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Wallets or Purses - For Women

Hello,
I am leaving for Europe on Friday. I have purchased a money belt, but am wondering people actually bring their wallets when they travel? Or do you just bring all important documentation ie: Credit card, debit card, birth certificate, passport etc...

Any advice is greatly appreciated.
Happy and safe travels everyone!

Posted by
5445 posts

You need a wallet of some sort. Think of the money belt as deep storage. You don't want to be going in and out of it in public. Rather, you want to have enough money for the day in a place that is accessible. Often if you want to get into a money belt you need some privacy. ; ) I have a small purse for dinner. It's big enough to carry my small camera and wallet and maybe a paperback if I'm traveling alone. Pam

Posted by
588 posts

I use a small black cross the body strap bag. I have tried several but I like the Baggalini and the Lesport Sac (Madison style) the best. They will hold some daily money, credit card, comb, camera, bottle of water, kleenex, etc. They are comfortable and not bulky.

Posted by
4344 posts

Personally, I take a purse that has an interior zipper pocket. I keep my maps, camera, personal items in my purse. I use the interior zip pocket for anything that I can afford to lose, but don't want to put in my money belt (e.g. I have two credit cards and I keep one in my money belt and one in the interior pocket ... if purse is stolen, I still have a spare).

I also keep a small zip-up wallet in my purse with change and a small amount of cash (just enough for the day).

Passport and spare credit card are either in my money belt or locked in hotel safe.

Posted by
11266 posts

I always carry a purse. For travel I carry my Derek Alexander nylon shoulder bag. Its sort of a messenger bag style. I wear it over the shoulder across the chest. It holds my wallet,, in which I only keep one days cash, and my DL. I also keep lipstick, sunglasses, comb, small paperback and in bad weather, even a small umbrella.

My money belt I only wear when I am actually travelling. In it is all the rest of the money, my passport and my ATM and credit cards. When not travelling those things stay in hotel safe.

Posted by
24 posts

I keep all my valuables in the money belt except for some cash for the day and a credit card if I expect to use it during that day. I keep those in a zippered compartment in a tote bag that also holds my water bottle, jacket, guidebook etc.

Posted by
1357 posts

I have a small purse which is like a wallet with a strap. I use it for my cash for the day, tissues, bandaids, chapstick, that kind of stuff. The passports and credit/debit cards go in the moneybelt. Then I carry a back pack for keeping water, guidebooks, jacket, camera, and those things that are too big to put in my purse.

Posted by
15 posts

I have never found a need to carry a purse while in Europe. I normally share a day bag (backpack) with my husband that carries any of my larger objects like cameras and books and keep my day money in front pocket where I can feel it and get to it easy. Having a purse always made me feel like a target. The theives know you keep good stuff in there like a camera and they are easier to take off your shoulder than a backpack over both shoulders.

Posted by
11266 posts

Oh come on Jaime,, the theives know whats in a tourists back packs too,, and in fact ,,nothing screams tourist more then a lady over 40 or so carrying a back pack( it is obviously more common for a local student or younger person to carry one)

Posted by
28 posts

I jsut got back a few weeks ago and used a moneybelt under my clothes for my extra cash and credit card (or used the hotel safe to keep that and my passport). I also used an over the shoulder small bag to carry a little coin purse with my 'day money' and a map, water, camera etc. I found this made me feel safer as I could keep the bag in the front of my body where I could always see it.
I took so many pics though that I often slipped my camera into my front pocket and just looped the strap around my wrist and rested my hand on it in my pocket when in crowds.

Posted by
199 posts

My son and I each had a moneybelt which we kept extra money (divided between us),credit cards and then we each carried our own passport, plus I used RS coin purse that I kept in my front pocket for money to use during the day. When doing through crowds, I would just put my hand on the pocket to protect and never had a problem. I would never carry a purse in Europe, but that is just me. Some days we left our day pack in the hotel. Just grabbed the camera, moneybelts, day money and headed out to just wander and get lost. Have a great and safe trip.

Posted by
1455 posts

I have a flat wallet that has a few slots for cards, a zipper area for the euro coins, and a bill area. I only store a day's worth of money.

Everything that is important is kept away from there.

Posted by
15 posts

Pat, I am not saying that theives would not know there is stuff in my bag. I was saying that I felt more secure with my stuff looped around two shoulders in a back pack than I do with a single strap over one shoulder. I do the same as Kristen noted and usually place my hand in my pocket around my day money when I felt uncomfortable. That being said I have traveled all over western Europe in the past five years and have only had a couple situations that concerned me. I always use my money belt and avoid known scams. I think this makes me more comfortable to enjoy the experience rather than worrying about my possesions.

I really think it is a personal choice about what you feel comfortable doing. I happen to be in my early 30's and don't feel strange wearing a back pack.

Posted by
11266 posts

Jaime,., oh I don't wear my purse over my shoulder either,, I always wear in over neck and cross chest,, its nice to have hands free.

I wonder about this hands on your wallet being a false sense of security though,, all a pick pocket has to do is bump you ( like in a crowded metro) and your hand will fly out to grab onto something,, at that point their hand knows exactly where to go to grab the wallet you have shown them.. ( by holding it in your pocket)

Of course in the metro you take your back pack off and then hold it in front of you,, right? or on your lap?

Posted by
15 posts

I have been lucky enough to not have been involved in a bump incident. The couple of incidents that I have been involved in where it felt fishy, I have made sure to make good eye contact with the person that felt wrong. After a few moments of this, they tend to move on.

Yep, I normally have my backpack on my lap in the metro. I also use twist ties on the zippers to make it harder to open it up while it is on my back. I think cross body method with the purse in front would work also. I don't do this because my husband might not want to take his turn with carrying stuff if it was a purse :-)

In general, anything in my pocket is something I am willing to lose. Anything I am not is in my money belt.

Posted by
7462 posts

I was walking down a street in Milan with my husband and another couple, when we stopped at a light to cross the street. I happened to glance over at my friend, and here were two guys who already had her backpack unzipped and were ready to dip their hands in. I yelled at them and they backed off. She never felt a thing.

Posted by
15 posts

That's why I use the zip ties around the zippers. It is a whole lot more work to get into my bag then the one next to me.

Hey, if they want something, they are going to take it. I just try to make it as dificult as I can :-)

Posted by
41 posts

I just got back from 3 weeks in Europe. I wore a money belt every day for most of the paper cash, credit & debit card, passport etc. I had a coin purse in my purse, of a size that would hold coins, folded paper money, my ID card, a mini calculator & a page from a checkbook register. I had a LeSportSac purse that I wore cross-body -- a very convenient design, & it has a zip-out expansion feature. I rigged up a way to "lock" it by putting small round key rings through the holes in the zipper pulls, then I had a very small carabiner around the bottom of the strap. You didn't notice them, it was easy enough to open, but would discourage a pickpocket.