30 March 2009

Alternatives to money belts

Money belts are useful for carrying valuables that you don't need to access regularly, such as passports, larger stashes of cash, alternative credit cards etc. Some of the alternatives we have seen include:
  • extra internal pockets in clothing
  • wrist wallets
  • singlet vests with pockets
  • socks with hidden zip pockets
  • clothing belt with hidden zipper pockets
Not all of these, in our opinion, serve as useful a function as money belts/pouches - but they are certainly worth considering depending on what you need them for. The idea of putting a passport into a wrist wallet is just silly, but the idea of having additional internal pockets in clothing is a potential solution if you have sewing skills.

I found that for small, regularly used items (e.g. credit card, small change, transport tickets etc.), a discreet zippered pocket in my shirt was the best place to store things. One shirt had a pocket in the side seam at waist level which was invisible unless you knew to look for it. It was great for ease of access as well as for security of valuables.

Extra internal pockets in clothing
Yvette came across the Instructables website which contains instructions on how to add extra internal pockets into clothing. Personally, I think this is the best option out of all of these alternatives to money belts, however it only works if your clothing already has pockets! And you also need reasonable sewing skills. The advantages include being able to make internal pockets to suit your needs - whether you only need small ones for credit cards etc., or one large enough to stash a passport.
Wrist wallets
By "wrist wallet" I do not mean a wallet with a wrist strap. I mean a cuff-like object which has a zip pocket inside it. Here's a link to one variety so you can see what we mean. I like the idea of storing the car keys that way, though not having done it before, it might seem a bit weird at first - and maybe too lumpy. Looks like a great idea for going to the beach or other outdoor environments. If you have the right sort of contents, it wouldn't matter if the whole thing were immersed in water. Here in Australia, our banknotes are polymer so they won't disintegrate if you happen to go for a swim. Metal coins ditto. Credit cards ditto. Keys ditto - but you can't have the automatic battery-operated door opening devices: they'll be ruined. 

Obviously you can't fit your passport inside it, and it might look a little dorky in summer, but could easily be covered by a sleeve in winter. It may also be a bit too visible and hence attract muggers. You could also wear them around your ankle to minimise visibility - especially under trousers or socks.

Singlet vests with pockets
This means "undershirt" not singlet tops as outerwear. Envisage a singlet top (tank top / vest) with a velcro or zipper pocket. Here's a link to a ladies' version.

Socks with hidden zip pockets and Clothing belt with hidden zipper pockets are a couple of other possibilities. Here are a couple of examples of Ladies' and Men's Zip It Sox which have pockets sufficiently large to take even a passport. These would be obviously not much use if it were too hot to wear socks. Another possibility is the "ordinary" clothing belt with a cleverly hidden zipper pocket. Not great for travel documents or passports, I wouldn't think. You'd need a cummerbund for that - perhaps a bit overdressed for the beach?

Without having tested each of these options, my personal preference is for hidden pockets in clothing, maybe in conjunction with a wrist wallet. We'll have to give them a go sometime.

No comments:

Post a Comment