, not living in our home while still in our home town has been a bit surreal, having to schedule visits to see our stuff and our cats. On the other hand, it has afforded us a gentle shift in adapting to a more nomadic lifestyle, such that leaving in just over a day feels no sense of apprehension. In fact, the thing that I am most looking forward to at the moment is sitting in seat 41K on Korean Air flight #24 with nothing on a todo list. However, I’m sure the elation of being in that seat will wear off a few hours in to our 19 hour trip from San Francisco to Bangkok, via Seoul.

Now that the last mail orders of clothing and gear have arrived, the packing begins in earnest. Replacing my iPhone as my closest guarded possession for the next three months, my money pouch now holds;

  • My passport, which will have many more stamps before returning home to New York for Christmas
  • My travel wallet, which contains;
    • Bank card
    • VISA credit card – zero balance, low interest rate and credit limit
    • PADI certificate card
    • DAN insurance card, which covers both diving and non-diving accidents
    • Red Cross blood donor card, conveniently displaying my blood type
    • California drivers license
    • Spare passport photo
    • Couple of business cards
    • 541 US Dollars
    • 95 Euros
    • 2550 Thai Baht

While the pouch will be kept close to me, I have no love for it, especially in hot climates. Whether worn around the neck or one’s waist, money belts are often in the way and are excellent collectors of sweat. What do you carry in your money pouch when you travel? What kind of pouch or belt do you use?

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An adventurer at heart, Ted Beatie is at his happiest when he’s off the beaten path. His deepest passion is sharing the world through photography and writing, found at The Pocket Explorer. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook.


Sep 19, 2010 at 8:34 pm

I use a actual leather belt by Cabelas that holds cash and emergency contact info. I always keep at least 100 in there for emergencies. I keep the passport in a hidden/ zip pocket of my pants along with a plastic “wallet” with my bank and credit cards. Then I keep my actual wallet in my back pocket as normal with enough cash to keep a robber happy but not hurt me too bad financially.

Jon Evans
Sep 19, 2010 at 8:54 pm

I have a battered Eagle Creek money pouch that I generally wear around my waist. (First time I went travelling, I draped it around my neck; then I hiked up an Indonesian volcano and sweated so hard that it smeared the ink in my passport into unintelligibility…) It probably needs replacing soonish.

All you really need most places nowadays, with Internet everywhere and credit-advance facilities in nearly every city in the world, says me, is a passport, a credit card, and US$50 just in case. The rest you can get from the Internet. (Except the vaccination record, but I haven’t been asked for one since 1998.) That said, in practice, my list is very nearly identical to yours…