A few DOs and DON’Ts
If you’re bringing a purse, make sure it zips shut. Not clasps. Zips! If there’s just a clasp, someone will try to stick their greedy little hands in there and steal your wallet or whatever else you have in there. ZIP IT. I prefer a crescent shaped one because it hugs to my side. Also take care to wear it with the zipper pointing front. Ideally, you’d have a purse that can strap across the chest.
When I was working at a hostel in Rome, I had gone to an outdoor concert with some young Irish guests.- Billy Joel and Brian Adams were playing a free show with the Colosseum as their backdrop. I warned the Irish lass to bring anything BUT her fannypack. She insisted on bringing it and storing her money and camera in its pockets. So, we made our way through the crowd… you can only imagine how packed it was. Not even 5 minutes into pushing our way through, “Guys…. where’s my camera????”
Don’t keep your wallet in your back pocket. It’s as simple as that. You will not feel someone taking it. People survive by stealing off of you- they’re pros, they know what they’re doing. You won’t know what hit you. Once again, I met a traveler who thought they were smart so they traveled with pants that zipped at the back pocket. Doesn’t matter… with a push, shove, or quick hand, their wallet was gone in an instant.
Be careful with backpacks, daybags, or whatever you call it when you’re out for the day. While they’re great because they hold all your stuff, they’re also worn behind you where you can’t see who’s being all grabby with your things. Don’t get me wrong, I sometimes bring a bag when I’m seeing the sights but I usually wear it in front of me and I’m protective of it when I’m on the bus or metro. I don’t keep anything important in that front pocket.
A great alternative to carrying everything in a purse or wallet is to divide it up into a money belt worn under your clothes. Not only is your money and/or passport stored close to you but with a good money belt people can’t even tell you’re wearing one! You can find these at travel shops or any travel sections of your favourite department store. I wore this often during my first few trips to Europe but the more confidence I gained from my travels, I’ve since stopped wearing it.