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Pacsafe Venture bag vs Moneybelt

I've just picked up a Pacsafe bag for walking around duties while in Europe. Do any of you leave the moneybelt home and just keep tickets, passports, IDs, credit cards, extra money in a Pacsafe?

Posted by
2630 posts

I have a cross-body messenger bag for my day trip essentials but still always wear a belt-loop pouch, just feel more secure that way.

Posted by
16894 posts

Beware of putting all your eggs in one basket. This one bag would become something you could never put down, never store in a museum locker, and could still be somewhat susceptible to snatch-and-grab thieves even when worn. I feel much more secure with the majority of my valuables in the money belt under my clothes and just supplies needed for the day in my day bag. If I have to (or want to) check my bag in a museum locker, I can just put my wallet in my pocket.

Posted by
8630 posts

What Laura said. Everyone focuses on thievery, but the chances of just plain misplacing a bag is probably a greater threat. Take a look around anywhere here or in Europe and see how careless people are with bags.

Posted by
77 posts

I would never plan to put the bag down or leave it out of my control - I'm paranoid about that from carrying my Civita bag on previous trips. If I have to check it at a museum as you suggested I was planning to take my small wallet out and keep in my velcro'd pants pocket. But it's small enough that my wife could easily get away with carrying it as a purse in museums.

Carrying a moneybelt has always seemed problematic to me. I would keep some ready cash and any CCs I was planning to use out of the moneybelt anyway so I have access and don't need to undress in public to pay for a snack from a street vendor. That's what drove me to use a neck wallet instead, but it still has the issue of fishing it out to get money unless you're keeping a wallet with a small amount of cash out. Plus there's the issue of not being able to put your cell phone or iPad in a money or neck wallet.

The Pacsafe has a way of securing the zippers and has steel mesh in the straps and bag so it would seem to be a secure alternative, especially worn cross body in front. But this is my first time taking it so I'm still thinking about the way I'll use it.

Posted by
1068 posts

A money belt, hidden pocket or neck wallet are for deep storage" and are generally not used for holding money/passports/credit cards you are likely to use that day. I generally pull out however much money I think I will use, add a few extra bills (always costs more than you think) and stow everything else in my hidden pocket. If an emergency arises and I have to access my hidden pocket, I have always been able to do so without undressing in public. My general philosophy put some extra cash, credit card(s) and passport in my hidden pocket. Take and pay with cash and distribute the cash around my person (some in a pants pocket, some in a shirt pocket etc.)

Posted by
39 posts

Maybe it's just me being risk adverse as a CPA but I would never put all my valuables in one place. I have a Pacsafe bag for the day with just what I need and two styles of money belt/neck pouch for everything else. I use the under clothes "safe" that works best with what I am wearing for the day. Please consider using both. I have no doubt you are very careful but this will reduce any anxiety you might have about safety. After all, you are on vacation and you want to be somewhat carefree.

Posted by
524 posts

I used the money belt for my passport and credit card....not planning on accessing them. I turned the money belt around and it was very comfortable at the small of my back...so much so I couldn't feel it. I safety pinned it to my underwear for more security. My Travelon bag had my euros in it, and sometimes another card. It never left my body.

Posted by
3941 posts

We use our Pacsafe Metrosafe 200 on our trips to Europe (and in the US) and have never bothered with a moneybelt. Hubby carries it cross body like a messenger bag. Never had an issue in museums with it as it isn't overly big. Daily spending money is in the back zipper. Any extra money is in a back compartment behind other compartments, behind a zipper and under the Velcro flap. Someone would have to be Criss Angel to get it out of there. I guess we do run the risk of someone pulling it off over his head, but I think pickpockets like more stealth. Have never felt vulnerable...

Posted by
177 posts

I generally travel in cooler weather, so keep my PacSafe cross-body bag UNDER my coat. It's pretty invisible that way; yet handy if I need it.

Posted by
77 posts

Lots of good ideas here. I usually keep a small wallet with some cash, one CC and passports in my pants and shirt secret pockets too. I'm planning on using the Pacsafe to hold my iPhone, jacket if not being worn, plastic picnic utensils (we picnic from markets frequently), meds (emergency allergy stuff, Tylenol, Tums) and other misc items.

Keep the thoughts coming, we've got two more days before we fly to Amsterdam.

Posted by
5053 posts

Laura said it very succinctly, "Beware of putting all your eggs in one basket."

Posted by
985 posts

Ray - we are getting ready for our trip and are doing the following: Husband will carry his debit and credit card along with 1/2 of the bulk of any money withdrawn from atm in his belt loop hidden pocket or money belt under his clothes. I will be doing the same except I am going to be the one accessing the atm's with my debit card, then it will go into my locking Travelon cross body until I can get somewhere to put it into my money belt. I will carry my phone and daily cash in my Travelon. I also purchased a hidden pocket and will take it so when I want to use that I can pin it to my bra or cami and let it hang down my side under my cami. My cami is double layered so I could cut a slit in that and stick the hidden pocket way down into it. It wouldn't come out even if I were standing on my head! I feel like the pacsafe or Travelon are the safest I can get with stuff I don't want to put in my money belt but I would be decidedly nervous were I to travel only with a bag. I didn't wear a money belt or take anything but a regular purse to Mexico, but hey, I was uninformed, and I would not do it again.

Posted by
1625 posts

When traveling I do pretty much like I do at home, I never carry around a lot of cash, only one ATM /Debit card. My travel bag is a 10 year old Guess Black leather cross body bag (more long and deep than wide) and I call it my "mini-purse". Holds a small wallet, that site on the very bottom with maybe 50 Euro, 1 debit card and 1 credit card, my drivers license and on top of that is junk (guide book, map, water bottle, glasses case, sunscreen, scarf) I have an outside pocket for my sunglasses and chap stick. Hubby wears the money belt (with our bulk of cash, 1 debit card, 1 credit card and his drivers license).

I am considering carrying my passport all over Italy in this also, not sure. What are others doing? I live in a college town and those kids use their passports for everything from opening checking accounts to getting in bars...it is the only ID they have usually. They have no problem carrying around.

Posted by
4535 posts

I have always "put all my eggs in the same basket." I just use a belt loop wallet and everything goes in there. And I use it for general use and for storing passport, tickets, etc. As long as it is secure, there really is no reason not to (if something is stolen, your vacation is disrupted anyway).

Having said that, the key with a bag or secure purse is to keep it on you, cross shoulder. Don't hang it over chair backs, sling it loosely over your shoulder or set it on the bench next to you. Some people are good about that and some are not. If you are the former, go with it. If the latter, stick with a money belt or neck pouch.

Posted by
3259 posts

HI Ray, Considering you are traveling with your wife and that you can split your valuables, I think your pacsafe would be fine. I have been known to not use a moneybelt if I bring my pacsafe metro. I never take my purse off when I'm out and about so I have no fear of losing it. I have a deepstorage wallet with strap that I attach to the key ring so there is no way someone could run off with it should they manage to unlock the pacsafe. My wallet is also in a locked compartment. How paranoid must we be? That being said, when I traveled solo, I wore my moneybelt (legwallet). I'm not so concerned when traveling with my husband as one of us will have money to get us to the embassy to replace the other person's stolen passport. Just watch your stuff. Hey, losing everything did Meg Ryan a world of good in French Kiss... Have a great trip! Wray

Posted by
16087 posts

Neither of us can stand wearing moneybelts so most of our valuables go in the Pacsafe, and some in a soft little pouch pinned to the inside of my waistband. Once settled, the bulk of it goes into the room safe.

Posted by
33 posts

Hi, i followed the advice of a friend of mine who travels extensively and i carried a coloured photocopy of my passports main pages and left the passports and a spare credit card and extra cash either hidden in my apartment or hotel safe. I am too plump to be comfortable wearing a moneybelt. When moving to my next destination i had a pacsafe cross body bag which i never took off much. We travelled to many busy touristy places in Europe and i kept my hand over the top of my Hedgren bag at all times. I use the rule of 3 which i read somewhere. You just have to make it harder for the pickpockets so they choose an easier target. So wallet etc in zipped pockets within bag and bag in front of you was fine. I kept my train tix in inside top pocket of my jacket too. Don't let it worry you too much. I was a bit paranoid and was ready for every scam! We saw lots but just walked around or away from them. Just walk briskly and don't dawdle along too much. We got lost constantly and everyone was always friendly and helpful. Definitely do not put your bag down beside your chair or leave your phone on the table in front of you. My girlfriend's sister had her bag taken in a shoeshop as she was trying shoes on. Just pack a light crossover bag for everday use and leave the heavier pacsafe one in your room. Hope this helps. Have a wonderful time! My beat tip is eat in Museum cafes as always reasonable and delicious food.

Posted by
77 posts

Getting down to the wire here - we fly in two days. In over 45 years of traveling including several dozen trips to Europe we've never had anything stolen but I'm always up for new security habits. I'll be wearing some pants that have velcro closures over the back pockets as well as slightly hidden zippered pockets. I have a hard time getting my wallet out and back in myself so I'll keep ready cash in my pockets and IDs/tickets/etc. in the PacSafe along with iPhone, Anker battery and cords and Parka if I'm not wearing it. I'll wear the Pacsafe cross body and it's small enough to always keep on me when out.

Posted by
503 posts

this is what I usually end up doing...I start out with the best of intentions, wearing the money belt with everything in it, passport, cc, debit cards, big cash etc. By the end of the trip, I am so sick of the money belt that it usually ends up at the bottom of my day pack which I never let go of. I never feel safe leaving thins "hidden" in the room or in the safe. As for how I wear the money belt, I've tried wearing it in the small of my back as others do, but it never seems to feel comfortable to me. I have found that if I wear it on the side of my waist, it seems to feel the best for me. But, as I said, I usually end up not wearing it at all by the end of the trip.

Posted by
470 posts

We never wear moneybelts. Ever. We have had hands in our pockets that came back empty. We have been part of loud diversions by partner teams, and came away unscathed. Could that change? Of course. We try to enjoy ourselves when we travel by being vigilant but not paranoid. It is a fine line for sure. I carry an old RS Civita cross-body bag and I place it so that the non-locking zippers rest against my bosom. (Is that a G-rated term?) I know I would feel hands there.:) Inside the bag, my PacSafe wallet-on-a-chain lies deeply buried. It's only contents are one CC that my husband does not carry, a photo ID, and a small amount of local currency. The one pocket zipper I can't protect with my body can indeed be opened. As it was (unbeknownst to me) at the Hermitage this year. I was a major disappointment to the pickpockets. They didn't even want the lipstick or hand wipes I had in there. Could it be slashed off my person? Of course. Vigilance, not paranoia. My husband carries copies of our passports (personal choice), his chained wallet, etc in the zipped, inner pockets of his travel vest. I know. Such a fashion travesty. (Unless you are in Germany, where every male of a certain age wears just such a vest). He also wears his Tilley hat everywhere because he takes skin cancer seriously. Strike two for fashion and not looking like a tourist. It works for him and allows him to enjoy his trip while feeling relatively protected.
So we pretty much break every rule, especially the RS Moneybelt Commandment.:) I applaud those of you can tolerate them, but we simply can't.

Ray, the important thing is that YOU feel comfortable while traveling. Vigilant, but not paranoid.