Imagine losing your passport.
Imagine having to explain to a local vendor (who knows little to no English) that you don’t have enough to buy their wares because you realized too late that someone stole all your cash.
It’s embarrassing, if not horrifying.
It’s the last thing you want to happen in a country where you don’t have a clue how the locals handle these sorts of things.
To avoid that, you can (1) brush up on the do’s and don’ts before visiting a particular country, and (2) get the best travel wallet you can find.
- Travel Wallets vs. Normal Wallets
- How to Keep Your Valuables Safe When Traveling
- Best Travel Wallets for 2019
- 1. Leather Passport Holder for Men & Women – Genuines Wallet Case for 1 or 2 Passports
- 2. Gallaway Leather Travel Wallet Two Passports Holder Cover Documents Organizer
- 3. Zero Grid Passport Wallet – Travel Document Holder w/RFID Blocking
- 4. e-Jay’s RFID Passport Holder — Genuine Leather RFID Passport Holder — Slim Passport Wallet Cover Case
- 5. Valante Premium Capacious Family Travel Passport Wallet RFID Document Organizer Holder
- 6. Zoppen RFID Travel Passport Wallet & Documents Organizer Zipper Case with Removable Wristlet Strap
- 7. Defway’s Travel Wallet RFID Blocking Document Organizer Bag, Family Passport Holder
- 8. Travelambo RFID Front Pocket Minimalist Slim Wallet Genuine Leather Small Size
- 9. Travel Design all in one Travel Wallet – 2 Passport Holder Organizer – Gift box (Black/Red)
Travel Wallets vs. Normal Wallets
You might be thinking: “Why do I need a travel wallet? Why not a normal wallet?”
To put it simply, travel wallets do a whole lot more than normal wallets.
Aside from cash and cards, travel wallets can also hold passports, tickets, visas, credit cards and other documents that you should never travel without.
“But wait,” you say, “wouldn’t that make me more prone to theft? Because if I lose that one travel wallet with all my documents and such, I’d basically lose everything.”
Good point! Putting all your documents into one basket (or rather, wallet) can be a risky proposition — but only if you don’t take the necessary precautions.
Fortunately, we’ve compiled a list of ways to keep your money and valuables safe during your travels.
How to Keep Your Valuables Safe When Traveling
Let your bank in on your safety plan.
You’ve probably heard horror stories about credit cards getting frozen or used without permission while their owners were abroad.
Luckily, you can avoid that by informing your bank ahead of time.
Keep your bank’s contact details on hand. Give them a heads up about where you’re traveling.
Put a withdrawal limit on your card, so that even if your card falls into the wrong hands, your remaining balance won’t get completely wiped out.
Don’t keep all your cash (and cash equivalents) in one place.
Instead, divvy them up. Put all your pocket change in one wallet, your emergency stash in another, your cards in yet another wallet, and so on. That way, even if you lose one wallet, you won’t lose all your money or anything else you can use as money (e.g. credit cards).
There’s another benefit to divvying up your cash. If you have a fat stash of, say, $10,000, and all of that is in one place, you’ll be tempted to spend all of it.
But if you only have half of that within reach, you’ll be forced to spend only that much.
Keep your money in a place accessible enough for you, but out of reach of pickpockets.
Some people put their money in fanny packs hidden underneath their shirt. Others use a money belt, which is exactly what it sounds like: A belt with a money compartment. Still others have more creative ways of keeping their money safe on their person.
Whichever method you choose, it should be something you’re comfortable with. For example, some women hide their cash in their bras, but you might not be too keen on the idea of pulling out bills from that area in front of others.
Stay alert at all times.
The bad news is, no matter how safe the guidebooks say a place is, you should always be on the lookout for people who want to take advantage of unsuspecting foreigners.
For example, in the Philippines, pickpockets tend to prey on people who look clueless. They usually work in groups: One or two members would bump the victim (who’d then be busy looking for who bumped him/her), and another would pick the victim’s pocket while they’re distracted. It’s a pretty effective strategy — if their victim is clueless.
But if you’re always on guard, are sensible enough to keep your wallet within your line of sight, and are aware of the pickpockets’ modus operandi, you can minimize your chances of being a victim.
Buy a good travel wallet.
By “good,” we mean your travel wallet should be:
Best Travel Wallets for 2019
If you’re looking for something beautiful, practical, and easy to use, Genuines’ wallet case might be what you’re looking for. The company claims that the wallet case is “made of 100% natural leather,” and you can get it in maroon, mustard, vintage black or vintage brown.
The Genuines wallet case can fit up to two passports, and has an additional two compartments for your cards.
It’s small enough to slide into your pants’ pocket, though we’d recommend putting it in a safer place instead. You can open and close it quickly enough, which is convenient if you’re always on the go, but not-so-great if you’re looking for something more secure.
Like Genuines’ wallet case, Gallaway’s travel wallet is made of leather (albeit the faux type) and can accommodate up to two passports.
You can also fit in up to nine cards, a pen or two, and a few more items in its zipper pocket, document sleeve and ticket compartment. In case something’s amiss, there’s a lifetime replacement warranty ensuring that you won’t have to pay for repairs.
Gallaway’s travel wallet comes with a neck lanyard, meaning you can keep your valuables close while keeping your hands free. And if you have a loved one who also likes to travel, you can give this to them in an elegant gift box.
Prefer something less flashy? Zero Grid’s passport wallet won’t win points for style, but it makes up for its lack of good looks with its security and durability. As long as you keep your cards near the passport sleeve, there’s zero chance of thieves stealing your vital information.
Since its outer layer is made of nylon, it’s fairly resistant to water damage and the elements in general. It’s fairly useful too, what with a capacity of up to 10 credit cards, plus extra room for your tickets, IDs, cash, etc.
If you’re not happy with the product for any reason, you can take advantage of the 100% lifetime money-back guarantee.
Black, blue, fuchsia, gold, light pink, orange, purple, royal blue, turquoise — whichever color you prefer, e-Jay’s has you covered.
The product’s pretty basic — one passport holder, eight credit card slots, and a currency billfold section. Being only four inches wide, it can easily slide into your pocket and has round corners to keep wear and tear to a minimum.
You might not like the fact that there’s no way to seal this one without buying a separate lock or rubber band, but the RFID blocking feature might make up for the relative lack of security.
The manufacturer claims that this product is “designed by travelers for travelers,” and there might be some truth to that. The wallet has not one, not two, but six passport pouches, making it ideal for families who need to keep their documents all in one place.
In addition, it has two pockets for boarding passes, two zippered pockets for your bills, two letter-sized document sleeves, and other pockets for your travel essentials.
You can choose between a medium- or large-sized wallet, but given how spacious the medium-sized version already is, it won’t really make a difference either way.
Zoppen’s travel wallet has all the standard features: two passport pouches, one pen holder, six card slots, zipped pockets for your bills, and an RFID blocking feature.
Plus, it has a mesh bag for coins (pretty handy when you have a lot of loose change), and a detachable wrist strap that lets you carry it by hand or hang it near your bag.
The stone-washed material adds a unique aesthetic appeal, and you can choose between the colors black, blue, wine red, grey, royal blue, army green, poppy red, orange, yellow, camel, purple and mint green.
It’s easy to mistake Defway’s travel wallet for a giant smartphone holder. After all, the outer compartment is designed to hold phones the size of the iPhone XS Max.
Inside, however, is a treasure trove of compartments for four passports, five cards, one pen, a detachable keychain, and a coin sleeve.
Add to that the RFID blocking feature, and you have a travel wallet that can easily blend into the background — unless you choose to have it in loud colors like green, dazzle blue, rose red and pink.
“Minimalist” is right: Of all the items listed so far, this is the most likely to pass off as a regular wallet. If you need an extra wallet for your pocket change, this might be a good choice.
It can hold a handful of dollar bills, plus 10 slots for your cards and receipts.
Like most travel wallets, it has an RFID block feature, which can block signals from credit cards, debit cards, ID cards, and driver’s licenses. However, it cannot block RFID signals from ID badges, old hotel room cards and building access cards.
Your mileage may vary, but we’re not too thrilled about the fact that this is too obviously a travel wallet, as evidenced by the airplane-shaped logo.
Still, this is a solid choice if you’re looking at the bare minimum for what makes a good travel wallet: two passport sleeves, compartments for tickets, bills and cards. Also, the rounded corners make it less likely for Travel Design’s wallet to degrade over time.
There’s no RFID blocking feature though, and you can’t close the wallet on its own without a rubber band or lock, so the security’s somewhat lacking.
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Travel wallets aren’t just supersized wallets. They’re a way for you to keep your travel papers secure, accessible and organized.
Pair them with sturdy luggage, common sense, and unwavering optimism and resourcefulness for when things go awry, and you’ll have a recipe for a trip where you’ll never have to worry about misplaced documents again.
What’s your opinion on travel wallets? Do you think they’re needed, or are they redundant if you already have a regular wallet? Also, what are your general/specific tips for staying safe when traveling to certain countries? Share your thoughts and reactions in the comments below!