Fanny pack or purse?

Feb 15th, 2001, 06:54 PM
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Fanny pack or purse?

I will be traveling in Italy this summer w/my husband and another couple. I hate the look of the fanny pack but is it much safer than a purse (across the body w/one hand on it at all times)? I live in NYC and have also lived in Paris and traveled around Europe as a college student so I am familiar with safety precautions in big cities. Never had a problem. thanks!
Feb 15th, 2001, 07:09 PM
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I've never worn a fanny pack. I prefer a purse that's designed to be worn across the chest. The zippered pocket on the back (against the abdomen) is where I store my money, passport, etc. The front flap pocket holds the maps, kleenex, etc. With its wide, thick strap I don't worry about a slash and grab, and the zippered pocket would be pretty difficult for a pickpocket to open. I have a canvas one (Calvin Klein $10 at Marshall's) and a black microfiber ($10 Target).
Feb 15th, 2001, 07:14 PM
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I don't think fanny packs are safer than purses abroad--primarily because from what I've heard and seen, women in Europe don't wear/use them, so you're marking yourself as more of a tourist..hence, with stuff to steal. I always carry a shoulder bag with strap long enough to sling across my chest; harder to just grab away from me. For real security, a lot of people recommend money belts, but I find they're a lot more trouble than they're worth. I might use one in an *extremely* high crime area, but since I've carried a purse around every day for 15 years living in Washington, DC, I don't really feel the need to switch to a money belt in Paris.

Oh, and BTW, "fanny pack" is considered vulgar at least in Britain, don't know about the rest of Europe. "Fanny" there refers rather graphically to a part of the female anatomy. (I will never forget the time I first learned this: an American woman got off a tender boat on a cruise, complaining that it had been rather a damp ride and "my fanny is soaked!" Two elderly British women behind her nearly choked until one of the cruise staff explained the idiomatic difference.)
Feb 16th, 2001, 03:40 AM
childish brit
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"fanny pack" Tee hee! snigger! snort!
Feb 16th, 2001, 04:21 AM
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I like to take a backpack on trips. I only just recently discovered how handy they are for trips. I have a very small purse with a long strap that I keep inside the backpack, but occasionally I just grab the purse to take along for just shopping excursions or out to dinner, etc.

Feb 16th, 2001, 05:21 AM
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The fanny pack is one of the easiest, if not THE easiest, bags to take (i.e., rip off/steal/rob) from a person. Heed Elvira's advice.
Feb 16th, 2001, 05:29 AM
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Carolyn, I'm a New Yorker too
and I use something similar to elvira's or gina's bag I guess. Mine is black microfiber, several internal zippered pockets for wallet, tickets, etc.
On the plane it's my carry on bag, while I'm there it's my daily purse. It's also large enough to also hold a guidebook small purchases (postcards, etc) a small bottle of water, and a folding umbrella. THankfully it weighs next to nothing when it's empty.
Feb 16th, 2001, 05:39 AM
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Another vote for a purse - looks better and no easier to steal. I've seen people here in Chicago try to slit the bottom of fanny packs and backpacks and take things out of the bottom - I suppose when I'm not around to scream at them, they might be successful. Wearing the bag in the front would make that manoeuver impossible, but I'm still recommending a purse. The very fact that you ask the question means that you'll probably be so aware of your surrounding that it won't be a problem...
Feb 16th, 2001, 06:41 AM
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OK, now I understand why Fanny Hill was such a hot novel in Britain.
Feb 16th, 2001, 07:26 AM
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I think fanny packs simply scream "I'm a tourist," and that contributes to vulnerability. I carry a medium-sized black leather backpack with a combination zipper/drawstring/snaplock that makes it hard to get into. Inside that, I carry a small over-the-shoulder bag big enough for money and passports and other essentials - if I don't need the backpack, I just carry the smaller bag. I'm in Europe for weeks every year and have never had a problem.
Feb 16th, 2001, 07:35 AM
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You simply must use a fanny pack, it's the perfect bag if you are wearing tennis shoes, baseball cap ensemble. Nothing less will due!

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