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Opinions On This Money Belt

I always wear a money belt, since I had my wallet picked on a very crowded Paris metro on my second trip to Europe. I thought I was being so careful, but we were on our way to the airport to go home and I obviously wasn’t careful enough. My go to has been a soft neck wallet that I wear over one shoulder (under my clothes of course) and I safety pin the strap to my bra strap so it can’t slide off. We have two long trips next year (Covid willing of course) and I’ve been thinking about how to keep valuables secure. I expect to have to show my CDC card with some frequency and wearing it in the money belt I’ve been using is clearly not practical. I started thinking about this style, which would provide easy access but keep things secure. Have any of you tried anything like this, and if so what were your impressions?

https://www.amazon.com/Stashbandz-Running-Security-Pockets-Passport/dp/B00ZS3DEOI/ref=sr_1_1?tag=thebrokback-20&s=apparel&ie=UTF8&qid=1532074225&sr=1-1&nodeID=7141123011&psd=1&keywords=stashbandz%2Btravel%2Bmoney%2Bbelt&geniuslink=true&th=1

Thanks for any advice.

Posted by
242 posts

Pre-Covid I used a similar style, in black and really liked it. For one, my clothes are mostly black and "athleisure" (yoga type) so since it lays pretty flat (if not overloaded) with an untucked tee it felt very secure, because, for two, once by some fluke my RS style waist money belt came unclasped. Ever since I find myself constantly checking it.
Another plus for athleisure pants are the pockets- think phone, likely the bulkiest object. With the style you are contemplating and a couple pockets I often didn't need a purse.

Posted by
1530 posts

Lo has suggested the Stashbandz on other threads. I bought one after reading her recommendation. My trip is a year away so I haven’t tried it to see if it’s better than my silk neck wallet.

The company is in California. If you order direct, you’ll be helping a small company’s bottom line. https://www.stashbandz.com/
They are very easy to work with. I had to return the medium because it was too large in the waist and gapped. Since I lost 10+ pounds, the small fits fine.

I’ll be wearing the Stashbandz like a money belt, deep storage and not for everyday items.
I bought plastic CDC card holders and ribbon and beaded lanyards. Tucked into my shirt my CDC card should be easy to access and show when needed.

EDIT: What I like about the Stashbandz is that items are distributed between four pockets. Only one has a zipper, the other three have a flap; I wish one more had a zipper. Since I wear leggings and tunics, I'm thinking I won't have an unsightly lump like I do with a neck wallet or money belt.
Kathy

Posted by
3661 posts

In spite of the way this is shown, being worn on the outside of your clothes, that is not the safest way to wear it. It should be under your pants, not outside them. If it's outside it's too easy for a pickpocket to get at without you noticing.

I've used this kind of money belt for years, but it's always been for deep storage, just like all other money belts. I started using this style because the typical ones didn't feel secure and were lumpy. This step-in kind of money belt isn't going to fall off. It's smoother and less noticeable under my clothes, even with my passport, some cash and essential cards inside.

When I hear of people getting their wallets stolen, I'm perplexed. I need so few cards that a wallet is totally unnecessary. I use a very small cross-body purse for the things I need easy access to. Next trip that will include the CDC card or copy or whatever will be required by next summer. If digital works, the hard copy will go in my money belt as backup.

If I wear and pack the pants I'm likely to take, I may not need the purse for anything important. They are tight and have zippered pockets that are very hard to get into even for me. They may include these or these or these.

Getting stuff out of any kind of money belt is difficult and that's a good thing. If you wear the style linked, access is a little easier for the wearer than anything under your arm, around your neck or the more traditional style of money belt. But I think you'd notice if anyone was sticking their hand inside your pants to get at it.

Posted by
203 posts

Here’s another option that uses a (very) strong magnet which clips onto clothing with no slipping https://shop.theroosport.com/collections/frontpage/products/roosport2-purple .

I’ve used it for 3 trips and it’s worked out great. I’ve worn it both with the larger section tucked in (the smaller section has a zippered compartment that fits a credit/debit card side by side, fairly easy access but I’m careful to be in a safe place when I do) and with the smaller section tucked in (typically in the airport for quick passport access). It’s a very comfortable soft feeling fabric.

Posted by
1841 posts

Since we've covered these specific products on the forum before I'm wondering if we can't turn our attention to another aspect of this OP --
do we agree or don't we that the CDC card needs to be stashed more out-of-the-way than not?
If you expect to have to show it two or more times a day,
for instance to dine indoors or to enter a museum or event venue,
then perhaps the card should be in your daybag as commenters above mention - whether that's a cross-body or a daypack or something inbetween.
I take the RS description of 'deep storage' seriously, and only put things that I really want kept out of the way while out and about.

Posted by
7444 posts

I like Tammy's idea of wearing it on a neck lanyard in a plastic holder under your shirt. That way it's not in a wallet that might get picked, nor is it in such deep storage taht it is difficult for the wearer to retrieve (plus the plastic cover protects it from sweat, rain etc).

Posted by
10984 posts

Knowing I would have to show my CDC card, and possibly my passport, often, I bought this:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07S8W1BMH/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

I also bought some lanyards and can wear them around my neck--under my shirt--for easy access. I also got some translucent paper at Michaels so any extra heat doesn't run the writing off on my CDC card if against the plastic.

I also have the clear card holders that only hold the CDC card. I can go back and forth by just moving the lanyard.

Posted by
792 posts

My two Euro: I've tried the flip pockets, runner's belts, and conventional RS-style money belts and I keep going back to the passport-sized neck wallet from Eagle Creek.

I divided my everyday carry into three stacks: 1) the stuff I need to get to easily and often, but can afford to lose, just goes into my shorts pockets; 2) stuff I should not need often is in the hidden zippered pocket; and 3) the important items I do not want to lose under any conditions are in the neck wallet. Yes, it's three separate locations but, after looking it all over carefully, turned out to be three different classes of stuff: 1) pocket cash and ephemera; 2) bulk cash, CDC, and credit cards; and 3) passport, ID, vouchers, backup cards, and backup cash.The CDC card will move easily to another location as conditions demand. Perhaps the neck lanyard will be standard fashion in two years.

NOTE: I'm not traveling these days so experiments were conducted under laboratory conditions: strolling around town and simulating commerce and interactions I might encounter in other lands while wearing my mask.

Posted by
8687 posts

Thanks everyone. I should have specified that this wouldn’t be for deep storage. For that I would continue to use my neck wallet. My husband uses the type that attaches to his belt and hangs down his leg. I don’t like traditional around the waist money belts. I’m not even crazy about using a regular belt. I thought that the flexibility of the fabric might make this one more comfortable. I would likely still carry a small crossbody purse for my reading glasses, etc. And then there’s the problem with what do you do with your mask when you take it off? My everyday crossbody purse is very small. My wallet is essentially just a card holder. I carry no change. I’ll obviously have to do something different in Europe for all the coins. Besides that it’s big enough for my phone, glasses, keys, chapstick and a couple of other small things. It has a place just big enough to slide a paper mask, but not a cloth one. I’m going to check out all of your suggestions and see if any of them will work for me.

Posted by
8687 posts

For those who propose putting their card in a plastic holder under your shirt, isn’t the plastic uncomfortable against your skin? I currently have copies of my CDC card in a similar plastic holder in my purse, just in case I need it for anything.

Posted by
7495 posts

An email from a friend traveling in Europe said they had to show CDC card and a photo ID to enter any public place, bar, restaurant etc.

Posted by
1530 posts

Suki, do you think a driver's license or global entry card will suffice as photo id instead of a passport for museum entry? They are small enough to fit in the plastic CDC holder.

Andrea, I had good luck with RS lambskin wallet for travel. They are small, lightweight, hold daily cash and credit card. I bought both colors and used one for US$ in transit and the other for €. I'll add a third for my next trip for £. What's not being used goes in the bottom of my suitcase.

Posted by
8687 posts

Horsewoofie, we have two of those wallets. I like how soft and pliable they are. I often use a similar wallet that has an attached key ring. I usually bring a purse that has an interior tether and I can attach the coin purse to it so no one can just lift it out of my purse if they are able to get into it. Maybe I can attach a ring to the RS wallet somehow. I’ll have to take a better look at it.

I’m halfway paying attention to the current Covid protocols. We don’t leave until March and things are bound to be different than they currently are.

Posted by
792 posts

Andrea: >>> I would likely still carry a small crossbody purse for my reading glasses, etc. And then there’s the problem with what do you do with your mask when you take it off? My everyday crossbody purse is very small. <<

Yeah, I carry a purse, too. But it's bigger than yours! Tom Bihn Café (small or medium, depending on seasons). Holds binoculars, sunglasses, acquired items, journal and pens, masks, sanitizer, sunscreen, lip balm, eye rinse, maps, brochures &c.

Posted by
3255 posts

Andrea, I have tried several security items over the years- money belt, soft neck wallet…. In addition to my neck wallet that I prefer I have the Lewis N. Clark Clip Stash Belt Wallet. It is perfect for credit cards, & cash. https://www.amazon.com/Lewis-N-Clark-RFID-Blocking-Hidden/dp/B00QF5QBW0
For my daily walks at home i wear a magnetic “Buddy Pouch” for my phone. They come in 3 sizes. I am currently not traveling, but will probably use the lanyard with card holder for my CDC card moving forward.
Edited https://www.therunningbuddy.com/
Amazon carries the product as well.

Posted by
769 posts

I wouldn't buy myself the stashbandz product because it looks like it has pockets that face your backside. I would not use a money-belt that requires holding my stuff against my back side. The one money-belt I have is made by Lewis N Clark. It has 2 zippered pouches. I keep the pouches facing my front side. The receptacle of buckle of the strap that keeps it around my torso is on on a half-inch loop of fabric on my left-hand side when it is strapped on.

Posted by
21666 posts

I guess it all depends ---- holding my stuff against my back side. ---- that is exact where we wear our money's belts. Somewhat high -- off the waist -- and in the small of the back. For us -- it is reasonably comfortable and does not show a bump and as my wife says, "Doesn't make her look fat." Now, we were of the opinion that was the proper way to wear a standard money belt. Even if it isn't that is what we have done for 20+ years and it works for us.

Posted by
5697 posts

For horsewoofie's question about museum entry, I have only used my driver's license as ID, never my passport -- in fact, I carry an expired one for that purpose so if I go out another exit and forget to pick up the ID it's not a disaster.
For Andrea, I have a carabiner from REI attached to my bag (or belt) which allows me to clip on a mask while not in use.

Posted by
8687 posts

Laurie, I do the same with an expired license. When we were in Fort Bragg a couple of weeks ago I bought a flat round zippered mask case that has a carabiner to attach to a purse. I thought having the mask in a more sanitary place than hanging outside my purse would be good. I haven’t used it yet. I have a small hand sanitizer hanging from my little crossbody and I wonder if hanging too many things from it will make me look like a pack horse. Lol!

Posted by
2886 posts

I have small purses, well tiny, that I keep my important items in, if they are not in the hotel in my suitcase or money belt. This is one of my favorites that can fit under my sweater/jacket or on top. I'm not going to lose it, and no one is getting into it unless I'm unconscious. The Pacsafe is my favorite for travel, but I also use this. I use these at home for my wallet so I don't have to carry a larger bag, but so I will always have my phone, keys and ID on me. Consequently, I am used to always having them attached to my body. I feel perfectly safe with my passport in my pacsafe particularly, and I would feel the same with the original Vaccine card.

However, I have a small item like this, that is for my days money and/or credit card and license, and if my Vaccine card worked alone or with my passport card, I'd feel comfortable with it in this small ID bag, that I would have attached to a ring on the inside of my purse (only due to the added Vax and PP card). I like to stick with a similar system to what I have at home, because I am really my worst problem, not others. Otherwise, this item is just zipped into a pocket or my purse. I often feel my money belt is redundant but will always travel with it, incase I feel better having everything attached to me in another manner. I'm one of the few who use a leg wallet for my money belt. Once on, I forget all about it until I crawl into bed and I see it is still on. Nonetheless, I am getting away from money belts it seems unless traveling solo.

Basically, there is no right or wrong, it is what ever works for you. I would only like that stashband if it made me look thin, and certainly not to be in and out of all day, but I wear black jeans so it would be inconvenient also.

Posted by
1645 posts

We were just in Italy and quickly adopted the style there of wearing my face mask on my arm when I wasn’t wearing it on my face. That I found was the easiest way to carry it when you needed to have it always available.
I started my trip with a variation of the money belt OP favors. I found it way too annoying with having to show my passport and cdc card multiple times a day. I have a small cross body purse that is designed for traveling. I put both (cdc card paper clipped inside passport) in the place designed for a passport in my purse. I wore my purse all the time and felt like for me it was the best solution for accessibility and security.

Posted by
8687 posts

Wray, I have that small Baggallini, but I think it’s a bit too small for this trip with glasses, small wallet, phone, passport, CDC card and some other small miscellaneous things. Could you please tell me the dimensions of the other bag? I looked it up and it didn’t say. Edited to say my Baggallini is similar, but only has one interior space instead of two.

My go to neck wallet I wear over the shoulder is never accessed when I’m out and about. I use it for extra cards, passport and cash that I won’t be using that day. I don’t leave irreplaceable things where I’m staying. In hotels I’ve seen too many doors left open for long periods when housekeeping off doing something else. We like apartments, but there’s no telling who may have access to it.

I’ve seen people wear their masks over their arm or on a lanyard type thing around their neck, but I’m expecting rain on our trip and I would like to keep it more protected and dry.

Posted by
2886 posts

Andrea, Funny, I never thought of putting my glasses in it. I just did and they fit beautifully in the front zip (where I usually put my phone). My phone also fit in the larger compartment in a slot with the sunglasses in the front. I did not bother to put my wallet items in it, but it would seem they would fit, along with PP, Vax card, credit cards, etc. I use the slots for the cards rather than adding another container like a wallet, so it would depend how large your wallet is. The bag is 8 1/2" tall by 5" wide. I also have a few other items I add that fit.

If you'd like me to seriously pack it up for you, PM me a list and I'll pack it and take a photo for you. This would be later in the week, around Thurs or Friday that I could do that.

My baggalini is also the one with just one zippered space as well. It never holds my eyeglasses.

Posted by
8687 posts

I tried putting what I would need in my small Baggallini and there wasn’t any room left for a coin purse, necessary in Europe. There’s a shop that sells Baggallini and three that sell Pacsafe a 15 minute drive from me, two in the mall, and two across the street from the mall. I think I’ll do a little scouting trip tomorrow. Thanks for all the help everyone.

Posted by
3661 posts

I love seeing all these different approaches to the same travel challenges.

Personally, I'd never use any option that stuck out of my pants in any location around my waist. Way too easy for the very nimble fingers of professional pickpockets.

I think a cross-body purse is safer than that, especially if: it has sewn on straps rather than clip on ones, you keep it in front of you with the easily accessible parts turned toward your body, and you rest your arm against it.

When I used the typical money belt, I never wore it in the back. That felt both uncomfortable and too easily available to the public. I tried a neck wallet, but it was too small to carry my essentials and didn't work with my shape, no matter how I adjusted it. I tried the hidden pocket with safety pins since I never wear a belt. It was also too small and annoying.

So far, the StashBandz kind of money belt seems to be the most comfortable and practical option for me. I never put anything in the back of it. There's plenty of room in the front for my essentials spread from side to side.

Sidebar: Thanks, Andrea. This discussion prompted me to send my variety of free-with-Rick-Steves-tours money belts to our kids and grandkids, including the 2 Easymates that are now too big for me.

Posted by
5533 posts

If you’re used to your stash hanging around your neck, and if one additional, super-lightweight thing wouldn’t be too obtrusive, this is what we’re taking to Italy in 2 weeks. The clear pocket is just big enough to hold a CDC card, ziplock closure keeps card safely inside and waterproof. The pocket fits inside my husband’s regular moneybelt. I’m planning on probably hanging mine around my neck, but will need to provide my own cord or band to do the hanging:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/slredirect/picassoRedirect.html/ref=pa_sp_phone_search_atf_aps_sr_pg1_1?ie=UTF8&adId=A01387603DEHB3I4WD9DH&url=%2FVaccine-Protector-Vaccination-Waterproof-Lanyards%2Fdp%2FB08YN2VBGL%2Fref%3Dmp_s_a_1_1_sspa%3Fdchild%3D1%26keywords%3Dcdc%2Bcard%2Bclear%2Bholder%26qid%3D1631006291%26sr%3D8-1-spons%26psc%3D1&qualifier=1631006291&id=7633740139025976&widgetName=sp_phone_search_atf

Posted by
8687 posts

Lo, I'm happy to help. :-)

If I was to get the type of belt I linked to on the post I would wear it at my waist under my shirt. That way I could get to something if necessary, but no one would know I’m wearing it. I started thinking about how that would work. I’m vertically challenged (5’3”) and don’t know how it would fit on my torso. The description shows the size if the pockets, but I don’t know how that relates to the height of the belt.

My neck wallet is not worn around my neck. I’m not sure how I feel about walking around town with my CDC card around my neck, as if I was at a conference or something. I think I would prefer to have it reachable, but not visible.

Posted by
10984 posts

I’m not sure how I feel about walking around town with my CDC card around my neck, as if I was at a conference or something. I think I would prefer to have it reachable, but not visible.

You don't wear it out, you wear it the same as a neck wallet under your clothes. But if asked, all you have to do is show it and hopefully not have to take it out of its carrier.

I don't carry a day bag and I don't want to trust my card to my pocket. It's even more valuable than my passport.

Posted by
3255 posts

Long time fan of Baggallini. In 2019 I purchased my favorite travel bag. I felt the size, wt., machine washable, crossbody, ticked all the boxes. Used it in Central Europe & Amsterdam. I do not carry money or passport in my bag. I use my secure neck wallet.
https://www.amazon.com/Baggallini-Pocket-Crossbody-RFID-Protected-Organizational/dp/B015ESYATO/ref=mp_s_a_1_3?crid=1B85I45WCINU4&dchild=1&keywords=baggallini+bags+for+women&qid=1631035138&sprefix=bagg&sr=8-3

Posted by
1841 posts

Like Frank II, I also perked up at the 'as if I was at a conference or something' phrase but in the opposite way--
I often think that we all should be wearing nametags all the time when out and about,
and either some kind of uniform or other marker (insignia? patches?) that indicate our rank or status --
and that there should be some kind of standard etiquette regarding courtesy in greeting one another as well.

What I'm saying is that we should be expanding the 'Bon Jour!' when entering a shop to something more like behavior on a military base with salutes and standing at attention.

/s

Posted by
737 posts

Hi all, I've removed a few things here. Please note that /s is a common indicator of sarcasm as is the case with the post above.

Posted by
8687 posts

Thank you webmaster. I was unaware of this.

Posted by
5533 posts

My original thought was to have the CDG holder underneath a blouse or shirt, accessible but not on full-time display. Certainly easier, faster, and slightly less awkward that fishing it from a moneybelt that was vdd also underneath clothing, but requiring more tugging and unzipping. Easier, too, to not have to stick the card back into a moneybelt after showing it.

Posted by
1753 posts

Good idea to have the card in a holder on a lanyard under your clothes.
It would hardly be noticeable at all.
All good info for next time we can travel.

Posted by
8687 posts

I appreciate the multiple suggestions to wear my card around my neck under my clothes, but I have the same problem that Lo has. Men and smaller chested women could do this without it being obvious. Let’s just say that I’m not either of those. That’s why I wear my neck wallet under my arm. I’m looking at all of your suggestions and I have 6 months to figure it out. I will probably include the option to wear it around my neck under a jacket in certain circumstances.

Posted by
792 posts

I searched the yootoobs for money belts and neck wallets; must be hundred or more clips. Most were next to useless or clickbait for silly MUST HAVE products but a few clips were assembled by experienced travelers, competent reviews, and real world experiences.

A guilty pleasure, fun to watch, since I'm not traveling.

Posted by
306 posts

OP - I haven't travelled since the pandemic (in my dreams at the moment LOL) . But I did do 3 weeks solo in Western China in 2019.

I'm fat and blond and now old(ish). - in other words I was VERY obvious which resulted in me having show my passport to officials multiple times a day - check in, buying a bus or train ticket, random stops along the road etc etc.

I normally wear my passport next to my skin (hanging from my bra under my arm - like you anything around my neck doesn't work for me. This works normally as you rarely need your passport - but it wasn't going to work for a random inspection on a bus!

You need secure pockets in clothing. It really is the only solution - I like Macabi skirts - as the pockets are unbelievably capacious ie I could carry 2 phones, a wallet, a huge wad of cash and 2 passports when my partner ended up in hosptial in China on an earlier trip.
Even the interior zipped pocket is accessible to you when sitting down with a 40l pack on your lap - its completely invisible to a thief and they couldn't reach it if they tried the zip starts within the pocket not at the top.

A few masks would easily fit in the pocket. In fact the whole box would

https://www.macabiskirt.com/

Posted by
8210 posts

Lissie, I really like that skirt, good tip.

Posted by
8687 posts

Llsee, I’ve never seen anything like that skirt before. Very interesting. I’m short and couldn’t wear a long skirt. The website shows it comes in a short, but none were shown even though I chose different colors and sizes (S & M) to see what would happen. Is yours long or short?

Posted by
765 posts

I just looked at the Macabi website. There is a slim and a short version. Look under the "shop" tab and there will be a drop down list of various items. As I am also vertically challenged I'm afraid that the short skirt would still be too long and if I used the clip to turn it into pants or shorts I'd look like MC Hammer.

Posted by
14 posts

I use a small, soft & swishy crossbody bag or waist pack, shorten the strap and position the bag comfortably mid-chest. The pockets are readily accessible. I really like wearing them against my chest as they feel secure and fit snug. They don't fall or get in the way when you bend over and fit well under a jacket. And I really like having my hands free.
I am not very good at getting the links to work, so....
Herschel Supply Co. Ultralight Crossbody Pine Bark One Size. This is how the description reads on Amazon. Not sure if it is still sold on Amazon as I have had mine for a couple of years. Pine Bark is the color. There used to be two more colors. This is 7x7x2.5 and empty is super flat and be stuffed full or as little as you want. Very lightweight malleable nylon.

Patagonia Black Hole Mini. I bought mine online from REI. I have a couple of these and they work really well too. They come in multiple colors are cheaper than the Herschel bag.

The Herschel bag is more of a purse shape where the Black Hole is more of a waist pack shape.

Posted by
8687 posts

Nadine, thanks for your suggestions. Apparently Herschel Supply Co. no longer carries the Ultralight Crossbody. I checked Patagonia and I have an Eddie Bauer hip bag that is very similar. I generally use it while hiking and other outdoor activities, but in May I used it on the plane when we went to Texas. I put it around my waist and had my reading glasses and other things handy on the flight. It actually worked really well. I may consider using it again.

Posted by
8687 posts

Just to update, I bought the Baggallini that I provided the link to on 9/6 at 6:36 p.m. I love it. There is room for all my necessities and it’s a very reasonable size. It has become my everyday purse.