How to carry cell phone?

What is the recommended way to carry a cell phone while traveling in Europe? I tried it in my money belt it fit nicely, but was uncomfortable. On the other hand, carrying it my back pocket the way I do at home seems like a quick way to get it stolen. It's a newish iPhone, so I really don't want to lose it...and I really do want to make use of it while in Italy (using an Italian SIM card). Thoughts?

Posted by Monte
Genesee, ID
1376 posts

My wife carries her's in her purse, a cross body bag, while traveling.

Posted by Andrea
Sacramento, CA
4871 posts

I do the same. The money belt is for deep storage only. If you don't plan to use, look at or otherwise handle your phone while you're out, you could out it in the money belt. Otherwise a secure crossbody purse would be best. If you must put it in a pocket I would recommend a front pocket instead of a back pocket.

Posted by Ms. Jo
Frankfurt, Germany
4764 posts

I carry mine in the inside pocket of my messenger bag. Make sure you get a bag that has a zip closure at the top and then a flap that will go down over the entire front of the bag and that fastens at the bottom. Wear your bag cross body and you will be comfortable and won't have to worry about your possessions while sightseeing. All is then secure, your hands are free, but you yourself will be able to access your items when needed. Any pocket would be a bad idea for a phone, and back packs are just a pain when sightseeing.

Posted by Brad
Gainesville, VA
7209 posts

I stuck mine in the little pocket of my day bag. Since I bought the cheapest phone possible in Europe, I don't think it would be a very valuable item to target for theft. If I had a popular smartphone, I'd take more precautions. One cell phone died and had to be replaced last trip. As I thought more about it, heavy rain on an unprotected nylon pack was probably the reason. Next time I'll remember to put it inside something waterproof.

Posted by Michael
Des Moines, IA
2155 posts

The answer may, in part, be dictated somewhat by how you intend to use your phone. If you anticipate a need to receive an important call or calls, then it's going to be fairly difficult to hear your phone ringing in your bag. On the other hand, your messenger bag may be the most logical place for it, especially if you're not really expecting calls. No matter where I'm traveling, I keep my phone handy when I'm either expecting or may receive important calls...that usually means having the volume on high and keeping it in a shirt or jacket pocket where I can hear it and access it quickly. When I'm not expecting calls, it's in the bag. It's only in my back pocket when going about town here. The worst place to carry your phone in any city anywhere is in your hand in a busy public area, on public transportation, etc. Especially because of the value of iPhone and Samsung Galaxy, they're a huge target for thieves who can grab them quickly running by, riding by on a bike, etc. Same goes for your MacBook...keep it in your bag in busy public places and on public transit in big cities.

Posted by David
Florence, AL, USA
1972 posts

I carried my AT&T unlocked GSM cell phone in Italy the most comfortable way. It was in my suitcase cut off. I bought the Italian SIM card, and it wouldn't work. I called the help desk, and got an Automated Attendant in Italian. I gave up. All correspondence to home was by internet. I very much enjoyed not talking to anyone on the cell for two weeks.
We twice used a pay phone at Roma Termini to tell our B&B host what time our train would be in Zagarolo so he'd be at the train station.

Posted by Ms. Jo
Frankfurt, Germany
4764 posts

When you buy your SIM card in a country, ask the people you buy it from to set it up for you in English. This is very simple for them to do. Having an i-phone to use is not really about being able to receive calls, though for some people this CAN be important due to family at home calling about illnesses, kids, parents, etc. It is about using it instead of toting around lots of paper items, like maps and guide-books. You can find restaurants, download apps for the city you are in, use it as a GPS, and take photos with it. It doesn't make much sense to answer the poster who is asking about how best to carry their phone while traveling around, by smugly saying to leave it in your suitcase so you don't have to answer it.

Posted by George
823 posts

I agree with the above poster. ALSO, your best line of defence is to always set the Passcode to ON - a practice one should use at home, in their own country.

Posted by Michael
Des Moines, IA
2155 posts

Jo is right, and in addition to the reasons she mentioned, some folks are in a line of work that simply requires them to check-in or otherwise be available for clients, even when they're on vacation. In this case, leaving a phone in a bag or otherwise being unavailable is just out of the question. Oh, and before anyone suggests one shouldn't be in a line of work that would require them to be available when on vacation, you don't have to swap places if you don't want's by choice.

Posted by Stephanie
San Jose, CA, USA
5 posts

Thanks, everyone! I tried to reply earlier but I don't see my post, so I'll try again. Sounds like in a small cross shoulder bag is the best bet for our situation. I'm not planning to use the phone to make or receive calls, except for possibly within Italy to confirm hotels, etc. Mainly I want to be able to access navigation info, train schedules, my guidebooks (in Kindle format on my phone), etc. I do also want to be available by email as we're leaving the kids with their grandparents for this trip. Thanks for all the suggestions!