Forum
Buying gear? Please use these links to help 14ers.com:

More info...

Other ways to help...

International Travel/Money Belts

Discussion area for peaks outside of the USA.
User avatar
Posts: 1516
Joined: Thu Aug 04, 2005 8:10 am
Location: Congress Park

Re: International Travel/Money Belts

Postby fleetmack » Thu May 03, 2012 7:16 am

i just keep everything in cargo pockets, preferably zipped... but usually velcro-ed or buttoned
"Cynicism and ill-humored opinion have built a stronghold called the message board. Sweet mother of God, see a f***ing shrink, people."
--Corey Taylor

User avatar
Posts: 1914
Joined: Fri Oct 14, 2005 12:55 pm

Re: International Travel/Money Belts

Postby Jon Frohlich » Thu May 03, 2012 8:57 am

gdthomas wrote:If someone is desperate enough to rob you there may not be much you can do about it, but it rarely happens even in third-world countries. The vast majority of money "theft" is accomplished by stealth or distraction. A money belt worn under your clothing to the front and a bit of vigilance will go along way toward preventing someone from stealing your valuables.


In the case of serious violent crime I agree that none of these measures are really going to do much good. If they want to get all your stuff they can always take all your clothes and figure it out later. Most of these ideas will just help petty theft and snatch and grab situations.

You can only protect yourself to a degree. After that just give everything to them and hope for the best.

User avatar
Posts: 1439
Joined: Wed Jun 29, 2005 9:17 am
Location: Dillon

Re: International Travel/Money Belts

Postby TravelingMatt » Thu May 03, 2012 10:32 am

gdthomas wrote:If someone is desperate enough to rob you there may not be much you can do about it, but it rarely happens even in third-world countries.


Actually I'd say petty property crime happens far more often in other countries than in the US. I've witnessed, and been a victim of, several incidents in other countries. Mostly this has been in "first-world" countries too. It's a career in places such as London and Paris the way it really isn't in, say, Chicago, much less Denver or Summit County.
So pleas'd at first the towering Alps we try,
Mount o'er the vales, and seem to tread the sky,
Th' increasing prospects tire our wand'ring eyes,
Hills peep o'er hills, and Alps on Alps arise!
-- Alexander Pope

User avatar
Posts: 5272
Joined: Wed May 04, 2005 10:46 am
Location: Craig

Re: International Travel/Money Belts

Postby Scott P » Thu May 03, 2012 11:24 am

Scott, of the thousands of times I have agreed with you over the years, this is probably the first I have not! I suppose there is always a first. While most of the world MAY be safer than Denver for residents of those parts of the world, I would argue that most of the world is much more dangerous than Denver if you are a traveler from America, which is what we are discussing here.


I would have to disagree, though I agree that the places you list are some of the many exceptions (though they don’t add up to be most of the world in either population or area).

If I were to divide it up, here’s how I would list them.

More dangerous than Denver (crime or violence wise):

Washington DC, Detroit, St Louis, Compton, etc.

Large cities in Central and South America (just about all of them).

Border regions in Mexico (all of them).

Some rural areas of Peru, Colombia, Ecuador, Guatamala, Honduras and Venezuela.

Jamaica

Larger cities in Dominican Republic.

Larger cities in Puerto Rico.

Trinidad

Parts of Eastern Europe (including Russia).

Large cities in East Africa (almost all of them). Most tourist areas as well. Places around Kili and the Sarengeti (for example) have a high crime rate while those in more isolated areas have a low crime rate.

Somalia

North Sudan and border regions.

South Africa (entire country) and surrounding regions.

Parts of West Africa and Central Africa are more dangerous (especially places like Lagos/Nigeria), while others are safer (such as most of Ghana). It’s a mixed bag.

Iraq

All of Afghanistan is dangerous.

Papua New Guinea (especially the large cities, but other areas as well). This may be the most dangerous of all.

Safer than Denver (crime or violence wise):

Nearly all of Canada.

Nearly all rural areas in the United States and many of the cities as well. Most of the United States is safer than Denver.

With the exception of parts of Peru, Colombia, Ecuador, Honduras, Guatamala, Venezuela and the border regions of Mexico most rural areas in Latin America are overall safer than Denver. Statistically, Nicaragua is the 2nd safest country in all of the Western Hemisphere.

Much of the Caribbean (there are several exceptions though, especially the ones listed above)

Most of Western Europe (especially Northern Europe) is safer from violent crime than places like Denver, but stats can get skewed crime rates vs violent crime rates and reported crimes. For example, on some list Canada has a (bogus) higher crime rate than South Africa, but Canada is far safer.

As mentioned, Central and West Africa are a mixed bag with some areas being safer and some more dangerous. Most of Northern Africa is probably safer, but there are exceptions.

With the exception of Iraq all areas Americans are allowed to travel in the Middle East (even Iran if done legally) are overall safer. For example, Americans aren’t allowed in places like Saudi unless invitation for business, if you are Islamic or for military.

Most areas in Central Asia and Siberia are overall safer, but there are areas where it is much more dangerous, especially in border regions and areas with Islamic extremist.

Parts of Pakistan might be more dangerous (than Denver), but others are safer.

Most of China and India (the vast majority) are far safer than Denver. A few exceptions are some isolated areas in Jammu and Kashmir.

The majority of Southeast Asia is far safer as well, but there are a few scattered dangerous areas around some of the larger cities.

In far East Asia such as Indonesia (with the exception of some areas on New Guinea), Japan, Taiwan and South Korea it is usually much safer. The large cities of the Philippines can have a higher risk rate as can travelling to some of the Sothern Islands.

Excluding Papua New Guinea and the perhaps some large cities in Hawaii, nearly all of the Pacific (including New Zealand) is safer than Denver. There are very few exceptions.

Some of Australia has a higher crime rate in some respects, but murder rates are far higher in Denver.
I'm slow and fat. Unfortunately, those are my good qualities.

User avatar
Posts: 771
Joined: Tue Jun 06, 2006 8:28 pm
Location: Denver

Re: International Travel/Money Belts

Postby Neil » Thu May 03, 2012 12:28 pm

You make some good points -- responses in CAPS:

More dangerous than Denver (crime or violence wise):

Washington DC, Detroit, St Louis, Compton, etc. -- AGREE.

Large cities in Central and South America (just about all of them). -- AGREE

Border regions in Mexico (all of them). -- DEFINITELY AGREE, but would include certain parts of the interior, especially in the north and south

Some rural areas of Peru, Colombia, Ecuador, Guatamala, Honduras and Venezuela. -- AGREE, but would include Panama (especially the Darien Gap and surrounding region)

Jamaica -- AGREE.

Larger cities in Dominican Republic. -- AGREE

Larger cities in Puerto Rico. -- AGREE

Trinidad -- AGREE

Parts of Eastern Europe (including Russia). SOMEWHAT AGREE; I'd say much of Eastern Europe, especially bigger cities. Russia mainly west of the Urals (still a pretty big area) and especially near the Georgian border

Large cities in East Africa (almost all of them). Most tourist areas as well. Places around Kili and the Sarengeti (for example) have a high crime rate while those in more isolated areas have a low crime rate. AGREE.

Somalia -- AGREE, except for the actual city of Hargeisa in Somaliland and the immediately surrounding area.

North Sudan and border regions. AGREE, and would include South Sudan as the war drums with the North are beating louder and the crime rates are increasing in Juba.

South Africa (entire country) and surrounding regions. VERY MUCH AGREE, except for maybe Botswana.

Parts of West Africa and Central Africa are more dangerous (especially places like Lagos/Nigeria), while others are safer (such as most of Ghana). It’s a mixed bag. AGREE/DISAGREE. The vast majority of West and Central Africa are more dangerous, in my opinion. Maybe parts of Ghana, Senegal, Gabon, and The Gambia are safer, but HUGE swaths are not: Nigeria, Mauritania, Mali, Niger, Burkina Faso, C.A.R., Chad, DRC, just to name some. Some of the more dangerous parts of the world occupy much of Central and West Africa.

Iraq -- AGREE, except for parts of Kurdistan.

All of Afghanistan is dangerous. AGREE FOR SURE!

Papua New Guinea (especially the large cities, but other areas as well). This may be the most dangerous of all. -- AGREE, but would put it up against parts of Central Africa, such as the DRC.

Safer than Denver (crime or violence wise):

Nearly all of Canada. AGREE.

Nearly all rural areas in the United States and many of the cities as well. Most of the United States is safer than Denver. YEAH, THE STATS HERE GET MUDDY. MAINLY AGREE, but I was originally discussing points outside the U.S.

With the exception of parts of Peru, Colombia, Ecuador, Honduras, Guatamala, Venezuela and the border regions of Mexico most rural areas in Latin America are overall safer than Denver. Statistically, Nicaragua is the 2nd safest country in all of the Western Hemisphere. AGREE, although Colombia and Venezuela are pretty big chunks, at least it seemed like it when I was there.

Much of the Caribbean (there are several exceptions though, especially the ones listed above) -- AGREE, not much land area or population.

Most of Western Europe (especially Northern Europe) is safer from violent crime than places like Denver, but stats can get skewed crime rates vs violent crime rates and reported crimes. For example, on some list Canada has a (bogus) higher crime rate than South Africa, but Canada is far safer. AGREEish, some urban centers of Western Europe would give Denver a run.

As mentioned, Central and West Africa are a mixed bag with some areas being safer and some more dangerous. Most of Northern Africa is probably safer, but there are exceptions. AGREE/DISAGREE -- like I said above, I think nearly all of Central and West Africa is more dangerous. Much of Libya and Algeria, in my opinion, are certainly not safer, especially now that certain breakaway and terrorist factions operate in southern Algeria, and those are two of North Africa's biggest countries.

With the exception of Iraq all areas Americans are allowed to travel in the Middle East (even Iran if done legally) are overall safer. For example, Americans aren’t allowed in places like Saudi unless invitation for business, if you are Islamic or for military. AGREE/DISAGREE. I've traveled throughout the Gulf, of course with the exception of Saudi, and it seemed very safe, especially UAE and Oman. However, Yemen is easily more dangerous, Israel and the Occupied Territories are arguably more dangerous, depending on your metric, open warfare is happening in parts of Syria (that doesn't happen in Denver!), and Lebanon, while safe while I was there in 2010, can change at the drop of a pin thanks to internal political divisions, proximity to Israel, and the presence of Palestinian camps.

Most areas in Central Asia and Siberia are overall safer, but there are areas where it is much more dangerous, especially in border regions and areas with Islamic extremist. AGREE, but at times, a big chunk of the Stans is more dangerous, especially further south.

Parts of Pakistan might be more dangerous (than Denver), but others are safer. AGREE/DISAGREE -- some isolated areas in the mountains are probably safer, but the Tribal Areas, NWFP, and Balochistan are a large portion of that country, I sure wouldn't go there! Other areas outside of the north are also more dangerous.

Most of China and India (the vast majority) are far safer than Denver. A few exceptions are some isolated areas in Jammu and Kashmir. AGREE.

The majority of Southeast Asia is far safer as well, but there are a few scattered dangerous areas around some of the larger cities. AGREE

In far East Asia such as Indonesia (with the exception of some areas on New Guinea), Japan, Taiwan and South Korea it is usually much safer. The large cities of the Philippines can have a higher risk rate as can travelling to some of the Sothern Islands. AGREE.

Excluding Papua New Guinea and the perhaps some large cities in Hawaii, nearly all of the Pacific (including New Zealand) is safer than Denver. There are very few exceptions. AGREE.

Some of Australia has a higher crime rate in some respects, but murder rates are far higher in Denver. AGREE.

SO, I THINK I AGREE WITH YOU WHEN THE METRIC IS POPULATION OF A COUNTRY, THANKS TO CHINA AND INDIA. BUT STILL THINK THAT MOST OF THE WORLD IS MORE DANGEROUS THAN DENVER FOR AMERICANS. MY FOCUS IS THE INCREASED RISK YOU HAVE BEING AN AMERICAN IN OVER 50% OF THE WORLD. ANYWAY, THANKS FOR THE INTERESTING ANALYSIS.
"On the edge of the porch in the warm evening night
Throwing the bone for the dog I see two passing lights
Well, I wonder where that driver's bound
Is there someone, somewhere, someway out there that I've not found"
-Driving Song

User avatar
Posts: 5272
Joined: Wed May 04, 2005 10:46 am
Location: Craig

Re: International Travel/Money Belts

Postby Scott P » Fri May 04, 2012 10:33 am

SO, I THINK I AGREE WITH YOU WHEN THE METRIC IS POPULATION OF A COUNTRY, THANKS TO CHINA AND INDIA. BUT STILL THINK THAT MOST OF THE WORLD IS MORE DANGEROUS THAN DENVER FOR AMERICANS. MY FOCUS IS THE INCREASED RISK YOU HAVE BEING AN AMERICAN IN OVER 50% OF THE WORLD. ANYWAY, THANKS FOR THE INTERESTING ANALYSIS.


I would actually disagree on both accounts whether by population or area, but only because we are looking at it differently. We actually agree on which areas of the world are more dangerous or safer, but not on how each side adds up to 50%. To me, either way it’s added up, it would be much lower than 50% that are more dangerous. By population, even one region China-India-Japan (all of which are astronomically safer than Denver violent crime wise) is almost 40% of the world population alone. Factor in Southeast Asia (and few places there would be more dangerous than Denver) to add to this and you have about ½ of the world population. Even without adding the rest up, it's nearly enough to tip the balance.

By area the discrepancy would be even greater. For example, as you pointed out, it may be true that the largest cities in Russia may pose a greater risk, but then again the large cities in Russia cover less than 1% of the land area. You would have to add (all or most of) the border regions as well. As with Colorado, most of the land area of the world is actually rural or unpopulated, and the risk of violent crimes in sparsely or unpopulated areas is pretty low in most of the world.

To sum it up, I think it would be fair to say that most of the dangerous areas of the world are the big cities in Latin America, the big cities in Africa as well as much of the rural areas in Africa as well (especially in war torn regions) and those other areas in war torn regions (especially civil war) and we would agree on this. However, my statement was never meant to be a city to city comparison, but rather a city to the entire rest of the world comparison.

Using Mexico as a good example, the country overall has a high crime rate, but most of the crime is in the big cities, border regions and some rural areas. Any of those places would be many times riskier than Denver. On the other hand, I would still not hesitate to make the statement that most of Mexico (not cities and the other mentioned places) is still safer than Denver.

Whenever I go somewhere, worldwide, including in the United States, my first priority is almost always to get out of the city ASAP (even in safe cities). Seldom do I spend more than a day in any large city when I travel and usually it’s less time than that though there have been exceptions (Hong Kong, Singapore, Bangkok, Agra and Madrid for example). It is true that some rural areas in the world are dangerous (such as parts of Africa and Latin America and war zones as mentioned above), but these are the exception rather than the rule.

Even in some place like El Salvador, you can get out of the city quickly and into the mountains. I seriously doubt that anyone’s going to be waiting for me on some mountain top waiting to rob the odd climber that may pass through every month or two.

Anyway, like you I hesitate to post anything negative in these regions. There are few places I’ve travelled to that I don’t have a desire to go back to. High crime rates vs. low crime rates aren’t always the only consideration either. Personally, I have no desire to go back to Agra or Delhi even if they are considered safe. On the flip side, I found the people of El Salvador to be the warmest and friendliest in all of Latin America. Nairobi is probably my least favorite place and perhaps the least friendly that I’ve been to (and not only because someone tried to steal our packs and me met someone who was robbed), but Budadiri (Uganda), which really isn’t that far away is by far and away the friendliest place I have been (even including rural Nepal).

A few comments:

AGREE, but would include Panama (especially the Darien Gap and surrounding region)


I did my post on my lunch break so didn’t have a map in front of me or that much time, but you are absolutely correct. The Darien Gap is surely the most dangerous area of all of rural Central America.


Russia mainly west of the Urals (still a pretty big area) and especially near the Georgian border


As mentioned, most of the crime is in the big cities which cover less than 1% of the area.You could certainly add the border regions as well (especially Georgia, but others as well). The majority of rural Russia tends to be rather safe (violent crime wise) which is most of the country. I never had experience with crime in Russia, but I am not fond of the big cities there.

Maybe parts of Ghana, Senegal, Gabon, and The Gambia are safer


Perhaps much (not all) of Cameroon as well.

Iraq -- AGREE, except for parts of Kurdistan.


I’ve been told by both some of the Iraqis and Turks that the PKK in the region is probably more active than the US is willing to admit.

AGREE, although Colombia and Venezuela are pretty big chunks, at least it seemed like it when I was there.


Yes. If interested, believe it or not, Colombia has recently become safer than some other South America for tourist (at least the ones avoiding the drug trade). Most of the danger is currently confined to fairly small areas which can be avoided and you still have to be careful. When we were in Venezuela in 1996, it was considered one of the safest countries in South America, now it is one of the most dangerous.


AGREE/DISAGREE -- like I said above, I think nearly all of Central and West Africa is more dangerous. Much of Libya and Algeria, in my opinion, are certainly not safer, especially now that certain breakaway and terrorist factions operate in southern Algeria, and those are two of North Africa's biggest countries.


I haven’t been to either and big changes have happened in Libya in recent months so my info is probably out of date. At last report from friends though, most of the country is considered safe. Algeria seems to have so many mixed reports that it’s hard to sort them all out. Personally, I would go there.

There are still several areas in West Africa that I would still go to.

I've traveled throughout the Gulf, of course with the exception of Saudi, and it seemed very safe, especially UAE and Oman. However, Yemen is easily more dangerous, Israel and the Occupied Territories are arguably more dangerous, depending on your metric, open warfare is happening in parts of Syria (that doesn't happen in Denver!), and Lebanon, while safe while I was there in 2010, can change at the drop of a pin thanks to internal political divisions, proximity to Israel, and the presence of Palestinian camps.


You are absolutely right and I strongly agree. As mentioned I wrote the post quickly and didn’t list every country and didn’t get all of them. I certainly should have listed Yemen, Israel and agree with all the other ones on the list.

I still don’t think all of these would add up to close to half the world though. If you marked them all in red on a world map, it wouldn’t be close to half. You could probably still be fair and color entire countries like Afghanistan, South Africa or Congo red, but you couldn’t color entire countries like Russia or even Mexico in red (but they would have red areas marked), at least in my opinion.

Hope you found this interesting.
I'm slow and fat. Unfortunately, those are my good qualities.

User avatar
Posts: 488
Joined: Sat Jul 31, 2004 12:50 pm
Location: Denver, CO

Re: International Travel/Money Belts

Postby Nathan Hale » Sat May 05, 2012 2:47 am

I'm not sure that's a very good comparison, really, particularly without a defined metric of what "dangerous" means. For example, if petty theft is the risk being considered then most major cities in western Europe are a much bigger risk than Denver.

Obviously most of the world in terms of area is safer than Denver, since it's mostly water. And even on land it's obviously mostly safer (at least from people) than Denver because it's sparsely populated in a most places. So obviously most of the world would not be colored red. But for that matter, very very little of Denver would be colored red, either. The Denver County highpoint, for example, is extraordinarily safe. And that's ignoring the fact that many violent crimes that do occur are gang violence or between people who know each other and thus don't really increase your risk factor very much unless you're in a gang.

I also think that it would be hard to find actual statistics to back any of this up beyond anecdotal evidence and feelings though, particularly since in much of the developing world, i.e. the place in question, any statistics on crime and etc. would be very poorly kept compared to the US or Europe.
But for now we are young, let us lay in the sun and count every beautiful thing we can see.

http://mtns.nathan-hale.com

User avatar
Posts: 5272
Joined: Wed May 04, 2005 10:46 am
Location: Craig

Re: International Travel/Money Belts

Postby Scott P » Sat May 05, 2012 7:32 am

Obviously most of the world in terms of area is safer than Denver, since it's mostly water. And even on land it's obviously mostly safer (at least from people) than Denver because it's sparsely populated in a most places. So obviously most of the world would not be colored red. But for that matter, very very little of Denver would be colored red, either. The Denver County highpoint, for example, is extraordinarily safe. And that's ignoring the fact that many violent crimes that do occur are gang violence or between people who know each other and thus don't really increase your risk factor very much unless you're in a gang.


Here is the original statement:

Most of the world is safer than places like Denver. The cities in East Africa are not one of those places. Of all the places we've travelled throughout the world, Nairobi and Los Angeles (CA) are the only places where people have tried to rob/steal from us. That shouldn't scare you, but take care and use precautions.

Even if you ignore the sparsley populated areas in the dangerous areas for the sake of argument, even just adding the area of 50% (which is a very conservative number) of Europe + 75% (and a conservative number at that) of Asia + Australia + Antarctica + Canada + Nicaragua + 75% (another conservative number) of the United States, it would still be over 50% of the world.

The real point is not that Denver is extremely dangerous (it isn't), but that the risk in most (not all) of the rest of the world tends to get exaggerated. I can't count how many times I've heard people (including on this forum) that live in a major metro area (such as Denver) in the US, but are afraid to travel outside the US (check out some of the threads on the Mexican Volcanoes for example). Since the original poster is going to East Africa is was important to state that it has a higher risk factor (though he shouldn't be scared, but should be cautious).
Last edited by Scott P on Fri May 11, 2012 4:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.
I'm slow and fat. Unfortunately, those are my good qualities.

User avatar
Posts: 187
Joined: Tue May 08, 2007 4:37 pm
Location: Houston TX

Re: International Travel/Money Belts

Postby emcee smith » Sat May 05, 2012 8:49 am

Tipping is expected around Kili. That said...one thing that I wish I would have done is take more $1 bills or 0.5/1/2 Euro coins. I never really felt comfortable pulling out a bunch of bills to find a $1; would have rather had a pocket with only $1 bills or the coins so that whatever you pull out you know ahead of time approximately how much you have in your hand without fumbling.

I had a pair of pants with an internal zippered pocket and kept my passport, wallet, and big bills in there. I didn't carry a money belt.

I also second someones comment about looking poor. It is nice to have the new hiking pants and tech shirt, and wearing them certainly reduces your suitcase, but if I were going again, I would find an old t-shirt/shorts/shoes for the town days. People did seem to get noticed more in quality (expensive) clothes.

For the Kili area specifically, learn the Swahili for

No Thanks - Hapana Asante
Thanks - Asante
Hello - Jambo

Maybe a few other phrases as well. I found that saying Hapana Asante got people to leave me alone most of the time. I didn't stay out after dark; but during the day I felt much safer in Tanzania than my expectations.
"Chug a luggin up one side, glidin down the other, [I'm] a lover of the other side of the hill"

User avatar
Posts: 163
Joined: Wed Aug 23, 2006 1:54 am
Location: Boulder

Re: International Travel/Money Belts

Postby Kevo » Sat May 05, 2012 11:44 am

Like many have said, you really don't need to be worried unless you are in really sketchy areas. Almost all first world countries are safer than most places in the US. Many third world countries are safer than places like Washington DC for things like violent crime and robbery.

In more high risk places I keep old credit/debit cards that are canceled but not expired as well as a drivers license from a previous address that isn't expired in a throw away wallet with a small amount of local currency for day to day spending. I'll pull cash out of said fake wallet to pay for day to day things in public places.

In the event that someone tries to rob me, I'll toss them the fake wallet and they'll only get away with the small amount of local currency.

Real credit cards, more cash and my passport are stored in various places, such as an under the pants fanny pack style low profile security belt, an underarm holster and hidden pockets inside luggage at the hotel/guest house.

I'd recommend against anything that you might were around your neck- it can be used to strangle you and it is much more obvious than other options.

Previous

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests