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Although we recommend that you buy and use a money belt, we suspect you will continue to carry your wallet or purse. Follow our recommendations for frustrating pickpockets by carrying your wallet or purse in a secure manner.

 

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Travel Advice -   Wallet, fanny pack, and purse security                                          

We urge you to use money belts to protect your money, passport, and negotiable travel documents (airline tickets, train passes, etc). We know that many of you will buy and use money belts but continue to carry your wallet or purse  during the day’s travels.   Carrying a purse or wallet during travel is not recommended.

There are several guidelines to remember:

  • Your person is more important than the contents of your wallet or handbag.
  • If you are robbed, hand the thief your wallet or purse and do not play tug of war.  Resisting can lead to deadly injury.
  • Minimize the opportunity for loss. Carry only what you need.

A fanny pack, worn with the pack in front of you, is a good substitute for a either a wallet or a purse.

  • Fanny packs are more secure when the strap is passed through your belt loops.
  • Theft resistant fanny packs are now available. These secure fanny pack feature a metal wire in the belt that is designed to thwart thieves who attempt to remove the fanny pack by slashing them off. 
  • Use the fanny pack for small amounts of cash and other essentials.
  • Make sure that important cards or documents are stored in your money belt.
  • Make sure to close the zippers on the fanny pack when you replace items.  Many fanny packs feature locking zippers.

  

If you carry a  handbag (not recommended), several  police departments suggest that it should be held in your hand in front of your body with your arm covering it. 

  • Carrying a handbag with a long strap is not advised, as a hard yank on the handbag's strap by a thief may cause injury or a  fall.  In some cases, death has resulted.
  • If you choose to carry a handbag with a strap, wear it loosely on your shoulder.  For more security, wear it  in the same position but under your coat. 
  • Any strapped purse can be dangerous to wear since many thieves will attempt to grab it while on the run and they will not care about damaging it or YOU!

If you are going to carry a wallet (not recommended), keeping it in a zipped or buttoned inside pocket provides the greatest security.

  • If you do not have an inside secure pocket, do not carry the wallet in your rear pocket.
  • The front pocket is safer as it is easier to feel a hand dip into your front pocket than either of your rear pants pockets.
    • You might try wrapping a few rubber bands around your wallet, as these will provide friction when the wallet is removed from the pocket and help attract your attention in case of a pickpocket.

People who wear sports coats often store their wallet in an inside breast pocket but this is rarely a secure location compared to the front pants pocket.

  • If you have a jacket with an interior, zippered pocket and can remember to close the zipper, it may be a good place to stash your wallet.
  • Unfortunately, people have a habit of taking off their jacket during lunch, snacks, or other sit-down stops and, then, walk off without the jacket.
    • By the time they return, the jacket is usually gone or no longer contains a wallet.

Leaving your pants at a restaurant is a relatively uncommon occurrence and helps explain why people prefer keeping wallets in pockets than in jackets. More importantly, no one ever leaves their money belt anywhere except under their shirt.

Finally, we urge you to reconsider wearing a money belt - it solves a lot of problems.

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