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Eleanor hates wearing a money belt (or one that hanges from your neck under her blouse). She wants to wear a zippered fanny pack when we're in Paris.
I am against it at least for carrying cash, credit cards/debit cards and passports. We plan to use buses rather than the metro while in Paris.

Can anyone who has been to Paris give me advise regarding the safety of wearing a fanny pack. Maybe I should carry the passports and my credit cards in my neck (under-shirt) security pouch and leave Eleanor's copies of credit/debit card back in our apartment. Does anyone have any alternative suggestions?

Any advise would be appreciated.

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Replies to This Discussion

Bill,

I would ask our Parisian buddy Larry, but my sense is no to wearing a fanny pack -- there are definitely skilled pickpockets ( not as aggressive as in some cities, but good at their job) ....a fanny pack is kind of a tip-off that your valuables are stored there.

The second reason is vanity...it is a bit of a tip-off that you are American tourist, but that is probably something most French can tell about us anyway, so it shouldn't count.

I got a GOOD around the neck thing...that didn't annoy me....spent a long time looking for one and gerry-rigged it to my liking. One thing I like about it is then I could stop worrying about pickpockets, and also often you have to get your metro ticket in and out of somewhere (you need to insert it while entering AND exiting the Metro) and if you are anything like me, you have your hands full of Parisian goodies. That neck pouch allows you to get to it sooner....

Often I wore the neck pouch outside my shirt...until I was in circumstances where caution advised me to make a "wardrobe adjustment"
I would not suggest a fanny pack for myself either, although Frank does wear one. However, he wears pants that have a zippered and buttoned pocket to keep his wallet in so there is very little money and no credit cards in his fanny pack. Last year when we were doing the Paris Untour, I wore a money belt and felt much safer for it. I always wear a small backpack to carry my umbrella, raincoat, and personal items. I gave up the purse idea a while back - felt unsafe with it. I also wore a small camera bag around my neck and shoulder in which I kept a few metro tickets or pass and a few coins for the WC for convenience along with my camera when not in use. Since it was put on first, my backpack strap made it more difficult for anyone to take it from me. I also carry a thin wire lock that I can put on my backpack when traveling on crowded metros to thwart the idea of trying to get into it. Frank will usually pay with his safely stored credit card instead so I don't have a lot of need to go under my shirt and pull out mine from the money belt. Last year I found a nice money belt, I think it was thru Magellan, that had a backing that wicked away moisture from the body and was very comfortable. The one I had in Italy and Bavaria sometimes felt damp in the hot weather
When we first started traveling in Europe, I worried that the backpack and camera would mark me as a tourist, but then my daughter assured me that no matter where I traveled in Europe, I was never going to look like a local so I stopped worrying about it. So far we have not encountered any problems with pickpockets or other thieves in Europe. Of course, it is always good to be aware of your surroundings and looking alert and trying to stay out of certain areas of cities.

Hope this helps.
Marlene
Uncle!
Everyone has convinced me to return to the use of a money belt. New ones have been ordered this morning, and should be on hand before we leave for Paris.

My initial plan was to use a secured fanny pouch purchased from LLBean Catalog years ago. It has a steel cable that runs through the strap and connects to a hidden latch beneath a flap. They had a key for a tiny lock. Since I wear this fanny pouch all of the time, the key and lock was stored on a shelf at home. In its place, I substituted a clip hook that holds the steel cable to the hidden clip beneath a flap. This made it easier to remove the pouch, especially when a quick trip to the WC was necessary.

In case some of you may have wondered as to why I had balked about wearing a money belt, it was due to the discomfort and inconvenience of it.

When we begun to travel, both of us wore a waist money belt. As we approached the airline desk to check-in for our return flight, the airline ticket was not in good shape. The clerks made a comment and laughed. They knew exactly where that ticket had been stored.

On the next trip, we switched to the type that one wears around your neck. Oh, how I disliked that style. I
felt like I was being choked all of the time. Plus, the straps needed to be secured to my undergarment to thwart its appearance when wearing a V-neck styled top.

When they sold a waist money belt that contained a moisture-barrier liner, I tried that once again. When my husband wasn't nearby when I wanted to make a purchase, it was a "pain-in-the-neck" to retrieve that credit card.

Finally, the secured fanny pouch was purchased from LLBean (did not see it in 2008's spring catalog). It has numerous zippered areas, so I thought this would be ideal to use. What I had liked were the two zippered areas located close to your body.

Well, now that I've been convinced to use the money belt. I'll continue to store only a little money in the across- the-chest shoulder purse, and items that won't upset me if lost or stolen.

Thank you ALL for your input.

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