Whether you're speed walking through the neighborhood park or sightseeing on foot in a foreign city, carrying items such as identification and extra cash is essential. However, carrying a large bag or backpack may not be the most convenient or safe method for transporting belongings. Instead, consider a fanny pack or money belt, but make sure you're choosing the appropriate pouch for the occasion.
The Classic Fanny Pack
Travel fanny packs are worn just below the belly, at the hip or on the lower back -- around the lumbar area. Their wide straps are fastened around the body and secured with buckles. This kind of pouch is meant to be worn outside your clothing.
Because they are used in lieu of shoulder bags or backpacks, fanny packs can carry much more than money belts. Their contents are based on the activity at hand.
Types of Fanny Packs
There are different types of fanny packs such as lumbar and hydration packs. They are not used for securing money (like a money belt), nor are they meant for carrying larger items such as SLR/DSLR cameras and lenses.
Lumbar fanny packs are typically bigger than a standard travel fanny pack and are often included with larger hiking backpacks as a "day pack" option. Hydration fanny packs have special pockets sized for water bottles and music players. Some hydration packs hold an insulated water bladder instead of water bottles.
There are different types of money belts. A standard money belt fastens around the waist and is worn under pants or jeans. A neck or shoulder wallet is worn around the neck under shirts or blouses.
Some money belts are strapped to the leg, around the ankle area. These leg-type money belts are only effective when wearing long pants. A pocket money belt attaches to a belt and can easily be retrieved, but is still remains tucked under the pants for safe keeping.
How to Use a Money Belt
Money belts should remain out of sight. When contents are retrieved from the belt, be sure to tuck the pouch back under your clothing. The contents of a money belt should include the traveler's passport, rail pass (if applicable) and driver's license (best used for car, bike or other rental conditions). Money belts also contain credit/debit cards and extra emergency cash. Keep a few bills in your shirt and pants pocket while leaving more valuable items in the money belt.