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  1. #1
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    Passport and wallet security?

    I'll be traveling again and bought some pants that only have one side zip pocket and the two zip back pockets. I'm not comfortable carrying much in the back pockets even with the zip, but maybe the zipper makes it ok?

    Anyway, the pants are chinos with deep slash front pockets. Eddie Bauer Travex.

    I have a TB passport pouch and I usually kept my wallet in a front zippered pocket but I don't have those pants anymore. I need something to hold the passport and wallet, I keep a day or so cash in the front pocket and refill as needed. I'd like to upgrade my pocket clip but a binder clip has worked well so far. I'd rather not wear something around my neck but it needs to be water resistant.

  2. #2
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    What I do is wear a money belt. I have the Hidden Pocket type. It holds my passport, cash, credit cards and other misc. wallet type items. This is my deep storage. I only access this in private.

    I also have a small wallet that holds one credit card and cash for the day.

    I use the TB Passport Pouch on the days I fly. In it are my passport, a credit card, and some cash. It may also include a local travel card if needed. This easily comes off for airport security. My wallet is in my bag as is my moneybelt.
    Editor--One Bag, One World: News, Reviews & Community for Light Travelers. http://www.1bag1world.com

    Aeronaut(2), Tri-Star(2) Cadet , Large Cafe Bag, Travel Tray, Travel Money Belt, Absolute Straps(3), Side Effect, Clear Quarter Packing Cubes (2), 3D Organizer Cubes (4), Aeronaut & Tri-Star Packing Cubes, Clear Organizer Wallet, numerous Organizer Pouches,, Guardian Dual Function Light, Vertical Netbook Cache, Nexus 7 Cache, RFID Passport Pouch, numerous Key Straps.

  3. #3
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    I use an approach like @Frank II.

    For "deep storage" I have an Eagle Creek Undercover Hidden Pocket that is attached to a belt loop then tucked into my pants (basically riding underneath one of the front pockets of the pants). I use this when I have to transport my credit cards, debit cards, and passport from A to B.

    For daily use, cash (and one credit card if I need it that day) goes into a slim wallet that I carry in a front pocket ... my travel pants have a hidden front pocket with a zipper down the side seam of the pants.

    On flying days, I put my passport and a pen (for immigration and customs forms) inside a Double Organizer Pouch and tether this with a long key strap to an O-ring in whatever TB bag I am using as my personal carryon.

    The Undercover Hidden Pocket is not water resistant (as you specified). It breathes, which is much better in hot climates.

  4. #4
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    Let me add one thing to using the Hidden Pocket especially in hotter months. Put your cash, passport, cards, etc in a small ziploc bag before putting them in the hidden pocket. In fact, I would do this with most money belts.

    The reason is that under your clothes, the heat has nowhere to escape and moisture can build up. Because the moneybelt breathes, the moisture can build up inside and your "stuff" can get wet. Wet paper is not fun.

    I've been using the same Amazon.com: Eagle Creek Undercover Hidden Pocket: Clothing as mentioned above for 25 years. (Not the same one for 25 years; I did have to get a new one after 15 years.)
    Editor--One Bag, One World: News, Reviews & Community for Light Travelers. http://www.1bag1world.com

    Aeronaut(2), Tri-Star(2) Cadet , Large Cafe Bag, Travel Tray, Travel Money Belt, Absolute Straps(3), Side Effect, Clear Quarter Packing Cubes (2), 3D Organizer Cubes (4), Aeronaut & Tri-Star Packing Cubes, Clear Organizer Wallet, numerous Organizer Pouches,, Guardian Dual Function Light, Vertical Netbook Cache, Nexus 7 Cache, RFID Passport Pouch, numerous Key Straps.

  5. #5
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    For my every day wallet, I took this Non-RFID The DayMaker Wallet Jr. - BeSafeBags by DayMakers of Santa Barbara and put a key ring through the zipper pull OR you could use a Tom Bihn Clear Organizer Wallet, and then attached a Tom Bihn wrist strap. Instead of putting the wrist strap through my wrist, I put my belt through the loop and my wallet became secure. It was now attached and hard to steal from my pocket. I also added a an 8" key strap to make the wallet easier to use.

    Which wrist strap you use will depend on which wallet you use.
    Editor--One Bag, One World: News, Reviews & Community for Light Travelers. http://www.1bag1world.com

    Aeronaut(2), Tri-Star(2) Cadet , Large Cafe Bag, Travel Tray, Travel Money Belt, Absolute Straps(3), Side Effect, Clear Quarter Packing Cubes (2), 3D Organizer Cubes (4), Aeronaut & Tri-Star Packing Cubes, Clear Organizer Wallet, numerous Organizer Pouches,, Guardian Dual Function Light, Vertical Netbook Cache, Nexus 7 Cache, RFID Passport Pouch, numerous Key Straps.

  6. #6
    Forum Member Lani's Avatar
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    One thing I wear whenever I run is a race belt. They fit snug around your waist and have a zippered compartment that fits things like your car keys and some money. Unlike hidden passport carriers, these are meant to get sweaty, and the snaps are pretty hefty. I can't stand wearing those undercover passport pouches, because they just ride against my skin and get sticky, but the race belts are the definition of comfort for me. The good ones use very stretchy fabric and I'm able to actually fit my wallet and iPhone in it.

    Now, these belts don't work as a hidden pouch if you wear them outside your clothes. For that, you will want to wear them under your shirt, and will be particularly secure if you tuck your shirt in. But they do ride up right against you and the zipper tab, when pushed against the zipper, isn't easy to come loose (just imagine someone bouncing around while they jog and how secure these need to be).

    Typically they've always cost around $20 each, but it turns out someone started making an infomercial version called "Go Belt" that's half the price and which I really like. It has TWO zippered compartments instead of one. You can buy it from Bed Bath and Beyond or Amazon and not deal with the infomercialness of it, or purchase online directly and get a two-for-one deal. The infomercial website also has a video that shows you how it works (if nothing else, watch it to see if it would work for you).

  7. #7
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    I'm genuinely curious where you guys going (and maybe how much cash you're carrying, Scrooge McDuck) that these systems are needed, because it sounds like your Bihn bags are off on some awesome adventures.

    For me, I lived in Manhattan until we moved to LA a couple of years ago, but I've traveled fairly extensively in the developed world - the US, Western Europe, and parts of the Middle East - and have always just used my wallet as usual, especially in the past 10-15 years, when I've been able to count on finding an ATM or shopping somewhere that'll take a credit card. If I have to have my passport with me, I'll stick it in a front pocket and check it from time to time, but that's about the extent of it.

    Obviously, though, it's a big world and there are plenty of places that are iffy to be (take this Nicholas Kristof column with helpful advice on evading bandits, for example), so I thought I'd ask where you're headed off the beaten path.

  8. #8
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    afsheen--not off the beaten path but to areas where pickpockets thrive. That would be any major city where tourists tend to congregate. In some areas, pickpockets are so plentiful the police actually put up signs warning people. Places like Barcelona, Rome, Florence, Prague, London, Paris and the like.

    I've seen numerous occasions where people get stuff stolen and their repsonse was "I never felt anything."

    If you know the tricks the thieves use and stay vigilent, it will be more difficult for them to target you. I've been traveling internationally for over 25 years and I never travel without a money belt. My wallet only has enough cash for one day and one credit card. My passport is either in my moneybelt or locked in my hotel room. If I lose it, I know that is one day wasted trying to get it replaced.

    And even on the NYC subways, pickpocketing occurs. (I'm was born and raised there so I guess staying vigilent was part of my upbringing.)
    Editor--One Bag, One World: News, Reviews & Community for Light Travelers. http://www.1bag1world.com

    Aeronaut(2), Tri-Star(2) Cadet , Large Cafe Bag, Travel Tray, Travel Money Belt, Absolute Straps(3), Side Effect, Clear Quarter Packing Cubes (2), 3D Organizer Cubes (4), Aeronaut & Tri-Star Packing Cubes, Clear Organizer Wallet, numerous Organizer Pouches,, Guardian Dual Function Light, Vertical Netbook Cache, Nexus 7 Cache, RFID Passport Pouch, numerous Key Straps.

  9. #9
    Forum Member Lani's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frank II View Post
    I've seen numerous occasions where people get stuff stolen and their repsonse was "I never felt anything."
    I can vouch for this. We did a Rick Steves Rome walking tour, and our guide took us on essentially an experimental field trip that included a very stern warning and explanation of how pickpockets work ("You all have jobs at home. Well for a professional pickpocket, that is their job. They do it everyday, all day. It makes them very good at what they do."), and then we all boarded the local bus. We were all required to have hidden pockets and pouches, etc. and to not have any valuables in regular pockets.

    Sure enough, when we all disembarked, one fellow had both of his back pockets of his shorts picked... the pocket fabric was sticking out of both his pockets like tongues even though they both had buttons. My husband's back pocket was also picked, and the button undone.

    Of course thanks to our lesson/lecture, none of us kept anything in those pockets, but both the other fellow and my husband said they didn't feel a thing.

  10. #10
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    Thanks for the thoughtful replies - rereading my question, I'm worried it came off as dismissive, so I do really appreciate the thoughtful answers, because I was genuinely curious. Sounds like I've just been lucky so far, but I'll give some of these tips a thought next time I'm on the road.

  11. #11
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    Very helpful thread. Thanks!

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frank II View Post
    I've seen numerous occasions where people get stuff stolen and their repsonse was "I never felt anything."
    +100 on this statement. This was exactly Mr. pammy's response when he got his pocket picked in Rome on the Metro. That morning before we headed off, he wanted to keep his cash in his front pocket. I told him please do not put in any more than he can afford to lose because I had read how bad pickpockets are in Rome. He sort of scoffed and said he had deep pockets (which he did) and no one could get in there without him knowing about it. We were on the jammed packed Metro during morning rush hour where it didn't seem possible that a cockroach could get on because it was so crowded on our way to the Vatican. I had just a gut feeling that the teenager boy with his backpack in front of him that he kept pressing into my husband was trying to pick him. As soon as we got off, I asked Mr. pammy to check his pocket and sure enough his cash was gone. Thankfully it was not as much as he could have lost, but lesson learned. Deep pockets and confidence are not enough to deter agile thieves.

  13. #13
    Forum Member NYCWriter's Avatar
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    Hello everyone -- new member here -- hadn't heard of Tom Bihn until yesterday -- literally -- and am fascinated not only with the products but the COMMUNITY. I just wanted to throw in my two cents on this topic:

    I've been living in New York City for 22 years (11 years in Brooklyn -- BEFORE it was "cool" -- and 11 now in Manhattan), and after more than two decades of practically living on rush-hour subways, I've NEVER been pickpocketed. Here's my secret:

    Passport and wallet security?-57101_blk_a0-jpg

    Getting rid of the "wallet" was my first move; and separating my cash from my cards was my second. This slick Coach (or any other brand you like; Coach was the first) card case holds precisely what I need for the day: (1) AmEx, (1) Visa, (1) ATM card (I refuse to carry a debit card for security; my credit union provides me with a bare-bones ATM card at my request), driver's license, subway metro card. Designed to fit in the FRONT pocket. And in the other FRONT pocket I carry an old-fashioned sterling silver money clip with my cash (I like to pay cash for as much as possible, so I always have at least $300 on me at all times).

    I cannot stress the use of FRONT pockets enough!! Put NOTHING in the back pockets.

    Also, in the city, wearing a backpack of any kind in crowded areas (particularly the subway) is not only rude it's an open invitation for thieves (yes, even those classy-looking purse-backpacks the ladies wear). When you get on a bus or subway, REMOVE it from your back and hold it.

    On my workdays, I carry an old-school briefcase that has no pockets that can be picked, or zippers that can quietly be undone:

    Passport and wallet security?-il_fullxfull-314192594-jpg

    On my off days, it's usually a small Jack Spade messenger bag that fits against my side like a glove (although I'm being tempted by the Tom Bihns!!).

    I also separate my cash, as well; I carry $100-300 in my front pocket, but my "emergency" $500 is in a concealed pocket inside whatever bag I'm carrying.

    I hope these tips help!

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