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Re: Carry your passport thread

Excellent thread BTW. But, what do all the references to deep storage of your passport actually mean? Are you wearing a money belt/storage in addition to a cross body? I have always carried a small crossbody bag, (never a tote of any kind) on the front side and really, I feel I pay quite good attention to my surroundings. If it’s jacket season, the bag is under my jacket. Saying that, much of our travel this fall will not be jacket wearing weather. I’m getting a bit nervous here that I’m not going to be doing enough. I do have a small clip on RFID wallet that goes on the inside of pants, skirts, shorts, etc., that I have the CC’s in and extra money. It is very secure and again on my front side/inside. Blouse, shirt, tee, covers the clip.
I have travelled in areas that have high pick pocketing (Amsterdam a lot, Barcelona)but have never been targeted although I know-always a first time! If Rick Steves can get pick pocketed, then anyone is fair game.
I don’t look forward to wearing a money belt for a number of reasons although I really wish my husband would! He’s a tad bit more nonchalant, although aware and carries his valuables in a zipped, velcroed and snapped leg pocket.
So, if a money belt is the serious consideration-what are recommendations for very light, very unobtrusive?
Thank you all for any ideas.

Posted by
6349 posts

During Fall travel I wear jeans. So I make use of an Eagle Creek leg wallet for the passport. Works just fine.

This year traveling in July to the UK and will wearing shorts. The old well worn RS money belt will put into use.

I don’t carry a purse or back pack.

Posted by
9706 posts

For myself, when I say deep storage yes, it means a money belt or zipped and clipped into my purse. If not using a money belt I have a small wallet that has my passport, CDC card and Global Entry card. It also holds the extra Ccs and DCs. I put in an inside zipper pocket in my purse and clip it shut with a carabiner.

This last trip when I was in France, Belgium and Netherlands I used this system instead of a money belt although I had the money belt packed.

On a previous trip I got picked on the Paris Metro -never even felt anyone near me - so I always have this wallet secured when I am in a crowd or before I get on the Metro.

I just use the RS money belt and it doesn’t bother me but I know it does some.

Posted by
4462 posts

Yes, deep storage means I don’t want to access it on the street. I just switch out larger Euros in my hotel room or bathroom.

I also carry a crossbody purse, and it has my phone it in the back section.

Do whatever makes it most secure and still practical for you.

Posted by
12917 posts

According to the Italian police, the most common place where pickpockets occur is aboard public transportation, especially when crowded. Another common occurrence is thieves taking purses or telephones from people while sitting at outdoor tables of restaurants, cafes, etc.

Therefore, if possible, avoid buses and subways (walking or taxi cabs are way safer) or, while sitting at an outdoor table at a restaurant, do not leave your belongings (especially telephones, purses, wallets) on the table or hanging on the back of your chair (keep it under the table between your legs), it take s seconds for someone to snatch your purse or phone from the table top and run away.

Also be careful when you withdraw money from ATMs. Do so at ATMs inside the hall of a bank. Put your cash in your wallet or money belt while inside the bank, then exit.

I also like to take out in the streets as few things as possible. If you have 3 credit cards don’t take them all out at once. Leave what you don’t need in the hotel safe. Another thing I do is to keep some hard cash in my pockets, so that for small purchases (like an espresso for example). I don’t need to pull out a wallet at all, but just grab the cash from my pocket and pay.

Posted by
861 posts

My husband wears a Moneybelt and keeps my passport with me. There’s basically nothing of value in my purse, but I still keep it locked. Sometimes I’ll wear a neck wallet with my passport. Last time I did wear a money belt and turned it around to the flat of my back so wouldn’t be bulging,

Posted by
230 posts

Roberto has posted some good advice.

i use a neck wallet that hangs inside my shirt, and in it I carry my passport, excess cash not needed for the day, CCs...I also carry my wife's passport in it, too. I feel my valuables in my pockets, even in my front pockets, are too noticeable and vulnerable to a skilled pickpocket.

I used to leave those things in the lockable room safes, but when I learned that every maid servicing those rooms has a physical key to open up those safes, I quit using those for valuables...I learned that when I checked into a hotel room in Paris and the prior guest had not left the door open as instructed but had actually locked it with his selected pin code. I called the front desk, and was told to flag down the maid on our floor and she could unlock. Watching her do that with a physical key changed my habits more room safes for me.

Posted by
21065 posts

I carry my passport, one credit card and one ATM card (on days when I expect to visit an ATM) in my purse behind two zippers (not necessarily in the same pocket). I usually don't put the cards in my wallet when I'm traveling internationally; I figure pickpockets are normally fishing around for wallets, and I'd rather lose the small amount of cash I carry in my wallet than a credit card or ATM card. I lock my back-up cards and any extra cash in my suitcase when it's in my hotel room. On days when I'm shifting hotels, I stow the extra cards and cash in my money belt. There's no way on earth I'm going to carry 100% of my cards in my purse when I'm traveling around. I've had way too much experience dealing with lost (not stolen) credit cards in Europe, and it is not fun. I'd rather lose cash any day--though I make a point now of not carrying much around with me on a day-to-day basis.

Using a money belt is a problem at airports, because it must be removed before you go through security. That's a bad situation--everyone can see you have a money belt and where you put it. What I've been doing is loading up the money belt as usual but putting it inside the purse until I get through airport security. It would perhaps be smarter to drop the money belt in my tote bag (my only carry-on other than my purse) so not everything is in my purse.

There are multiple viable options for deep storage, including hidden pockets you can sew (or pin) inside your clothing that might be more comfortable than a money belt. As a woman who isn't wearing a turtleneck top every day during my summer trips, I don't think a neck wallet would be very secure, since the cord would be visible. If I were traveling in the winter, that's probably what I'd use.

Posted by
65 posts

Yes, I use the money belt (worn inside the waistband of my pants or skirt) for my passport, extra credit card, and extra cash. The plan is to never access it in public while I’m out and about (I guess unless I was required to show my passport as detailed in that other thread). I also carry a crossbody bag with a different credit card and a small amount of daily spending cash (less than 100 euros). My husband prefers the neck wallet for his deep storage, but he prefers to wear collared hiking style shirts while traveling, and the collar and loose style hides the outline of the pouch and the string).

We have used the in-room safes at hotels for deep storage. However, we had an incident in Venice that gave me pause and made me reconsider doing that. After we first arrived in the room my husband was going about putting our things in the safe, and setting up the access code. Somehow he managed to get locked out of the safe, and went to the front desk for assistance, and they actually sent him back to the room with a master key to unlock the safe (not accompanied by an employee). I have no idea if it was the key for just for that particular safe, or for every safe in the hotel, but after that I felt less confident about leaving things in any hotel safe, if they were that liberal with loaning out the key. However, I do think that hotel employees, especially housekeepers, are probably the least likely to steal things from guest rooms or safes, because they know they’ll probably the first to be suspected if anything goes missing.

Posted by
719 posts

In my room at a boutique hotel in Padova, the safe was resting on a shelf on a funky wall unit, bolted to nothing - so much for that plan.

Posted by
11246 posts

I have worn a hidden pocket type moneybelt for over 30 years. (Not the same one.)

Here is my procedure at the airport:

I find the nearest toilet to security. I go o into a stall and put my moneybelt and wallet into a zippered inside pocket of my personal item. I then go through security. After security, I find the nearest toilet and reverse the procedure. (I usually have my phone and identification in my hand to show security. It then goes into my personal item until I retrieve the other items.)

I don't carry a cross body bag because well, I come from an era where having both an X and Y chromosome meant you didn't carry a cross body bag. That has changed with some of the younger generations.

Look into a "Hidden Pocket" type of moneybelt. It hangs inside the pants leg and attaches to a belt. It not uncomfortable. In fact, I rarely feel it.

Posted by
1602 posts

Last trip I used a neck wallet for deep storage, ie passport, extra cash, backup credit and debit cards, all the things that I didn't need to access during the day. I wore it crossbody under my shirt. Worked good.
I don't use hotel safes. I am forgetful enough that I'm sure I'd leave everything behind at checkout.

This trip I will use Stashbandz money belt that has been mentioned several times by Lo. I have been wearing one while walking to get used to it. Very comfortable. stretchy, has four pockets spaced around the band to space things out so no lumps. Although their website shows the Stashbandz on top of leggings, it needs to go under your waistband to hold deep storage, ie passport, extra cash, backup credit and debit cards.
Daily money and credit card will be in my extra small Travelon crossbody purse for easy access. That will be divided between two coin purses: small amount of cash in one tethered inside my purse for very easy access and the remainder of the day's cash and credit card in the other then zipped in an interior purse pocket.

Experience note: In Italy three years ago, I gave up trying to figure out my sister-in-law's system or lack of. I think she had both a money belt and a neck wallet and a medium Travelon purse. Don't ask me why, I never could figure it out. Anyway, she had no system as to where she put things. As a result she lost her passport in Venice, somehow dropping it at the cafe next door to the hotel after checking into the hotel. With the kindness of strangers and hotel staff, her passport was found and the police returned it to her. Then she packed the 'passport found' documents in her suitcase, checked her luggage and got stopped by airport passport control because her passport was flagged as lost. Luckily we got it sorted out before our flight left. To say the least, I wasn't happy, out of patience, plus I was sick with the flu.

Posted by
81 posts

Ok, everyone, thanks so much-looks like I may need to try the money belt route. I like the idea of the hidden belt or leg wallet. Really, I don’t carry much in the cross body except anticipated cash needs for the day, my phone and sunglasses. Not even a cc. That is where my passport is however. Have just purchased a new Baggalini as I will need to carry prescription sunglasses in addition to regular now, so a little extra room needed. Will check it for extra interior more secure spaces. My purse always goes on my lap at restaurants, etc. Phone is in the purse unless using it and we won’t be using too much public transport (busses, metro and the like) with exception of vaporettos in Venice so will stay hyper aware there!! Will take the #7 bus to Fiesole. Know it’s a targeted bus, so will be very careful and watchful there.
Can only do as much as possible and stay awake.

Posted by
1602 posts

Sjs, I sewed a ring inside my purse to hook a tether to. Using a lanyard, I can use my phone while it’s tethered to my purse. The configuration of my purse’s zipper lets me close and snap the zipper shut with the lanyard and phone sticking out so I can use its maps. Hope that makes sense.