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better than a money belt (in my humble opinion)

better than a money belt (in my humble opinion)

Old Jul 8th, 2006, 08:33 AM
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better than a money belt (in my humble opinion)

Hi Fodorites,

I just came back from a two week trip in Italy. I had read here (and elsewhere) to beware of pickpocketers, and I guess I took it to heart because before my trip I had bought two money belts and neck style pouches to secure money, passports, credit cards, etc. After my husband looked at them, and then picked himself off the floor from laughting at me, he informed me that he would not use either. According to DH, "I've traveled all around the world and never gotten robbed", so it became clear that I would have to become the keeper of the valuables on this trip. Only problem was, I really didn't like wearing those money belt/neck pouch items either.

I found a really good solution, and would like to share it with folks here. I found a very smartly designed across the body type bag that I felt very secure with. It has an unbelievable number of pockets and interior compartments for carrying and organizing lots of stuff that you travel with (in addition to wallet, I carry maps, a guide book, a small travel dictionary, a 3x5" notebook, pens, gum, kleenex, wipes, a change purse, glasses, sunscreen, cellphone, a camera, extra batteries, extra memory card, and who knows what else, and had space for all this!), but more to the point, I kept my passports and larger currency and credit cards in a zippered interior pocket(inside another zippered pocket) that no one could easily find or know about unless they had this bag, and kept smaller bills and change in a little change purse in a more accessable zippered pocket, and felt completely secure about this arrangement.

The bag is very compact and lightweight, even with all the stuff I carry, and after my first few days I ditched the totebag I also had with me and only carried this bag. It is designed to be worn with the strap
across the body, with the bag part in the front, and I simply kept my hand securely resting around the strap and don't believe that anyone could get try to get in it without my knowing. Another option is to wear it with the front flap facing your body, and then it is even more secure. I also don't think anyone could easily rip it off your body, because besides going across your body, the strap webbing is light but seems very strong and secure. Anyway, I always felt very safe (and well organized) using it, and now I wouldn't travel with anything else.

FYI, This bag wasn't cheap, but extremely well made-- it is called the TUMI T-Tech Flap Body Bag, or something like that. You can see it at the TUMI website...the address is:

http://www.tumi.com/tumi/flap_body_b...?modelid=41710

I got it in blue in a store, but on the website I see they have other colors.

PS Anyone want to buy a never-used money belt or neck pouch?!

Happy travels

Ronnie
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Old Jul 8th, 2006, 09:08 AM
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Ronnie---just checked out the TUMI website. Cool bags! I've been looking for something like it for a while. Thanks for the post. Judy
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Old Jul 8th, 2006, 09:30 AM
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Nice bag, Ijust ordered a different bag from Magellans but if it is not quite right I may try this out. Thanks Barb
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Old Jul 8th, 2006, 09:34 AM
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I have a money belt in a way, except it's much nicer. It's a small rectangular pouch with two tabs that you hook onto you belt, you then fold it down your pant leg. No belts around your waist or the such. It's quite comfortable except it seems to get a little damp from being down below.
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Old Jul 8th, 2006, 09:42 AM
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Nice bag. I was checking it out at Nordstroms when I was in Boston a few weeks back. Should have gotten it instead as it might have survived better than my cute green bag. Not that I'm bitter or anything...
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Old Jul 8th, 2006, 09:49 AM
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mcnyc,

the blue one I got is on sale (end of season clearance) on the website. Since mine survived two weeks of travel without even a pizza sauce stain, maybe you should get it for your next adventure
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Old Jul 8th, 2006, 09:51 AM
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We have been carrying Tumi luggage for years (although not this piece). It is incredibly durable and well engineered; the zippers still zip, the wheels still roll, and there are no tears in the nylon.

We have a rack of lesser quality bags in the basement that are no longer used. Tumi is worth the investment.
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Old Jul 8th, 2006, 10:19 AM
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Just a couple of comments. The statement "no one could easily find or know about unless they had this bag" assumes that professional thieves never go into luggage stores to learn how bags are constructed. I'm not sure that's a safe assumption.

And the assertion "I've traveled all around the world and never gotten robbed" reveals a naïveté verging on the Pollyannish, as it's also true of every person who gets robbed the first time.
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Old Jul 8th, 2006, 11:02 AM
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In 2000, I got a similar one in black at Target for $25. and take it on every trip.
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Old Jul 8th, 2006, 11:18 AM
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Aren't TUMI's bags quite expensive ? At least they are here in Swizerland.
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Old Jul 8th, 2006, 11:35 AM
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I bought a cute Echo bag from TJ Maxx for my trip and it looks very similar to yours. It is black on the outside/ hot pink of the inside w/ lots of compartments. I bought a moneybelt but I am not hip on wearing it. I haven't decided.... The bag is made of parachute material and could squish up to a small size for packing purposes. I'll let you know how it holds out for me when I return.
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Old Jul 8th, 2006, 12:03 PM
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Thanks ronnie56, but I think I'm too late. It's no longer on sale. However, I did find a messenger bag that I could use...I wish I could stop being a shopaholic. I think I have more bags than God now...
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Old Jul 8th, 2006, 12:05 PM
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Never mind. I did find it. Woohoo!!!
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Old Jul 8th, 2006, 12:06 PM
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Brando, DH has the same type of money. Eagle Creek brand. He's used it for years and has thrown everything else away. His tucks in, like a shirt, but only goes down maybe 5-6 inches, not down his leg.

ronnie56, thanks for the tip. I just may get one. I am a luggage, travel accessory junkie.

We love our Tumi luggage and have used it for years. It still is in excellent condtition even after being checked in zillions of times. It is expensive, but hey, it's only money ;-)

Years ago on my first trip to Italy, everyone scared me to death with their pickpocket stories. I bought a leg spandex leg pouch thingy that you slipped on and wore mid thigh. It obviously could only be worn under pants, it would defeat the purpose if you wore it with a dress ;-)

The next morning after seeing it, the office jokester, while reading the morning paper, suddenly shouted out, "Oh my Gawd, they have been finding murdered tourists in Rome with their right legs cut off!"

I loved that leg thingy and it served me well for numerous trips after that. Then I got married and DH wears a money belt.

Nina
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Old Jul 8th, 2006, 12:18 PM
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Unfortunately, there are two well-known methods of defeating the "cross-the-body" bags:

They are periodically snatched by thieves riding by on mopeds;their straps have also been slashed with knives.

Moneybelts work because they are out of sight.

I'm happty to hear your DH has never been robbed...give it time, though
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Old Jul 8th, 2006, 01:30 PM
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I do agree DH's claim is a bit naive; in his favor he is a bit of a road warrier (trip to Italy for 4 was made with his airline points) so he does have a bit of street cred. But just to be safe, I carried the valuables.

Also I may have been a bit overanxious about the prevelence of street thieves. The first day of our trip a disheveled looking old man walked up to us (near us?) in Rome, and I grabbed my bag yelling "Va Via!" (Go Away!) at the top of my lungs. My family looked at me as if I had two heads, and told me I had seriously better relax about the pickpocketing thing.

It became a running joke in our family...because I couldn't help but remind my family that according to what I read, lots of pickpocketers hung out at the train station, on the Rialto bridge, etc. I must say, though, that while I saw lots of gypsies begging,and lots of graffiti in general on the streets, I always did feel safe (after the first "va via" incident) and began to relax a bit.

I had also heard about the mopeds riding by and snatching shoulder bags, and/or slashing the straps. What can I say, other than that
I felt secure holding my bag closely across the body, and with the strenght on the webbing of the strap on my bag, didn't see how anyone could easily do that.

I guess the message is be aware of your surroundings, but go enjoy yourself.

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Old Jul 8th, 2006, 02:17 PM
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I have used several of the Travelon bags from QVC shopping, I believe the shoulder bag might be #10350, have it in many colors and have in other textures. It is an over the shoulder bag ;with all the elements of this tumi bag and quite inexpensive. I wouldn't take a trip to Europe without one. You might look it up. Halfpint
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Old Jul 8th, 2006, 02:31 PM
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Ronnie's bag is on sale at the Tumi website:

http://tinyurl.com/g8c3z
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Old Jul 8th, 2006, 02:53 PM
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Halfpint, I have a similar leather Travelon bag #F9809, purchased from QVC and found it perfect on my last Paris trip. It holds alot and cost less than $20.00, when I bought it. In cold weather you wear it under your coat for improved security.

There is a similar bag on HSN, item #891-778
http://tinyurl.com/je7f2
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Old Jul 8th, 2006, 03:03 PM
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My husband and I have used money belts for years now. We wear them under our clothes at the back and always carry currency, passport, credit cards and E111 cards in them. We only get passports out just before we need them and replace them as soon as possible once we are through customs. In addition we have a copy of our travel insurance policy certificate and our flight reference numbers. We just carry enough currency for the day in a small purse in a light daysack. I do have a bag similar to the one described by Ronnie which has a belt and a strap. I usually use this on travelling days and ditch the daysack as we have our main luggage with us.
We always have copies of the identification page of passports and insurance documents back at the hotel.
I can't say that the belt is 100% comfortable but once we started using it we realised that we felt much more secure and didn't need to worry.
I think that some guide books tend to overplay the pickpocket/thieving aspects of some city holidays but such incidents can have a devastating effect on the victims. Not least because getting new passports, booking flights and getting funds can take days.
Our philosophy has been to think through our security, decide what to do and then to relax.
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