Travel Accessories

I have always been a purse person. I have been carrying a purse since I was about 8 years old.  At my extended age today, I feel naked without something on my arm, my shoulder, or in my hand.

I remember as a child, I had a cute little tiny purse, and I usually had a dime or maybe a dollar in it. About once every other month back then, my family would drive from Seattle to Vancouver, Canada, to visit my grandparents, and we always stopped half way there for dinner somewhere. On one trip, I left my little purse at the restaurant, and I didn’t realize it until we were about 20 minutes down the road. My father, being the sensitve man and my hero, turned the car around and drove straight back to the restaurant for me to go get my purse, which was still there, on the booth seat where I left it.

Traveling far from home as often as I do today, I still want to carry a purse.  I am aware that a purse can be stolen, a pocket can be pickpocketed, and I can be so discombobulated and disoriented by international travel, that maybe a purse isn’t the best idea.

With that in mind, here are some suggestions for traveling to and around Ecuador, (or any other international destination) especially if you want to travel light.

Regular size purses are not the best idea when not in your own country, even though many South American women carry them just like North Americans do;  purses can be grabbed anywhere unless you have a tight hold on them. I have a large ‘hobo’ bag in which I carry my umbrella, paper, pen, book, sunglasses, etc. I bought it at Target, it was not expensive, so, if someone grabs it or pickpockets it, I won’t be too annoyed to lose it and what I have inside it. Except maybe for my notes, that would bug me if I lost them. I also have a small ‘hippy’  bag, that can be worn around my neck and under my jacket, something like this:  http://www.magellans.com/vaultpro-quick-connect-bag although my bag does have some nice embroidery on it and has a drawstring. I can’t remember where I bought it.

The best kind of clothing to wear, I believe, comes replete with lots of pockets, zippered or velcroed, or something like this: http://www.magellans.com/scenic-tour-jacket

I don’t have pockets on my jeans, I’ve already got enough padding on the hips, but hubby has pants with zipper pockets and jeans with pockets. Try pants or trousers like these:  http://www.magellans.com/in-transit-convertible-pocket-pants

I have also been known to stick my passport, credit cards, money, etc. in my bra from time to time. Stuff I keep in there is easy for me to get to, and nobody is going to pickpocket me there. LOL!
I also have one of these: http://www.magellans.com/coversafe-75-secret-neck-pouch where I keep my money, passport, credit cards, etc., while in transit, and also when it’s too hot for a jacket with pockets. There are places I visit where I do carry my purse, like, when we take a taxi to the mall, or to dinner, but my purse is not a really big one, or a fancy one that might attract attention or someone’s covetous eye.
In Cuenca, we don’t have a car, so, taxis and buses are our transportation.  The bus is $.25 a ride; taxis, anywhere from $1.00 to $3.00 a ride; at that price, we don’t need a car. The neck pouch is great for riding the bus, where you are jostled and bumped and have to get on and off quickly. We’ve never been ‘pickpocketed’ here in Cuenca, but we do hear stories.  I guess it could happen in New York, or Paris, too; I’ve read that the pickpockets are rampant around the Eiffel Tower. C’est la vie, eh?
Zip it socks are great, I’ve got lots of styles and colors:  http://www.zipitgear.com/zip-it-pocket-sock-flames-pink-and-white-medium/ — they are great for keeping cash and credit cards when you don’t want to wear a jacket or carry a purse. I really like the longer ones, credit cards in the zipper don’t rub on your ankle, which they do with the shorter socks, but the longer socks are definitely too hot for tropical weather.
Long flights with layovers and late arrivals can be tiring, so keeping important items close to the body and maybe in multiple places on the body can help with the stress of potentially losing money, credit cards and passport. Wearing zipit socks with money in the zipper pocket, a neck pouch for my credit cards and passport, a vest with pockets for snacks and pants with zipper compartments for anything else I need make me look like a homeless woman, but at least I have everything I need to get through customs, grab my bags off the carousel, and get in a taxi or shuttle to the next stop without losing anything.

 

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One response to “Travel Accessories

  1. The PacSafe products are also great for travel; I have a small PacSafe purse that has wires running through the material including the handle so it can’t be slashed. http://pacsafe.com/products

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