Poll: What do you carry in your daypack?

Aug 25th, 2005, 08:21 AM
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I have a brother in NYC, so the point was moot...I didn't use my moneybelt there, because he has a safe, secure apartment where I could leave my things. In the absence of that (had I stayed at a hotel) I may not have used one anyway, because it's a lot easier to have tickets and ID replaced in my home country than to try and do it overseas, while struggling with foreign languages and other uncertainties.

I have a good moneybelt and maybe it's just that I don't sweat too much so it doesn't bother me. I find any mild social discomfort of my tummy not looking as flat as it is is a small price to pay to know that my important documents are secure while traveling internationally...but that's just me. We all do what helps us sleep at night.


jules4je7 is offline  
Aug 25th, 2005, 09:36 AM
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1) when on vacation: small camera, cash wallet, credit card "notebook", small kleenex, some medicine, band-aids, small water bottle, pen and small note-book, maybe a map and a couple of paper pages - lists of museums, etc.., hotel's business card, hair comb.

2) purse

3) only with a strap long enough to wear across the chest
FainaAgain is offline  
Aug 25th, 2005, 10:48 AM
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I have to say I totally agree with Jules. There are 3 reasons I use a security belt when in Europe. 1) It's much more of a hassel to get things replaced from Europe than from a city in the US, even one several hours from your home. 2) in Europe I need to have a passport in order to get home, not so when traveling in the US, and 3) in Europe I'm on vacation and don't want to waste any of my precious time dealing with business. It has absolutely nothing to do with feeling unsafe. I don't, in fact I even feel safer in European cities than I do in most US cities. But you can loose (as well as have stolen) your money, credit cards, etc. where ever you might be.
isabel is offline  
Aug 25th, 2005, 11:49 AM
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mary_fran- of course "conservative" is subject to definition. I've lived in a big city (Boston and Chicago) for over 15 years and I've always carried a purse - in fact, I don't know any woman who doesn't except for the tourists on Michigan Avenue who have on the fanny packs. Thus, I disagree that purses are dangerous in the big cities. It's just not practical not to carry a purse to and from work everyday.

I always carry a larger purse when I travel that can hold an umbrella, guidebook, wallet (with some cash and credit cards hidden in a different pocket), lip balm, sunscreen, lipstick, hairbrush, hotel key/card sunglasses compact and mints.

However, on my purse, there has to be multiple pockets and an inner zipped pocket where I store my valuables. I eschew purses that are open with some sort of a snapping or clasping device or those with a single zipper across the top. With the latter, it's too easy for a thief to open a zipper and go for what he or she wants. Multiple pockets or pouches are like a shell game for a thief. Tougher to pick. Also, single zipper small purses are easy for a thief because there are not many places for the valuables to hide. A thief may have to be elbow-deep in a larger purse before he can get at your valuables.

I don't think money belts are secure. The strap can be easily clipped and the buckle is not secure. IMHO, I think they're thief-magnets because if you're wearing one you've got REAL important stuff there.

I only wore a money belt once when I backpacked around Europe at 19 because I needed something I could sleep with in the hostels.

Once I moved up in the world and I could afford hotels with safes, I keep my passport, plane tickets, train tickets, some cash and credit cards in the safe. Never had a problem with that.
aschie30 is offline  
Aug 25th, 2005, 03:57 PM
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Thanks loveitaly; looking forward to it. 48 hours to go!

The money belt in the hostel reminds me, I'm wondering what people do with their stuff on the planes i.e. on long flights -- in the belt, in the bag under the seat, or what?

re: eye contact, for hostile or paranoid folks it can be taken as a challenge, so I figure why ask for trouble. Also there are cross cultural issues here, but I'm talking here about on the street encounters in SF. There are times when eye contact, erect posture, and a firm stride are important defense as well.
annw is offline  
Aug 25th, 2005, 04:35 PM
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aschie30 - I think when most people say they use a "money belt" they mean one of the under the clothing types. These are sold in travel stores/catalogs (or travel sections of bigger stores) and are designed to hold passports as well as credit cards and cash. These are secure because no one knows you are wearing one. Pickpockets can't target them because they don't know they are there, and even if they suspected there was one they'd have to get under your clothing to get at it, not something most people wouldn't notice. I don't know what you are referring to when you say "they're thief-magnets because if you're wearing one you've got REAL important stuff there."
isabel is offline  
Aug 25th, 2005, 07:02 PM
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100 feet of euro.
100 feet of rope.
100 feet of condoms.
fehgeddaboudit is offline  
Aug 25th, 2005, 08:57 PM
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When I think about how I approach loading my purse or backpack for any occasion, but especially for sightseeing, I am reminded, unfortunately, of my favorite scene from the Steve Martin movie The Jerk, with Steve, as Navin R. Johnson, with his pants around his ankles, wearing a bathrobe, leaving home:

"Well I'm gonna to go then. And I don't need any of this. I don't need this stuff, and I don't need you. I don't need anything except this [picks up an ashtray] and that's it and that's the only thing I need, is this. I don't need this or this. Just this ashtray. And this paddle game, the ashtray and the paddle game and that's all I need. And this remote control. The ashtray, the paddle game, and the remote control, and that's all I need. And these matches.

"The ashtray, and these matches, and the remote control and the paddle ball. And this lamp.

"The ashtray, this paddle game and the remote control and the lamp and that's all I need. And that's all I need too. I don't need one other thing, not one - I need this. The paddle game, and the chair, and the remote control, and the matches, for sure. And this.

"And that's all I need. The ashtray, the remote control, the paddle game, this magazine and the chair."
Mary_Fran is offline  
Aug 25th, 2005, 11:13 PM
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Ahh! But to steal the money belt, they have to know it's there...

I like 'em (maybe because I'm famous for leaving my purse all over the globe.)
Worktowander is offline  
Aug 26th, 2005, 08:24 AM
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Yes, but if i had a dollar for every bulging moneybelt (no double entendre intended) I've seen on a tourist I'd be rich indeed. Especially when you're putting in your passport, money, heavy European coins that you are inevitably given by those pesky cashiers, hotel keys, and everything else listed by some previous posters. So yes, it's easy to discern.

And when you reach for something - there it is - in plain view. And worse, when the moneybelt is weighed down, the strap that goes around your backside starts to ride up above the beltline, making it really easy for someone behind you to bump, slice and go.

On the whole, I think there's no completely safe way to guard your valuables and I think money belts are overrated as such.
aschie30 is offline  
Aug 26th, 2005, 10:23 AM
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Ashie -- I don't think you're thinking of the same thing I am. My moneybelt is flat, and only holds my credit cards, passport and ticket home, and I wear it under my jeans in front around the waist. I carry my hotel keys, day's cash and change, and my ID in my purse, where I can get at it all.

I would suspect someone cramming that much under their clothes would look ridiculous, but I've never seen it. Maybe you're thinking of a fanny pack which is outside the clothing?

Moneybelts are only overrated until you wished you had used one.

jules4je7 is offline  
Aug 26th, 2005, 10:28 AM
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This is going to sound a bit sarcastic, but I think Europe in general should just incorporate what was done in the movie "LA Story." (Another Steve Martin film)

In movie Steve Martin goes up to an ATM to withdraw cash, and as he walks away a man walks up to him and says, "Hi, I'm Bob. I'm your thief for tonight." Steve Martin hands him a $20 bill and walks away.

Perhaps it would just be easier to have all these pickpockets in line at the exits to Metros and buses and tourists could just hand them Euros as they pass by. Then there would be no need to worry about whether or not to take a money belt or if this purse or that wallet is more or less secure. *sigh*

Chele60 is offline  
Aug 26th, 2005, 11:16 AM
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<I'm wondering what people do with their stuff on the planes i.e. on long flights -- in the belt, in the bag under the seat, or what?> for annw-

i'm guessing people do different things, but most must leave their valuables in their bags under the seat or in the overhead compartment. i say this because i don't see people toting stuff in and out of the bathrooms or when they walk the aisles on a long flight. so unless they are wearing money belts (which i doubt most are) they stuff is in their carry-on bags.

suze is offline  
Aug 26th, 2005, 11:21 AM
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Jules- I have exactly the same moneybelt you described -- so yes I know what one is (who doesn't?) -- I just haven't used it in many years. Others I know can't and won't squeeze that thing in their jeans so they wear it under a long shirt.

But even the ones that I've seen tucked in the pants aren't secret as they tend to have a way of poking out. And you have to take it out when you pay, don't you? So my point is that any half-vigilant thief can get to it.
aschie30 is offline  
Aug 26th, 2005, 11:51 AM
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aschie30 - most sensible people who use a money belt don't use it to carry around the day's spending money. Most people carry one credit card and a small amount of cash in a pocket or purse. The money belt, worn under the clothing (and I don't think most people's show) is just for passport, extra credit cards, ATM cards (on days you don't need to withdraw money)and extra cash. I only access my money belt in private, in the hotel room. This is the safe, secure and sensible use of a money belt.

Everyone is of course entitled to their own opinions about this topic. I just hope that new travelers will think about it before deciding that moeny belts are unnecessary, bothersome, etc. Used in the method I describe I just cannot understand why people find it too much hassel. And as others have mentioned, we are not just talking about theft, loosing things is just as common, just as much of a headache on a vacation.
isabel is offline  
Aug 26th, 2005, 11:54 AM
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Hey, OP, I see your screenname is "harrowgirl". Just had to check in, because I could be "pinnergirl" -- are you from Harrow in England? Do you live there now? (DH would be southharrowboy!!)

The daypack issue is a dilemma I ponder every trip, and each trip seems to have different needs, and more shopping in the quest for the perfect solution. Then there's my DH, who tends to say "I can't fit my sunglasses/binoculars/you-name-it in my pocket. Can it go in your bag?" My shoulder was starting to feel the strain till I found a small lightweight folding black backpack in a local luggage store -- now he takes it along in his travel bag, ready to use when needed.

MaryFran, love the quote from The Jerk! Maybe it's time to rent the movie again...
SB_Travlr is offline  
Aug 26th, 2005, 12:27 PM
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Something's still missing, Aschie30...I don't use my moneybelt for daily cash storage (see above) ONLY for the hard-to-replace items what will get me home (passport, ticket, credit cards), and pretty much everything else goes in my purse or daypack.

I do NOT take my moneybelt out in public...if I need a card, I use a restroom and put it in my purse to use it, then will find a way to get it back to my moneybelt later, perhaps when I go to the restroom next.

I DO wear a slightly looser style of clothes as well, especially when traveling using my moneybelt, so it's not obvious, it's not uncomfortable, and it doesn't "poke out". Perhaps you need a better fitting one. If yours is old, it's probably not as nice as the new ones are anyway with better fabric that keeps you from getting all sweaty.

Personally, I think it's much riskier to store your plane ticket and passport either in your purse or worse -- out of sight in your hotel room -- but then I don't stay in a posh hotel where there's a safe I trust. I'd rather have it plastered to me and make it as hard as possible for someone to take it from me. And there isn't any other way to keep it on me that's as safe, secure and convenient.

I think a moneybelt is just like buying car insurance. It's a pain, no one likes it, but you're never glad to have it until the day you need it!

jules4je7 is offline  
Aug 26th, 2005, 12:34 PM
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Jules - that's great for you, however, others use them differently. Some people do use them for cash & credit card storage, and I know for a fact that others are not as vigilant about not taking them out in public. To each his or her own.
aschie30 is offline  
Aug 26th, 2005, 12:59 PM
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If people do not use a money belt the "correct" way (i.e. it is slim and stays hidden under your clothing... it does not bulge, carry a bunch of coins, or need to be accessed in public) you might as well use a different method.
suze is offline  
Aug 26th, 2005, 11:25 PM
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Amen, Suze. You shouldn't use a money belt as a wallet. You keep your cash for the day in a purse, pocket or wallet. And you keep your passport, CCs, ATM cards in a money belt, worn inside your pants, accessed only in private. Which means you can tuck your shirt in OVER it, keeping it hidden.

You should keep only the stuff you can afford to lose in a purse or pocket. I figure I can afford to lose one day's walking around money without ruining my trip. (Granted, I don't spend that much).

Pickpockets have never hit me yet, but I expect they will someday. And that's OK, because I've already mentally kissed off that cash. The good stuff is safe.

Everyone has their own system, but I think there is value in a money belt (or ankle safe, or neck pouch, as long as it doesn't show).

Worktowander is offline  

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