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How Do I Choose the Best Travel Wallet?

The best travel wallets are designed to keep cash and other important documents easily accessible.
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  • Written By: B. Miller
  • Edited By: Andrew Jones
  • Last Modified Date: 28 July 2014
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Even though you may be able to use your standard, everyday wallet for travel, purchasing a designated travel wallet can be a good idea. These are often larger than standard wallets, and sometimes offer additional security features that make them safer for use while traveling, to prevent pickpocketing. To choose the best travel wallet, begin by considering what you will need to carry in it; some people simply use a large wallet with a strap in lieu of a purse, and in that case, need more space than people who will store the wallet in a pocket or larger purse. Consider the material as well, because travel wallets need to be durable.

At its most basic level, a travel wallet should be able to accommodate a passport without bending or folding it. Not only will this prevent damage to the passport, but it makes it easier to find and access when it is needed. Space for paper money as well as coins is important as well, particularly when traveling to countries that give coins in relatively large denominations; you don't want to lose them! Consider any other travel documents you want to carry in the wallet as well, such as a boarding pass, train tickets, or other identifying papers. The wallet should have a number of pockets for storing these items.

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Considering the security features of the travel wallet you are considering is important as well. If you will be wearing the wallet outside the body like a small purse, it is generally a good idea to select one with a strap so you can wear it across the body, making it much harder to snatch. If it will be inside a purse, choose a travel wallet with a clip. It can then be clipped onto something such as strap or keyfinder inside of the purse, which will also make it much harder to for someone to reach in and grab it unnoticed.

In addition, choosing a travel wallet made of durable materials and sturdy zippers is important as well, since, chances are, it will need to take a bit more abuse than a standard wallet. Leather is a good choice because it is very durable; other materials such as nylon may be less expensive, equally durable and easier to clean, however. There are many different colors and styles available to suit different tastes as well, but in general, selecting a travel wallet should be more about function and less about form.

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Discuss this Article

Viktor13
Post 10

I caught a guy picking my pocket in Washington DC about 20 years ago, in a dense crowd. I had a regular wallet in my back pocket. I felt something touch my butt, and I reached back really fast and caught his wrist. I turned around and all I could see was his hand and arm, he backed up into the crowd and twisted out of my grasp and got away. I never had a good look at him. Wouldn't have mattered, I could not have caught him even if I saw him. Be careful out there.

emtbasic
Post 9

Whatever wallet you choose, you still have to be really careful. In a crowd, a backpack, fanny pack, wallet in your pocket, even the ones that strap around your body, can be rifled through in seconds. Always be aware of who's around you.

Also, skilled pickpockets are devilishly clever at what they do. There was a show I saw where a guy walked around Vegas stopping people and asking for directions or whatever and he would rob them blind. He took something from just about everyone. For people with backpacks or purses, he had a helper who would sneak up behind the people when he was talking to them. It was a real eye opener.

parkthekarma
Post 8

@John57 - Fanny packs are tragic! I know that fashion is not the only concern, and they are definitely handy in many ways. I just can't bring myself to wear one.

Also, you have to be careful of theft with them too, but for different reasons than a regular wallet. True, someone can't sneak up behind you and steal it like a wallet, but they can sneak up behind you and undo the clip, then run off with it. There are special travel fanny packs that have clip systems designed to deal with this, but the regular kind you get at Wal-Mart does not have that.

Nepal2016
Post 7

The best travel wallet I've found is a neck wallet. You have to be kind of particular about what you put in it, or it looks like you have an alien growing under your shirt. I usually keep my passport, credit cards, other ID and important papers, and large bills. It has a strong, comfortable strap that goes around my neck, and the whole thing is hidden from view.

This could be a problem in countries where the currency is devalued and you have to carry a huge wad of it. In that case, you'd probably have to keep your cash somewhere else, but the rest of your important things in the neck wallet. It is practical and very secure. Almost impossible to lose, and hard to steal, short of a mugging, which is going to get whatever kind of wallet you have.

John57
Post 6

I used to think the fanny packs didn't look very cool, but I am at the point where I would rather go with practical than cool.

These make great traveling wallets as they are comfortable and leave your hands free. I am surprised at the amount of "stuff" I am able to fit in one.

I can fit my cell phone, a small camera and all the important things I need for the day in my travel wallet. This is so much more convenient than carrying a heavy bag around everywhere I go.

SarahSon
Post 5

I have a travel wallet that I use only for traveling. This has a strap that goes across my body so I know everything is always safe and secure.

I like to travel light and with as little as possible, so just need something to carry my important papers and credit cards in.

It is nice if you have easy access to your passport and identification. This way you always know where it's at and can access it quickly and easily when you need to.

sneakers41
Post 4

@Burcidi- I think that those fanny packs are great for traveling because it is virtually impossible for anyone to pick pocket you, but I have to say that I do think that they are kind of ugly. They draw attention to your stomach area and if you have a few pounds to lose it is not a flattering look.

I also think that it will make you look more like a tourist, but I guess it depends what is more important when you travel a sense of style or a sense of security.

burcidi
Post 3

I don't think I'd want to get a wallet specifically for travelling. I think that's a waste of money. I only travel once in a couple of years and it doesn't make sense to invest in something that I'm going to use only so often.

I'd prefer to get one of those travel purses that goes across the body. It can hold my wallet, keys, cell phone and any other essentials in it and I think it's the safest way to carry them. Plus, I can use it even when I'm not traveling. It would be great to take along on an outdoor event, to a game, or when I go grocery shopping.

SteamLouis
Post 2

I received the best travel wallet for a Christmas present this year! It's so stylish and practical! It's made of pink leather and kind of looks like a long regular wallet when it's folded. But when you open it up, it's the size of a diary. It has compartments for tickets and papers. It has credit card holders and a pocket for paper money and another one for coins.

The best part is that it came with a matching passport cover and luggage tags that are equally adorable! I can also attach the passport cover to the wallet so that it's easy to pull both of them out when I need them.

I absolutely love this wallet, I can't wait to use it!

burcinc
Post 1

I get pretty nervous when I'm traveling. When I'm at the airport, I constantly check my itinerary and boarding pass to make sure that I'm at the right gate and that there are no delays. I almost lost my boarding passes several times because of this habit. One time I left it at a duty-free shop and would have lost them if the sales person didn't rush after me to return them.

Knowing how I am, my husband gifted me a really nice travel wallet that is much larger than the one I usually use. It is both wide and deep so I can fit both my passport and plane tickets and boarding passes in it. I used it on my last trip and it made such a difference. I knew that the boarding passes were always in my wallet and even if I took them out to look at them, it was such an ease to place them right back in the wallet where they were safe.

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