There are a lot of little things when traveling that I realized I hadn’t thought about in the slightest until I started to research blogs and watch videos. There are the obvious things – like packing for the weather, and being as organized as possible. You know you want to have a good system in place for all of your things, whether it’s packing your toiletries in a specific way, or having all of your outfits planned and packed by day versus by category of clothes. Those are all pretty specific to the traveller, and honestly, things that I could think about all day, everyday if I really wanted to. I love to micro-organize. In fact, even before my mom and I had bought our plane tickets, I was already daydreaming about how I’d be packing my things.
Literally the second after we bought our tickets, and booked our hotels, the very first thing I did was go on to YouTube and watch a ton of packing videos. I had a system that I already had in place for all of our road trips, but I hadn’t gone on a plane, and hadn’t gone on a long haul international trip in over 15 years, that I was excited to start researching the best way to go about packing.
I found a lot of great resources for this – lots of micro-organizing, and lots of great tips and tricks. There was one thing, however, that I really only saw in one person’s video, and it was a minor mention about digital security while traveling abroad. It really stopped me in my tracks and made me go “huh?”
The last time I was in Europe was in 2004, when you could almost say digital hacking was at a primitive stage. I was also 14, and not really told to be in charge of my own passport, or money. I didn’t have a credit card. I was 14, in Italy, and had every intention of eating gelato, seeing museums, and possibly living out my Lizzie McGuire daydream of becoming an Italian popstar. “RFID Secure” was NOT something I had on my radar, until I started researching for my trip this summer.
Essentially, RFID security, from what I gather, is built into wallets and backpacks so people can’t walk up to you, secretly scan you, and steal your identity. How scary is that?! It made me feel super…. old. Or I guess naive, to think that that was something I didn’t realize was happening, and was so popular an idea that most blogs and videos already assumed you’d be prepared for it, so they didn’t have to specifically mention it. The one video that mentioned this I watched was by a high school student, traveling for some sort of school trip in Europe, and that was why the RFID thing was mentioned. I felt SO out of the game! 😂
It was a good thing though, and I’m glad I stumbled across that video, because I pretty immediately started looking for RFID safety items.
Since I’m not taking a full on wallet, I decided that I didn’t quite need a money belt or fanny pack (although I sort of really want one…), nor did I need a full backpack with security. For convenience, I’m bringing just one credit card, my driver’s license, and then cash, and my passport (obviously). My mom agreed to do the same, so I figured as long as that was all we were bringing, then we could just find a wallet with RFID security.
We found these on Groupon, and were pretty fairly priced at around $20 each. They’re apparently made of Italian leather. They came nicely packaged, and fairly quickly (since some Groupon items can take a while to ship). I had never heard of the brand before, but really I was just looking for “RFID” when I bought the wallets.
They have dual purpose as passport holders and wallets so it’s a lightweight and clutter free way to have all of our cards and such in one place. My mom’s wallet is a brighter red, and mine is a more magenta red. There are 4 card slots, a passport slot, and then two little pockets for cash to fit. I may bring one extra small zip pouch of sorts for any coins or any quick access to cash I may encounter. I’m not entirely sure yet.
Functionally speaking there isn’t much to say about them, and until I’ve used them I guess I can’t report back on how they worked for me. However, I do find that they have very soft finishes that feel nice and luxurious, but also seem durable enough to be used on quite a few adventures. They’re also slim and stylish, and the leather is bright so they’re easy to find in my purse.
I also can’t report back on whether they work or not because really, the way to test that is to find somebody to scan me and try and steal my identity. I’m assuming it’ll work though – a quick Google search on reviews found no such negative reviews so I think we’re all good 🙂
Do any of you have any wallets or passport holders they like?