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Using fannypack to avoid pickpockets?

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My DH wants to use a fannypack during our visit to Rome, putting it around his waist and in front of him. Would that be a good idea for avoiding pickpockets, etc? He would be carrying a credit card and some money in it. I am thinking that might not be as safe as a neck pouch or something attached to his belt and tucked under his pants.

 

 

 

 

 

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In the UK we call them "bumbags" - not sure that is any better! As CM42 says - you are safer with things you can get under your clothing.  Another common trick is for a patsy to shout "thief" (It can be quite intriguing if you sit in a bar long enough to watch them do this in different languages).  You then instinctively put your hand to where your valuables are concealed - handily telling the nearby pick pocket where to go.

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I think you just have to be super super vigilant. I usually have a cross-body bag zipped up and rest my hand over it as I'm walking. When we were in Rome we were approached by a group of late teen/early twenties men and they appeared to just be joking around, trying to shake our hands etc but we just kept walking and politely waved them away. A few steps later I realised the zip of my bag was undone. Thankfully nothing had been taken but it was scary how this had even happened without either of us noticing. 

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I´m using a fanny pack for decades now and never had any problems. In case you´re surrounded by people put your had on the bag.

 

I do have a travel model which has a metal cord in the belt which can´t be cut. Plus the main compartment has a zipper which can be locked. And the clip which opens the belt is covered. I have a shoulder bag too with those safety features. Sorry, I can´t tell you the brand as I´m German and this was sold by a country wide coffee company (Aldi had those too here in Germany).

 

steamboats

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I am also a firm believer in money belts or passport wallets worn beneath my clothing. 

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My DH and I both use Pac Safe cross body bags.  They have wire in the straps so they can't be slashed and grabbed.  They also have a wire mesh inside the fabric for the same reason.  Their zippers lock to prevent a pick-pocket from having access.  They also have good storage for wallet, passports, camera, tablet etc.   We would recommend them.

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Thanks to all of you for your responses. They are truly helpful and we will be following the suggestions.

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I'm going to recommend you go to the Betabrand website (www.bet.....).  Look at the men's travel pants.  I actually have the women's version and I LOVE them.  Zipper safety pocket in front and one in back.  They are really comfy and do not look like "travel" pants.  See if the ones they have left will fit your SO.   I've got 4 pair of Betabrand pants - 3 of their Yoga Dress Pants that I wear for work and the travel pants.  

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Posted (edited)

For guys, these are very good, dressier travel pants.  The hidden side zipper  pocket is large and almost invisible.  For some reason they seem to be discontinuing them, but the price is great if you find your size.

 

https://www.travelsmith.com/product/rfid-blocking-travelers-twill-flat-front-pants.do?sortby=ourPicksAscend&refType=&from=Search&ecList=6&ecCategory=  

 

For purse zippers I like small S-shape carabiners.  You can find them anywhere, but here are a lot of pictures:

https://www.amazon.com/s?k=nite+ize+microlock+s-biner&gclid=Cj0KCQjwl6LoBRDqARIsABllMSZt_ZX0FzdlPuyi3XdIisziabvSDGHYDM6-I75rhXWefewjF1feaUIaAmjMEALw_wcB&hvadid=259864695771&hvdev=c&hvlocphy=1021047&hvnetw=g&hvpos=1t1&hvqmt=e&hvrand=10066710204396952764&hvtargid=kwd-427798210299&hydadcr=16623_9721843&tag=googhydr-20&ref=pd_sl_8kytmhvayj_e

Edited by marazul

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20 minutes ago, marazul said:

For guys, these are very good, dressier travel pants.  The hidden side zipper  pocket is large and almost invisible.  For some reason they seem to be discontinuing them, but the price is great if you find your size.

 

https://www.travelsmith.com/product/rfid-blocking-travelers-twill-flat-front-pants.do?sortby=ourPicksAscend&refType=&from=Search&ecList=6&ecCategory=  

 

For purse zippers I like small S-shape carabiners.  You can find them anywhere, but here are a lot of pictures:

https://www.amazon.com/s?k=nite+ize+microlock+s-biner&gclid=Cj0KCQjwl6LoBRDqARIsABllMSZt_ZX0FzdlPuyi3XdIisziabvSDGHYDM6-I75rhXWefewjF1feaUIaAmjMEALw_wcB&hvadid=259864695771&hvdev=c&hvlocphy=1021047&hvnetw=g&hvpos=1t1&hvqmt=e&hvrand=10066710204396952764&hvtargid=kwd-427798210299&hydadcr=16623_9721843&tag=googhydr-20&ref=pd_sl_8kytmhvayj_e

 

Thanks for the link to the carabiners marazul as it isn't something I have known about or looked at. We are off to Europe in 10 days and these look like something I could include for the trip.

 

Sorry to go off topic but marazul I wanted to let you know we have booked the Ston oyster tour from Dubrovnik. I will think of you as we enjoy our oysters 😊.

 

Julie

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Posted (edited)

It seems like this thread has turned in to a Products recommendation thread. Not saying this is bad but actually a good research tool for people looking for information or recommendations. 

For General info, I will throw my hat into the ring.

 

On our recent trip to Europe I went through the same thoughts and research. Our trip started and ended in Barcelona. Once cannot emphasize enough to use common since, be aware of your surroundings,  avoid very crowded situations etc. That said, we did not experience any issues or problems and had a wonderful time. Cannot wait to go back!

 

I'll list Some of the things I purchased for the trip below. I can say these are well made and I have used them several times since on other trips we have taken:

 

Backpack:

 

https://www.pacsafe.com/metrosafe-ls450-anti-theft-25l-backpack/30435.html?dwvar_30435_color=123&cgid=daypacks#start=1

 

Pants, both convertible and standard styles:

 

https://www.clothingarts.com/collections/adventure_travel_pickpocket_proof_pants/products/pickpocket_proof_convertible_travel_pants

 

I am no way affiliated with either company just a satisfied customer.

 

Clothing arts is a small company that often sees back orders on there products. You can sometimes find them sold at other travel companies so shop around. The pants are expensive but very well made and have multi level securities built in. The convertible pants worked well in Europe. I could use them full length while visiting churches, then zip off the legs turning them into shorts for the rest of the day while sight seeing. I have used them on multiple vacations and they have become a must pack item when we travel.

 

Anyway, for those doing research. These are some of the items I use and can recommend.

Edited by tdeyette

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2 hours ago, frantic36 said:

 

Thanks for the link to the carabiners marazul as it isn't something I have known about or looked at. We are off to Europe in 10 days and these look like something I could include for the trip.

 

Sorry to go off topic but marazul I wanted to let you know we have booked the Ston oyster tour from Dubrovnik. I will think of you as we enjoy our oysters 😊.

 

Julie

Julie,

Enjoy the oysters!  We are bound to be on the same cruise one of these days.

Happy travels.

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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, marazul said:

For guys, these are very good, dressier travel pants.  The hidden side zipper  pocket is large and almost invisible.  For some reason they seem to be discontinuing them, but the price is great if you find your size.

 

https://www.travelsmith.com/product/rfid-blocking-travelers-twill-flat-front-pants.do?sortby=ourPicksAscend&refType=&from=Search&ecList=6&ecCategory=  

 

For purse zippers I like small S-shape carabiners.  You can find them anywhere, but here are a lot of pictures:

https://www.amazon.com/s?k=nite+ize+microlock+s-biner&gclid=Cj0KCQjwl6LoBRDqARIsABllMSZt_ZX0FzdlPuyi3XdIisziabvSDGHYDM6-I75rhXWefewjF1feaUIaAmjMEALw_wcB&hvadid=259864695771&hvdev=c&hvlocphy=1021047&hvnetw=g&hvpos=1t1&hvqmt=e&hvrand=10066710204396952764&hvtargid=kwd-427798210299&hydadcr=16623_9721843&tag=googhydr-20&ref=pd_sl_8kytmhvayj_e

I have used carabiners since the early 1990s to secure my purse, backpack and luggage zippers.  All different kinds, from the "S" ones to a few that have screw closures.  A quick solution to a common problem.   

 

I'm a nay on a fanny/bum bag.  There are so many alternatives now to them.  If hubby is only taking some cards and a little cash, those travel pants with zip pockets would be less of a signal of "here I am, I'm a tourist, come and try to get my bag."  And, he could wear the pants anytime, even not on vacation.  Could he say that about the fanny/bum bag? 😉

 

Edited by slidergirl

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2 hours ago, slidergirl said:

I have used carabiners since the early 1990s to secure my purse, backpack and luggage zippers.  All different kinds, from the "S" ones to a few that have screw closures.  A quick solution to a common problem.   

 

I'm a nay on a fanny/bum bag.  There are so many alternatives now to them.  If hubby is only taking some cards and a little cash, those travel pants with zip pockets would be less of a signal of "here I am, I'm a tourist, come and try to get my bag."  And, he could wear the pants anytime, even not on vacation.  Could he say that about the fanny/bum bag? 😉

 

 

Maybe he could!  You know bum bags are back as a fashion item in a big way?  You can spend a fortune on a blingy designer one.  I still don’t care for them much, though.

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The fanny pack will be a loud call to invite yourself to be pick pocketed!!!, get a money belt have under your clothes, beware for diversion scams, practice what you will do to avoid diversion scams.  We have seen many people get bags snatched/pickpocketed in a flash.  Once on  bus to the train to Pompeii a "priest"snatched a bag and ran out the door.  Tourists are literally the bread and butter of the petty thief (police wont do anything if it is nonviolent and may even be getting kick backs)  Be vigilant.

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On 6/18/2019 at 1:24 PM, lisiamc said:

 

Maybe he could!  You know bum bags are back as a fashion item in a big way?  You can spend a fortune on a blingy designer one.  I still don’t care for them much, though.

Yes they are..but their called "Belt Bag's" now. Some of the designer ones are very pricey.

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Just be aware that if you are wearing one of those 'packs' and particularly if teamed with a baseball cap/visor and sneakers, you might as well be wearing a sign that says 'American tourist'. Nothing wrong with that, but it does make you a more obvious target.

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@Newleno It doesn´t matter what bag you´re wearing I can tell a tourist apart from a local within less than a second. Everything worn underneath your clothes is nice when you need a safe place to get something from A to B for a longer time. But everything you need to access frequently like your cell phone or money for purchasing a water bottle, souveniers, tickets... sorry, it´s way too complicated to get a 10 Euro note out of your money belt. It´s o.k. for a passport or spare money but not for stuff you need to access.

 

Use common sense - place your bag across the shoulder, make sure that your bag closes with a zipper and is not inviting everybody by being totally open. Avoid crowded places - if not possible like on a bus or the metro then take a bagpack in front of you and keep your hands on it. Make sure that you do know the latest scams... If anyone comes to close or wants to help you chase him away. Don´t leave any wallets or cell phones open on a table in an outdoor café.

 

As mentioned earlier there´s a lot of very good saftey travel accessories and bags with zippers that can be locked with a carabiner are great. I´m traveling with fanny packs for more than 30 years now - all over the world. For me it´s the safest place as I any scary situations I can put my hands on my belongings. And yes, I´m totally aware that I will be recognized as a tourist. But that´ll be the same without a fanny pack. You will be always recognized even in your own country.

 

steamboats

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47 minutes ago, sailing canary said:

Just be aware that if you are wearing one of those 'packs' and particularly if teamed with a baseball cap/visor and sneakers, you might as well be wearing a sign that says 'American tourist'. Nothing wrong with that, but it does make you a more obvious target.

Agree...We opt to not look like a "Brinks" truck and while still being safe and aware of our surroundings we try to be a bit more casual looking and don't call attention to ourselves. So far throughout our travels that's worked out for us.

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4 hours ago, steamboats said:

@Newleno It doesn´t matter what bag you´re wearing I can tell a tourist apart from a local within less than a second. Everything worn underneath your clothes is nice when you need a safe place to get something from A to B for a longer time. But everything you need to access frequently like your cell phone or money for purchasing a water bottle, souveniers, tickets... sorry, it´s way too complicated to get a 10 Euro note out of your money belt. It´s o.k. for a passport or spare money but not for stuff you need to access.

 

Use common sense - place your bag across the shoulder, make sure that your bag closes with a zipper and is not inviting everybody by being totally open. Avoid crowded places - if not possible like on a bus or the metro then take a bagpack in front of you and keep your hands on it. Make sure that you do know the latest scams... If anyone comes to close or wants to help you chase him away. Don´t leave any wallets or cell phones open on a table in an outdoor café.

 

As mentioned earlier there´s a lot of very good saftey travel accessories and bags with zippers that can be locked with a carabiner are great. I´m traveling with fanny packs for more than 30 years now - all over the world. For me it´s the safest place as I any scary situations I can put my hands on my belongings. And yes, I´m totally aware that I will be recognized as a tourist. But that´ll be the same without a fanny pack. You will be always recognized even in your own country.

 

steamboats

 

One of our favourite things to do when we’re sitting at a cafe on shore, watching people, is to try to guess from their clothes and body language where they’re from.  Then if we can hear them speak, we know if we’re right or wrong.  We’re right surprisingly often!

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14 hours ago, steamboats said:

@Newleno It doesn´t matter what bag you´re wearing I can tell a tourist apart from a local within less than a second. Everything worn underneath your clothes is nice when you need a safe place to get something from A to B for a longer time. But everything you need to access frequently like your cell phone or money for purchasing a water bottle, souveniers, tickets... sorry, it´s way too complicated to get a 10 Euro note out of your money belt. It´s o.k. for a passport or spare money but not for stuff you need to access.

 

Use common sense - place your bag across the shoulder, make sure that your bag closes with a zipper and is not inviting everybody by being totally open. Avoid crowded places - if not possible like on a bus or the metro then take a bagpack in front of you and keep your hands on it. Make sure that you do know the latest scams... If anyone comes to close or wants to help you chase him away. Don´t leave any wallets or cell phones open on a table in an outdoor café.

 

As mentioned earlier there´s a lot of very good saftey travel accessories and bags with zippers that can be locked with a carabiner are great. I´m traveling with fanny packs for more than 30 years now - all over the world. For me it´s the safest place as I any scary situations I can put my hands on my belongings. And yes, I´m totally aware that I will be recognized as a tourist. But that´ll be the same without a fanny pack. You will be always recognized even in your own country.

 

steamboats

please dont listen to this guy, (obviously incidentals are not kept in your safe place under your clothes,) please i have seen snatch and run so many times, I have seen scams where mothers have drugged their own babies (so the babies sleep) acting like they are holding the baby when they are not then there hands are free during the diversion.  no fanny packs, nothing of value in your day bags, non violent petty theft is permissible in a lot of countries.  Dont be paranoid but take precaution and the thieves will go for another target. 

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@Newleno Don´t worry, I´ve seen those scams too and I´m traveling Italy since I was 3 years old (so almost 50 years now). As I said use common sense. Shout out loud when someone tries to sorround you or when you feel uncomfortable and put your hands on your belongings (the fanny pack). Mine can´t be opened as the zipper is secured with a carabiner hook which is covered by fabric. But I had regular fanny packs over the years too. Never had any problems.

 

I´ve been to Rome for the first time more than 30 years ago and we watched kids sorrounding a gentleman picking his wallet. My dad back then shouted out and they dropped the wallet. It doesn´t matter which language you´re speaking just shout out loud to draw attention. My first time in Naples was even earlier than Rome and back then our teacher told us the basics. Naples back then was maybe the most dangerous city in Italy.

 

steamboats

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