Fanny pack - yes or no?


Feb 12th, 2006, 08:08 AM
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Fanny pack - yes or no?

What do all you intrepid and seasoned travellers think? Whenever we go places DH always wears this fairly large fanny pack. I absolutely cannot stand it. We are off to Paris and the Dordogne in April and I have not brought it up yet, but I am thinking that it will be a pick pocket/scam artist magnet, especially in Paris. So, I am going to ask him not to wear it. Now, let me say that he is as smart as the next person, maybe even more so, so he may be planning to leave the thing at home.
I know that Paris basically has no more or less crime than any other big city, but, I still want to be careful...
Momliz is offline  
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Feb 12th, 2006, 08:10 AM
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After traveling all around Europe this summer, being extremely cautious, and a friend having her wallet stolen from her purse while on a metro or in the streets (all the while all of us being cautious)...I would say absolutely do NOT wear a fanny pack--too easy of a target! Buy a money belt, and wear a bag that you can hold in front of your chest when on metros, in packed streets, etc.
smilinsnoboarder is offline  
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Feb 12th, 2006, 08:12 AM
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Fanny Pack- a big NO. My opinion ,it screams tourist. Paris is just as safe as anywhere else.
laartista is offline  
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Feb 12th, 2006, 08:34 AM
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I haven't even been to Paris. But, not only are fanny packs just not attractive, they aren't safe. Even if he wears it in the front, somoene can unlatch it from the back in a crowd.

He should buy a money belt. I bought one on Rick Steve's site. It's super light, made of silk, and not expensive. It has a plastic lining in case of rain too.

Personally, I don't like the next things because I think it's annoying to have something hanging on my neck all day. I use a very plain across the shoulder/chest camera bag that hangs in front of me, and the strap can not be cut. Still debating using the money belt myself.
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Feb 12th, 2006, 08:45 AM
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Fanny packs are the scourge of the tourist. I don't know why they are touted as convenient. My philosophy is, just don't carry anything. Of course, I carry cash, and occasionally a credit card, but that goes in my pocket. Passport is in the hotel, and I have no valuables unless I am traveling for a gala event, in which case they get put into the room safe or are made the responsibility of the event's coordinators.

What do you really need while walking around Paris? Or any city for that matter? 1 compact and easy to read map, perhaps a guidebook, your US driver's license (way less valuable than your passport), some cash (distributed among pockets and never more than you plan to use), 1 credit card (leave the others at home unless you are planning a spree), a camera. . . if there are 2 of you going together, pub the bulkies (book, camera) into the purse, and the rest can be distributed as you see fit.

Also, from a female perspective, I would not be seen in public with any man wearing a fanny pack.

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Feb 12th, 2006, 08:50 AM
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Fanny packs are SO tacky looking. Please tell him to leave it at home! the event he insists on bringing it...make sure he doesn't actually call it a "fanny pack" while in europe. I believe in the UK, fanny is slang for a woman's "privates".

Have a good trip!

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Feb 12th, 2006, 08:54 AM
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francophile03 is offline  
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Feb 12th, 2006, 08:54 AM
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As someone who flys to Europe everyweek for work-ABSOLUTELY NOT!!!!!Seriously,you might as well wear a sign that says "Bob and Ethel from smalltown USA who have never traveled overseas before".There are many different ways to carry your valuables-security belts inside of your shirt(Please not the ones hanging down outside of the shirt?) and also the new velcro ones that go under your pants leg below your knee which you can buy at any travel store,Walmart,Target,etc. When one wears a fanny pack overseas you might as well your Disneyworld or Old Style Beer t-shirt to compliment it. Europeans think that they are ridiculous! I will get off my soapbox now....
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Feb 12th, 2006, 09:01 AM
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Even forgetting the "visual factor" and "style question," fanny packs are easy pickings for thieves. I've seen the results (not mine nor my family's, fortunately) of how easy it for a thief to rip off a fanny pack in a matter of seconds.
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Feb 12th, 2006, 09:03 AM
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I don't think it's that horrendous. I don't wear one myself when traveling to Europe, but I've seen lots of other people wearing them, and I know some are European. I have a very close German friend and she wears one and likes it, so I do not agree that Europeans think they are ridiculous. Now she wears it in more rural or sporty situations, like when walking or hiking a lot, things like that. I don't think she would wear one in a major European capital, but never asked her. She told me she likes them because they allow your hands to be free. I think with guys, the issue is more that they can't carry a purse as much as women, and like to have something to put stuff in. Some men use various kind of messenger bags for that purpose, so that's an alternative, if it's just the look you don't like (and I agree with that). It might be okay in the Dordogne, depending what you are doing. As for pickpocketing, I think they may signal you are a target, but if you are just using them to carry stuff and not for really important valuables, they may be convenient.
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Feb 12th, 2006, 09:07 AM
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My husband has his "purse". I bought it for him about 10 years ago after the time we got ready for a driving trip here at home and, honest to god, he came down the stairs ready to go carrying an old pair of multi-pocket shorts in which he'd put all of his necessary junk (glasses cases, knife, GPS, allergy medicine etc.). I'd told I was sick of carrying all his stuff in my purse in additon to all my things. So, this was his solution. Now you know why I bought him the "purse".

So, here is our routine. He wears a good quality, breathable money belt under his clothes. All of the really important stuff stays in there. He has another little item he really likes which is an extra pocket type thing (bought from a travel store). This has 2 loops (one brown and one black to match different belts) so it hangs from his belt and he wears it inside his trousers. An extra supply of cash (in addition to the small amount he carries in a regular pocket)and a credit card go in there. If need be, he can just pull it out in public to gain access. He also has several pairs of travel trousers which have a zipper access to the side pockets.

Then, he carries his "purse" which is an Eagle Creek bag, with padded strap, with multiple pockets. He carries our camera in there, his GPS, knife and corkscrew, sunglasses, a small travel umbrella etc. Obviously, in subways and places that are known for their pickpockets etc. he keeps his arm across it very securely. Our things are as protected as they can be, some are more easily accessible, he looks much more like a local with just a day bag, and he can carry his fair share. We've gotten this routine down to a science and it really works for us.
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Feb 12th, 2006, 09:08 AM
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I've seen non-North-Americans wearing "fanny packs" in various European cities. I don't like to wear them myself, but that's personal. If it makes him feel more comfortable, and he doesn't store anything of significance in it, I'd not make a fuss.
WillTravel is offline  
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Feb 12th, 2006, 09:19 AM
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For cities, no, for hikes and countryside walks, yes.
cmt is offline  
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Feb 12th, 2006, 09:24 AM
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A man-purse! I brought that up and you should have seen the look! No, I think we might go with the camera bag, and use the fanny pack on the bike trip en province, where it should be OK, security wise, and we can compromise (always a good thing, I guess). Got to be stylish in Paris, but we can slide a little elsewhere.
But, you know, cultural symbols really stick. When I mentioned to my sons that the transformers toys that they have or the GI Joes that their friends play with are dolls, there was a furor! lol...
Momliz is offline  
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Feb 12th, 2006, 09:24 AM
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TamaraEden, that plastic lining in the money belt is for sweat not rain!! It's supposed to be worn under your clothing, no chance of getting wet from precipitation... that's perspiration -LOL.
suze is offline  
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Feb 12th, 2006, 09:24 AM
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Whatever you do, don't use the word "fanny" in the UK or in the presence of the British. I did that once and my British friends just about fell onto the floor with laughter. And we weren't even drinking.
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Feb 12th, 2006, 09:29 AM
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I don't use one myself but know several people who do successfully when traveling (gasp1).

I believe the most important thing is to use something you are used to and comfortable with (why I carry my normal purse).

For your husband, sounds like that's his fanny pack. I say if he wants to take it and is secure with that method, leave him be.

People are more likely to lose, misplace, drop, forget, whatever an unfamiliar item (brand new money belt, neck pouch) than are likely to be pickpocketed on the streets of Europe.
suze is offline  
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Feb 12th, 2006, 10:25 AM
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Don;t even think about it. You are marking yourself out as a tourist and a target - and one who doesn;t know how to secure belongings.

It is incredibly easy to get stuff out of these without your knowing - just asking for trouble.

If he must carry half the den around with him - let him get a bandolier style messenger bag that he wears in the front - so you can at least see it if someone tries to take something out.
nytraveler is online now  
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Feb 12th, 2006, 10:32 AM
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I agree with those who say a fanny pack is a bad idea and the reasons have been well stated. So in answer to your post title, my answer is "no".
Flyboy is offline  
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Feb 12th, 2006, 10:47 AM
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Please, let's use some common sense. The answer has to be huge YES!

A backpack is just not big enough for all your essential travel gear: Tiger Sauce, BC powders, pork rinds, grits, GPS, swiss army knife, flares, maps, Dolly Parton fan, American flag, M&M jars, twinkies, poncho, thermal blanket, jock strap, fruit loops, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, pup tent, flares, colman lantern, TV guide, Soap Opera Digest, 3D movie glasses..... .

Use a fanny pack and secure your valuable STUFF!
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