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
- 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
- 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
- Use the fanny pack for small amounts of cash and other essentials.
- Make sure that important cards or documents are stored in your money
- 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
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
- 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
- Unfortunately, people have a habit of taking off their jacket during
lunch, snacks, or other sit-down stops and, then, walk off without the
- 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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