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Isn't it uncomfortable to have passports in money belt?

Our first trip to Europe was in 2013 and we have gone every year since then. Over the years I have purchaded 2 money belts, one is Rick Steves and the other is Eagle Creek. One goes around the neck and the other around the waist. I have used the neck one only once, when we went biking if France.

When I put our passports in the waist one, it just seems like they are getting scrunched up when I sit down. Maybe because I am very short waisted?? The other one just plain bothers me to have around my neck and under my tops. Getting ready to go again and facing the same choices.

How do you deal with this? Suggestions appreciated.

Posted by
3493 posts

No, not uncomfortable at all.

I wear my money belt with the pouch in the back (under my shirt of course). Nothing gets scrunched, I almost don't even remember it is there. Done this for the past 15 years. I have the RS silk money belt. More comfortable than the synthetic one.

Posted by
22504 posts

I carry my passport in my purse, inside two zippers. It's too bulky in the money belt when added to the extra credit cards, etc., that are in there. I made a strategic error when I did my most recent passport renewal in 2014: Knowing that I'd be traveling a lot, I asked for the extra pages, forgetting that the Schengen agreement means you no longer get a passport stamp every time you cross a European border. Those extra pages will never be used, and the passport is a lot bulkier than it needs to be.

Posted by
11044 posts

It may be that since you are short-waisted there is not enough room before your ribs start for comfort. I actually wear mine fairly low - like tucked into my underwear or into compression shorts if I have them on.

I would not be able to stand having something around my neck so have never gone with those wallets. Some do wear them so thay hang under their arms.

Where are you headed?

Posted by
364 posts

I tend to wear the money belt more on my hip. When I wore it in front just under my waist it was uncomfortable. While I use a purse with zippers and wear the strap across my body, I only have a small amount of money and items that if stolen it won’t matter.

I am 5’2”.

Posted by
6647 posts

When I am just out sightseeing, if I carry my passport at all, it's in my cross body bag. When I do wear my money belt, which is also not always, mostly just when traveling from one location to another, it contains my tickets, credit cards, large amounts of cash (very rarely), and a paper copy of my passport id page. My passport still goes in my bag. I have in the past carried my passport in the money belt but it was extremely uncomfortable for me and now I don't see the necessity of that.

Posted by
526 posts

Thanks for the replies. I'm only a tad over 5 feet tall, so I'm guessing that's why it's uncomfortable. I just don't have as much "real estate" as someone taller.

We're mostly doing Italy this year. Starting in Montepulciano, just me and hubby. Then meeting a friend, my brother and sister-in-law in Rome. Brother then flies home and we fly to Majorca for 3 nights with our friend. She then flies home and we are off to: Cinque Terre, Varenna, Verona and Ortisei. Train to Salzburg for a couple of nights. Fly to London for a short visit, then home.

All locations in Italy are new to us. Getting very excited!

Posted by
2765 posts

Yes, I find it uncomfortable. If I wear a money belt it is on my back - around my waist but the contents on the small of my back instead of my waist/stomach. Still not great. I don't usually use one, I leave it in the hotel if in-town, and in a safety pinned closed inside zip pocket of my purse if on a day trip.
I'm about 5'3 or 5'4 and short waisted. You may be on to something as far as size

Posted by
526 posts

Sue, I am barely 5’1” tall, so I understand. I wear my money belt in the small of my back. At one time, I used the RS around the waist belt. Now, I use the hidden pocket. I have no pants that have belt loops, so I don’t wear it attached the normal way. I sewed snaps onto the hidden pocket and inside the waist of my pants. I got lazy and used a diaper pin to attach it to a new pair of pants, plus I didn’t have more snaps. Both ways work like a charm. I find it very comfortable, much more so than the one worn around my waist.

Posted by
6959 posts

I sure would think so. I cannot imagine trying to pin a passport anywhere onto my body. My passport sits in deep zipped storage in my purse like other valuables.

Posted by
5697 posts

My passport lives in my money belt except when going through airports -- and the money belt is around my waist during my entire trip unless we go swimming/spa (or sleeping / bathing). In airports I use a neck holder for easy access. Don't really notice the money belt when it's on, but for the first week after the trip I feel like something is missing.
I wear it usually on the front, slightly below my waistline, or in the small of my back; passport and cash in Ziploc bags so they don't get sweated through.
And after the trip, my passport, foreign currency and travel-abroad cards stay in the money belt in a specific travel drawer.

Posted by
14228 posts

Yep, it's uncomfortable. In fact, both my husband and I find moneybelts intolerable so we use other methods for our valuables. There are many ways to skin that cat so whatever works for keeping your goodies secure is OK. :O)

Posted by
2626 posts

Yes I too find it too uncomfortable. I carry a copy of the face page in the money belt and the passport itself remains in my room safe with other valuables.

Posted by
2349 posts

A waist belt doesn't bother me at all. But it bothers you, so you don't have to use it. There is no money belt pledge on this site. Although, if you do get your valuables stolen, you are required to post a "Rick was right" story here. Sorry, but it's in the T&C.

Have you tried the neck wallet but worn cross body, with the wallet pretty high? Above your waist, sort of under your arm.

The most important thing is that somehow your valuables are kept in a few separate places, and secured well. Don't rely just on your street smarts and general awareness, because we all drop that at some point.

Posted by
16887 posts

You can also wear a money belt centered on your back instead of front.

Posted by
983 posts

I loop my neck wallet through my bra strap and then tuck the wallet part down into the front side of my pants. Easy to retrieve without showing skin if I need my passport. I can't stand having anything hanging or pulling on my neck. From advice on this forum I always keep my passport inside a plastic baggie to protect it from rain or sweat. So far I only carry my passport with me during transit.

Posted by
1140 posts

I am very short waisted and I don't find that it is uncomfortable to have it in my money belt at all.

Posted by
7352 posts

I haven't seen them around for awhile, but there used to be one that you wore under your arm, like a shoulder holster.

Posted by
261 posts

At 5'1" I have a couple ideas not yet posted. I do still use a traditional money belt with passport at the base of my spine in a baggie when doing big transits. For out and about, if there isn't a safe or if it's not stashed in my luggage I have a couple pants with hidden zippers so it's more in the area on top on my thigh. Athleta makes a legging with an awesome stash pocket, and several other styles that work well for me, also. There is also, on Amazon, a money belt made out of polyester material that looks like a very wide waistband. You step into it, it was very comfortable.

Posted by
5400 posts

Sue, I'm medium tall (5'8" - or at least I used to be!) but I am very short-waisted. On one of our first RS tours our guide clued me in to wearing the money belt backwards. (Thanks, Jennifer!) It worked like a charm. I really do forget I have it on. My DH wore his like that one day, and ended up sleeping in it because he didn't notice it when he undressed!

Debra, thanks for the tip about the hidden pocket. You know the trouble Stan had this year at Heathrow when he had to remove his belt and lost his hidden pocket! Although I suspect he's going to stick with money belts.

And although I find the money belt comfortable, I very seldom carry my passport in it. It normally stays in the hotel room, or is in my "personal item" bag when we're traveling.

Posted by
270 posts

I got this idea from the forum awhile back. I have the Eagle Creek neck wallet that is 7" long. Some neck wallets are bigger so this suggestion would probably not work for those.

I wear it around my waist (just step into it, adjust to waist size) with the wallet hanging down (inside of course) my side pant leg. . If you can't adjust it small enough for your waist, you can sew a tuck in the strap. It sounds odd, but when I tried it at home as a test with the passport in it, I really forgot I had it on.

Posted by
11459 posts

I keep my passport in hotel safe , and that saved me so much hassle when I had my entire purse stolen this past Sunday , outside Paris , on a bike tour !

Long story but to make it short , we were pretty much in middle of nowhere an hour outside Paris , friend offered to watch my purse when I took some photos inside a small church . There was NO one around , but when I came out purse was gone and friend didn’t even realize it !! She was standing about 5 feet from my bike . Apparently she was distracted when two men just randomly started a fight about 20 feet away , she of course was looking in that direction . When she looked back she didn’t even notice my purse was gone ! It had been on bikes back rack . She did note a car driving by , in hindsight .

We only had two more days so I was fine , had left my passport and credit card at hotel in safe . Lost some cash , but not enough to cripple me .

I only use a money belt in transit . And this trip I didn’t even do that , just in my purse .

It was 30-35 degrees every day of our 12 day trip , I would have died if I had to layer on a money belt , the heat really makes me suffer !

Posted by
79 posts

I have a pocket with a zipper that I pin to my waist band of my skirts or pants. I can’t stand to have the money belt band around my waist. I bought the pocket off of Amazon.

Posted by
996 posts

I'm 5'3". I find putting the passports in the waist money belt to be uncomfortable, but I also find that putting them in a neck wallet makes them visible.

I am high waisted but short. So it may take some practice to see what works best for you. Worst case scenario, you might want to look at a 'secure' bag that holds your passports on days when you need to have it available.

Posted by
415 posts

I’m short-waisted. When I was single I would wear mine centered on my back. I wore it inside my pants but outside my underwear. I use to forget that it was there. Now I carry 4 passports so I wear a PacSafe crossbody sling.

My sister uses a neck wallet and she wears it under her shirt. She says she never notices it.

Posted by
5400 posts

Apparently she was distracted when two men just randomly started a fight about 20 feet away , she of course was looking in that direction . When she looked back she didn’t even notice my purse was gone ! It had been on bikes back rack . She did note a car driving by , in hindsight .

Pat, you do realize that that fight was probably not "random," don't you? Sounds like a typical distraction ploy. You might want to post this story elsewhere on the Forum (scams?) to warn other folks.

Posted by
11459 posts

Oh Jane I am well aware of it , unfortunately my friend was not !! She’s rather naive at best of time and has only been to Europe once before and that was with me , 10 years ago !

Posted by
1119 posts

I just take paper copy out and about. And I rarely use a money belt (well mine hangs around my neck). I try not to carry much cash and I might stick my credit card and drivers license in my bra strap if I'm in a big city or on the train. I have paper copies of our passports and credit cards left in back in the "hotel" and I have them in an electronic document vault on line. I don't think I have ever carried my passport once I've landed.

Posted by
5400 posts

Pat, I totally get the "naïve" bit. Our first time in Paris, we were pickpocketed in the Metro. Two young ladies were standing in front of us, blocking the door to the train, as they studied a map. We asked in French and English for them to please let us pass. Being polite mid-westerners, we of course did not push them aside or try to squeeze past them. They finally got on the train, and then exited as soon as we got on. At that point, we said "uh, oh." When DH checked his back pocket, sure enough, his wallet was gone.

No harm done. He carries an empty wallet when we travel. His real one is in a front pocket, but if his back pocket is empty, he keeps thinking he left his wallet somewhere. Hence, the "dummy" wallet.

Lesson learned. Something unusual is often a sign of trouble.

Posted by
10 posts

Do any of the guys reading this just put cash in their sock?

Posted by
4830 posts

Been living and traveling around Europe for the past 11 years. Never used a money belt, always kept Passport in the hotel. Never had a single problem. Don’t buy into the hype and sales pitch.

Posted by
2004 posts

Yes, uncomfortable for sure!! I'm tall, and still uncomfortable for me. We have the expanded passport (the one with more pages, because we too quickly blew thru our old ones) and it is like (I exaggerate) carrying an unabridged dictionary around one's neck....but seriously, there is a big difference in the bulk factor.

When weather is cool, I wear the neck wallet in front, but hide the bulges (points from the passport) with a scarf. In the warm weather (I like to wear long-sleeve t-shirts), I find very, very light weight scarves....or if wearing a dress, I will do like other posters have stated, and wear it with pouch on my back....still uncomfortable..........but less uncomfortable than losing a passport.

For my spouse, he wears the neck style, but we also altered an RS neck wallet money belt to be holster style, and that is where the large bill cash, credit cards, emergency contact info, and supply of US cash goes. Yes, it gets grossly wet in the hot weather, but a small sandwich bag keeps contents dry. We also carry an extra one, so if he's saturated from day touring, a fresh one can go on while the other is washed and dries.

My daily cash goes in a zip section of my travel purse, which is worn cross-style, kept in front of me with the zipper facing my body.

My sister, an excellent seamstress, fashions extra zip pockets into her husband's travel pants and her shorts/skirts, but they don't have the bulky extra thick passports....but that could still be more comfortable than having stuff hanging around your neck (and it does get heavy sometimes).

There is no right or wrong way........it's just a matter of what works for you and what is more comfortable than not.

In today's world, we just do not feel comfortable being without our passports on our bodies......just in case.

We also carry a color photocopy of the other's passport in our money belts.

Posted by
3579 posts

Isn't it uncomfortable to have passports in money belt?

Nope.

I carry my passport and my husband carries his as we each go our own way for a few hours. I now have the larger passport (52 pages) that is perfectly comfortable in the money belt. So I don't have to "deal" with any problem as there is none.

Posted by
2349 posts

Do any of the guys reading this just put cash in their sock?

As a teenager, I used to keep a few loose...items in my socks, in a baggie. I did get a few questions from my mom about why I wore jeans and gym shoes in the summer.

Posted by
21 posts

I don't use one but there is a pouch similar to the belt that goes around the leg. Not sure if it goes around the thigh or the calf but may be an option depending on if you are a pants person and not skirt/shorts.

Posted by
2960 posts

Pursuant to Shawn's comment: When I use a money belt, which is infrequently these days, I do use the leg belt to which Shawn refers. I don't travel in summer. I don't wear skirts/dresses. It attaches just below my knee and fits easily under my straight leg and bootleg slacks. I've never put more than one passport in it with my back up financial data so I don't know about multiples. (I also believe everyone should carry their own passport, etc.) I caught myself crawling into bed with it still on a few times because it is so comfortable or not noticeable. Initially it feels like a knee sock...for those of us who remember such things...and then it is no longer felt. This is the only type of belt I use. However, I only use it when in transit, solo these days. I do think it is superfluous unless looking for a back up location for financials or part of organization.

Posted by
526 posts

Thanks for all of the replies. Always interesting to read what everyone does.

I took Lynn's recommendation and shortened the strap on my neck wallet. Then I stepped into it and adjusted it so it fits snug around my waist. The wallet then hangs down the side of my leg. Tucked it under my jeans....feels okay.

Thanks again.