Hello to everyone!
Just got back from my first real trip touring around Europe. This trip really opened my eyes up to traveling and led me to start browsing forums for my next trip. Anyways this is the gear section and I just wanted to post some of the items that I bought that helped me and my girlfriend on this trip. Of course this is what helped us and hopefully it helps you too.
One of the first items we bought as extra safety were travel money belt/pouches. I know some of these things can be kind of clunky and maybe as amateur tourists we were going a little overboard. Anyways there were two that we ended up buying one for her and one for me. I think all and all we both found them to be effective and not too bothersome. Hers seem to definitely feel nicer than mine though.
she bought: Design Go Womens Money Belt
I bought: Eagle Creek Undercover Deluxe Security Belt
The other item we bought that seemed to be really useful was this slashproof camera strap. Pacsafe Carrysafe
Of course this item is added protection that some feel they may not need. But myself and even a buddy of mine who just traveled purchased one of these. Since we have expensive cameras it was the added precaution necessary. Anyways, hopefully this helps some new travelers and possibly some seasoned ones. Either way I'm really excited to go on our next adventure and will surely use these items. Thanks for reading and listening to a first timer!
[ Edit: Removed links ]
Money belts are good but it's important to be aware of the local lo down if you;re using them. When I was in Rio I was told that a lot of the muggers had got wind of this little trick and go straight for that area! I stopped wearing one and started just taking out the little money I needed in a hidden pocket.
I also have an Eagle Creek money belt which is made of silk so thin and lightweight with a waterproof liner, but stopped using it for reasons above. I found it easier to carry small notes and change for everyday living in an accessible pocket with the rest stashed away in another pocket. Combats are great for this if they have a pocket halfway down the calf ... not so easy for pickpockets!
As for a slashproof camera strap, if I thought my camera was in danger, I would never have it on show. I have a small backpack with a concealed bottom section where I keep my expensive one and use a compact for street shots if I am in towns.
I hadn't heard of the slash proof camera straps!
Thats a good idea, thanks for that. All cameras are valuable if they have your holiday pics on them!!!
I can't stand money belts though. I always travel with a 'over the shoulder' handbag with a zip... never lost or had one single thing stolen.
Yup, Moneybelts in large chunks of Africa and South America at least, are now pretty redundant as local thieves have cottoned on (mostly due to the huge number of utter morons that wear them and then go in them for every purchase/time they need their passport, and thus they aren't kept hidden). If you do wear one, make sure you use it properly EG only go in it when NOBODY else is around/Can see it. And as well as your daily stash in a pocket, keep a backup stash somewhere else entirely, just in case.
Having said that, moneybelts can now be useful decoys: Keep a small-ish (but significant enough that it looks real) amount there plus maybe an old credit card (which can be invaluable in fobbing of thieves), so if somebody does take it/hold you up, they think they have taken everything, keeping them happy and you not too badly out of pocket.
Wow, decoy money belts. thats getting serious. I guess I won't really think about getting robbed until it happens at least once. I'm always just as careful o/s as I am at home and that has worked fine for me so far.
I am glad to see that others now feel the same way about the money belt. I used to have to fight to get my point across on this particular topic.
Moneybelts (and neckpouches and those holster deals) are blown and all but useless. They were a good idea, really. But, if you have been out there much, you can see a lot of newbies making change outta the fucking things in public. What's the point of a secret place to put dough, if you are just going to show everyone? I used one once, for two days. I was in Caracas. A guy was trying to entice me into some restaurant and I said I didn't have enought money. He laughingly tapped the exact spot where the money belt was, and I am sure that it was invisible. People just know.
I would put no stock in these things. I have heard that some sew an extra pocket into the inside of their pants, and I like that, but I have never done it. I have an excellent and several times proven spot, but I can't tell you where it is. Not because you will blow it, but that other person, behind you and to the left probably will. Go down to the travel store and look around a little. There are a couple of neat ideas.
I like the camera strap thing. I have never seen an actual slasher in 37 countries, but I hear about them, so it seems prudent.
But anyways, thanks for telling us what worked for you.
[ Edit: Edited on Dec 9, 2008, at 9:27 AM by Piecar ]