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Purse? Backpack? Totebag?

Jersey City, New...
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359 posts
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Purse? Backpack? Totebag?

What do you carry around with you while touring sites and tourist attractions?

Is a purse or backpack an easy target for a pick pocket?

Destination Expert
for Rome
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33,963 posts
16 reviews
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1. Re: Purse? Backpack? Totebag?

A back pack certainly is. If you use a messenger style purse and keep it across your body you should be fine. Just keep an arm across it when in large crowds.


Destination Expert
for Mont Tremblant
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11,680 posts
35 reviews
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2. Re: Purse? Backpack? Totebag?

I use a cross body bag everywhere I travel. I keep only essentials for the day in it and leave the really important stuff at home. I also keep my hand on it in any situation where people are around me and keep things zipped inside it's various pockets, just to make it so much more work for any thief.

I also do not wear jewellery or any ostentatious looking clothing, also trying to minimise my attractiveness to thieves. Wearing lots of jewellery and high end accessories will make you very appealing.

Los Angeles...
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3,094 posts
63 reviews
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3. Re: Purse? Backpack? Totebag?

We each have a small cloth neck or belt pouch inside the clothes for valuables and a tote bag for sweater, glasses, water, etc.

North York Moors...
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275 posts
26 reviews
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4. Re: Purse? Backpack? Totebag?

I use a cross body bag,with essentials only in it. I take a copy of my passport,leaving the original locked in the hotel safe,and only enough cash as I need. And hand on the bag at all times.

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396 posts
77 reviews
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5. Re: Purse? Backpack? Totebag?

I use a cross body Pacsafe Citysafe 200 bag. It's large enough to hold my camera (not a point and shoot), my guidebooks, maps, wallet, umbrella, sunglasses and other papers I carry with me. It's comfortable, durable, and has a clasp (like a safety pin) on the zipper so that the zipper cannot be opened without effort. It is meant to deter pick pockets and those that would slash your purse with a knife. I feel comfortable using it when I am on a crowded bus or subway/metro. I have personally observed a pick pocket at work on a crowded bus in Rome. It was enough to convince me to do a better job of securing my belongings and as a result, I bought the Pacsafe. It's not the most stylish bag, but it's functional, and it gives me peace of mind.

Le Marche, Italy
Destination Expert
for Rome, Marche
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37,719 posts
28 reviews
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6. Re: Purse? Backpack? Totebag?

I usually use a small pack that slings over one shoulder to carry water, a sweater, small umbrella, guide books, etc., but not for anything valuable. No one has ever opened it, even though they can't know there's nothing valuable in it. I do swing it around to the front in crowded places.

I carry my wallet, camera, etc., in a normal purse that I select from my vast purse collection to be inconspicuous and hard to open. For example, one of my purses has a zipper that's covered by a flap with a velcro fastening. I carry the purse over one shoulder, and keep it to the front in crowded places, with my arm over the flap. I rarely carry it crossbody, although I can if I want to.

San Diego...
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422 posts
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7. Re: Purse? Backpack? Totebag?

I think it depends on what you will be carrying with you. Everyone's warnings about pickpockets, etc, are valid and certainly you do need to be careful and cautious in any big city. You definitely need to be aware of your surroundings, ignore the panhandlers, petitioners, etc, and hold your bags in front of you on the Metro and in large crowds. That said, I am very into photography, and want my DSLR with me. I brought the Epiphany Lyric camera bag with me last year on my trip to Rome, and while it carried everything I wanted, I was lamenting its heft. My shoulders were KILLING me by the end of the day. Therefore, this year on my trip to Paris I am bringing a very lightweight crossbody bag and a very lightweight Baggalini backpack (that has a cinch top with a flap). I will keep my money, phone, etc, in the pockets of my Scottevest jacket or my Clever Travel Companion Tank top, but will store my camera, etc, in the backpack if my shoulders start to get tired with the crossover bag. Both bags are less than a pound (unloaded). Many people use backpacks successfully, you just need to keep your eyes open, be careful and choose your bag wisely (you can even use twisty ties to keep it closed for extra security).

Illinois City...
Destination Expert
for Palm - Eagle Beach
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3,704 posts
6 reviews
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8. Re: Purse? Backpack? Totebag?

I have a Travelon cross over and I love it. It's so lightweight and you can put a good amount of stuff in it. Also has a pocket on each side for a bottle of water. I did get mine from QVC last year but here is the website for Travelon.

www.travelonbags.com › Anti-Theft Bags‎

9. Re: Purse? Backpack? Totebag?

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Removed on: 29 August 2014, 05:06
Columbus, Ohio
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52 posts
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10. Re: Purse? Backpack? Totebag?

We go in less than a month. I purchased a pacsafe camera sling for my DSLR. The sling should be much more comfortable than a normal neck strap, it is black and not advertising Nikon or any brands (which thieves will target brands more than anything non descriptive), and it has the extra slash proof saftey. it also didnt break the bank at $30 on amazon.

My wife will be carrying around a unisex pacsafe messenger bag we found on amazon for $59. it has all of their typical safety and anti theft protection. it will be large enough to carry a cover up for her for churches, sunscreen, a travel umbrella if the forecast calls for it (i travel a lot for work and have a small one always in my laptop bag), a DL business class toiletries kit i have filled with travel asprin, travel allergy meds, travel psudephedrine (i have sinus issues out the wazzoo), bandaids, moleskin for blisters. we will also carry an older cheap 1st generation nexus 7 tablet which is loaded with guides, books, translator etc. i never liked the tablet after i purchased it and it was not expensive anyways. no love loss if it gets swiped, and better it than my iphone. it also has audio tours loaded to it, and the trip advisor rome ap. its about the size of an ipad mini, so its not too big. much easier than a book and physical paper maps. there will also be room for the camera too should we want to put it in there.

Edited: 29 August 2014, 06:15