When I was younger, I distinctly remember when the fanny pack made a triumphant return. Unlike its predecessors this new style of fanny pack had been re-designed to look “cool” as it rested snuggly on the side of every teenage girl’s hip. The reason I remember this fashion fad is because I still have that Coach knock-off fannypack I bought to look “cool” still hanging in my closet.
The truth is that even after the fad died (about two months after it started) I frequently used my knock-off fanny pack as a travel accessory. Before leaving for the airport, I would pack it full with money, my passport and my boarding pass – it was a great place to store all my valuables. In fact, I used it more than my first anti-theft travel accessory, a neck wallet (neck pouch). My father bought the pouch when I went on a school trip to Egypt at the age of 17. I wore it for the first couple of days but the weight of the pouch around my neck quickly became bothersome. I ended up putting it in my backpack instead of wearing it around my neck. I am not a big fan of the neck pouch or the money belt but I do believe that everyone should experiment different items to find the product that best fits their travel style. My personal favorite is hidden pockets in jackets or sweaters and I would love to try the bra stash (as I often shove my money/cards in my bra when overseas).
There are various versions of the travel accessories money belt but their essential function is to conceal and protect valuables. It is recommended that individuals place enough money for their daily needs in their backpack and/or purse and should only access their money belt in a private setting, preferably away from prying eyes. Other than the traditional waist and neck money belts/pouches, other variations include:
The Bra Pouch: essentially a pocket that attaches either to the plunge of your bra, the side of your panties or your bra’s wing.
Anti-Theft Travel Belt: these are regular belts that have a secret zippered compartment for folded up bills and any other important travel documents
Leg / Arm / Cross-body Wallets: elastic straps have Velcro® end fasteners hold these pouches in place around your legs and/or arms
The Hidden Pocket: a simple hide-away pouch that slips onto your belt and conveniently tucks into the waistband of your pants
And if visiting hotter climates make sure to purchase an item that is moisture-proof with anti-microbial fabric. If you are looking for some great money belts than I would recommend visiting your local travel/adventure store such as the MEC and/or Jet-Setter – avoid purchasing these items at drug-stores as they usually sell products are not made well enough for the needs of the backpacker, traveler or adventurer.
If money belts are not your style than a lot of travel clothing companies have started to offer clothing and under-wear with hidden zipper pockets in lieu of money belts, such as the Clever Travel Companion.
Finally, I will leave you with a very important TRAVELTIP: Never EVER take your passport with you when you are sight seeing. If you do wear your money belt while sightseeing all you need to store inside the belt is:
– Emergency cash
– Extra credit cards
– Photocopy of you passport and/or any type of picture ID.
Your actual passport should be safely locked in either a locker and/or your luggage back at the hostel/hotel.
Do YOU wear a money belt? If so than which one to you wear?