Hi, We use the moneybelt when we were in paris and venice last 2004.Last year, we didn't use it when we went to London -Brugges and Amsterdam and we were ok. This July we will be in Paris and read about pickpockets in the metro and we were wondering if we should wear the moneybelt again. It's kind of uncomfortable when the weather is hot.
IMO yes wear a money belt, not wearing one is like playing Russian Roulette. Of course the choice is yours. In the event you're robbed, are you willing to sacrifice a couple days of your vacation getting your passport replaced, credit cards canceled, and phoning someone in the US to wire you money? If so, don't wear one.
Saly - This subject has been beaten to death on the site - my personal opinion after taking thousands of tourists on tours in Europe is - No - Money Belt - Yes - Neck Wallet. Reason - Skilled thieves see you feeling for your money belt almost immediately and will attack in a duo with a serated knife , slice it off, and be gone in 30 seconds. A neck wallet is less obvious and is a better plan - In my opinion.
I use money belt from train station to hotel, then lock my valuable in the hotel safe. I then take some euros and a credit card and put in my Timbuk2 messenger bag which is very hard to get into or my front coat pocket which is also very hard to get into. I use the neck strap. Now, this all may work for me because I travel in the winter. You will be traveling when you are not wearing a coat. Just be wise and keep your head in the game.
Greg is stuck on this idea that a thief is going through (for us) two layers of clothing to cut off a money belt. And I fail to see how a neck belt is an improvement given the cord around the neck. Maybe it has happen but the probability is so low as to not be a concern. There has never been a posting on this board and any of the other travel sites I watch of a belt being cut off. However, it may depend on how you use a money belt. Many tourist use a money belt as a hidden but accessible wallet. i. e. Just behind the belt buckle, especially males, or the neck belt at the waist so you can easily reach under the shirt. We actually wear ours fairly high in the small of our back, never access it in public, and have no need to go around patting it to see if it is still there. It is always there.
There was a report a while back from someone who was stopped by a couple of guys and one thrust his hand down the front of his pants obviously looking for the typical location of a money belt. No success because the belt was under clothing in back. Guess they read the wrong signal. A properly worn money belt is quite safe.
And there will be postings from those who never wear a money belt and never have a problem. But you only need a problem once. I have posted the story of good friends of our that laugh at our use of belt because they had never had a problems in four trips to Europe. Kept everything in the front pocket. On their fifth trip lost it all in the Paris train station.
It is your decision as to what works best for your travel style.
We had gone on about 5 trips overseas before my husband was pickpocketed. We had gone to Dublin, Amsterdam, Paris, and Berlin and were fine until we hit Prague. The people who pickpocket are professionals, i.e. this is how they make their living, so they know a lot more about how to do it than we know about keeping them from getting our wallets. The best you can do is cut your losses by wearing a moneybelt. Spending half a day calling credit card companies and getting police reports (if not having to replace passports, which adds a trip to the embassy/consulate) is no fun.
That is an excellent posting. Too bad it will be buried in a couple of days. It would be nice if there was a designated place for posting direct experiences with pickpockets. Since we occasional do some travel courses I collect the anecdote evidence for pickpockets to just show it can happen even when you don't think it can. Especially like the stories of front pockets on tight fitting jeans. I have to two conclusions -- most people will not have problems regardless of what they do. Second, pickpockets are not random, you do something to tip off what you have and you are set up. On that point I agree with Greg.
Thanks everyone. I decided we will keep our passport and valuables in the hotel safe ( Hope our hotel - La Familia will have a safe) and carry money belt if we need to carry more cash. If hotel does not have a safe , then we'll just keep them in our moneybelt .You're all correct, it's better to be safe than sorry. sally
Have been around much of the world and always 1) leave the good stuff (passport, most cash) in the safe, 2) carry a photo copy of passports 3) keep most day cash in money belt that I only access if necessary in a rest room stall 4) a little cash and one credit card in front pocket. This only bit me once in Venice when I wanted to buy some stuff and the vendor wouldn't take Amex. How do thieves get inside your pants and under wear to the money belt?
Regarding the comfort level of the money belt, my husband found one that has two loops attached to the short end that your belt goes through. You just flip it over into your pants. He says that it is much more comfortable than the ones that wrap around, it goes on the side of your body, and there is no danger of it being cut by anyone.
I know that there are folks that get away with not wearing money belts with no problems (my parents are one of those folks), but we use a money belt and recommend it to others. All the non-daily essentials are in the money belt (so you are not accessing what's inside when in public) and I carry the designated amount of money and a credit card in the zipped inside pocket of my messenger bag (which is what I use on vacation).
I use a money belt because it sucks to lose things even if it only happens to you once in ten trips.
Yes to moneybelt. Friend and I traveled with her husband, she and I had on moneybelt. He had on fanny pack. Guess who was who had the most trouble/he did/group of girls surrounded him at two different places and had their hands into his fanny pack in no time but he got lucky and they only got small items/except for on subway in Barcelona where they got his tickets from his pants pocket. Be aware and use moneybelt wherever you go.
How about pants with zippered or buttoned (not velcro) pockets? I have a pair of Royal Robbins Global Traveler pants which have a full sized zippered front pocket with the zipper partially concealed within the main pocket. I've never worn a money belt or the neck version and both of those sound really uncomfortable to me when it's warm out.
Zippers are fine especially on front pockets and shirts. My favorite travel pants has 17 pockets with 11 secured by valcro or zippers. Zippers on bags need to be secure because they are easy to open, but on your body it is going to some effort. I generally carry credit card in one, debit in another, cash in a third, tickets somewhere following the idea you do not want to tip off where you stash is. However, I still wear a money belt with the backups and passport. I always carry the passport.
17 Pockets! I guess the pickpockets give up in frustration:)
I've read that foreigners should always carry their passports with them. Is this true, and if so, is just a copy of the first page good enough?
At the risk of seeming disloyal to Rick, let me recommend to you the Eagle Creek money belt sold at REI. I wore it for a week in Italy, and it never caused any discomfort.
When I went to Paris three years ago, I didn't have a money belt and carried my wallet in the right front pocket. I think this was unnecessarily risky, and that I'd use a money belt when I go back.
The passport is the only thing that proves your are legally in the country. A copy proves nothing. The probability of having to show it officially is extremely low BUT, in my opinion, it is far better to have it and not need it rather than to need it and not have it. I am never sure why it is such big deal about not carrying the passport. It is very light, relatively small, and easy to carry.
I have lived here for 23 years and have never been asked for my passport, except when traveling or for when I have needed to exchange money occasionally. (parents send dollars for Birthdays)
Every time I read this thread, I get a smile on my face thinking about the famous thieves of Europe, coming after the tourists and their money belts with serrated knives. Seriously, where does this come from? Have never heard of anything like this happening to anybody. Is this some movie scenario?
Wear a money belt or neck pouch, whichever you feel most comfortable with.
Moneybelt for actual travel days. Stuff in hotel safe for all other days. One days cash in purse.
Works for me and has for years. I don't carry my PP with me. I carry my DL,, and only because you need it in some places to rent Audio Guides( the Lourve is one place for sure)
Pat, you have summarized it well and that's excatly what I'll do. Thanks
A friend of mine told me a trick he used growing up in a country with a lot of pickpockets. If your pants have a deep pocket, you can safety pin off the bottom section with your $$/CC in it. Not easy to get to as you are about town, but on travel days, would work in a pinch.