money pouch/fanny pack

Apr 29th, 1999, 04:50 PM
Posts: n/a
money pouch/fanny pack

i will be traveling to paris and romew next month with my daughter. i have been reading the forum diligently, especially regarding crime, etc. i keep reading about money pouches or fanny packs to carry valuables. where can these items be purchased in the US and exactly what type would be best for safety and comfort? any recommendations would be appreciated. Also is it wise to carry my digital camcorder in its case over my shoulder?
Apr 30th, 1999, 08:43 AM
Bob Brown
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We have had discussions on this topic in the past, but the search function seems to be on holiday. Here is my summary of what was posted:
1. Fanny packs brand you instantly as a tourist. But, I often have need for a few items while touring on foot and/or public conveyences. So, nothing I cannot replace easily goes in the waist pack. If someone cuts it off and runs away, I have lost perhaps a bottle of water, candy bar, asprin, kleenix, guidebooks and map. I don't carry my glasses there (I wear sun glasses usually when I am outside and put my regular ones in a shirt pocket.)
2. Carry money out of sight and under clothing, but not exposed in pockets even if buttoned. Neck pouches or money belts, or bill-folds that attach to the belt but are carried underneath all seem to be a good way to protect valuables.
3. Cameras and other optical equipment are vulnerable, but can be protected.
My Finnish friend threaded a light chain through loops she had stitched to her camera straps. That way, cut and run artists had a harder time.

There have been several comments on zippers on pockets, velcro fasteners, and even safety pins.

Also some of the techniques of the pickpockets have been discussed. All use some distraction, such as jostling and shoving, holding cards and or papers in front of the vicitim's eyes, crowds of children using various distracting methods as they gang about the target, young girls upsetting men by various exposure techiques, and so on.

I think you can find a good belt pack that goes under your trousers or a good neck pouch that you wear around you neck under your shirt (blouse) at outdoors stores. I have seen them advertised in LL Bean, Travel Smith, and some others. I bought mine at a local camping-hiking-skiing equipment store.
I use it to carry my money, drivers license, passport, airline tickets, and credit cards.
The only draw back to the neck pouch is that it is not good with turtle neck sweaters, which are my favorite in cool climates. On the other hand, carrying your money around your neck and under a turtle neck sweater
makes it quite difficult for pickpockets.
Apr 30th, 1999, 10:04 AM
Posts: n/a

to be honest with you, i was very thorough in preparing for my safety in paris.

to be honest with you, it was one of the safest cities that i have ever visited.

if you plan on taking the metro a lot, bring a money belt that goes under your clothing. the metro gets crowded at times and you would never know if you got pickpocketed.

is you are walking around, don't worry about it. i was accosted only once, by an old gypsy-looking woman that simply asked for money. just be firm and say NON.

i was overly-paranoid though. it is perfectly safe, and we walked ALL over paris, end to end.

Apr 30th, 1999, 10:58 AM
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Regarding where to buy a money belt -- you can find them in the luggage dep't of department stores, or in specialty luggage store, or in the lugage dept of discount stores (where the same product, a belt made sold under the brand name of a major luggage company, was a lot cheaper than Macy's.) I was happy to know that my US $$, passport, ticket, etc were safely hidden. A caveat: we found that it's possible to have virtually all the print disappear from an airline ticket that's been in a money belt for two weeks. Imagine what fun that caused at the check-in counter! (One of us wore the money belt hidden under an overshirt, the other tucked it into her pants. Guess which one had the disappearing ink?) Try a baggie, and a copy of the bill showing payment for the ticket doesn't hurt either!
Apr 30th, 1999, 12:16 PM
Mary Ann
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I bought my husband the one that you wear like a belt at a travel store. However, the one I liked for myself has a loop that fits on your belt that you can then tuck the pouch in your pants. This seemed to work much better for me.
Apr 30th, 1999, 12:47 PM
Posts: n/a
that's a good point:

since your belly will get sweaty under your belt, your documents may get ruined. i always keep my passport and other important info in a plastic bag inside of the belt.


ps i also like peanuts. anybody wanna peanut?
Apr 30th, 1999, 01:37 PM
Posts: n/a
Michael, it seems as if everyone else here has given you good advice about the money belt. Don't leave home without it! However, you specifically mentioned fanny packs in your posting. Please don't confuse these with money belts. They are not the same thing. Personally, I much prefer a backpack to a fanny pack. It fits a lot more stuff than a fanny pack including tour guide, map, umbrella, and jacket/sweater if you need to carry it. You're going to look like a tourist no matter what.

Tips about the money belts and the sweat factor: 1) Put your plane ticket in a baggie and it will be fine. 2) Don't wear it across the stomach. Wear it along your back. This is much more comfortable. You won't even feel it back there. If you wear it in front you will feel it every time you move.

These types of money belts are available at any luggage/travel store, including on the revolving Samsonite rack of travel accessories.
Apr 30th, 1999, 02:20 PM
Posts: n/a
Although I am not of the money belt nor fanny pack school of thought, I will add that if your hotel has a safe you can certainly store some of your valuables, your ticket, etc, there.
Apr 30th, 1999, 04:12 PM
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I bought my neck wallet at Target for $8. I think it the brand is Samsonite. You can adjust the lenghth, so what I did was wear it long enough to go under my pants. It's easier to pull out this way too. If you wear the neck wallet across your torso, the weight is neglibile and you'll forget it's even there (during a two week trip I had to feel for it to make sure I didn' forget it!)
Since it's made from nylon and cotton, you're items won't get sweaty, and it won't stick to your skin.
Apr 30th, 1999, 04:34 PM
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The waist pack money belt that gave us the disappearing ink was of the Samsonite cotton/nylon variety, too! The business part was worn in back (strap in front.) Breatheable & comfy though it might have been, it sure wasn't moistureproof! (Only the ticket was that fragile; the passport was unaffected, as were, not surprisingly, the greenbacks.)
Apr 30th, 1999, 11:06 PM
Posts: n/a
Yes, avoid fanny packs and get a waist moneybelt. Use a zip-lock to keep moisture away from your plane tickets especially. Wear your belt under your clothes. Do not wear it where others can see it. Before you know it, you won't even know it is there. Don't over stuff your belt - common mistake. If you have more safety or packing questions, feel free to contact me. Oh, make sure you get a belt which is adjustable and clips easily.
May 1st, 1999, 04:33 AM
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My wife refers to fanny packs as "gypsy attractors." Experience now tells me that this is a fairly accurate description. I do take one on the trip with me -- for wearing onto the plane & a few other situations. But typically do not wear it on the street. I also carry -- or, preferably, get locally -- a few completely non-descript plastic shopping bags -- no printing on them unless I've go them locally. Then I drop fanny pack, water bottle, camera -- obvious tourist stuff -- into the plastic bags when I want to blend in as much as possible.

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