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Age Old Question: How to Carry Cash Safely in Bali

Seattle, Washington
11 posts
Age Old Question: How to Carry Cash Safely in Bali

I know this question has been asked here multiple times, but I still want to hear some fresh opinions.

Seems like the majority of people here believe in bringing cash to Bali and exchange as you go. I have never brought so much money in cash anywhere (like, in the thousands of USD as we'll be there for a couple of weeks), so I'm very scared that I'll either lose the money or it will be stolen somehow.

I heard the advice regarding carrying a money belt as well as using the safe at the hotel, but I'm still not 100% comfortable with the idea. Is there any other tips, tricks, or advise you would give to me to be at ease?

Would it be wise to maybe bring just half of the money in cash and then withdraw the rest in a safe atm (attached to a bank)? That way I don't risk losing all my travel money at once? Or are even the atms attached to the banks unsafe?

I just don't want to be worried the entire time I'm there that either I'll lose and/or someone will steal my money or my debit card will get skimmed. Please advise. Thank you!

Edited: 01 August 2018, 22:11
36 replies to this topic
London, United...
Level Contributor
30 posts
28 reviews
1. Re: Age Old Question: How to Carry Cash Safely in Bali

Just withdraw cash there every few days. I wouldn’t withdrew it all a once, that’s a risk anywhere in the world.

Mermaid Beach...
Level Contributor
525 posts
10 reviews
2. Re: Age Old Question: How to Carry Cash Safely in Bali

Hi manfredi. I am going to bali this Sunday. I will be carrying $4000AUD cash. At check in I always get a safe deposit box at the hotel reception on arrival and place my money,passport,travel and insurance documents in there. I can then withdraw as much cash from the box as I need to exchange without carrying it on my person. I have been to bali over 20 times and never had any problems. Richard.

Level Contributor
52 posts
1 review
3. Re: Age Old Question: How to Carry Cash Safely in Bali

I'm with Richard . Don't rely on ATM's. I take all cash and leave it in hotel safe. I only use my card for emergencies. You don't need a money belt only carry around a small amount each day.

Brisbane
Level Contributor
827 posts
56 reviews
4. Re: Age Old Question: How to Carry Cash Safely in Bali

We travelled to Bali last year for the first time and had $3000Au split between my husband and myself in money belts for the trip. It did make us both feel uncomfortable as we are very much cashless at home. Upon arriving at the hotel we put the majority in the hotel safe and changed as needed. We did take our debit cards and did use these at a number of Atm's following a pretty good check of the machine we used and never used atm's in small shops. This year we will again take cash but have also organised with my bank to get a new card which is not attached to our main accounts but one where we can transfer only the amount of money we plan on withdrawing so in the off chance of it being either skimmed or stolen, there will be no funds left in it.

Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
1,242 posts
30 reviews
5. Re: Age Old Question: How to Carry Cash Safely in Bali

We take mostly cash and have a debit card for paying any hotel bills etc but what we do is have only about $200 in our debit card account that we use mainly when travelling and if we use that or need to top it up we do an online transfer from our main bank account so being a debit card instead of a credit card we can only loose the small amount that's in it if it gets scimmed or stolen.

Cape Town, South...
Level Contributor
1,208 posts
35 reviews
6. Re: Age Old Question: How to Carry Cash Safely in Bali

Oh my hat, couldn’t think of anything worse than carrying tons of cash around Bali. I have used a credit Card to withdraw from ATM’S for over ten years and have never had a problem, not just in Bali but also places like, India, Istanbul and Croatia.

If an ATM is attached to a bank l couldn’t see there being any problem, as there is always security around. I do also use my credit card to pay my hotel. I have arrived in many countries with not a cent of the local currency on me and draw cash as needed.

Orange County...
Level Contributor
781 posts
107 reviews
7. Re: Age Old Question: How to Carry Cash Safely in Bali

I might be a bit of a paranoid parrot here, but I've read one too many reviews about money being stolen even from hotel safes to trust them. So personally, I travel with one of those small book sized portable safes that attaches to a fixed object with a cable. I then either find something in the room that I feel confident in attaching it to, that won't be easily taken. Or keep it inside my luggage, which also has a lock on it. So they'd have to get through both locks, or be willing to slash my luggage, only to find another safe they have to get through.

It's still not a fail safe plan, I mean really, if someone wants to get into something badly enough, they can find a way, but it's the option that gives me the least amount of worry leaving my belonging unattended.

And they also double well for taking valuables to the beach, and being able to swim in peace. If someone wants my stuff, they're gonna have to take the whole beach chair with them. haha

You can get them on Amazon for about $20 USD.

Edited: 02 August 2018, 03:47
Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
1,242 posts
30 reviews
8. Re: Age Old Question: How to Carry Cash Safely in Bali

I'm also not overly confident with room safes or front desk security boxes, someone we know had about $1000.00 stolen from a hotel's front desk security box in Vietnam. Sometimes we use the room safe and other times we lock it in our case.

melbourne
Level Contributor
5,016 posts
13 reviews
9. Re: Age Old Question: How to Carry Cash Safely in Bali

We take cash in a money belt while travelling, then put it in the room safe at the hotel. We also take a credit card and use that when we can, for instance paying hotel bill, supermarkets, restaurants etc. we've never had any trouble.

We usually exchange $100 at a time, so we don't get confused about how much Rp we should get in return. And of course follow the guidelines for safe exchange of cash.

Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
1,707 posts
28 reviews
10. Re: Age Old Question: How to Carry Cash Safely in Bali

We take half cash the rest left in a safe account which is transferred to Visa debit when needed.

Also have two wallets. The one I shop with which has a lot of small denomination notes in it and say half days spend. The daily wad of hundreds stays hidden.

Never had an issue with the in room safe etc but still tend to spread my cash around in multiple locations. Some in my bag, in safe, on person and split between wife and I.

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