Throughout Europe, pickpockets are on the hunt for out of towners who let their guards down. These thieves prey on people in touristic areas, on public transportation, around popular bars, and other hot spots. You, as the traveler, must always remember you’re on their home turf.
Interesting stat: 33% of all travel insurance claims are for lost or stolen possessions.
Interesting stat #2: Between 2010 – 2012, pickpocketing thefts jumped by 20% in London alone.
The best way to outsmart professional pickpockets in Europe is to use a hidden money belt. I’ve used several varieties over the years, and they’re some of the best investments I’ve made in the anti-theft gear department.
Nothing gives me more peace of mind while traveling than keeping my money, phone, wallet, and passport secured against my body and out of sight.
You may be thinking, Well, when it comes time to access the money belt isn’t it a pain? The solution is to put a small sum of money in your pocket for easy access and keep your most valuable possessions in the belt until you reach a secure destination to access it.
While in transit, whether you be sightseeing, commuting, or taking a brisk walk to soak it all in, the hidden money belt is your best friend.
In today’s article, I’ll share with you my picks for the best money belt you can use while traveling in Europe.
Before we start, here are the key attributes to look for in a money belt:
- Buckle location at the front
- RFID-blocking materials
- Moisture-wicking back panel
- Strong, reliable zippers
- Enough room for your cell phone
#1) Raytix Hidden Money Belt Review
- Dual YKK zipper pockets in front
- Double release safety buckle at the front of the bag
- Slim profile
- Lightweight tear-resistant materials
- Breathable mesh back panel
- Hidden pocket in the back panel
- RFID-blocking materials
- Comes in five colors
- Currently has 87% 5-star reviews at Amazon out of over 1,500 total reviews
This money belt is the same type I’ve been using for the past year, and I love it. It’s the second one I’ve gone through over the past few years. Yes, I use a money belt so often that I go through one every year or so.
The reason I chose this bag by Raytix first is that I have a lot of experience using this type of belt and highly recommend it. The RFID-blocking feature gives you that extra peace of mind while traveling through the airport.
The moisture-wicking mesh back panel is important to have in warmer parts of Europe because you’ll sweat a bit since heat will get trapped between the belt and your skin unless you choose to wear it over your shirt, but that kind of defeats the purpose.
I use a separate fanny pack to wear over my shirt that’s more fashionable than a money belt.
Also, the slim profile of this belt by Raytix won’t make your shirt poke out, meaning thieves won’t know it’s there. It’s nearly impossible for a thieve to break into a hidden money belt without you noticing.
Reliable zippers by YKK are also a key ingredient because zippers on money belts tend to break, and once they do, the belt goes straight in the trash.
There’s also a hidden pocket in the back panel to store cash or credit cards:
Overall, I give this bag a big thumbs up! It’s definitely the most comfortable money belt on this list. Buy with confidence.
#2) Stashbandz Unisex Travel Money Belt Review
- Ultra-slim profile almost impossible to see beneath a shirt
- Won’t slip during exercise
- 4 wide pockets including 1 zipper pocket
- Moisture-wicking spandex
- Extra-wide design can fit any cell phone and passport
- Money-back guarantee
- Comes in eight colors to suit both men and women
- Currently 71% 5-star reviews at Amazon out of nearly 1,000 reviews with just 5% 1-star
I’m a huge fan of the slim money belt. A lot of money belts are too bulky and end up pushing out your shirt. This money belt is the best women’s money belt for traveling in my opinion. It can also work for men, but I think it’s more suited for women.
It can be used during exercise and is easy to clean. The material keeps the bag tight against you without slipping or getting in the way during your workout. I personally use an ultra-slim fanny pack when I work out with cheap Bluetooth earbuds. That way, if I need to reach for my phone, it’s easy to access, and there are no headphone wires to worry about.
You can also keep your money and credit cards in this Stashbandz bag.
Here’s a demonstration video below:
#3) JASGOOD Travel Security Money Belt Review
- Genuine YKK buckle with serial number
- Zippered stash pocket perfect for emergency cash
- Wide pocket allows you to fold your bills just once to stash them
- Fully adjustable
- Built for international travel
- Comes in 4 colors
The third option is the actual money belt, designed to hold emergency cash or other small items such as a key. These are great for keeping your cash super concealed, however, they can’t hold a passport, cell phones or other larger items like the other bags above.
You could choose to use one of these to hold your cash and then use a separate money belt to hold your other larger items. If you intend to do a lot of sightseeing in Europe, you can never be too careful.
#4) Shacke Hidden Travel Wallet Review
- Lined with RFID-blocking material
- Three zippered pockets to hold your passport, credit cards, cash, etc.
- Built with durable Nylon and mesh backing
- YKK zippers
- Currently 75% five-star ratings on Amazon out of 1,400 total reviews
I’ve owned this type of hidden travel wallet in the past, and I’ll tell you up front I prefer the first bag on this list over this option. However, I know everyone has different preferences, and a lot of you may prefer this style of hidden wallet for your travels in Europe.
The way it works is you hook your belt through the belt loop in the top of the bag, then tuck the bag under your shorts or pants. When you need to access the bag, you pull the bag out. After you’re done, you tuck it back in.
The problem is if you wear slim jeans or shorts, it can be a pain to pull this bag out. I also don’t like to reach into my pants in a foreign location. I’d rather reach under my shirt in front of strangers than in my pants.
Having used both types of hidden money belts, I also prefer having my possessions against my stomach instead of in my pants. It worries me that the zippers could come undone while the bag is inside my pants.
With the first money belt, I don’t worry since the zippers are horizontal, and I can easily feel around to check my possessions from outside my shirt.
#5) Lewis N. Clark RFID-Blocking Clip-On Wallet Review
- Made with ultra-light rip-stop nylon
- Reliable self-repairing zipper
- Super-slim design
- RFID-blocking materials
- Perfect for credit cards, ID, cash, and coins
- Moisture-wicking material
- Reliable anti-theft gear company
Personally, I like this smaller clip-on wallet more than the wallet above it. The clip allows you to access the bag easier without sacrificing much security. You won’t need to reach down into your pants in public with this clip-on wallet.
The one disadvantage is you can’t fit a passport. This hidden wallet is better to use once you arrive at your destination while you walk around sightseeing or bar hopping.
One reviewer called it “super convenient” for a trip to Europe. The person fit 6 cards, cash, and change in the bag with room to spare.
Best Money Belt Alternative for Women
One last item I added to my list as a bonus alternative for women is the Pacsafe bra money pouch. This bag is specially designed to be comfortable for women against their skin.
It’s machine washable, can hold six credit cards, extra money and fits any size bra.
Click here to check the current price at Amazon and read more about it.
The five options above are the best money belts for travel in Europe for both men and women. Once you begin using one of these, you won’t be able to stop because of the peace of mind you get during your travels.
The last thing you want to do is stand out with a bulky wallet or put any of your valuables inside your luggage or pants pockets.
I met a guy in Ho Chi Minh City who had his entire backpack robbed by motorcyclists in a grab-and-go robbery. Instead of using a money belt, he had put his passport and money inside the backpack they stole. If he had used a hidden money belt, he could have saved his most valuable possessions.
As always, cheers and safe travels! Until next time!