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Ladies- carrying stuff without using a purse?

Ladies- carrying stuff without using a purse?

Jun 6th, 2006, 07:08 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 83
Ladies- carrying stuff without using a purse?

What have been your successful ways to carry
items that you usually use a purse (without carrying one?)

I have been warned pickpockets are in some areas I will be visitng. I may be paranoid, but I'd rather err on the side of caution. I have a $ belt which I will carry passport, credit cards & extra cash- Zip pockets for one credit card & the days cash.

But how should I tote my camera, cell phone...etc ?

I do have a sm purse that I can wear diagonally across should I just use that? It will be too hot for a jacket with pockets...

I usually travel in more... um shall we say refined areas in Europe, so am not sure what methods work best.

Thanks for your replies
enpleinair is offline  
Jun 6th, 2006, 07:17 PM
Join Date: Oct 2005
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This is my favorite travel bag - from TravelSmith,
the link to it is
it's the microfiber bag # 1386

There are other companies who carry it also, it is light, contoured for comfort - I have some back issues, so carrying a backpack or other type sling bags don't work for me and this does as it distributes the weight.. It also wipes off easily and has inside zipper pockets and makes it easy to separate things - it tucks nice and snugly under your armpit basically - and plenty of room for guidebook, camera, $/cards etc in one of the inside zip pockets and the outside with the zipper ending up being in front would make it very difficult for anyone to get into.

It also packs flat as can be in your suitcase, if you choose to carry a purse on the plane - or use this, and pack a small flat purse if you want one for at night, etc.
escargot is offline  
Jun 6th, 2006, 07:22 PM
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thanks escargot! I do like Travelsmith co's products

enpleinair is offline  
Jun 6th, 2006, 07:30 PM
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There's a lot to be said for cargo pants. They are making cute ones these days...cargo skirts for that matter. With buttons on the side pockets you can't feel a thing, it's all protected and your hands are totally free!
Jun 6th, 2006, 07:33 PM
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 1,942
some people are against it, but i use a backpack. though i keep it close to me and always check it constantly.

i am always aware of someone brushing up against me and get even more vigilant in crowds or on the subway.
ilovetotravel29 is offline  
Jun 6th, 2006, 07:48 PM
Join Date: Apr 2003
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I use a 'healthy back bag' from travelsmith. works just fine, can be worn front or back, goes thru the washer without a problem, etc. If I'm really concerned, I just take one credit card, some euros and my passport in a front pocket/cargo pocket that can snap shut.
cmeyer54 is offline  
Jun 6th, 2006, 08:07 PM
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I second the cargo pants. Wore them for a week and never had a problem. Even carried my passport in one of the thigh pockets.
brandie346 is offline  
Jun 6th, 2006, 08:24 PM
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I usually end up looking like a pack mule when I put everything in my pockets (camera, cell phone, wallet, etc.). But then I must be trying to carry too much

I carry a purse or a backpack. Mostly a backpack with a lock on it. But if you don't have much to carry, then by all means a purse. Just be streetsmart, and keep your valuables close to your body.
mcnyc is offline  
Jun 6th, 2006, 08:55 PM
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thanks again for all your replies I am thinking I may leave the cell phone at the apt during the day
enpleinair is offline  
Jun 6th, 2006, 11:14 PM
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Which area are you visiting that isn't refined?

I carry a small bag in the day where I put my camera, phone and various other items in refined and in coarser cities.
SeaUrchin is offline  
Jun 6th, 2006, 11:35 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 937

Where would you define as
"refined places" in Europe?

Just curious...
JandaO is offline  
Jun 6th, 2006, 11:42 PM
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I find I need a backpack albeit a smallish one but I always make sure that I close all zips to the same side. If you find yourself in a crowd and are unsure you've only got one side of the bag to worry about and I usually just slip my hand back over the closing if I am suspicious of somebody nearby.
I do however, carry passport, cash, credit cards etc in a neck pouch, which I prefer to a money belt.
stormbird is offline  
Jun 7th, 2006, 03:37 AM
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I just used a light weight poly material handbag with a zipper and a longish strap which I wore across my body. Nothing chic but it was next to my body, could be carried at my front when in crowded places and contained all my stuff. I just bought it a a regular department store in the handbag section. Schnau
schnauzer is offline  
Jun 7th, 2006, 04:30 AM
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I don't buy anything special..I have a sturdy black leather shoulder bag which I carry most of the time. When I am in a "less refined place" (the most recent in that catagory Senegal), I leave my purse in the hotel with passport ect in a safe and carry a credit card (I always have a back up 2nd credit card which always stays elsewhere no matter where I am) in my trousers. I have a soft cotton bag which is my carryon which becomes my daytime tote. I also have a very tiny (only big enough for a cc, comb and lipstick) which I pack for the evening. Again the same system works in "more refined" areas when picnicing, daytrips ect...no need for a travel purse IMO..I put that money toward my good quality zipped leather bag.
travelbunny is offline  
Jun 7th, 2006, 05:08 AM
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In winter, I can go all day without needing a purse--my wallet fits in the secure zippered pocket on the inside of my winter parka. The outside pockets are nice and deep and can easily hold my camera. mobile phone and lip gloss. I keep a few tissues in my the pockets of my slacks and that's about all I need for the day.

My wallet is by Longchamp and it's just the right size for holding six credit cards (or anything else that size), change, money AND a passport without being bulky. They don't sell that particular model in the U.S. but it's easy to find in Europe. Comes in lots of colors. Of course, that means I keep my coat with me when I'm in a cafe, museum, etc....I can't follow that plan at places where they MAKE you check your coat, like the Sacher Hotel's cafe in Vienna.

In summer, it's more problematic. I have a lightweight rainjacket that has two inside pockets, but it's too thin for me to put my wallet in without having a noticeable bulge...however one pocket will hold my passport and a credit card, the other cash, so I leave my wallet back in the hotel safe.

IMO, the Germans (and Austrians) make coats/jackets that are the best combination of style and practicality. Both of the coats described above come from mid-priced German labels (Hucke and Raven). I also have a French furlined and trimmed parka also with good inside pockets that I wear on occasion and that's been stylish enough for the Plaza Athenee. However, it's TOO warm to wear on all but the coldest days.
BTilke is offline  
Jun 7th, 2006, 05:25 AM
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After trying different options, I found that the best way for me to carry around essentials is to use a small nonstructured purse (I think mine is by The Sak), although I only put in things that I could handle being stolen, such as my sunglasses, guidebooks, maps, a compact umbrella, and things of that sort. Money, credit cards, passport, and plane tickets are either safely stored in my money belt or in a hotel safe.

tcreath is offline  
Jun 7th, 2006, 05:41 AM
Join Date: Feb 2006
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I have a small TUMI bag that I realy like. If I take anything too big I'll end up stuffing it full and there goes any hope of light travel. There are separate compartments inside and it's big enough for my 300+ page travel guide or digital camera, wallet, and cell phone. For Ireland this Sept. I took a razor to the guide book and cut out only the places I'm visiting. Then on that day, I'll take out the pages for the city I'm in and leave enough room in the TUMI for everything else. I figured no need to lug around the whole book when I'll only be looking at a few pages each day. As an avid reader/book lover it was really hard to cut up a book but I think it will be better in the long run!
chemgirl is offline  
Jun 7th, 2006, 06:19 AM
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I carry a purse ... I look like every other female citizen.

Pickpockets are in every town, just like my hometown, Wilmington, Delaware!
SuzieC is offline  
Jun 7th, 2006, 06:27 AM
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I use one of the same purses I use at home. Small leather with a long strap large enough to hold my camera, cell phone, hotel key and a side pocket in case I buy a postcard or two. If I'm wearing layers, I'll use a purse that tucks under my arm.
L84SKY is offline  
Jun 7th, 2006, 06:38 AM
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 112
Unscientific: But when I have been in Rome and Florence with handbags worn across my body or backpacks, I have been stalked (but never dipped) by pickpockets.
When I wore the smallest Timbuktu messenger bag across my body, snugly under my arm, and kept it under my "wing" (not in a deathgrip that said "I have $5,000 in cash and electronics!" but always right in front of me. It's sturdy, small and thick enough not to be slashed easily, though a little bulky.
It's small enough that, at the worst sites, I could wear a jacket over it (not closed) meaning it would take Houdini to dip me. Not impossible, but lots of softer targets around.
Bluehour is offline  

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