The Genius Lip Balm Hack For Protecting Your Money While Traveling

It's a sad reality that pickpockets thrive in crowded places where they know tourists will be preoccupied with sightseeing. Backpackers accustomed to staying in hostels should also know that sharing a fridge with strangers or bunking in the same dorm room can sometimes lead to missing items if you're not careful. There are all sorts of reasons why you might want to tuck away a little extra cash somewhere while traveling.

Money belts and bras, hidden pockets, and dummy wallets are all good options, but why not have a little more fun with it? Pretend you're a secret agent, off on some globetrotting adventure. Your travel mission, should you choose to accept it, is to thwart sticky-fingered thieves. And here's how you do it: Lip balm. Or, more specifically, an empty lip balm tube. It's the kind of inconspicuous toiletry that most people take with them on a trip, and it could just be your new favorite travel hack.

How to stash your cash in an empty lip balm tube

A hollowed-out lip balm tube is indeed an effective method for concealing cash on your travels. By virtue of their design, you can even work it so that when you twist the bottom of the tube, it slides your money out like some new-fangled, cash-dispensing gadget designed for James Bond.

Since it's a sin to waste lip balm (or so moms have been known to say), consider using the stuff before repurposing the tube. The Hartford recommends taking a screwdriver to the inside of the tube to get out any leftover balm. Then, you can wash it out and commence rolling bills.

You'll need to leave a hole in the center of the bill roll for the plastic part inside the tube (which is usually lanced through the lip balm, holding it up). But if you do it right, the money should fit around that, leaving you with a tube of emergency funds in case disaster strikes. Just don't lose the tube!

Is it really worth the hassle?

If scooping lip balm out of its tube sounds like more trouble than it's worth, think of it this way: You only have to do it once. The same lip balm tube is reusable and probably durable enough that it could become a lifelong travel companion, if you're kind to it.

Studies have shown that money is best spent on experiences rather than souvenirs when you're away on a trip. That's how you create memories, though you won't be able to afford many experiences if you get relieved of your precious cash. With any luck, you'll never have to deal with thieves on your travels, but even if you do, they're unlikely to inspect your lip balm tube in the heat of the moment.

The question remains: What if you're somewhere dry and you need real lip balm, too? Won't it be a dead giveaway that one of your two lip balm tubes is a decoy? Well, not necessarily. If you have a purse with lipstick and other cosmetics in it, what thief is going to take the time to closely inspect them all while looking over their shoulder? If anything, more lip balm just adds another safety net.