young tourist please! how do you carry your passports?

my son is insisting on just his wallet and does not beleive me that a neck pouch/waste type is needed for passports and larger amts of money by
ALL ages. Hopefully he will have his strong backpack for his fancy cameras, but they are not always secure (you do put them down or take them off)...I know what it is like to loose a wallet...even in the US.....but a passport and all the money you have with you is even more of a nightmare.

who uses the flat neck packs or what else is used by kids that do not like to feel encumbered....but NEED to be secure?

Posted by Lee
Lakewood, Colorado
14175 posts

It's not the probability of having you passport pickpocketed, it's the consequences if it is. You had better do EVERYTHING you can to prevent that. It's not like being in the US and losing you driver's license.

Posted by Larry
Pearland, Texas, USA
423 posts

I would strongly recommend that he start off right and get a regular money belt, the waist kind. without one he's not really secure and losing both money and passport would be a nightmare. He should have a copy of the first page of his passport in his luggage which will make it easier to replace his passport but without it he's stuck in Europe.

Posted by Nancy
Bloomington, IL, USA
8735 posts

And his passport won't fit in his wallet. Get a waist-style money belt. They aren't uncomfortable. He should understand, though, that it is only for deep storage - NOT to be accessed for cash during the day. His daily money should be in his wallet, in a secure pocket.

Posted by Tom
2876 posts

The WORST place to carry money or a passport is in a pants pocket. That's why they call them pickPOCKETS. Tell him to get a neck wallet and wear it under an arm, under his shirt. He won't even know it's there.

Posted by Karen
800 posts

Susan - how old is your son? If young and traveling with you, just carry his passport for him. I do this for my husband as he is DOES tend to leave things (wallet, credit cards, camera) at restaurants, on top of the car, etc. I carried all passports for our family of 4 when the kids were younger (under 16).

If your son is traveling by himself you have given him advice. You can EVEN give him the moneybelt. He will probably not use it.

Posted by Karen
Fort Wayne, IN, USA
1853 posts

WHY don't these kids listen to us??

And have you seen the way they wear their pants these days? Actually, that's part of the problem. When their pants are so low down on their hips, I don't think a waist belt will work. Look for those pockets with a loop that attaches to the pants belt loop, then tuck inside the jeans. (Don't even try to get him to take non-jeans!) Make sure it's big enough for a passport. Alternatively, you could have a tailor sew in a security pocket in all his pants.

Posted by Susan
Boston, MA, USA
115 posts

Karen, you gave me a chuckle....I work in a high school and see that horrid style of pants daily...WHEN will this ever go out? My son is 25 and has gotten past the worst of this...even wants mor of a straight legged look...but in jeans of course. He does not fight it when he gets a free pair of pants tho. We are goining to Germany as a family (his 2 sisters also..whom I fighting the leggings look to no avail) They are all in twenties. But I bought him a pair of black jeans...and the weight of jeans has been a plus for me, since he wants as little weight since has has professional photography equip to lug also.
I got him grey khakis with side pocket look that is not too messy also.Wish I could find even semi prmanent press for him tho. The seamstress/tailor thing is interesting idea. I bought him a bikers wallet (with a loop and chain to attach to pants) even tho I am not crazy about the look, I do see adult men of all types with them. I am still pushing for a side packet. He just does not get the consequences of the passport loss. Has anyone ever lost theirs and had a hassle to replace it? Thanks for ideas guys. I will show him your posts...after he gets over being fed up with me for posting this..sigh!

Posted by Swan
Napa, CA
3281 posts

In France recently I saw the extremely low-slung pants in France just once. For travel in another country, that style looks even odder than it does here.

Posted by Joel
Tempe, AZ, USA
1046 posts

Susan - I had this issue last summer with my teenage daughters. They didn't like how the money belts looked under their clothes. I mentioned what Lee had said. They didn't like it but they understood.

Posted by Michael
Des Moines, IA
2193 posts

If he’s a 25 year old man, perhaps the best you can do is suggest the most prudent measure and then let him do as he wishes. One way or another, he’ll figure it out.

Posted by Janet
Seattle, USA
120 posts

I agree with Michael. As a 25-year-old man, your son is old enough to take responsibility for his own actions. The best you can do as a caring mom is to give him your best advice on the consequences of losing his passport, money, etc. It's up to him to take it from there.

Here's the State Dept's info on replacing a lost or stolen passport while abroad:

And some advice on the waist moneybelt, if I may: 1) Put your passport and money in a Ziploc bag before putting it in the belt. That prevents them from getting soggy w/sweat. 2) If it bothers your son/daughters to have the bit of bulkiness from the moneybelt at their tummy, they can turn it around so it's at the small of their back. Just make sure your clothes adequately cover it. (I don't think that's as secure as having it in front, but if that'll make a difference as to whether they'll wear one or not...) 3) To make it more secure, you can safety-pin the moneybelt closed, and then safety pin it to your pants. 4) Echoing a poster above- the moneybelt is not for daily-access quick cash. Small amounts of daily cash should be in a wallet or pocket or somewhere that's relatively easy for you to get to.

Posted by pat
victoria, Canada
9481 posts

Susan, leggings are very in,, stop fighting daugthers on it. LOL

Posted by Karen
Fort Wayne, IN, USA
1853 posts

James, he is not asking for his mother's help. She is offering it up. We have such wisdom, and they seem to have no need of it. I call it the "biting the tongue" stage of parenting. I will say that if I had an unrelated traveling companion who refused to use a money belt, I'd be just as frustrated. She'll be affected as well if the passport is lost.

Susan, please practice smiling while biting your tongue.

Posted by Michael
Des Moines, IA
2193 posts

I don’t know…it seems like the real issue may be with mom and not so much with the son. Twenty-five year olds shouldn’t need mom to dress or accessorize them, and I’m betting that a man of that age wouldn’t want his mom to have that much control in his personal life anyway. I understand that your kids are still your kids regardless of age & you worry about them, but you have to let go at some point. Sounds like that time may be way past due. Seriously, young adults are out of college and even graduate school by 25. Some kids join the army and are fighting in Iraq or Afghanistan at 18 or 19…talk about becoming a man fast! One day you’re at home with mom and dad…the next day you’re in a remote combat outpost for 15 months. Not trying to be a jerk, but a little perspective is in order. Offer your advice, but then let it go. He’ll learn…don’t worry.

Posted by Susan
Boston, MA, USA
115 posts

well, that gave me a laugh at least. Michael, my son is so hard working to pay for school that he appreciates any clothes without holes in them. And he would not wear anything he would not buy himself. But the family has never traveled oversees and does not understand (like a lot of americans) that what may be the norm here, may be considered too casual in other places. My husband and I saw that in a our too few travels. So it is more about respecting the people/culture of where you are.

I am concerned about this for the obvious will be all of us that pay if anyone of them looses their passport and we have to replace it. it is not like going to the registry and getting a copy of your don't get this, even their friends that are on a second tour in Afghanistan..even they can be quite absentminded when vacationing (which I wish all of them were here to do)
Also my kids lost their father this year (I am bringing them to where their father was born in Germany, for some connection with him perhaps and some family healing. Thus my son does not have a father or male in the family either that has traveled oversees to let him know what they have done to protect things. Thus I am asking what other people have used here. This site has been a god send to me and my husband in the past. I am just trying to avoid as many glitches as I can. Be well!

Posted by Ms. Jo
Frankfurt, Germany
5692 posts

My suggestion? Go to some live webcams or Google Earth Street View, in the cities that he is going to visit. Look at what young men his age are wearing. Chances are pretty good that you will see a lot of men wearing messenger bags. These are better for carrying cameras, etc. Easier to get into as you don't have to set them down to get your camera out, and with a zipper at the top, plus a flap over that that will fasten at the bottem, it is also quite secure.

You also get to see what kind of fashion is commonly worn.

Posted by Michael
Des Moines, IA
2193 posts

That’s a really good suggestion, and you’ll find that young people who are concerned about style and the latest trends dress pretty much alike regardless of whether they are in San Francisco, Chicago, Boston, Paris, or Madrid. Chances are your son is already wearing the same type of clothes now as his European counterparts. And, I’ll bet that he would like the “hipness” of the messenger bag.

Posted by Sharon
515 posts

On our most recent trip, my husband used the hidden pocket and liked it. Also, our 22 year old son used this when he was doing his summer semester in Spain a couple years ago. Works well. My son wasn't keen on it, but after reading all the horror stories on this helpline and graffiti wall of those who lost passports, money, etc., he quickly decided that this was the easy/smart thing to do. Lost a watch, but not the truly important stuff. The hidden pocket is easier to wear. Just hangs on the belt and isn't noticeable.