The money belt…
What is it, what do you use it for and how do you use it?
A money belt is a small pouch like fabric thing that is worn underneath your clothes to hold money. Here is a link to typical money belt. There are so other styles, like this one by eagle creek or ones that can be worn on your leg. This is not a fanny pack or a bum bag.
Money belts are used to carry extra money and other valuables like: Passport, back up credit card or atm card. I have in the past also carried the address for my hotels and my full memory cards. Do not carry larger things like your camera.
The money belt is to be worn under your clothes and should be hidden during the day – basically no one should know you’re wearing it. It should contain stuff that you will only need in an emergency. If you know you’re going to need your passport during the day then don’t put it in here (or if you do have a plan to take it out privately). If you do need to access your money belt try to go to a bathroom or another private place. The purpose is to protect your stuff from theives and when you go inside your money belt in public you announce to others that you have it.
On my first trip I wore my money belt religiously, it helped though that my jeans hid it well. On future trips I didn’t wear it nearly as much, only when I was in areas where I thought I was at a higher risk of getting pickpocketed – Moscow, Egyptian markets – places like that.
All too often you see someone who is wearing a money belt and is constantly going in it during the day. I understand that sometimes plans change and you have to go in it, it’s happened to me. The best you can do is do it privately or discretely. But if you’re constantly going in yours then you might be better off skipping it all together since they aren’t terribly comfortable to wear.