We all want to be safe when we travel. It’s a given. Crime on the road is almost always unexpected and can really mess up your trip. There are some situations we simply can’t prepare for (Godzilla, for example, or the Spanish Inquisition), but we can be smart about what we wear and how we carry our valuables.
Safety-wear is a dangerous can of worms for the fashionably inclined. I am not someone who can handle wearing a fanny pack (or “bum bag” for those of you who are British and appalled that I said “fanny”). I don’t like things that are too bulky and I completely disapprove of anything that is aggressively “anti-theft;” it usually means “heavy” and “ugly.” One should not have to sacrifice their sense of style for safety.
There’s good news: one does not. Here are five sexy ways to carry your valuables safely:
“That’s not sexy!” you might proclaim. There was a time when I would have agreed with you. However, this was before I discovered the secret joy of the money belt: put it under your clothes and pull it tight. It shrinks your waist or flattens your stomach; it basically does everything Spanx would if you bothered wearing them while traveling. Be careful you don’t pull too tight or you’ll have an uncomfortable breathing situation which could lead to friction burns, and make sure the clothes you wear over it are skimming, not form-fitting. Most importantly, make sure you position it so you can get to it without disrobing publicly. That will invite a different kind of crime.
The thigh sheath is arguably the sexiest way to carry your valuables. Scott reviewed the PortaPocket, and I’m into that, but I like the sexy lambskin Wallet with Garters above ($19.95, and yes, it comes in other colors), or for vegans, the ruggedness of the Medical Trauma Thigh Pouch in “Coyote Tan” ($89.95). It calls forth images of video game and film heroines. Plus, if someone’s stealing from a pouch on the inside of your thigh, you’re going to notice. I recommend wearing it under a dress or skirt for full concealment.Bag that zips
I will always argue that a fanny pack doesn’t make you safer; it makes you look like a tourist. Don’t buy one. Backpacks can be easy to pickpocket, as can most tote bags. Stick with messenger bags and purses that zip for carrying valuables. Even a bag that zips can be a liability in a loud place, as you won’t hear a gentle pickpocketer. Another common trick: someone will start a conversation with you to distract you from their friend, who is quickly digging for your wallet. You best bet is to keep your bag zipped and hold it under your arm so that you can see the zipper pull at all times. Don’t bother putting things in the outside pockets unless you’re willing to lose them.
Tilley hats are pretty darn cool looking. Flip through the gallery in Serious traveling hats and you’re likely to find something you like. As an added bonus, each one has a hidden compartment right on top of the head. That’s a good place for your stuff.
And, speaking of hidden compartments, one safety feature many stylish garments already include is the secret pocket. You’ll find these in perfectly respectable (even sexy!) coats, on the inner rims of some shorts and all over the place on ScotteVest products, including fashionable jackets and form-fitting pullovers. When you’re packing, choose the item with the secret pocket over the item without, and you may find yourself freed from carrying a bag in some situations — and much safer than you would be if you had your wallet and phone in your back pocket.
I mean, even if you don’t get pickpocketed, I hear about a lot of things ending up in the toilet that way.