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How to carry/wear an iphone

Hello everyone: We will be in Venice, Florence, Assisi and Siena. Advice on how to carry or not carry an iPhone ? My husband wears his on his belt. Mine tends to be in my purse.

I have no idea what the pickpocket rates are in those cities or whether pickpockets are interested in anything except cash or credit cards.

Thanks.

Posted by
1064 posts

I asked a similar question a few weeks ago and the advice was to bury the phone in a cross-body messenger bag or purse. I suppose it would also fit in a neck pouch worn under a shirt. I normally carry my iPhone in a front pocket of my pants. A belt clip-on holder is not a good idea for travel; it seems too obvious a target.

Posted by
922 posts

Last October I was in Italy and Paris and kept my iPhone either in my satchel or in front pocket. I wear jeans all the time so I would feel another hand sliding into my snug jean pockets. I usually kept it in my front left pocket since my satchel rested across my left hip/upper thigh. Will be doing the same in Germany and Austria in two weeks.
Enjoy your trip..

Posted by
715 posts

I just carry it in my messenger bag, or in my front pocket.

Posted by
11734 posts

Pickpockets all over the world are VERY interested in iphones: theft has been epidemic although theft numbers have fallen quite a bit since Apple introduced Activation Lock. Still, I wouldn't carry it in a pocket, a purse, and certainly not on a belt. Keep in stashed somewhere deep under your clothing or in a locking bag - like a pacsafe - where light fingers can't easily get to it. I don't trust the 'tight front pocket' method as I know people who've lost other valuables that way. One jostle and the goods were gone; they never felt it.

Someone I know had hers lifted out of her purse at a cafe in Florence last year.

Posted by
1406 posts

In every case, make sure your phone is LOCKED so that you have to enter a PIN or make a pattern before it will work. At least it will slow a thief down long enough that you can put a freeze on your account.

Posted by
95 posts

My DH wears a SCOTTeVEST and puts his iphone in one of the many inside pockets. I don't carry mine at all since we're never really apart when we travel. I would NOT put it in a pocket or on my belt. Keep it in an inside pocket or something.

Posted by
2244 posts

So, are most of you keeping your iPhone/smartphone readily accessible so you can take photos with it? I rarely use my phone as a phone when in Europe, and it occurs to me that the relatively high rate of theft, for the iPhone in particular, is a very good reason to carry a small point and shoot camera, instead of getting the phone out every time. My phone is usually tucked inside a secured pocket in my day pack. A point and shoot camera does not attract the amount of attention from would be thieves that an iPhone does. I enjoy taking photos and video with my iPhone at times, and they do work very well for that, but it's a prime target.

Posted by
5217 posts

Dave, my phone stays behind at the hotel most of the time. Old point and shoot for the reason you suggest. Only person I need to stay in touch with is usually right with me.

Posted by
329 posts

99.9% of people carry smartphones nowadays, so it's not like you'll stand out as a target.

I keep my iPhone in a zippered pocket of my cross-body bag. Easy to get to for taking photos. (I don't carry another camera.)

I've done this in Athens, London, and Rome, and have been fine. (And I carried 3 iPhones in London, but that's another story...)

Rule of thumb: Prepare as if you're going to any big city in the US: Manhattan, Chicago, SF. Be sensible, definitely, but you don't have to be paranoid just because it's Europe.

Have fun!!!!!

Posted by
11734 posts

Stacy is right. There's no need at all to be paranoid but it's good to be aware, and an ounce of prevention is worth ANY amount of time lost to unnecessary complications on a holiday!

Posted by
11983 posts

Carry it in the same place you would carry it if you were going to New York or any other big city in North America.

Posted by
31076 posts

I sometimes carry my iPhone on a belt clip, but it's hidden behind my travel vest so not really visible. If wandering around a higher risk area, it goes into one of the inside pockets of my vest (again not visible). I rarely use the phone for taking photos as the quality from my P&S and DSLR cameras is so much better.

Posted by
843 posts

I carry my iPhone is an inside zipped compartment of my messenger day bag. I needed relatively easy access to it since I used it almost exclusively for photo taking, audio tour listening, and navigating (including the rough itinerary). All other valuables (such as the cash, cards, and passport) were in the money belt.

Posted by
715 posts

Rpberto wins for clearest and most sensible response.

Posted by
467 posts

I agree with Roberto. When I am running it is in my side pocket so that I can stop and take pictures. I also carry it in my hand... I really don't think about it. I just use it like I would when visiting my daughter in NYC or running in Chicago.

Posted by
1064 posts

I didn't realize this was a contest. If so, Roberto gets points deducted for not pointing out that people could be making a wrong decision about carrying cellphones in big U.S. cities or haven't visited one since iPhones were invented. I do hear that Apple-picking is a popular sport in some cities.

Posted by
706 posts

I think Roberto's point was that the same general principles apply when traveling to any major city, maybe even non-major cities. Take Margaret's question and insert any city (New York, LA, Miami, Paris, Madrid, Istanbul, etc...) and the same answers would apply. Take Margaret's question and insert any valuable device (camera, iPhone, Samsung Galaxy, MP3 player, a pager or Walkman back in the day) and the same general safety precautions should be taken. Some people (not you Margaret!!) do get caught up in the whole "I will be in another country!" and don't realize that these precautions are generic. I don't known of a single person who would be all willy-nilly and careless with an iPhone in ANY city.

Posted by
11983 posts

My point is that there is a generalized belief that valuable electronic devices are less safe while traveling in a subway in Europe, than in the NYC subway, when in fact that is not the case.

The same precautions should apply.

If it makes you feel better, the recently introduced "Kill Switch" has reduced smart phone theft on both sides of the pond.

Posted by
11182 posts

"99.9% of people carry smartphones nowadays, so it's not like you'll stand out as a target. "

I feel Stacey deserves "co-winner" status with Roberto for this comment. Of course, as a tourist you are more of a target (as is often said, locals can always tell who the tourists are, and while most locals don't care, thieves do, since they know tourists will be moving on soon). But just showing a smartphone won't make you stand out in any way.

I'm now in Israel (not in Europe, I know), and I can say with confidence (and some amusement) that I would stand out if I DIDN'T brandish my smartphone at every opportunity (on the train, in a restaurant, etc). This is doubly amusing to me since I had a flip phone until 6 weeks ago; I'm so glad I haven't had to suffer the embarrassment of not being in style! And if you want to be in fashion in Israel, the larger "phablets" are clearly preferred. I've noticed for some time that there are definite fads and fashions in cell phones, which vary by region. In New York City, the iPhone really dominates, but only a few have the larger 6 Plus; here in Israel, iPhone and Samsung are about equal, as long as it's the largest model.

So if you want to blend in and be mistaken for a native, forget clothing - bring the "it" phone for your chosen destination, and no one will be the wiser!

Posted by
68 posts

I have my iphone in my hand 75% of the time as I use it as a camera, music listening device, gps, and ebook reader. In crowded areas where I needed both hands (like paying for a ticket on the bus) I would put it in my sports bra. In less high risk areas (around the hotel, uncrowded museum) I sometimes put it in a jacket pocket. It's almost always easily accessable, how else do you get an incognito picture of the paper towel lady outside the bathroom while pretending to text?
If you are at all technology addicted or a bad navigator I would get a cheap Italian sim card from one of the cell phone shops. I used mine to reserve hotels/dinner, get directions, and look up all sorts of things.

Posted by
47 posts

We are planning to use our Android phones for Ricks Audio Europe app so we can listen to him during our tours and walks. I'm sure some people are walking around sites using this app also. We won't be using our phone in Europe for calls, only for an emergency. As others have stated, the person I would be calling is with me! Not sure yet where we will keep our phones in between listening to Rick. Have plenty of time to decide that and read what others have done before we go. Thanks for all the advice so far.

Posted by
671 posts

Got my first iPhone in 2013 and have made three trips to Europe (Germany, Austria, Italy) since, with it in its holster on my belt, just as I wear it in NYC.

Posted by
706 posts

Thank you Michelle - I didn't want to be the first lady to admit putting my phone in my bra. I usually wrap it in a napkin as I once had a phone get "water damage" from my sweat. This was before I started using cases. Anyway, it's not going anywhere once there, and I do it with other valuables too. In fact, there is a bra with pockets for just such a purpose. Of course, it isn't very polite or lady like to go fishing for said items in public, but if you want to carry something and don't intend to use it until you are back in your hotel or apartment again, it's a good alternative.

Posted by
1803 posts

I've had various models of iPhones since the first release and I've lived in a number of big US cities, travel frequently for business and have been overseas with my iPhone many times. I carry it overseas exactly like I do at home, inside my zippered purse unless I have it in my hands to snap a photo, text, call, use an app or GPS. I set it so it goes into auto-lock when it reaches 1 minute of inactivity.

Thieves and phone snatchers who target smartphone users are mostly looking for those with the latest and greatest models. So if you are carrying a 4s or a 5c, that makes your phone far less interesting than the guy with the gynormous 6Plus clipped to his belt. A belt clip is really never a good idea - so tell your husband to either leave it back at the hotel tucked away somewhere (like the room safe) or carry it in your purse.

What I don't recommend is leaving one of the newer 6 or 6Plus iPhones out on top of tables in a restaurant, cafe or bar while eating or drinking - especially if you are sitting outdoors and are really close to the street or sidewalk. Someone walking or riding past on a bike, moped or Vespa then has a nice shot at grabbing the phone and taking off. Got a 4s? Go ahead and leave it out on the table! That potential phone thief doesn't see a difference between a 4s and a paperweight, not to mention his black market contacts will likely laugh at him for trying to hock it.