Money belt vs. fanny pack

Jan 29th, 2003, 08:04 PM
  #1  
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Money belt vs. fanny pack

I know things are much safer in Switzerland but do you think I should wear my money belt like in Italy? I think a fanny pack would be more convenient and I am thinking of leaving my money belt at home? What is your opinion?
aneckc is offline  
Jan 29th, 2003, 09:23 PM
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Either way, you shouldn't have a problem. I don't particularly like the look of the fanny pack (to those English readers, it's not what you think!), and carry a purse without any misgivings. On the other hand, if you're a guy, that might not be an option for you (or simply not your style!).
HuisClos is offline  
Jan 29th, 2003, 09:54 PM
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I spent a month in Italy in 2000 and was concerned as you are about wearing a moneybelt after hearing so many accounts of pickpocketing. I did carry a money belt but didn't wear it under my clothes - instead I opted for a day pack that goes over one shoulder and rests on the opposite hip. It has a flap over the front, and the inner compartment is zippered and I just kept the moneybely safely inside. I decided that I didn't want to be going under my clothes everytime I needed money, not to mention the discomfort of the belt on skin...
Being in Italy in the summer(which is when I went) you would usually tend to be wearing tank tops and such which would making wearing a money belt look ridiculous!
_Julie_ is offline  
Jan 30th, 2003, 02:13 AM
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Skip the moneybelt and the 'fanny pack' (or bum bag). Wear a purse (assuming you are female). As a resident in Luzern, I have never had a problem (but then, I have never had a problem in Italy either). Just put the flap against your body.
SloJan is offline  
Jan 30th, 2003, 04:33 AM
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>>I decided that I didn't want to be going under my clothes everytime I needed money, not to mention the discomfort of the belt on skin...<<

Poor, misuderstood moneybelts! You do NOT put ALL your money, etc. in them, only what you won't need THAT DAY!! Also most are backed with a fabric that wicks, or buy a silk one.
elberko is online now  
Jan 30th, 2003, 04:43 AM
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Moneybelts are like insurance. You don't need it at all until you wish you'd had it.
indytravel is offline  
Jan 30th, 2003, 05:30 AM
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Don't use a fanny pack. It's visible and that's the first thing that's a target. Use a money belt instead. As elberko says, you don't put everything in your money belt.
francophile03 is offline  
Jan 30th, 2003, 05:37 AM
  #8  
Brutforce
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If you want to paint a big target on yourself that screams 'I am an American tourist' then wear a fanny pack. The money belt is the only way to go for your real valuables.
 
Jan 30th, 2003, 06:42 AM
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Is a money belt really necessay if you keep cash and credit cards in a clip, and in your *front* trouser pocket? Or are the thieves adept enough to free it up there also?? I will be in Rome/Florence/Venice for 2 weeks in late March and want to be safe but would rather not wear the belt unless it's really necessary. Also - what about the Hotel safe for extra cash and/or passports? Good idea or not? Is there a reason to keep your passport with you (other than fear of it getting stolen in your room)?
sanjoseguy is offline  
Jan 30th, 2003, 06:47 AM
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sanjoseguy- I watched a pickpocket slip his hand into the front trouser pocket of a man while the man was inserting his ticket into the metro turnstile! It just takes a SECOND of in-attention...
elberko is online now  
Jan 30th, 2003, 07:11 AM
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“Fanny” packs are a totally losing proposition. That’s from the voice of experience my friend. They can be entered into by a pro in a nanosecond and you’ll never know it, or the strap can be sliced in a second and away the thieves go. If some one is silly enough to trust more than a few dollars, pounds, or euros to a pack you are quite simply inviting disaster. A friend of mine was harebrained enough to CARRY HIS PASSPORT in a fanny pack. Of course it was stolen, (along with several hundred dollars worth of currency, a credit card, and his address book) and what a hassle he had!

Go to a site like sierra.com and you will find alternatives to money belts including a very soft pouch which can be worn around the neck or the waist and can be positioned to the inner thigh, outer thigh, hip, wherever it is most comfortable. The fabric wicks moisture away and I doubt that you’ll even know you have it on after an hour or so.

You know a mishap like being mugged or robbed can ruin your whole trip and maybe your whole attitude about a particular city or country or even about travel itself. That anyone invites disaster by carrying anything more than small change in a pack is beyond me. Besides, they look stunningly dorky regardless of where you are.
DiAblo is offline  
Jan 30th, 2003, 08:23 AM
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The so called fanny pack, which has a different meaning in Britain, is like putting a golf ball up on a tee. It makes it a heck of a lot easier to hit.
If you wear one of those things, don't keep your paper money, passport, or your credit cards in it.

It is ok for replaceable supplies like sun screen, hand lotion, lip stick, small change, comb, tissues, and a pen or pencil. But deft fingers can open zippers quickly, and pickpockets are very skilled at what they do. They also know who wears those waist ornaments, and it isn't a native Italian.


bob_brown is offline  
Jan 30th, 2003, 08:25 AM
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I don't get it... I wear a money belt under my cloths (pouch against small of back) every trip (8 so far). It is not uncomfortable. I spend ZERO seconds a day keeping up with the security of my cash / tickets / passport.
I did have a coin purse removed from my day bag on a tram in Amsterdam, and my husband 'lost' his passport from his front jeans pocket, same trip. My loss was maybe worth $30, his was a day of vacation (at police and consulate) and $60 (reimbursed later by trip insur).
It is s-o-o-o easy to safeguard valuables, I don't understand all efforts to rationalize. My momma used to say 'better to be safe than sorry'....
Travelnut is offline  
Jan 30th, 2003, 08:49 AM
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I'm with you, Travelnut, I don't get it.

I especially like the people that say "just be aware of your surroundings and keep your belongings tightly against your body at all times"!!!

If nothing on your travels can pry your attention from your purse, etc. for even a SECOND, you're not doing it right!
elberko is online now  
Jan 30th, 2003, 09:26 AM
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A money belt - worn and used correctly - is the way to go.

A Belt bag screams "I am a clueless tourist with lots worth stealing" (Even if that isn't true, that is the image)

As others have said - get a good money belt (or pouch) with a cotton or silk cover, it isn't hot, wear it in the small of your back, and put the cash you don't expect to use that day, the back up credit or ATM card and your passport in it.

Carry one credit/ATM card and a reasonable amount of cash just as you would at home - handbag, wallet, pocket - whatever you feel secure with at home will work overseas.

You should never have to get into your money belt in a public place.
janis is offline  
Jan 30th, 2003, 09:34 AM
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When I traveled in Italy last year I kept my passports in our hotel safe, my credit cards and large bills in my money belt along with copies of my passport. I needed my passport numbers to rent the audio guides at the Borghese Gallery and Academia. I just kept a few euros in my trouser psckets. However, I did have to get into my money belt, discreetly I hope, at restaurants and stores which took my credit cards. Geting back to my original question though, are money belts recommended in Switzerland? I heard it was much safer there.
aneckc is offline  
Jan 30th, 2003, 09:45 AM
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aneckc: It isn't just a question of how "safe" a place is. You will be thousands of miles from home. Just like at home, if you absent mindedly leave your purse, or have an accident, or any number of other things - most people don't use money belts at home - but they are right there where they can get things replaced quickly, can get to the Bank, etc. A money belt is just a really cheap insurance policy against losing eveything. If you carry one credit card and a little cash, and put everything else in the money belt you will have a great sense of security. If the worst happens - you lose one credit card and have one toll free number to call.
janis is offline  
Jan 30th, 2003, 10:04 AM
  #18  
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this might seem a bit strange but I'll tell you anyway. Right out of college my mother sewed a pocket on the inside of all the underwear I was packing. I kept my passport and cash in it. I traveled with a backpack for three months and nobody knew about the pocket. And I certainly would have known if someone tried to get into my shorts!!!
jor is offline  
Jan 30th, 2003, 10:44 AM
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At the end of a day tour in Russia, my friend told the tour guide "wait a minute I want to give you this" and reached through the top of her blouse for her under-the-arm money holder. You should have seen the look on the man's face, a mixture of joy and alarm.
SeaUrchin is offline  
Jan 30th, 2003, 11:15 AM
  #20  
Brutforce
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The pouches that go around the neck are also effective & may be more comfortable for some. I even wear my moneybelt on trips in the US so this is not for Europe-only by any means. I have seen a number of instances where people just have their hands full & not paying attention almost get taken. Then you have the gypsys who will go through all your pockets. Better safe than sorry...
 

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