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Ok, I'll fess up. No money belt.

We traveled for 19 days through Hungary, Slovakia, Poland, and the Czech Republic. I brought my money belt (neck wallet, actually) and never put it on. I carried a small cross-shoulder bag and kept it in front of me, with my hand over the flap, on public transportation and in a crowd (like in front of the astronomical clock in Prague). My wife carried Rick's iPad shoulder bag, and kept her small wallet in a zippered pouch inside of the zippered compartment under the snap flap on the front. We were fine. Just lucky? Perhaps.

Posted by
4333 posts

I've driven drunk before. Still not a great idea.

Rick Steves' Europe will be in contact with you about the 19 lashes with a money belt strap - one for every day you didn't wear it ;-)

Posted by
1769 posts

I too had no problem \sans money belt in those countries, although my wife uses hers. In places like that I am as comfortable as I am at home that my right hand can stay in my right pocket on my thinned out travel wallet.

Get me in Paris, Italy, or the other high petty crime places and I won't go without it,

Posted by
11945 posts

I last used one years ago, and I travel throughout Europe all the time.

Now... if I found myself visiting a crowded southern Europe city in the summer (something I wouldn't plan), particularly one that sees a lot of tourist traffic, I might consider it. Simply because my clothing options are fairly limited in hot weather. In cooler weather, you can always secure your wallet in an internal pocket (despite what some posters believe), but in the sweltering heat of the Mediterranean basin, this is not an option. But I'd probably go with light hiking pants with zippper pockets first.

Let the battle lines form!

Posted by
8645 posts

Money belts serve two functions: protect against pickpockets, and protection from simply loosing/misplacing important items. IMO the latter is a bigger threat, but the consequences are the same either way. If your passport/cash/credit cards disappear you'll have to waste a couple of valuable vacations days getting replacements. I'm not willing to risk lost days when a free hotel room safe or $15 money belt eliminates the problem.

Posted by
764 posts

I never use a money belt either. A lot of people choose the cross body bag option. But most people have picked their camp and won't have their minds changed easily. And comparing not wearing a money belt to driving drunk is so inappropriate.

Posted by
1068 posts

I don't know if it was being just lucky. You are simply willing to take a bigger risk than some travelers.

Posted by
1642 posts

I wear my seat belt in my car, wear my money belt in Europe, and in high crime areas I also tie my zippers on my day bag. I prefer to increase my odds at safety.

Posted by
4477 posts

Your note is a counterpoint to the other posts of petty theft paranoia. Why travel if you are fearful all of your waking and walking hours?

That said I keep my passport, backup credit card and backup ATM card, emergency USD, and excess 50€ bills in my neck pouch. But half the time I just stash the neck pouch in my room with the aforementioned items.

I too have been lucky so far. Being aware also helps. My son did grab a hand as it reached into his pocket in search of his wallet.

Posted by
18 posts

I took one on a trip to Belgium, Germany and Salzburg but only wore it a couple of times. It was convenient to corral stuff like my passport and extra money, which I would leave in a hidden spot in our hotel room, but I too felt perfectly safe with a zippered cross-body bag. We were in pretty low-crime areas though and no really large cities- I'd probably wear it in places like Paris, Rome, etc.

Posted by
752 posts

I wear my neck wallet and money belt in Chicago! Have to. Cops won't let me wear a purse of any kind.

Posted by
1094 posts

I thought I read a blog post recently where even Rick Steves admitted to not wearing a money belt all the time anymore (or did I dream this?) Anyway, I used a cross shoulder bag with the zippers facing my hip on my last trip (no money belt except when we flew on planes). I thought the risk was more taking something out and forgetting it. Part of the reason I changed was I needed a secure place for my cell phone and the money belt just did not work. I am an adult and the decision and its consequences were mine alone. In the end, it worked out great. I also do this at home (instead of a purse) because I have my grandkids with me a lot and it allows me to have my hands free to focus on them and their "stuff" and safety without worrying about my stuff.

Posted by
2641 posts

As a long time regular on this site and one who goes to Europe every summer for the last 12 years, I have read numerous accounts from folks who were pick pocketed or purse snatched who were not wearing a money belt correctly. I have never read a report from someone who was wearing a money belt correctly that they were pick pocketed from their money belt. Enough information for me to always wear a money belt (neck pouch) always.

Posted by
2353 posts

I just carry my purse - no matter where I go either here or Europe. It works for me.

Posted by
507 posts

(OK, off topic) Let's add Christi carries everything in that bad a@# purse as noted in a previous thread "What Do Men Carry?". One swing of it and she could take out everyone around her, right Christi? ;-)

{EDIT: I wear either a money belt or a neck wallet.}

Posted by
1389 posts

I'm one who was nearly pick pocketed in Paris. I wear a money belt and don't worry about it.

Posted by
333 posts

I have a good friend who travels regularly for her job. She teased me on my first flight (I tagged along with her to a business convention to Boston) because I made sure to have two days worth of clothes and jammies in my carry on. Her words were something like, "In the dozens of flights I've taken, I've never once lost my luggage." We now refer to that as her famous last words. We arrived in Boston and her bag did not. She wore my spare jammies that night and borrowed part of one of my extra outfits the next morning.

So to wear a money belt or not to wear a money belt? Do you feel lucky? Two years ago my daughter and I took a 3 week trip to Holland, Russia, Paris and England. It drove me nuts but I wore a neck pouch under my shirt (and looked deformed in every picture) with all of our valuable papers and money. When I wasn't wearing it I carried a pacsafe backpack with the pouch inside of it. I have no idea if we had any attempts in most of the countries, but on our ONE DAY in Paris, we had three attempts made on/near us. The couple right in front of us were mugged on the subway. A group of nice looking college age girls started shoving everybody on the subway and were pushing my daughter off of the subway. I grabbed her arm and refused to let go, hurting her and frustrating the girl behind me who was shoving. I screamed at her and then suddenly she and her friends were gone. Before all of us on the car were done processing what the heck had happened, somebody picked up a wallet from the floor and asked who it was. The shocked couple right in front of me gasped. Their money was gone. Someone commented they were lucky, at least he got his wallet and ID back. Later at the Louvre we were scammed by some "deaf" girls taking surveys (and then demanding money) and I also was deliberately "knocked" really hard by somebody slamming into me- even though it wasn't crowded. It was suspicious. I wonder how many other attempts might have happened to me or my daughter, that we were too naive to recognize. A seasoned traveler knows how to be more aware and less of a target, but that doesn't make you immune. If you're in touristy areas and you're an American- you're a potential target. So precaution or risk?

For my 21 day Europe trip next spring with 2 week pre/post days I bought a pacsafe sling bag in a pretty pink. I'm leaving the neck pouch at home! It can be worn on my back or in front and it looks stylish/fun. It's the size of a good sized purse (but smaller than a daypack) and it has an inside pocket for passport and money with that fancy material that won't let anybody steal card information. It's slashproof and has hidden zippers with clips. If anybody wants the contents of my bag, they'll have to tackle me and rip it from my body, because they won't get into it without time and effort! It's big enough to hold a sweater, a water bottle and small camera.

I feel lucky to have my new bag, but not lucky enough to go without it.

Posted by
796 posts

I avoid carrying a bag or purse because it can make you an attractive target. Holding a hand in front of it only draws attention and says "I am carrying valuables and this is where they are." In a case like that, you might not face a pickpocket but a mugger or pair of muggers who will attack you for the bag.

Posted by
8763 posts

Nope, no money belts for us either but we love our pacsafe!

Posted by
4305 posts

There is a myth here and on other travel sites that the only way to keep your valuables safe is with a waist money-belt. And NEVER access it publically. Those are complete myths.

However, pickpocketing is a real issue in many parts of Europe and you should have a system to keep your valuables safe from pick pockets. But there are numerous ways of doing so, and Anne listed at least one. Caveat: The description of the cross shoulder bag with a hand over the flap sounds risky if all it takes is to get inside is the flap and the wallet is just sitting in there. I have the RS iPad bag and it is a great, secure bag with lots of inner pockets.

The key is to make it nearly impossible for a thief to access your valuables, at least not without your knowing. A hand on a wallet, or over a purse flap is not a good option since your hand won't always be there. Pick-pockets hit you when you're NOT expecting it or they distract you. But a cross body bag with various snaps, zippers and inner pockets works just fine. A neck pouch is great since it is inside your shirt. I use a belt-loop wallet that has several Velcro and zipper steps to get all the way to the inner pockets. And all of these are easily accessible for you, just not for someone else.

Posted by
15399 posts

Wearing a money belt or neck wallet of some design is no hardship. It gives me easy peace of mind and gets no more hot and sweaty than the rest of my clothes. On my recent trip to Italy and NYC, I sometimes had $1000 in the money belt, but $50-100 in the wallet in my cross-body bag. There are plenty of good, honest people all over Europe. But professional pickpockets also are real and they will find the easiest targets.

Posted by
3696 posts

No drunk driving here... but no money belt either. Dozens of trips...small cross body bag (Maruca) and it is the same purse I wear everyday. I am lucky too... especially with the weather:))

Posted by
1094 posts

Having read some of these responses, i feel a need to add to my original reply. I used a cross shoulder bag, but I never had more than 100 euros in it. (In fact, most times it was quite a bit less). I traveled with my husband who still used a money belt. We called him the "bank" and put most of our money in his money belt. Then we would put what we thought we needed for the day in my bag. I wanted to clarify since this does make a difference. I would never want to walk around with "hundreds of dollars" anywhere, but would probably use a money belt if it was necessary I do so. We tend to walk around with far less and visit ATM's more often. (My credit union does not charge a fee every time we use an ATM)

Posted by
57 posts

No money belts here, either.
There were a couple of days on our trip last month when I carried our passports in a zippered inside pocket in my cross-body bag. This was simply because there wasn't a safe in the room and keys were kept at the front desk.

I was observant and as a rule didn't carry more than €200 with me. It was only that much because Germany is mostly cash, not credit. At home I carry a purse, so I do the same when I travel, be it in the US or a foreign country

I can't imagine carrying €1,000 around for any length of time.

Posted by
4477 posts

Complicated story as to why, but I needed about 3000 Euro in cash in Germany and had about 5 days in Paris to get most of it. With a $700 USD daily ATM limit, I could extract 500 EUR per day. Bottom line is that I had over 2000 EUR in cash by the time I departed Paris for Germany. I stashed some of the cash in our Paris hotel room, and split cash between my wife and I that we carried in our neck pouches. If the Paris crooks got us, the idea was that the cash wasn't all in one place.

Posted by
10935 posts

I have travelling to Europe( mostly paris.. but not exclusively) on my own since 1985 (before that I travelled to visit family so a different situation)

I have only used a money belt in transit.. never for day to day sightseeing.. I leave bulk of stuff ( money and cards) in hotel safes.. or in apartments.

I love and use the same purse I use at home.. just a cross body bag with a good clip shut flap, a zippered top, and inside zippered pocket.

The average citizen in Paris , Rome, Barcelona.. and other big busy cities does not use a money belt while out and about. they use their wits.. and leave precious stuff at home.. ( which for me is hotel or apartment)

Posted by
4108 posts

Yes, when not traveling I leave "precious" items safe at home -- but my home is protected an alarm system and an attack chihuahua, not readily accessible to random hotel employees with passkeys. Another vote for money belt.

Posted by
10935 posts

laura the likelyhood of an employee using a pass key to access your room.. and then your safe is pretty darn small.. much much smaller then getting pickpocketed.. and that's actually a small risk too believe it or not when you look at the literally millions of visitors to Paris every year.

I have never actually heard of it happening.. except in the myth land of the internet fear shadowlands.. lol

Sorry you live in a place that you need an alarm system.. guess I am lucky, however the doggy sounds cute.

Posted by
93 posts

I also never carry a money belt (neither does my wife). I did carry one on my first trip to Europe years ago, but hated the inconvenience of it. While I understand the extra security, I have never had a problem. In fact, my wife and I just got back from Peru, and neither of us wore one, and had no trouble at all (neither did the two other people - both women - with us, who never use one either).

I don't wear a money belt in the US (and I've been to many places where it's quite a bit "shady" and have lived in bigger cities half of my life) so why should I wear one in Europe? I don't think that the locals do ;)

Posted by
4305 posts

Jan - what do you do to keep your money, cards and passport safe? It would help to describe the methodology that you use. As has been mentioned, there certainly are numerous other ways than a waist money belt but just a wallet in pocket or regular purse is not one of them.

Posted by
1642 posts

Always wear a money belt, always carry a lot of cash and credit cards, when I'm in a large city I twist tie all my zippers on my day pack, and am hyper vigilant about keeping safe, and never had an attempt at pickpocketing. Why not? It is easy and comfortable. I want to look like a difficult target. I know several people that have been targets, and I don't want to be one.

Posted by
18759 posts

I love these statements that I never need a money belt, never need in the US, locals don't use them, etc.etc. For the most part that is irrelevant to the discussion. The real discussion should be, Do you need some type of a security "system" or approach to protect valuable items? And the surprising answer is, probably not. A recent article about pickpockets in a travel magazine based on Interpol data suggested that only 1 and 4 tourists have problems with theft. And the data tried to adjusted for under reporting issues. That great news - 3 in 4 have no problems. Now for the 1 in 4 that is a bit disruptive but still good odds. That easily accounts for Jan's experiences with her friends and for others who reported no problems.

I have a good friend who has traveled extensive in Europe with the same attitude. He kind of made fun of my money belt as needlessly, overly cautious. He keep everything - and I mean everything including wife's passport - in his front pocket. A fat bundle held together with a big rubber band. "No way anyone could get it from my pocket without my knowing it."

On his fifth trip in the Paris train station - they got it - everything. O' he was correct. They didn't get it without him knowing about it. It is just that when he became aware, he could not react fast enough. He now uses a money belt. There are many postings on this site where items were taken from front pocket, zipped pockets and even a bra.

The point is -- you need some type of security system for your valuables. Even if the probability of lost is very low, you still don't want to be the one in four. My preference is closer to 1 in a 100. So you can brag about not using a money belt (or something similar) but understand you are assuming some greater risk - how much ?? Hard to estimate. But you are assuming more risk.

Just back from two weeks in New York, used a money belt about half the time. Second nature for us. And with nearly a year travel in Europe over the past 18, we have never lost anything but there is always the next trip. So use your best judgement.

Posted by
1470 posts

We all know the risks and we all make personal choices. We then live with consequences of our choices-either good or not so good.

Posted by
4305 posts

We all know the risks and we all make personal choices. We then live with consequences of our choices-either good or not so good.

While absolutely true about making choices, not everyone is aware of the risks. The average North American tourist to Europe may not be aware of how prevalent pickpocketing can be in some European cities. It isn't a major issue here. And many people seem blissfully unaware of just how easy it is for a half-way decent thief to pick a wallet out of a front or rear pocket or purse. Or that they typically work in teams and use distraction.

Posted by
507 posts

To Frank . . .

Your friend does not happen to be the husband of Christi from Whitsett TX?

From What Does a Man Carry?
Christie's response . . . "My husband carries nothing - everything is in my purse except my phone/camera which is in my "pocket" in my bra! Just try and pick that one! Sometimes if he is wearing a jacket he might carry tickets or something in an inside pocket. I carry a "big a@@" purse made of heavy leather with substantial straps and lined all around - I also have a smaller purse inside the big one which holds money, cc, etc."

(Christi knows I tease her about her answer.)

Posted by
10 posts

I wore a money belt on my first trip to Europe (Benelux). Never again. I found it too uncomfortable. Now I just carry what I need for the day in a long champ purse, which is a common bag in Europe. I've carried cameras, iPads, computers, etc. and no problems thus far.

The bag is zipped and the zipper is in the front (so a pickpocket couldn't unzip it from behind). On crowded subways/buses the bag is held in front of me.

Could it be slashed. Yes.

Could someone snatch it from me? Yes.

These are risks I take abroad and at home. As I said, my wallet only contains 1 credit card, a small amount of cash, and my drivers license. My camera is also in the bag, but I backup photos each evening.

So if they got it, it would only be a minor inconvenience as I store backups at the hotel. When I was working, I had computer stuff in there too.

So I guess I am in the no money belt camp now. Until I get pick pocketed :)

Posted by
223 posts

To me, the comparison of 'not at home, so not abroad' is bad reasoning.

the huge difference between a money belt/neckgear and 'going normal' is the consequence. In the US, I probably won't have my passport on me to be stolen, so I'll have it when I need to leave again. If I'm robbed, or any disaster causing loss of cash, credit cards and government identification in the US, or even jewelry, it's so very much easier to deal with just after the event and in the long run. I'm not turning to miscellaneous insurers in the US. I don't cary opera or other tickets on me, so it's unlikely that they'll be lost. If something happens outside of my home country, the trip is shot temporally to the extent that reports need to be made, the trip to the embassy, hat in hand (explaining why you didn't use their trip sign up service thing, etc.) and so forth. You try to get replacement cash or credit card - not so easy unless you have a great relationship with your banker, and so few do these days.

I'm learning, trip by trip, that a credit card, the passport, and the major cash reserve are, at a minimum, things that I attach to my body - my home away from home - every waking, non wet moment.

Posted by
17010 posts

It's not the probability of things not secured being stolen, it's the consequences. I don't use a money belt at home, but if I lost my wallet, I could go home, call my banks, where they know me, cancel credit cards, find my check book, get more money, get a new drivers license, etc. If I'm a long ways from home, particularly in a country where I don't understand the language real well, recovering from something like that becomes immensely more difficult.

I always use a neck wallet in Europe, even though I am mostly in Germany, which is, I feel, safer than the US. I also used my neck wallet on trips in the US.

Posted by
29465 posts

I definitely agree with Lee. One of the main reasons I wear a Money Belt is the consequences of having my Passport or other important documents stolen. I'm always on a fairly well defined schedule when on holidays, with flights, hotel reservations and so on already booked, most of which would be non-refundable. Having to take the time and expense of visiting the nearest Embassy (which may be some distance from the city where I am at the time) to obtain a replacement Passport would be a huge and probably costly problem! An event like that would also impact the subsequent parts of my holiday.

That scenario happened to some travellers from the U.S. that I was speaking with a few years ago. Several of them were victimized on the local trains in the Cinque Terre (nowhere is safe!), and having to make a trip to the nearest Embassy created a major disruption in their holiday plans. The locals told me that "professional" gangs of thieves from Genova and other large cities routinely "work" the trains in the C.T. Apparently that provides a lucrative income for them, as many people "let their guard down" when they arrive in smaller and more relaxed places like the C.T.

Posted by
93 posts

@ Douglas,

Sorry - didn't catch your question until this evening. I simply carry my money in my wallet - the same as in the US. I keep it in an inner pocket of a jacket, if I'm wearing one. If not, I keep it in my camera bag (which looks more like a satchel) or in a pocket of my trousers or shorts. The pocket is either the front or a buttoned/zipped back/side pocket. Sometimes I even carry it in a backpack if I'm biking. I've never had any problems, and I do the same thing when I'm in big cities in the US (New York or LA, for example, or even here in Chicago :). I'm usually pretty aware of my surroundings, having lived in big cities for half of my life, so I'm fairly used to being more on my toes, so to speak.

If anyone chooses to use a money belt, that's fine with me - I simply choose not to use one, and just take the extra effort necessary to be a little more aware. To each his (or her) own. C'est la vie!

Posted by
2466 posts

We were pickpocketed in Bologna, Italy several years ago - no crowds, I was concentrating on taking the perfect photo of an old sign of a parrot. Because we both wear money belts, we only lost 10 Euro.

We wear money belts during all of our travels because we don't want to take time out of our vacations to deal with all of the repercussions if we were to lose money & IDs.

Posted by
3254 posts

Last May my spouse was pick pocketed we think on a crowded bus in Rome.,did not feel anything.
The money belt was at our hotel. In less than 2 hrs, the credit card had thous of euros in jewelry charged. The cc co noticed unusual activity and refused further charges, minimizing the losses.
I used my neck pouch daily and had no,prob.

Posted by
445 posts

Totally get why to wear a money belt, totally do not wear it. I've never found a money belt or neck wallet that I could stand to have on for a full day of sightseeing. I use to start off the day with one, but would usually ditch it halfway through the day. Now I don't even attempt it. Oh, I have everything I'm suppose to have IN the money belt, it just isn't around my neck of waist. I usually end up putting it in the very bottom of my day pack which then has a clamp type gadget to hold the zippers closed. It cracks me up on Rick's show when he is talking about the money belt, how you just put it on and forget about it and there it is right where you put it, just like your underpants....I don't feel my underpants but sure fee that damn belt stuffed with everything you don't want to lose!

Posted by
9565 posts

I've been told that Rick's guidebooks now include a "money belt detector chip" imbedded in the book. Those found to not be wearing one will be punished.
The punishment is: if you make enough trips to Europe, you are likely to lose your stuff.
If you haven't been pick-pocketed, you're either lucky or have spent way too much time thinking about losing your ATM card and passport.

Posted by
10935 posts

I think some women think their money and cards are "safer" with their husbands.. I think this is false. I carry our money and cards,, in my purse.. in an inner zipped pocket. My purse is very secure.. it has a full click shut flap .. that covers a full zipper, so to get at my stuff they would have to first unclip ( and it requires two hands with my clasp type) my flap, lift it( and its a full cover flap.. not just halfway down bag decorative type) . and then unzip the purse, then get in and unzip an inner pocket.
So women let men carry stuff in their wallets. Men shove wallets in their pockets. Easy pickings.

Moneybelts are certainly something I feel.. I do wear on while in transit.. and sorry I am not used to a hunk of fabric filled with plastic and paper( credit card, atm card, and DL) and passport , plus any large bills) up against my body. One year in Rome this lady showed me how she had to put her passport in a plastic bag in her money belt because she found she sweat so much around her waist and the money belt was just another layer of heat retaining fabric.. ew..
However in my moneybelt I don't carry train tickets etc.. thieves are not interested in them, and I limit how much cash I carry anyways.. otherwise moneybelts do fill up fast.

Posted by
646 posts

I also understand the personal preference of each traveler. I do not use a money belts although I usually travel with a neck wallet (but do not usually where it most of the time as I too find it uncomfortable and makes me look horrible in photos when it is visibly apparent under my shirt. I also carry a cross body bag. The inside has a concealed zippered pouch in which I carry my wallet and passport. My phone and other essentials are in the main body of the bag which is then secured by another zipper. The flap then closes over and is secured by two large buttons and clasps. I keep it in front of me secured flap facing inward and feel very secure. I am careful of my surroundings and feel safe when opening it. The idea of going into a restroom or other private place to access my valuables seems inconvenient and overly paranoid. I am on vacation to get away from the worries of my daily life not to add to them. So I say "To each his/her own". Enjoy the trips!!

Posted by
9565 posts

Here's what Rick thinks: if you make enough trips to Europe, you're likely to regret not wearing a money belt. If you're too chubby to wear it in front, like me, just rotate it 180 degrees to the small of your back. And then never again give a second thought to losing all your vital stuff.
This is one of the European travel better ideas. Try it, you may like the peace of mind. You'll be able to focus on enjoying why you're there.
Or you may continue to be lucky.

Posted by
1 posts

OK, I have read the comment about the drunk driver...rude and if you kill someone else, sorry doesn't bring that person back. As far as a money belt verses a pac-safe purse= here is my encountered experience. One have your money belt on you at all times with all your important documents and money- you know where everything is at all times, second if you carry a pac- safe, be sure you use the zipper lock or that well dressed 7 yo pick pocket will be in your pac-sac without you knowing it, third- yes it is hot and can be uncomfortable but being without your documents, money, and credit cards is worse to the point you have to get to a consultant before closing time and maybe they will issue a new passport on the same day, and last why not because in a hotel they have the magic key to open your safe if you forgot your information- I personally witnessed this. So about the pac-safe - I own 2 for starting out my travels. In Paris that 7 yo wasn't successful and I saw him go for my purse zipper that was locked, he was disappointed as I went to grab for his pick pocketing hand. I have seen passports and money fall out of the pac-safe purse to the unaware trying to find something else in that many pocket sac. The other thing about the pac-safe they are great, but very heavy once things are placed inside because of the mess lining. I have worn a money belt for all over the world and I know where all my documents are at all times- with me and safe. Oh, I do concur about where to wear the money belt- on the small of your back, more comfortable.

Posted by
646 posts

Are you guys really that paranoid about traveling without a money belt? I am a guy who carries a cross body bag with most stuff in it. I do not worry about someone trying to steal from me. I visit Europe because I love it. Stop propagating paranoia.

Posted by
303 posts

Steve, it certainly sounds like everyone's cautions and fear are justified. In this thread alone there are quite a few PERSONAL examples of thefts/pick pockets. I've seen them in other travel forums as well. Just by the averages alone from this thread alone this says it's a valid issue for discussion and caution.

There is a reason it's a discussion nearly every where you go for European travel. I realize many of "you" want to paint Europe as a Utopia that is better than the US but that's more propaganda than the pick pocket discussion. By far.

Posted by
524 posts

It would be nice to find a neck pouch that was much smaller than the ones out there. A U.S. Passport measure approx. 5" x 3.5", yet the neck pouches we see are 6-7 inches in length. The money belts are so long and wide...10" x 5" on some of them. I don't know why they can't make them smaller. I really only want it to carry a passport. i will have a pacsafe bag, and use all the zippers and locks, for everything else. Just want my passport underneath clothes. Does anyone know where you can find those? I've even considered having one sewn.

With summer tops, it's hard to wear the neck pouches..it wouldn't be hidden at all and look really weird. I do like the idea of a "small" waist wallet wearing it turned around on the small of the back (not taking up your entire width of your back!)

I plan on wearing dresses and my capris, etc are not tight..but I don't wear loose clothing either. The never ending search for the perfect hidden pouch for a woman!

Posted by
303 posts

that smaller pack would probably work great. Especially for those of us who already conceal carry every day. I may get one of these to put in the place where I carry my gun normally. After a while you don't even know it's there so a small pack won't be felt either

Posted by
4305 posts

I really only want it to carry a passport. i will have a pacsafe bag, and use all the zippers and locks, for everything else. Just want my passport underneath clothes.

If you are already going to use a secure purse/bag, why bother with a neck pouch for the passport? The point of a secure purse/bag is to keep prying hands out and your stuff safely in. As long as you don't set it on the floor or sling it over a chair (keep it on your body), it's as safe as something under your clothing.

Posted by
524 posts

Thanks everyone! That is a much more slim lined passport carrier and I'm going to purchase it. i also like the belt loop one. I had seen that before, and may buy it for hubbie to try out. Seems more comfy than around the waist. don't think he wants to wear the waist one.

I have been toying with just carrying my pacsafe, and probably will sometimes with my passport in it. But, I just want alternatives during my trip..especially when traveling on the trains I want the passport next to my body. i don't want to be constantly worrying about my purse...even if it's slung over crossbody.

Posted by
42 posts

Have enjoyed the comments. Am surprised so many do not use a money belt. Have traveled to Europe at least annually for the last 25 years. Always use a money belt. Am glad to hear so many have not had problems. It only takes once, though. I have been pickpocketed probably 8-10 times. Have never lost anything of value. Interesting experience in Rome. Got on center of a bus and was immediately surrounded by a group of about 8 gypsy women. They were like a brick wall. I could not get through them. They packed around me and I could feel them touching me. I had a money belt on under my clothes, tucked inside my slacks with my shirt tucked in and a belt on. They did not get anything. If I had had a purse they would have rifled it. Some locals helped me to get through their "wall." Another time, I was getting on a train. I had a backpack and a roller bag. Suddenly a group of children started pulling at my suitcase. They acted like they were trying to help me get it on the train, but they would not let go. Suddenly I became aware of someone behind me. I looked around quickly, and there was someone digging in my backpack. It had nothing of value in it, or they would have been gone. I was riding a bus in Greece when I looked down and there was a hand trying to find my pocket. Another time on a crowded subway, I went to put my hand in my pocket and someone else had their hand there already. I pay attention to my surroundings when I travel. I can tell a bad area and stay out of them. I follow my instincts, which are pretty good. If you are using public transportation in European cities, I think you are foolish if you do not use a money belt. Hope your luck holds!

Posted by
104 posts

Mary....do you think a neck wallet would have been as safe? Thanks for sharing your stories!

Posted by
42 posts

tisa82, I think a waist belt is safer than a neck wallet. I have tried both. Hard to make the neck cord disappear on the neck wallet. I tuck the waist belt into my underwear inside my pants and I think it is safer there. Probably does not matter much as long as it is secure. If you are robbed by professionals, just give it to them. I had friends who were robbed in a major park in Madrid on a Sat. afternoon by professionals. He resisted and was beaten up. None of it is worth the chance of injury. If I was a high end traveler, I would probably be safer, but I am not. I enjoy "traveling close to the ground." I rarely take a cab and try to use public transportation whenever I can. I took a cab once in Venice. Cost me close to $100 to get to the airport and I barely made the flight. Cab from central London to Heathrow costs about $150. I enjoy doing my own planning and figuring it out myself.

Posted by
4305 posts

Tisa82 - a neck pouch or wallet is just as secure as a waist money belt. It doesn't matter if a thief can see that you are wearing a neck wallet, they still can't lift it up and over your head. And they can't really stick their hand inside your shirt. Even if they do, the wallets usually have Velcro and secure pockets to avoid easy pickens. The nice thing about a neck wallet is that they are easier for you to access so you can keep everything secure. With a waist money belt, you typically need to keep some spending cash and a credit card accessible which puts them at risk.

Posted by
303 posts

Just go to youtube and type in pick pockets.....surprise. It's an epidemic no matter what the apologists tell you. I see nothing like this in the USA.

Here's one. there are hundreds.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vDXdJG3ZYhw

You can actually learn alot about how to prevent it and what to look for. Especially while getting on subways.

Posted by
4108 posts

Douglas, I've never used a neck pouch (except for holding passport Iand boarding pass while walking through the airport) so here's my question -- when you access it in public, doesn't that expose you to theft just like flashing a wallet full of euros? I would think that even with a neck pouch it would be wise to separate "deep storage" from daily spending money.

Posted by
4305 posts

^^ Laura - A lot of people here think that and treat secure storage as some type of deep bank vault storage. But the reality is that your danger of theft is primarily from pick pockets, not muggings. A secure system means that a pick pocket can't get to it, even if you can. The neck wallet is still wrapped around your neck, so even if someone saw you access it, they couldn't easily grab it and run.

I personally always use a belt loop wallet. The whole world can see I have it and it's easy for me to access. But thieves can't get to it without me knowing, even if I'm distracted.

Posted by
193 posts

Preparing for our first trip, we will use a money belt(s) & I got a Travelon Anti-Theft cross-body bag for Xmas. My parents experienced the pick-pocket magic on a Paris subway a few years ago. Surrounded by kids/women and packed in like sardines. When they got off the subway, my dad pulled out his money clip (front pocket of 'dad' jeans) and all that was left were his credit cards. He still can't figure out how they slipped the cash out of the tight clip and left the cards. They had money belts for the next trip and a good story to tell - but not fun losing the cash. Expensive lesson. They also were approached by the "deaf" girl around the Louvre but were country bumpkin enough the girl gave up on them I think. Now, it might not be the right strategy, but I know sign language so if approached by that particular scam, I think I will use a little sign language to tell her 'sorry, not interested'... ;).

Posted by
7 posts

Because it hasn't happened yet, doesn't mean there still isn't a chance. Consider each new trip as a reset button, with it's own rules and probability. Always wear a money belt or something similar to hide your valuable documents, ID etc. Never make it easy for the thief (or thieves), as they are actively looking for lay downs. When you become complacent is when you become the perfect target.

So, i definitely think it was just the luck of the draw :)