Top Ways To Have Money Stolen While Travelling

Top Ways To Have Money Stolen While Travelling


Here is a list of the best ways to have your money stolen while travelling. Collaborated from ten years of world travel experience I hope that you avoid the pitfalls I have fallen into, good luck!



1. Leave cash within your main backpack and board an overnight bus.

This travel scam originated in Thailand many years ago and still fools travellers today. On route as the travellers sleep, the luggage holds are opened allowing ample time for people to scrutinise the contents of your bag and take the cash you won’t know is missing until you reach a hotel.


2. Leave cash in the pockets of your trousers in your hotel room.

In this case we need to be a little more inventive than presuming a ball of rolled notes are ‘hidden’ in a trouser pocket. Presuming you won’t miss one of these notes, one may be secretly slipped away. Remember that in most countries the maximum bank note available is ten dollars not 100dollars so even the ‘thief’ might not comprehend the amount that he/she has in their hands.


3. Leave your money in a money belt but don’t wear it.

These pouches are designed to sit flat against your skin and can make you a little sweaty around the midriff. But remember you have brought it along for a reason and when you place it into your day bag and fall asleep on a night bus, it will be a ridiculously tempting target for thieves.


4. Not using a hotel safe.

If you don’t trust your valuables securely locked by the hotel manager then definitely don’t presume that your money will be fine inside a wallet inside your bag. If there is a safe, find out who owns the key to the deposit box and trust them. If you are fortunate to have an in room safe decipher the code and USE it.


5. Not preparing for Houdini to strike.

Money that has been retrieved to make a payment before being replaced to your back pocket means two things. 1. It has been seen 2. It can be reached (even in an Indonesian immigration centre!). Accept that when someone wants to steal from you they will. Prepare yourself. Spread small amounts of cash about your person in order to diffuse the impact of robbery. Also remember to forgive yourself when you fall right into the hands of a robbery scam, I still do it!




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Written by

Rebecca Mayoll is a ‘just turned 30’ freelance writer and photographer from England. She is the co-founder and author of, a travel website with the mantra ‘find your own adventure.’ Promoting adventurous destinations, independent travel and giving a humorous insight to the World of travel is what Becky does best.

  • Hi Rebecca,
    A good way of seeing things 😉 Comprehensive list!
    #5: I would say take a ballet full of money and flash it to make any kind of payment (especially) on the street, so that everyone knows you have a large amount of cash (in many countries, 200-300 USD is a fortune)
    This is why I always have 2 wallets: one of the daily expenditures and one with larger amounts of cash, that I actually never show.

    • The two wallets technique is something I consistently used in the past but have seem to let slide. I don’t know why, perhaps I have become too complacent as time has drifted by…that needs to be rectified. I completely agree with your #5 and might add it to my post if you don’t mind.
      Haha, once I was withdrawing cash from an ATM for a diving expedition, there must have been a whole in my pocket as the cash dropped and exploded around my small cubicle, it was like a scene from the gameshow ‘Crystal Maze.’ I thought I was truly in trouble but instead the Indonesians just watched me in amusement/horror with the warning “hati hati” / “Be careful.”

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