Updated December 7th, 2020.
The links to Amazon on this page are affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate South America Backpacker earns from qualifying purchases.
If you are travelling to South America, you have surely heard horror stories of scams or about someone, who knows someone, who knows someone that was once robbed somewhere in South America.
Whilst crime does happen and is sometimes unavoidable, there are plenty of things you can do to stack the deck in your favour. Check out this article on safety in South America for a more overall look at how to stay safe on the continent.
In this article, we take an in-depth look at the best money belts. These small anti-theft devices are one of the most effective ways of keeping your money and small valuables safe while you travel.
The Lowdown on Money Belts
The money belts of today come in all shapes and sizes and each type will protect your valuables in a slightly different way.
Some have pockets large enough for phones, passports, wallets and keys, whilst others may only fit a few notes inside.
Some money belts look just like your normal, everyday belt, whereas others are more like slimmed-down fanny packs that hide under your clothes. Some are made from stretchy materials, whilst others are created from intricately designed leather. Some aren’t even belts but we’ll come onto those later!
The type of belt you want will depend predominantly on what you intend to store inside it but don’t discount comfort when making your choice. There’s no point buying a belt you won’t be happy to wear!
The main aim of these belts is to keep your items hidden and safe. If you can avoid it, do not remove or place items into the belt whilst in public. As soon as people know you are wearing one, they will know that you are carrying money or valuables.
The best advice regarding the use of money belts is to keep emergency money in them and keep your daily spending money in a separate, easily accessible place. This way, you don’t have to touch your belt to make small purchases and no one needs to know you are wearing one. If the worst happens and you do get robbed, at least they don’t know about the hundred dollars you have stashed away!
If your belt is large enough to allow it, they are a great place to store passports and emergency documents. Some will also be able to fit phones in but bear in mind you will probably want to use your phone regularly whilst travelling so storing it in the belt is not the most practical plan.
Some travellers will use a combination of money belts, pouches, day packs and hidden pockets to make sure their valuables are safe. This way, if one item is stolen, everything else is generally okay.
Note: If you are robbed by an armed attacker, the most common advice is to give everything over to them. Whilst it might seem like the end of the world to lose two credit cards and an iPhone, it is much better than losing your life!
Types of Money Belt
These are just normal looking belts with a small pocket on the reverse side. Whilst they will not fit a phone or passport, they are big enough for an emergency stash of money or a single key.
They are well hidden, serve the usual purpose of a belt and come in various styles. You are bound to find one that will blend in with any outfit, no matter your look.
Pouch money belts
These look more like thin fanny packs (or bumbags for our UK readers) and are designed to be worn underneath your clothes. They usually have multiple pockets and are much larger than the previous type of money belt. Big enough to fit in phones, passports and cash easily, you can carry all your valuables in one of these.
Be aware, the more you pack into the belt, the more conspicuous it becomes. Sure, it might be out of sight but the square bulge under your t-shirt can give away its location. The best tip is to not fill it to capacity, use it for some paper money and your passport (if necessary) but keep your phone and change accessible elsewhere.
As these belts are usually resting on your skin, it is worth investing in a good quality product. The products listed in this best money belts article are created using soft, sweat-wicking materials which shouldn’t cause any irritation, even after a hot day walking around Medellín. Many of the poorer quality options can leave you feeling itchy and raw after just a couple of hours.
You should also be aware that as the most common type of anti-theft device, people do know about them. There have been reports of tourists being robbed and the thieves lifting the victim’s t-shirt to check for a belt before going for their pockets.
As the name suggests, these belts were originally designed for runners and as such are super comfortable as well as sweat-wicking. They tend to have larger pockets than most other types of money belt yet remain a subtle way to carry your valuables.
The stretchy, tubular spandex that these belts are made from means that if you are wearing the wrong size they can ride up or sag, both of which can be uncomfortable. Read the size guide in depth before ordering.
Running belts can usually be worn above or under clothes depending on personal preference but not all the pockets are likely to have zips. Whilst your items will not fall out, they are not as secure as they otherwise could be.
Unlike the other belts listed, running belts have no straps or buckles so there is nothing hard to irritate the skin.
Clip-on money pouches
Whilst not strictly belts, these pouches attach to your belt or waistband using tough plastic clips and can be securely tucked inside your trousers. They are less bulky than the fanny pack style belt but as a result, you can fit less inside. They are most suitable for cash, a room key and credit cards but rarely fit a phone or passport.
More comfortable and better hidden than many other options, these clip-on money pouches can be a quick and easy way to carry around emergency money, without fear of it being stolen.
Be aware that some money pouches only come with loops and not clips. Therefore, you will need to feed an ordinary belt through these loops to keep it secured to your person.
What is RFID and Do I Need to Block it?
What is RFID blocking?
RFID has become a bit of a buzzword in the marketing of wallets and bags in recent years. To help you understand what it means and whether or not you need it, here is a quick explanation.
RFID or Radio Frequency Identity is the process of transmitting small packets of information wirelessly over short distances. Using radio waves, any RFID chip can send information to a reader and it has been used in many different instances since its inception in 1940. From televised poker tournaments to microchips in pets, from motor racing to inventory tracking, RFID is ubiquitous in our modern, technology-focused world.
Most recently, RFID has taken the jump into wireless payment methods, be it from your credit or debit card, or even from your phone. Although most common in Europe, most banks across the world now provide their customers with contactless cards that use RFID technology.
Don’t know if your card is RFID enabled? Simply look for the contactless symbol (four curved lines radiating outwards, a lot like a wifi symbol) on it in white. This indicates that you can pay at any contactless card machine by simply tapping your card against the reader. With no PIN or signature necessary, this method of payment has caused people to worry about their financial security.
Whilst having your card stolen has always been a problem, thieves can now steal your account information without even taking the physical card. By carrying a special card reader with them, thieves can “skim” the information from the RFID chip in your card without you even realising this is happening.
RFID card skimming has been demonstrated on hundreds, if not thousands of videos online and providing thieves can get close enough to their target, could be a very lucrative way of making money. However, there is some debate as to whether this is actually going on in the real world. With the skimming machines being complicated to set up and banks being very good at noticing strange spending patterns, some people argue that you are much more at risk of having your card information stolen when shopping online.
To understand more the history and potential future of RFID technology, check out this great article from How Stuff Works.
Do I need RFID blocking materials?
So, do you need an RFID blocking money belt? The answer is unclear as to whether you really need it but as there is no downside to having RFID blocking materials (even the cost is negligible these days) it is better to be safe than sorry. Whilst a lot of money belts won’t have RFID blocking materials, most pouches, fanny packs and wallets will.
You are probably most at risk of somebody stealing your card and making a lot of contactless transactions with it before you get the chance to cancel it. In order to prevent this from happening, always keep your cards well hidden and avoid carrying more than one with you at a time. Many card providers will let you cancel or freeze the card in their own app so be sure to have this set up before you travel.
Our Pick of The Best Money Belts!
Traditional Money Belts
Volar Travel Belt – The Functional Choice!
- Capacity: 15 folded notes
- RFID Blocking: No
- Price: $15.95USD
- Size: 26” – 42”
Whilst it might not be the best-looking money belt on the market, the Travel Security Belt by Volar is one of the most impressive. The tough plastic buckle won’t draw any unwanted attention, and the small zip pocket on the inside is almost totally pickpocket-proof. The belt is adjustable from 26” to 42” so you don’t have to worry about it being too tight, even after your third empanada!
The Volar Travel Belt can comfortably hold up to 15 notes but if you want to carry a paper copy of your passport or room key then you will have to sacrifice some of the cash capacity. Some users have reported that money becomes ripped or faded after being in the belt for extended periods. With many countries in the world not accepting torn or damaged notes, regularly rotate the money inside the belt to keep it usable.
This belt claims to be waterproof but if you get caught in heavy rain, the zipper is likely to leak slightly. Make sure you remove any money as soon as possible to dry out if this is the case.
Thanks to the total lack of metal used in the construction of this belt, you do not need to remove it when going through airport security checks. Although, if you are asked to do so, don’t argue. Many a trip has been ruined by debating with airport security, don’t let yours be one of them!
Zero Grid Travel Security Belt – The Best Money Belt (and Perks)!
- Capacity: 10-15 folded notes
- RFID Blocking: No
- Price: $14.99USD
- Size: 26” – 42” although some users report that it is too short to be effective over 38”
While this money belt is very similar to the previous choice in looks, functionality and design, it comes with one key difference. Zero Grid, the company behind this belt, is so confident in their product they offer $300USD trip insurance for free to their customers. Yep, you read that right! If you get your money stolen whilst using this belt, the company will reimburse you up to $300USD!
As well as offering trip assurance, Zero Grid also has a relationship with the world’s largest global recovery company ReturnMe. Each product bought from Zero Grid will come with two recovery tags that you can stick onto your most valuable items, such as phones or laptops. If, for example, you lose your phone, the tag will provide whoever finds it with a web address, reference code and phone number plus the promise of a reward if they return it. ReturnMe’s experience has shown that 80% of the time people will return the phone to them and they can then pass it back to you free of charge. These tags come with a free lifetime subscription to the ReturnMe service.
What’s more, if you buy more than one product from Zero Grid, such as their Neck Wallet or Money Belt, you will get a discount on the overall cost. The percentage you get off will increase with the number of items you buy.
On The Road Nylon Belt – Most Versatile Money Belt!
- Capacity: 30 folded notes
- RFID Blocking: No
- Price: $18.95USD
- Size: 25” – 48”
On The Road have produced a great looking nylon belt that blends in with any outfit. The zip pocket is can hold thousands of dollars and thanks to the airport safe design, it doesn’t need to be removed at security checkpoints.
The plastic buckle is infinitely adjustable and it comes in three colour options making this a perfect belt for him or her.
Leather Belt – Best Looking Money Belt!
- Capacity: 24 folded notes
- RFID blocking: No
- Price: $64.99USD
- Size: 34” – 56″ (Note: Most people will order one or two sizes larger, due to the thickness of the belt when the pocket is in use)
This hidden pocket belt from Yoder Leather Company does not sacrifice style for security. The high-quality leather comes in brown or black and the sleek metal buckle can be swapped out for one from your own personal collection. Some users report that the belt is stiff when first used but that it will soften up over time. This is normal with well-made leather products and is not an issue with the belt.
Handmade in the USA, this belt will fit up to 24 folded notes inside. Although it may seem like there is extra room, be aware, storing more than this can cause the notes to get stuck in the zipper. If you carry less money, then there is easily room for important documents or a couple of room keys. Just like each of the previous belts, there is not enough room to store a credit card within the belt.
Stashbandz – Top Running Belt!
- Capacity: Four pockets have enough room for phones, passport, money and keys.
- RFID Blocking: No
- Price: $22.99USD
- Size: 24” – 40” (Use size chart to make sure you get the correct size)
This comfortable alternative to a traditional money belt is less subtle and does not require trousers with belt loops. Thanks to its larger size, you can use the Stashbandz running belt for your most important valuables which saves you from having to carry a day pack with you at all times. Each pocket has a secure flap that folds over to keep your items safe but only one pocket has a zip to close it completely.
The moisture-wicking material keeps you cool and comfortable, even after hours of sightseeing in hot climates and providing you don’t fill it too much, the Stashbandz running belt can be concealed under baggy clothing.
If baggy clothing is not your style or just not possible while travelling, the running belt can be worn with any outfit. Even if it is on display, the minimalist design looks great and the hidden pockets make sure there is no obvious access for thieves.
Make sure you order the correct size using the sizing chart provided by Stashbandz. If your band is too small, it is likely to ride up and likewise, if you order one that is too large, it is likely to sag and not stay in place. If you have any issues with this, Stashbandz offers free returns and exchanges.
EazyMate Running Belt – The Comfortable Choice!
- Capacity: Enough room for phones, passport, money, keys and daily essentials
- RFID Blocking: No
- Price: $39.90USD
- Size: 26”- 43”
The EasyMate Running belt is designed to be worn above or under clothes and to keep your valuables safe at all times. With two zips at the front and a secure flap on the back, it is quick and easy to access your valuables whilst also keeping them out of the hands of thieves.
The soft, stretchy material means that this is one of the most comfortable options available on the market but some users have reported quality control issues with the stitching and zipper.
Whilst the internal pocket for the money belt is not compartmentalised in any way, big items rarely move around thanks to the tight-fitting design. There is a plastic key hook for your keys to prevent them from moving and damaging anything else you have stored.
If you plan on carrying change in the EazyMate Running Belt, it is advised to use a small purse, wallet or coin pouch to prevent them from moving around too much.
FlipBelt Zipper – Best Money Belt for Sleek Design!
- Capacity: Easily fits phones, ID and credit cards, keys, passports and memory sticks.
- RFID Blocking: No
- Price: $36.00USD
- Size: 21” – 58”
Although the FlipBelt Zipper is smaller than other running belts on this list, it still holds nearly everything you will need thanks to the stretchy lycra based material.
The thin design means it is easier to conceal than the other belts on this list but with its great-looking design, you may want to show it off!
There are two pockets within this belt, the largest of which has three separate openings so you can place items exactly where you want them. They will not move around within the belt so you know exactly where your valuables will be at all times.
The zip pocket in the front is separate from the main pocket and can be used to store your most valuable items. Once you have loaded the belt up, you can flip it around so all the pockets are against your person, making it even more secure.
FlipBelt also produce the FlipBelt Classic which is slightly cheaper but does not have a front zipper and the FlipBelt Water Bottle, which is designed to fit into the belt perfectly although you will have to sacrifice pocket space for this to work.
Pouch Money Belts (Fanny Packs)
Alpha Keeper – Best Looking Fanny Pack!
- Capacity: Easily enough room for wallet, keys, money, passports and other valuables.
- RFID Blocking: Yes
- Price: $18.00USD
- Size: 25” – 55”
The attractive Alpha Keeper Travel Belt is slim enough to fit under clothes unnoticed but also good looking enough to be worn over the top without feeling self conscious.
It is created from water-resistant fabric that will keep your items safe and dry in all but the most violent downpours. Each pocket is lined with RFID blocking materials to ensure that your digital data remains private. They even include RFID blocking sleeves for your passport and cards for yet another layer of protection.
Multiple zip pockets mean everything is within easy reach and there are even compartments within to keep your stuff even more organised.
The rear mesh lining will stop sweating and soreness where the pouch meets your skin, even after a long day wandering through bustling Lima.
Peak Travel Money Belt – The Insured Choice!
- Capacity: Will fit keys, wallet, smartphone and passport without much difficulty.
- RFID Blocking: Yes
- Price: $17.00USD
- Size: 22” – 70”
The Peak Travel Money Belt is neither as stylish or as large as the Alpha Keeper. However, just like the Zero Grid belt, this product comes with theft protection (up to $250) and a lifetime subscription to the global lost and found service, ReturnMe. This really is a company who has faith in their product!
The belt is thin enough to be worn under clothes without creating a noticeable bump and the soft, breathable fabric won’t cause skin irritation.
The RFID blocking lining will give you peace of mind from electronic thieves whilst the dual-sided release buckle keeps the belt securely against your person.
Ryaco Travel Wallet – Top Fanny Pack!
- Capacity: Easily enough room for a smartphone, passport, credit cards and cash.
- RFID Blocking: Yes
- Price: $10.99USD
- Size: 28” – 45”
This is touted by customers to be one of the best money belts available. The ultra-tough nylon build makes it one of the most durable but also one of the slimmest and most comfortable fanny packs out there. The breathable mesh back panel will keep you cool and sweat-free and the water-resistant material will ensure your items stay safe from the odd shower.
The Ryaco Travel Wallet sports a rubberised earphone port so even with your phone safely tucked away you can still have access to your favourite music or podcasts!
This belt can be worn above clothes if you are in a safe place or can be hidden underneath most t-shirts without creating a noticeable bulge.
Raytix Travel Money Belt – Forfeits Style for Security!
- Capacity: Comfortably holds passports, credit cards, smartphone, keys and cash
- RFID Blocking: Yes
- Price: $15.99
- Size: 26” – 51”
Whilst not as visually appealing as some of the other belts on this list, the Raytix Travel Money Belt does everything required of it. The lightweight, comfortable design means you might forget you are wearing it! The multiple pockets and RFID blocking materials will leave your items and information safe from thieves.
Compartments within each pocket let you organise your stuff exactly how you want and there is even a hidden pocket in the rear that can easily hold a few hundred dollars for extra peace of mind.
Some users report quality control issues with the buckle, stitching and strap but Raytix has a very good customer service team waiting to help you out with any concerns.
Aikelida Fanny Pack – The Budget Choice!
- Capacity: A smartphone, credit card and a small amount of cash will fit fine. Could be a bit of a squeeze with a passport in there too.
- RFID Blocking: No
- Price: $7.95USD
- Size: 28” – 46”
The Aikelida Fanny Pack is designed and marketed for athletes or gym enthusiasts as a way of keeping essential belongings with them. Its smaller size means it is practically invisible under clothing and also really lightweight. Even with its size, a savvy packer will be able to fit everything they need for a day out sightseeing in its two pockets.
The elasticated strap is designed for hours of running or cycling, so remains comfortable even after a long day dodging traffic and tourists.
There is a rubberised earphone port so you can keep your phone safe and secure whilst listening to hours of your favourite podcasts on long overnight bus rides.
Eagle Creek Undercover Hidden Pocket – Most Secure Clip-on Pouch!
- Capacity: Passport, credit card, cash and a small key will fit fine.
- RFID Blocking: No
- Price: $13.50USD
- Size: One size fits all.
The Eagle Creek Undercover Hidden Pocket is a great way to keep your essentials close to you and arguably even safer than in a traditional money belt.
The hidden pocket comes with dual loops on one end that you slip your belt through. After you have attached the pocket and filled it, you can stuff it inside your trousers where it will sit comfortably and be well hidden.
It would take the most skilled of pickpockets to be able to remove this from your person without your knowledge and unless you are time travelling into Dickens novel, there really aren’t that many skilled pickpockets out there.
The Undercover Hidden Pocket has multiple compartments inside to keep your items organised but be aware that it will not fit in a smartphone larger than the iPhone 6. Even with a phone of this size, the pocket becomes bulky and harder to pull in and out of your trousers.
Eagle Creek also produce a well-rated money belt.
Lewis N Clark Clip Stash – Top Clip-on Pouch!
- Capacity: No bigger than a small wallet. Will hold credit cards, cash and small essentials.
- RFID Blocking: Yes
- Price: $8.99USD
- Size: One size fits all.
Lewis N Clark has created a sleek, functional wallet with their Clip Stash. Although too small for phones or passports, it is the perfect way to carry local currency or a hotel room key when abroad.
The sturdy plastic clip means you don’t need to wear a belt and allows you to attach the stash to your waistband with ease. The moisture-wicking material stops sweat building and protects your cash from a small amount of water, which is ideal for when you are wearing it inside your trousers.
The clip stash is kept shut by a self-repairing zip that ensures your cash and cards remain secured in place at all times. The opening is a little on the tight side and you need to gently bend cards to get them into place. Once inside, they have plenty of room.
Shacke Pocket Vault – The Holdall Of Clip-on Pouches!
- Capacity: Holds passport, cash, cards, keys and most smartphones will fit inside.
- RFID Blocking: Yes
- Price: $15.99USD
- Size: One size fits all.
The Shacke Pocket Vault is the largest of the clip-on pouches and will easily hold all of your essentials. The downside to this size is its comfort. When full, it can feel bulky and rub against your leg although if worn in the right place, it is still not obvious you are wearing one.
Simply feed your belt through the strap and tuck the Pocket Vault down the side of your leg, next to your actual pocket. Some users find it easier to wear the Pocket Vault in the front of their trousers but do say that it needs ‘polite rearrangement’ when going from standing to sitting or vice versa.
Other customers attach their own lanyards and turn this product into a neck wallet which is more comfortable but also more conspicuous and less secure.
Three separate, zip pockets keep your valuables safe and organised whilst the RFID blocking materials maintain the security of your digital information.
Alternatives to Money Belts
If you’ve read through our list of best money belts and feel like this is not the product for you or even if you already have one and want an extra layer of security, then there are many other products available. From pickpocket-proof clothing to various stash pockets that you can hide about your person, the options are almost endless.
Here are a few of our favourites:
Bra stash pockets are taking the travel world by storm at the moment. With the influx of solo female travellers, a whole new market of security devices has opened up.
Bra stashes or bra wallets are available in all number of designs but the basic premise is always the same. These are small pockets that attach to your bra using a fixed loop. They can be attached to the middle of your bra and will then sit comfortably between your breasts. Alternatively, they can be worn on the side of your bra and hang close to your arm.
Usually made from a comfortable material to prevent rubbing or soreness, they are large enough to hold a few credit cards, as well as cash and a key. They are not designed for quick access but more as a method of keeping essentials safe in case of emergencies and some even come with RFID blocking technology!
Anti Theft Wallets
Whilst nothing is 100% theft-proof, people have been trying for centuries to make things as secure as possible. Anti-theft wallets have different methods of achieving this but all create a sense of security that your normal, everyday wallet does not.
RFID blocking materials are often used to prevent electronic thieves from accessing your cards and there are varying methods of keeping the physical wallet attached to your person.
For a secure RFID proof wallet that fits in your pocket and has a wire reinforced strap you can attach to your person, look no further than the PacSafe Compact Wallet.
If the PacSafe is not your cup of tea, then check out this leather wallet and phone holster. Designed to be worn under a coat or jumper this holster will make you feel like a secret agent or if you’re more of a Mad Max kind of guy, leave the holster on show. Be aware, the holster will not be an effective security device if visible. It just looks really cool.
Lightweight Shoulder Bags
Shoulder bags have all the hidden attributes of a money belt with more room and easier accessibility. They are essentially small messenger bags that fit snugly against your body. Once the strap is over your head and shoulder you can usually hang the bag under your arm which, providing you are wearing a coat or jumper, will keep it well hidden.
Even if it is too hot for that pesky second layer, these bags look great and are kept so tight against the body it would be hard for anyone to get inside. You can flip them around so the bag is on the front of your body for added protection.
There is enough room inside to keep all of your essentials safe but be aware, it is easy to fill these up to the point that they are no longer invisible under normal clothing.
Neck wallets are very similar to the clip pouches we discussed earlier, with one small caveat, they are bigger. Being bigger means they hold more stuff and consequently, are harder to hide around your waistline.
Instead of tucking these into your trousers, the best way of concealing them is by using the attached lanyard and hanging it around your neck. Safely tucked away inside your t-shirt or jumper, these wallets are a real challenge for any pickpocket to get into and can keep your valuables hidden from prying eyes.
Usually made with RFID blocking materials, these wallets will keep you safe from tech-obsessed thieves.Zero Grid and Peak Travel both offer great neck wallets that come with their theft protection and trip assurance promises. If your items get stolen whilst using one of these neck wallets then the companies will pay you between $250-$300 to help replace your stuff.
Generally, arm wallets look a lot like sweatbands or wristbands. They are not very large so will not securely accommodate a phone or passport but can easily fit some cash, a key and a credit card or two.
Lightweight and comfortable, these wallets come in enough designs to blend in at any location. Be it at a full moon party or the gym, you will not look out of place wearing one of these. What’s even better is that not many people seem to know they exist so they are secret from even the most vigilant of criminals.
For typical sweatband style check out the Zipper Sweatband from The Friendly Swede but if you want more variation in colour or style, then make sure you look into the Sprigs Banjees 2 which comes in all manner of designs.
Leg wallets do exactly what they say on the tin. Attaching to your leg via a velcro strap or a zip on the side, these pouches are usually large enough for money, keys, passport and maybe even your phone.
They are another way of keeping money secure and hidden but it is hard to get items in and out of them without being noticed. As such, you should use them for emergency cash and to keep important documents safe. Stash your day to day money elsewhere on your person.
The Mini Ankle Wallet is too small for a phone or passport but can comfortably carry cash, cards and copies of your passport without any issue. The Enroute Leg Wallet is larger and can hold a passport or smartphone.
Leg wallets only work when you are wearing loose-fitting trousers. They won’t fit under tight jeans and are, of course, on display when wearing shorts.
Unlike the fanny packs mentioned earlier, these are not designed to be worn under clothes. Rather, they attach around the waist and are on display for all to see. Whilst not the coolest way of keeping your valuables safe, they are popular with travellers for their practicality.
Coming in all shapes, colours and sizes, fanny packs will almost always be big enough for money, keys, phone, passport, credit cards and maybe even a small camera. The variation of styles is never-ending so whether you want a brightly coloured, in your face bag or have a penchant for steampunk and leather, you’ll always be able to find a fanny pack to suit your taste.
Once clipped around your waist, with the pouch at the front, these packs will help prevent pickpockets by making you more aware of your items. Fanny packs such as the PacSafe LS120 are even made of slash-proof materials and have a locking mechanism on the zips to make them some of the most secure on the market. Even the wiliest of pickpockets will have trouble getting through one of these!
Our final alternative to money belts is not really an alternative but something that many travellers use in conjunction with other methods. With your emergency money secure in a money belt, you should carry small amounts of day to day money in a cheap decoy wallet. If you are robbed or pickpocketed at least you are only losing a small amount of cash instead of everything you own!
If possible, leave most of your money, cards and passport locked up in your accommodation. They will be safer in a locker than in any form of hidden pocket that you have. If this is not possible, then be smart and scatter items around your person and not all in the same place!
Don’t forget to travel with a small lock so you can secure lockers in hostels or use it to lock your bag on overnight buses.