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Travel Wallet Suggestions

Discussion in 'Travel' started by bearlyme86, Feb 17, 2011.

  1. bearlyme86

    bearlyme86 Loaded Pockets

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    Hey guys, me again, quick question in preparation for my trip to Thailand:

    Does anyone have an experience with a quality travel wallet (to hold credit cards, cash, and my passport) which will do a good job of a. allowing me access to my valuables, and b. protecting my valuables from pickpockets?

    As I see it there are three configurations

    1) Around-the-neck (worried about possibility of a. having the chord cut, b. choking)
    2) Regular Wallet with Security Chain
    3) Belt (worried about accessibility)

    Does anyone with experience have any suggestions as to brands/models that I should be looking at?

    Thanks!

    Jason
     
  2. nuphoria

    nuphoria Loaded Pockets

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    I picked up one that goes inside your pants, hanging from your belt. It can be pulled out easy and has two zip compartments for passport/case etc.

    My experience of it was that it got a little sweaty although it's lined with a soft fleece type stuff, but it's totally hidden from prying eyes.
     
  3. rambo4hire

    rambo4hire Empty Pockets

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    I like SPEC OPS Gear "The Wallet Jr" I think it is just the right size and is tough as nails!
     
  4. jag-engr
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    jag-engr Semper Bufo!
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    I would recommend two wallets:
    1. a wallet or coin purse in a front pocket for daily use with a small amount of local currency and a copy of your passport
    2. a hidden wallet with more valuable items: original passport, credit/debit/ATM card, larger currency, etc.
    In either case, know exactly what you have in it and who to notify if it gets stolen. Keep this information on your person, but not in either wallet.

    If you are using a hidden wallet, it should not be accessed in public view. Otherwise, it's no longer hidden. If you're just worried about pick-pockets, I guess that's fine. However, muggers have been known to watch people and know who has a waistband wallet.

    FWIW, I recall hearing a report in one country where muggers were making people drop trou to check to see if they had a waistband wallet! :yikes:
     
  5. brix

    brix Loaded Pockets

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    You forgot about wrist wallets. I am picking up one of these, the pacsafe wrist wallet. Might be a little tougher to use during warmer months, but perfect for when you can wear long sleeves:

    http://www.rei.com/product/814008
     
  6. bonmot

    bonmot Empty Pockets

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    My most recent hidden wallet was an Eagle Creek neck wallet, which I like just fine. Lately, however, I've taken to wearing clothing with discreet zippers which keep pickpockets at bay. For example, The North Face Paramount pants have a zippered pocket above the main pocket. Ex Officio shirts often have a zippered pocket as well. It's much more comfortable than carrying a piece of gear too. The zippered pocket approach works well to foil pickpockets, but it wouldn't be perfect in a mugging situation.

    For a mugging, a decoy wallet with a few bucks of local currency would be worth considering.
     
  7. mister_fox

    mister_fox Loaded Pockets

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    You may want to consider designing something and getting it made while you are there. They probibally wont have acess to the more hi tech materials but it would be made to your design. I had a belt style pouch made in india, just big enough for my passport the bulk of my paper money and spare cash card. Very small and discrete, if you do get mugged your only loosing some of your cash and you have a spare cash card to keep you going.
     
  8. deathcaps

    deathcaps Loaded Pockets

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    The best way to go is to spread out your cash and cards and not carry everything in one place. Put your passport, large denomination USD (100s and 50s), and some Credit Cards in a waist pouch that you can wear UNDER your pants (and make sure the strap isn't sticking out in the back). This should only be accessed when you go to the bank or when you get out your passport to check into a hotel / hostel, otherwise it stays hidden and never ever leaves your person. Carry a wallet with some medium denomination USD (20s and 10s), some large local currency, and maybe one Credit Card or ATM Card. This can be used for larger purchases like a nice dinner, something from a more expensive store, etc and can still be sacrificed as a muggers wallet (credit cards can be cancelled with a simple phone call). Finally carry a money-clip with smaller local currency and use this for snacks, street food and other stuff you'll buy from street vendors. The idea is that you don't want someone to see you pull out a giant wad of money, so you spread it out so if you lose one thing it won't end your trip. Whatever you'll use most (in my example it would be the money clip) holds the least valuable things so it won't matter if it gets stolen, and it isn't a huge deal if people see you pulling it out all the time because it's only holding small bills.

    I think the most likely situation you'll run into is pickpockets, so I'd be most concerned with them and slash-and-grab bag thieves. If you get mugged people know to look for waist pouches, but honestly if you get mugged by a guy dedicated enough to make you drop your pants, he's going to know that you're holding out on him if you hand over anything that doesn't have a Passport in it, so I wouldn't worry about wearing something that muggers will look for.

    I wouldn't recommend a neck pouch, as they are glaringly obvious (unless you wear a collard shirt) and are really easy to slice and grab.

    Will you be staying in hotels, or hostels? That will make a big difference in how you carry as well- if you can drop off your Credit Cards, Passport, and big-currency in a hotel safe it's much better than having to carry it all around with you. If you're staying in a hostel than take everything valuable with you, as you're just as likely to get ripped off by a fellow backpacker than a pickpocket.
     
  9. jag-engr
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    jag-engr Semper Bufo!
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    Notice that deathcaps said credit cards or ATM cards - credit cards can be canceled and ATM cards are useless without a PIN. Debit cards, on the other hand, can allow the mugger to clean out your whole account and max out the available overdraft. Do not carry debit cards while traveling.
     
  10. Dizos

    Dizos Loaded Pockets

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    I am a frequent international traveler. I would recommend a thin wallet sized to hold a passport for front pocket carry. All-Ett has one http://www.all-ett.com/productdetails.asp?prodID=12, but I'm not super keen on the ripstop nylon they use - didn't hold up for me. I had one of similar design custom made with 1000D Cordura.
    Nothing makes you feel more out of place then fishing out a neck wallet or some absurd waist pouch. FWIW I find most places here in the US more of a mugging risk then almost anywhere I have traveled in developing countries. A front pocket wallet is under your control and quick to access/stow.
     
  11. jag-engr
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    jag-engr Semper Bufo!
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    Something like a aLOKsak or just a plastic cover may work well - very minimalist but protects the passport from sweat... :green:

    As an alternative place to store your passport, perhaps you could put it in your boxers!**

    ** Note: Link is safe for work and not as disgusting as it sounds.

    I think that in most places a pickpocket may be more of a threat than a mugger, especially in large cities.
     
  12. Cobra 6 Actual

    Cobra 6 Actual Loaded Pockets

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    Jag-engr, your post reminded me of a set of Thunderwear I own: http://www.thunderwear.com/holsters.asp I used them a lot in the summer when I'd wear shorts and a T-shirt: not for rapid draw, but deep cover. Probably be pretty good for travel carrying of passport, money and other stuff that you wouldn't want pickpockets to get ahold of in crowded places. The obvious downside would be you'd have to unzip to gain access to your passport, etc.

    I switched over to a belly band, because I've got more belly (so I can carry more stuff): http://www.amazon.com/Belly-Band-Concealment-Holster-Medium/dp/B003PAIZG8 The bands come in black, white, and tan. Mine was modified by my wife and it now carries a Kel-Tec, an extra mag, my wallet, a folding knife, and a small flashlight. Surprisingly, the items carried don't print or show through. Plus the belly band actually made it easier to get access to my stuff (just lift my shirt). Perhaps a belly band is another travel security option to foil pickpockets, too. And, to state the obvious: don't wear it through airport security ... even without any "bad boy's toys" it would probably cause a TSA red alert ("All airport personnel, we are at DEFCON 1 !!!")
     
  13. thenextarcher

    thenextarcher Loaded Pockets

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    i second that. i use the wallet jr as my edc wallet... pretty great