Europe is a pretty safe place to travel. So a bit of complacency might creep in and you might be tempted to cut some corners on security. Like thinking, “is a money belt necessary in Europe? Could I do without?”
But you can never be totally 100% safe and it’s always worth taking a few precautions. Like using a money belt to protect your valuables and documents.
So is a money belt necessary in Europe?
Might you leave a bag in a taxi in Europe?
Of course you might. That bag might have your cash, documents or valuables in it. You would have no way of tracking it down. Maybe you would hope for an honest driver to turn it in and manage to track you down. But that sort of situation could happen in any country. Money belts don’t just protect against thieves, they keep your valuables close and on your body at all times.
Might you get pickpocketed in a busy tourist spot?
Unfortunately, yes. Europe is safe compared to many places but you are vulnerable to petty crime wherever you go. Thieves can target tourists who have their guard down. Tourists are absorbed in the sights, stop often when walking around, sometimes get lost, and often have lots of cash and valuable gadgets. So you represent rich pickings either to a random opportunist or more organised gangs.
The British Transport Police have some great videos that show the different tactics pickpockets use. On the London Underground there were 4000 reported thefts in 2016. While that’s a tiny proportion of Tube journeys that’s little consolation if you are one of those 4000.
Why a money belt is necessary in Europe
What effect would losing your cash, cards, tickets, car keys, passports and other important documents have on your holiday or travels?
It would be an inconvenience at best, leading to queues and administration and bureaucracy. Hours on the phone to your bank – charged at overseas rates of course. Hours at an embassy getting replacement documentation.
At worst it could lead to serious disruption and distress. It might even cut your holiday short.
What about the alternatives to a money belt? Many hotels have safes in the rooms, or you can leave valuables with reception. But how safe is that safe really? There are lots of examples of them being tampered with, broken into or opened by staff.
Plus in some countries you need to keep ID on you, so you will need to have your passport or ID card when out and about. Your bank cards and cash need to come with you too for all the sightseeing and activities. So it’s not always sensible, or convenient to leave things in your room.
Is a money belt necessary in Europe? We think so. Using a money belt means you are in control of your valuables. You don’t have to leave them in your hotel room or a compromised safe. There’s no need to have your passport vulnerable in a bag, or cash in your pocket.
You don’t have to risk your holiday – you can use a money belt.