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Need Anti-pickpocket purse recommendations

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Dec 31st, 2007, 02:55 PM
  #1
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Need Anti-pickpocket purse recommendations

I've been searching the web - and every anti-pickpocket purse I come across is less than desirable. Anyone have fashion friendly recommendations for pickpocket deterrent hand bags?

Thank you -
MissAmanda is offline  
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Dec 31st, 2007, 03:00 PM
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It's not about the purse, it's what you do with it!

Any normal leather pocketbook with a thick strap and long enough to be worn across the body works fine.

Most people get into trouble by hanging their purse off the back of a chair in a restaurant or setting it on the table in an outdoor cafe, leaving it setting on top of a pile of luggage in a train station, etc. not that it is ripped off their person when it is being worn close to the body.

Use your normal purse and keep track of it, it my best advice.
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Dec 31st, 2007, 03:03 PM
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For my travels in Europe, I got a messenger bag-style that had a very sturdy strap, wore it across my body and in front of me (rather than pushing it behind as a lot of people do). I also made sure that there would be at least 2 zippers between my wallet and any sticky fingers. I recently purchased a new bag at Wilsons Leather that meets all these requirements and looks great, though it might be larger than what you want.

As pp said, just make sure you are aware of where the bag is at all times- sitting it under the table at your feet is an invitation for it to be stolen- I keep mine in my lap under the table when I'm at street cafes/etc- a little unwieldy, but better than having my passport and wallet stolen!
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Dec 31st, 2007, 04:01 PM
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I agree w/ suze; It ain't the purse, it's the person. There is no purse that is 100% pickpocket proof -- and steel reinforced straps can even be dangerous if one hangs on for dear life while a motorbike riding thief tries to yank it off your arm.

So use a normal handbag w/ a long strap across your body. No need to buy a special "thief-proof" purse.
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Dec 31st, 2007, 04:21 PM
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There are purse pickpockets (zipper openers, etc.) but there are also purse snatchers. Always know the vulnerable side (e.g. street side), and keep your purse on the other side.
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Dec 31st, 2007, 04:22 PM
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Another good security measure imo... I divide up my cards and money so it would never all be on my person at one time (i.e., even if my pocketbook was stolen I could return to the hotel and regroup with an extra charge card and cash left behind).

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Dec 31st, 2007, 04:26 PM
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Agree that what's important is not the purse - it's how you take care of it. Make sure it's a shoulder bag with a thick, sturdy strap - and wear it bandolier style in front of your body if you're nervous.

And, NEVER let go of it. Not in a train station, or airplane or restaurant or a hotel dining room or anywhere public. Keep it either on your lap or on the floor with the strap wrapped around you ankle or knee.
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Dec 31st, 2007, 04:35 PM
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Check out what intrepid poster AngelaS recommended in a thread over on the Solo Travel board:

http://tinyurl.com/23jbfo

Though it's not exactly a handbag, per se...










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Dec 31st, 2007, 04:35 PM
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Honestly, you don't need special equipment to travel to Europe.

Whatever purse you're comfortable with at home is fine for travel in Europe. Just be aware of your surroundings.

This is true for anywhere in the world. I just came back from Nairobi, where I used my usual U.S. purse everywhere I went...just kept hold of it and aware of it every second I was out and about.
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Dec 31st, 2007, 04:35 PM
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Agree with all of the above opinions, particularly about the attitude of the wearer. I have a great over-the-body travel purse, which I had to keep very close to my body, with my hand directly over the top zipper, in a very crowded vaporetto in Venice this fall. Just be very aware of your surroundings at all times and you should be good.

Oh, another thing, I make a list of the CC numbers, phone and contact numbers, minimize it on the computer, wrap the list in a plastic wrap, and place it in my shoe. May be a little extreme but works quite well with my neurosis. LOL

Anna
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Dec 31st, 2007, 04:57 PM
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Every bit of advice in ALL of the above posts is spot on – it's not the purse, it's how you take care of it and yourself….

If, like me, you also prefer a closed shoulder bag that can be worn with the strap across the chest, consider the PacSafe brand. There are two sizes of purses (the smaller "handbag" and the slightly larger "shoulder bag"). I used the smaller size for trips to China, Rome, Madrid, and Belgium this past year and was pleased with its organizational and security features. My husband also used a PacSafe travel bag as well (first time for him), and he enjoyed its convenience of use. Here are the links I mentioned in my 11/15/07 trip report (while the vendor is Magellan's, the bag can be found at a variety of online and retail locations):

• security travel purse for me (Pacsafe's Citysafe Handbag):
http://tinyurl.com/2tavf2

• security travel bag for husband (Pacsafe's Metrosafe 200) – not large, and wonderful for small camera, maps, guidebooks:
http://tinyurl.com/34kgew

Happy shopping!
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Dec 31st, 2007, 05:00 PM
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I use a lightweight microfiber totebag, black in winter, beige in summer. Several interior zippered pockets. Large enough to be a daypack should I want to be carrying a sweater or bottle of water, plus map, camera, etc. I don't leave the ticket window or the store counter until I take an extra couple of seconds to put my wallet or credit card securely inside my bag. If I need to rearrange the bag or consult my map, I sit down somewhere, or duck into a doorway, I don't let myself dangle the bag or get distracted with packages and maps.
I have never been a crime victim.
Some of that is pure luck, but most of it is planning and awareness.

baggallini.com is a good place to browse and buy.
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Jan 1st, 2008, 05:55 AM
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I'm another voice for those who say it isn't the purse, but what you do with it. My observation is that most women who have their purse pickpocketed are carrying it dangling down to their side, for example, where anyone can just reach in. They do this even in crowded areas, like the metro, I see it all the time. Or if it's a longer strap and maybe on their shoulder, they have it slightly to the rear of their hip. Then, if sitting on a metro car, they may leave it on the floor or somewhere. Sometimes they even have ones with an open top, so no unzipping is even necessary (so I definitely wouldn't get an open one). I think there are special purses with wires that can't be sliced open or something, but if you just aren't careless with your purse, that would solve 99 pct of the problems.

I do prefer shoulder-strap purses myself all the time, even though they are not that easy to find any more, but a lot of what people are talking about with the strap across your body has to do with snatching, not pickpockets.
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Jan 1st, 2008, 06:54 AM
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Another good idea is to keep your passport and some of your cash in a travel wallet you hang around your neck, under your clothes. No one need know it is there, though if you travel in the summer with light clothing, it can be easier to spot. If your bag is stolen, you won't lose the most important thing, your passport, and you will still have some cash for emergencies. You could also put your credit cards in the travel wallet, against your skin and only pull them out if you really need them.
Kay
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Jan 1st, 2008, 07:08 AM
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Ditto KayF, but I use a money belt around my waist for all important stuff: passport, credit cards, tickets. Maybe keep a little cash and an ATM card in your purse.

With a money belt you don't need to be on high alert at all times. Which is hard to do when you're jetlagged and lost in a strange city where only a foreign language is spoken.
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Jan 1st, 2008, 07:18 AM
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Any purse is an invitation to rob! Please consider a travel vest. Load the inner pockets with passport, tickets, credit cards, and money. Load the outer pockets with, cosmetics, phone, camera and etc.
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Jan 1st, 2008, 07:21 AM
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DH got me the PacSafe Metro 200 for Christmas, and I'm thrilled with it.

It's large enough to carry a guidebook/map, a bottle of water, camera, and an umbrella if necessary. It also has a cross body strap, and is lightweight as well.

I agree with all the other comments: it's not the purse, it's the traveler. That said, I'll definitely feel more secure with my PacSafe when we travel in Italy this spring.
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Jan 1st, 2008, 07:34 AM
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"...steel reinforced straps can even be dangerous if one hangs on for dear life while a motorbike riding thief tries to yank it off your arm." - janisj

A motorbike-riding thief who grabbed your purse would have to overcome the inertia of your body without falling off. I think this notion is preposterous. What next? Bolt-cutter-wielding purse-snatchers?
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Jan 1st, 2008, 09:31 AM
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I agree with GSteed. I only use a vest with many zippered pockets and can carry everything I need and stil have hands free. I'd never go back to a purse.
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Jan 1st, 2008, 10:02 AM
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There are thieves who cut the bag strap before stealing it. If they encounter a steel-reinforced strap, both you and the the thief might get hurt.
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