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I do do a lot of traveling and have been to some countries / cities where personal crime rates are particularly high, such as Johannesberg, Quito, Rio de Janeiro, Buenes Aires, Nairobi etc. and so I am pretty safety conscious whenever I travel and try to limit my vulnerability to personal crimes, such as theft. I have tried a number of options, such as the Gellert Money Belt (or travel waist pouch) in order to do this. The idea of it is that you wear it under your clothes and around your waist so that valuables are kept out of sight and cannot easily be snatched. I would always, however, keep a small supply of money separately in a pocket or bag so that I could hand that over if I was mugged and keep the rest of the money hidden. The big bonuses about the Gellert Money Belt is that it is inexpensive to buy and it is very lightweight. It cost me just £4.95 from Amazon (which included post and packaging) and I felt this was a very good price compared to a lot of other similar products on the market. I have also noticed it in a number of outdoors equipments stores, which also sell a number of other Gellert products as well. As I said, it is lightweight and made out of polyester - which can be folded up very small when it's not being used. It has an adjustable strap that fits around the waist which clips together. I have to say that I found the strip to be a little rough and had the tendency to rub a little and so I took to ensuring that I had a vest top underneath my clothes so I could put the money belt on top of this which made it much more comfortable. There are two separate pouches in the belt and so you can separate out items into the two different compartments. I tended to just carry money around in this and a credit card because I always keep my passport in my hotel (unless I'm travelling to the airport) and it was plenty big enough for this. When I was going to the airport then I would also carry my passport, but this made it feel a bit more uncomfortable around my waist and so I wouldn't want to do this for long periods. The pouches are zipped and so you can be secure that the items within the pouches will not fall out. However, it is not waterproof and so it's not helpful if you're going swimming and not wanting to leave your items on the beach / bank. I did find this pouch to work fairly well - and it was pretty robust. However, my experience is that there are just better options available now and so I have to say I have only used this a handful of times. It's not a bad option though for the occasional traveller.
When I went travelling a few years ago, I visited some fantastic places but to save money I stayed in some very shady places! Having a money belt was useful as it gave me peace of mind about my valuables. It was hard enough looking after my backpack let alone worrying about my money, passport and credit cards. Sometimes if the hostel did not have a safe or locker, I slept with it under my pyjamas! The Gelert money belt is still going strong, despite it needing a very good deep clean after coming back from travelling! *Price* I paid £5.99 from a camping shop for the money belt, but you can buy one online for £5.95. *Description* The money belt is made from a thin polyester material. It is really light weight which makes it perfect for travelling round with. The material is not waterproof but it is sweat proof! The dimensions of the pouch are 27 cm by 12 cm tall. There are two pockets with zipper fastenings. The main compartment will easily take two passports and some money, the other pocket is perfect for tickets, credit or debit cards. The waist fastener is not that comfortable but it does the job; it keeps the pouch secure and flat to your stomach. The strap is adjustable and has a quick fastener at the side so you can whip it on and off with ease. *My experiences* I was really thankful to have the pouch whilst I was away, it was comforting to know that all my important items were as close as possible to me. I tended to wear the pouch against my skin so that I could always feel it near me, but this does get quite sweaty. The pouch does not really allow your skin to breath so that it can get a bit prickly when you wear it for long periods of time. So long as your items are no thicker than a passport and some cash, you can get away with not seeing it being worn under a t-shirt. I tended to live in tight fitting vests so you could usually see the belt when I wore it. I didn't mind it being seen, but it probably is not the most attractive look you could pull off. Safety is far more important than looking good though! When I came back from travelling my pouch was grey and disgusting and I was tempted to throw it away. It was covered in ground in sweat and dirt; I was a pretty grubby traveller! I threw it in the wash on a hot cycle and the pouch came out as good as new. As far as the quality goes, this brand have excelled here and the money belt is hard wearing and good quality. I've recently taken it to Barcelona and my boyfriend wore it; he managed to squeeze his mobile phone into the main pouch. He looked a bit of an idiot with lumps and bumps in his t-shirt but at least it didn't get stolen.
Ideal to keep secure your passport, tickets, cash and credit cards etc