A Stylish Anti-Theft, RFID Secure, Crossbody Bag For Travel

Welcome to the 328th Metamorphosis Monday!

Recently on Instagram, I shared a picture of a puzzle I was putting together. (You can follow BNOTP on Instagram here: BNOTP on Instagram) I wondered if anyone would be able to recognize it, in its half-finished state. They did! Can you tell what it is?

If you guessed Cinque Terre in Italy, you’re right! Cinque Terre means “The Five Lands.”

Puzzle of Manarola in Cinque Terre, Italy

 

There are actually five villages in the Cinque Terre coastal area of Italy, but the village of Manarola seems to be the one most photographed and pictured on posters and in magazines.

5 Villages of Cinque Terre

It’s easy to see why it is photographed so often. Truly, all five villages are beautiful!

Picture from Wikipedia

Via Wikipedia

 

A Fashionable Before and After

My “Before and After” this week is a fashion change I’m making for my trip to Italy. You may be interested in this if you are planning to travel this summer or in the future.

In Rick Steves’s YouTube videos about traveling to Italy, he warns travelers of the real danger of being robbed on the street. Apparently, there are folks called Gypsies who will attempt to rob you, as well as bad guys who zoom by on motorbikes and snatch your purse as they go by. Another trick thieves will do is cut the shoulder strap of your purse or bag as they run by.

So instead of carrying my usual summer bag, I purchased a much more secure bag for my trip to Italy. Actually, I ended up purchasing two items: A bag and a mini-pouch. The pouch is a Lewis N. Clark, RFID Secure, Pouch. (RFID stands for Radio Frequency Identification) It is meant to be worn around the neck and underneath your clothing.

Lewis N. Clark RFID Neck Wallet & Passport Pouch

 

You know how so many credit cards these days have microchips in them? Unfortunately, some of the bad guys have scanners that can read the data right off your credit card and passport as they pass by. They don’t even have to steal your purse to get your credit card and passport info and unfortunately you don’t realize what’s happened until the damage is done.

This little pouch has pockets that are RFID secure so credit cards and passports can not be scanned while inside the bag. I purchased it at Amazon here: Lewis N. Clark Luggage Rfid Neck Stash

 

The Travelon Anti-Theft, RFID Safe, Cross-Body Bag

I’ll probably be carrying my credit card(s), ID and passport in the Lewis N. Clark bag under my clothing, but I still needed a way to carry my iPad, lipstick, tissues and other random stuff I’ll want to have with me whenever I’m out for the day.

I fell in love with this highly rated Cross-body Travelon bag on Amazon. I have no idea why it’s priced so low on Amazon at $29.95, because this exact same bag at the official Travelon website is $57. The Amazon price is amazing considering its high-tech design.

It comes in several colors; I went with “stone” since that should go with just about anything I happen to be wearing. It also comes in black, navy, brown and purple. I love the style of it! Since it’s a cross-body bag, it can’t be yanked off your arm or body. Also, the strap has a cut-proof cable running through it so it can’t be cut off. Actually, multiple areas of the bag are reinforced with wire-mesh, chain link construction to prevent a slash and grab robbery. Plus, it’s lightweight, weighing just 12 ozs.

It has several velcro pockets on front for carrying items you need to reach easily like maps, language phrase books, tissues or chapstick. From what I’ve read in the reviews, the zippered pocket on front will easily hold a cell phone. Update: My bag arrived today and my large Samsung Galaxy phone easily fits inside the front zipper pocket, even inside its heavy-duty Otter box. Plus, there’s a lobster claw clasp that you can hook to the zipper so no one can easily access the pocket to take the phone.

 

Travelon Crossbody Travel Bag with RFID Block

 

There’s another large zippered pocket on the back. I’m hoping my iPad will fit in there. If it doesn’t, I hope it will fit inside. Update: My iPad Air didn’t fit in the outside zipper pocket but it fit great inside the bag even while inside its protective leather case. So, the bag will definitely hold an iPad.

The main zipper that opens across the top of the bag has a little lobster claw catch that can be used to further secure the zipper. That makes it impossible for someone to unzip it without you noticing it. It also has a special screw type mechanism where you can lock the strap onto a chair back. That way when you’re eating in a restaurant, no one can grab it as they pass by. I think I’ll just my bag on though, even in a restaurant. I don’t want to take any chances.

Travelon Anti-Theft Travel Purse

Back View

 

There are additional pockets inside the bag and those are RFID secure so no one can scan and steal info from your credit cards or passport. There’s even a little LED flashlight attached inside so if you need to open it in a dark area, you can see inside. This bag is truly amazing! It was designed for travel so they’ve thought of everything!

I probably won’t need the pouch that’s worn underneath the clothing since this bag is so secure, but it was so inexpensive I went ahead and ordered both. I have a feeling I’ll be using this cross-body bag for future home and garden tours and for shopping trips here at home, too. A cross-body style bag has always been my favorite for shopping because it leaves both hands completely free.

I purchased the Crossbody Travelon Bag on Amazon here: Travelon Luggage Anti-Theft Cross-Body Bag, Stone, Two Pocket

Travelon Crossbody Travel Bag with RFID Blocking

 

If you plan to travel and carry a bag that doesn’t have the RFID blocking feature built into it, you may want to consider purchasing Credit Card & Passport Holder cases. They will also protect your cards and passport from being scanned by bad guys passing near. I didn’t order these since the two bags I ordered have RFID secured pockets for holding credit cards and passports. The credit card/passport holder cases can be found here: Credit Card & Passport Holders Case Set W/anti-theft Rfid Blocking Capabilities for Security

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Via Amazon

 

Hope this information is helpful if you plan on doing some traveling this summer or in the future.

That’s one more thing checked off my Travel “To-Do” list! 🙂 Do you have a favorite bag that you always use when traveling?

Looking forward to all the fabulous Before and Afters for this Met Monday!

 

Metamorphosis MondayMet Monday

If you are participating in Metamorphosis Monday, you will need to link up the “permalink” to your MM post and not your general blog address. To get your permalink, click on your post name, then just copy and paste the address that shows up in the address bar at the top of your blog, into the “url” box for InLinkz.

In order to link up, you’ll need to include a link in your MM post back to the party so the other participants will have an opportunity to receive visits from your wonderful blog readers.

Please observe these few rules:

Only link up Before and After posts that are home, gardening, crafting, painting, sewing, cooking, DIY related.

Do not link up if you’re doing so to promote a website or product.

Do not link up a post that was just linked last week since a lot of readers will have already seen that post.




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Comments

  1. I hope you have a wonderful time!
    My cousins went to Italy several years ago and thieves opened their car door and snatched her bag right off her lap, so just thought I’d warn you to always make sure the car doors are locked.
    Other than that, I’ve never heard anyone who didn’t love Italy.

    • Wow, you would think you were sitting inside a car. Glad I purchased the little pouch too, the one you wear under clothing. At least I know my credit cards, cash and passport will be safe. They’ll have to steal me to get those!

  2. Some great info Susan. Sadly, I can’t carry a bag like that because it hurts my back, but they sound like a great and safe option. So happy to read about your fabulous trip to Italy. I’ve always wanted to go myself and I can’t wait to hear about your trip. As always, thanks so much for hosting and I hope you have a great week.

  3. Thank you for hosting and inspiring us each week with the party!

  4. Thanks so much for the party!!

    Hugs,
    Deb

  5. You are so lucky to be traveling to Italy Susan, and it sounds like you are well prepared! The Cinque Terre is simply breathtaking~ thanks for the party today, and I can’t wait to “go on your trip” with you 🙂

  6. SheilaC says:

    Hi Susan,
    Didn’t write after your last post but have thinking about our, I mean your trip… Now that you have a nifty new crossover it is time to think shoes. You will be doing tons of walking and OSHA rules don’t apply in Italy. My favorite shoe for travel is by Wolkey (Shoes.com). Black, Tie Up, Sandel,with just a slight heel. The soles are designed for support and serious comfort. In cooler weather they can be worn with socks. I have walked miles in these shoes. There is also a version with a higher wedge heel, but for travel, I think the low ones are best. These shoes are so great that I doubled my last order and bought 2 pair and no, I am not a Wolkey Rep. 🙂
    Loving this planning,
    SheilaC

    • Thanks, Sheila! I’ve been trying to decide what kind of shoes to wear so I will definitely check those out. Thanks for telling me about those! I read on one site that no one wears tennis shoes in Italy except the tourists. They were implying that you shouldn’t do that or you’ll stick out like a sore thumb…like I won’t already! lol I’m sure the locals can spot tourist a mile away. I have some comfortable New Balance walking shoes. It will be October when I’m there, so in the 70’s during the day but chilly at night.

      • Susan, so happy to learn that you have made plans to holiday in Italy as you are going to LOVE it! On the subject of being a tourist and it being difficult not to look like one; a number of years ago my son (while Haute Couture apprenticing in Milan) learned that blending in can also have its drawbacks as it was not unusual for him to be approached by tourists for directions and even once while in Rome found himself quickly surrounded by Police ready to arrest him. Reason being he had taken a photograph which unknowingly had a few officers in the frame and due to the ‘mafioso’ element it was against the law to do so. Fortunately, once he presented his Canadian Passport the incident was sorted out and his camera returned to him on the spot … but the film was removed. (Lesson learned on his part but that said, not sure if the law still exists but I imagine it would now be difficult to enforce with so many users of cell phones.) -Brenda-

  7. Dear Susan, Your upcoming trip sounds wonderful. I’m hoping to get to Italy next year. I’m lucky enough to be going with three girlfriends to London next week to see the Chelsea Flower show and as much of the sights as we can take in. Are you aware that Capital One does not charge fees when you use their credit card in a foreign country? No need to take more than that one card with you. If you have been reading Rick Steves then I’m sure you know about making copies of your passport and credit card(s) and keeping the copies in your luggage just incase you need to report a loss or theft. Vikki in VA

    • I read about that…making copies. I also read on another site that it’s a good idea to scan them into your computer and email copies to yourself. That way if you lose or can’t get your hands on the copies, you can always get them from the email. I’m definitely going to do that.
      Oh, I wish I was going to the Chelsea Flower show with you! What fun! Take lots of pictures and share! 🙂

      • Great idea to scan the passport and credit card info to the computer! Didn’t think about that.

  8. How fun to have a trip to Italy in your future! The Cinque Terre is definitely on my bucket list! And I have to say that I always enjoy the planning as much as the trip! 🙂 Hugs…Debbie

    • Debbie, I think you are on to something! I’ve noticed the anticipation and planning is so much fun. I’m a little overwhelmed by my “to do” list right now but at least I have some time to work on it. Are you planning any travel adventures for the future? Wish I had your language skills! 🙂

  9. Susan, thanks for hosting!

  10. I actually really like the purse Susan ( so that it makes travelling a little safer is a bonus )
    You’re going to have a wonderful vacation – my only trip to Italy were to Como but it was breathtaking !
    Thanks so much for the party – hope you had a wonderful Mother’s day
    xox

  11. What a fun trip you have in the works, Susan! Seems like you are planned down to the smallest detail, that’s awesome. Thanks for the party and have a great week! 🙂 Kim

  12. pam ~ crumpety cottage says:

    Susan, glad to see you getting organized already! Sounds like you found some good items there. But just to clarify, won’t you be with a group? I hope you’re not going to be going around all by yourself because now I’ll be worried about you. That little video you left the link to made me think you’ll be with a smallish group of people who all speak English, and will be on guided tours. I hope that’s true! (that video was great ~ I particularly loved that they got to have a ‘home meal.’)

    Great gadgets, though. Fathead thieves! Makes me so mad. You’re thinking smart and preparing early, so you should be good. I like the idea of emailing yourself any important info and I’m glad you thought to get the RFID proof items. So much to think about and do, good thing you’re starting early!

    • It will be a guided tour in a pretty big group, but we have some days/afternoons where we are on our own. There are other women traveling alone on the tour so hopefully we can connect and hang out some together. I don’t really like the idea of walking around alone too much, especially after dark which is when Rick Steves says it the best time to enjoy the cities since everyone is in their rooms by then. Don’t worry, Pam. I’ll be careful and not do anything too risky. 🙂

  13. I love these bags. Travelog is the best. The are so cute and easy to carry. I love all the new anti-theft capabilities. I hope you have a wonderful trip. I can’t wait to see all your photos. Be safe, my friend.

  14. Thank you so much for all this information! It’s so unfortunate that you can’t even enjoy travel without fear of being robbed…..good thing you’re prepared! I hope you had a wonderful Mother’s Day! Thank you for hosting, and sharing these fabulous pictures…..gorgeous!

    • I was thinking about that today, wondering why Italy doesn’t crack down on the stealing more. I guess they have so much tourism, they don’t really care. Thanks! Hope you had a wonderful one, too!

  15. Susan Hardy says:

    Have a great trip! I hope to visit zitaly again soon. Remember to notify your bank card companies of your travel dates so when international charges come through they will not flag as fraud. And know your PIN for credit cards. Here in US we dont use a PIN with a credit card but they do in Europe

    • Susan, that’s a good reminder! Yes, I definitely need to do that. My bank is so strict, they will refuse a large charge even if it’s in a store just 30 minutes from my house, if I haven’t shopped in that location before. I ran into that at Christmas when I tried to buy a gift certificate for my son in Brooks Brothers. I was soooo mad when I got them on the phone. If you were a criminal with a stolen card, I seriously doubt Brooks Brothers would be high on your list of places to use it!
      Of course, they immediately released the hold on my card and I was able to buy the certificate but it was embarrassing when it happened since the folks at Brooks Brothers couldn’t tell exactly why it was being refused. So I will definitely be calling them and reminding them before I travel. lol

  16. Your trip sounds like fun! I went to Italy many, many, many years ago. I want to go back now! Have fun. Thanks for hosting!

    • Shannon, where did you go when you traveled there? I want to see the whole country!

      • Sorry I’m just now replying. I’m going thru my to-do list and realized I didn’t reply back to you. We went to Florence, Rome and Nice the French Riveria. Then we boarded a train to France. Have a blast! Can’t wait to see pics. I do remember pick pocketing being very bad in Italy.

  17. Hi Susan,
    Congrats on your upcoming trip to Italy. I’ve traveled to England with two ladies and one of them bought the same purse. She loved it. I have a camera backpack with leather straps and the same passport carrier you purchased. I also have a soft small money belt I pin inside my jeans. Just the three of us traveled in the tube and we were very careful with our belongings. On another trip in Italy we were on a cruise and were protected by our group. You are going to love visiting Italy in the fall so much. Thanks for the traveling tips. Travel while you are young…Those feet don’t last forever. LOL!
    Joyously,
    Betty

    • Betty, I like the idea of the money belt! I read on one site where a guy said he carries a dummy wallet with a few euros/dollars and some expired gift cards, so if a thief tries to hold him up, he gives them the dummy wallet. Of course, I’ll be carrying the purse so they would probably just demand the whole bag. I wonder if my bag with my iPad gets stolen, if trip insurance will cover that. I should ask about that before I take it. I would hate to have to buy another one.
      I wish I had started traveling sooner but thankfully I’m still in good health. I do need to start walking, though and get in a bit better shape! Thanks for those tips!

  18. One of the tricks I noticed while I was in Europe, is that a gypsy would come up to you and ask if you speak English. Then they would shove a map or something in your face and someone else would come from the side and look through your bag while you weren’t paying attention. I saw this happen several times to other people while in the super touristy areas. My advice – keep walking. No you don’t speak English.

    • Thanks, I will do that! Rick Steves said to not stop and talk to them at all, even if they are carrying a baby. Thanks for the tip about not answering yes to that. That is so sad that it happens to folks. Americans are just way too trusting.

  19. Those are great bags and wallets Susan. It is sad that today’s travellers have to use these protections.
    When we were at Marseille Airport, a couple told us they were actually robbed when their car stopped at a traffic light. The thief snatched the girl’s bag off her lap and took off on a scooter. Unfortunately, passports and credit cards were in there and they had to go to the consulate to have them replaced, which meant they had to change flights etc.
    Going with a guided tour, I am sure, offers you protection from these kinds of situations. I just know you are going to have fun!!

    • Wow, Megan…you’re the second person who has told me about that happening to someone in a car. I will “wear” my bag the whole time, even if I’m in a car.

  20. Oh My Gosh! I didn’t know that a scanner could scan a card inside your bag. Nothing is secure any more. Thank you for alerting me to this, Susan. I like your new bag, and I also like the security of it. You are so smart to be getting all of the info for what you’ll need on your trip.

    • Thanks, Laurie! I know, I was stunned to read that. Had never heard of RFID until I started shopping for a good bag to take.

  21. Hi Susan! Make sure you leave plenty of empty space in your suitcase for all the great shopping in Italy. I have been there three times and I always brought back great treasures. I am so excited for you!

    Big Texas Hugs,
    Susan and Bentley

    • Thanks, Susan! I’ve been trying to decide if I should only take a small carry on bag or if I should take a bigger bag and check it. If I buy anything very big, I guess I’ll have it shipped back. I don’t think I’ll buy very much…famous last words! 😉

  22. Hi Susan. Congratulations on your trip. My husband and I have been to Italy, France, England, and Ireland and we always had a great time. Like traveling in big cities in the US, you can be a crime victim if you are a soft target. We have security wallets where we carry credit cards, passports, tickets, etc. I don’t carry anything in my purse that I’m not prepared to lose, and even the purse is expendable. I don’t hang my purse on the back of my chair ever, at home or while traveling. It’s just too tempting to a would-be thief. I’ve found that if we’re polite, not wearing sweatpants and sneakers, and try to speak the language, the people we meet are very nice.

    I know you’ll have a wonderful time. Italy is fabulous!

  23. How sad is it we have to worry about crooks while traveling. I’d just as soon stuff a few Euros in my bra, and be done with it, and not even carry a bag. Obviously, you are a better planner than I. If we’ve moved on to the subject of wardrobe, I’d highly recommend getting some “hiking pants” with zip off legs. They are great for changing weather. Your long days may start out cool, then warm up.Amazon has some great Columbia ones that have lots of pockets, and dont wrinkle at all, and the legs EASILY fit in the pockets without you looking all lumpy…..They pack great, are lightweight and are really comfortable. When we were in Rome in July (HOT) the guys in our group wore them as shorts, then zipped on the legs when we toured the Vatican, as men were required to have “covered” legs. Years later, we still refer to them as “Vatican Pants”.

  24. When I traveled to France I bought a similar purse that was RFID secure…I use it to this day when I am traveling to a crowded tourist destination…I feel more secure with it…you are so right…they do not have to actually steal your purse nowadays…as they have scanners….Thanks for hosting…Have a great week!

  25. My in-laws asked someone to take their photo when in Italy and the young man did, then turned and ran off with it! They had to buy a new camera and when they went to dinner, it was stolen from their hotel room in a very expensive hotel! They kept the 3rd camera they bought with them at all times and got through the rest of the trip.
    I love your suggestions for security while traveling. Is there something for a good 35 mm camera?

    • Rose, that is terrible!!! I’ve heard of people running off with cameras but to have their camera stolen twice…wow! I wonder if trip insurance covers that kind of thing, I’m guessing it doesn’t. Thanks for telling me about that. I definitely will not be leaving anything I value in my room and I’ll only ask folks who are on the tour with me to take my picture. So sad that they went through that twice.

  26. Susan,
    I have traveled to over 70 countries, and my best tip for security is to always keep some money in your shoe. That means if everything else is ever stolen, you still have taxi money to get back to your hotel. Luckily, I have never had to use it.

    Jordan and I had dinner with you at Haven last year with Shirley, Kim, etc., and we hope to see you again this year.

    By the way, we are doing a bicycle ride in Italy in the fall. I have been there to ski, and now it’s cycling.

    Take care,
    Janette

    • That’s a good idea! I hope to have an adventure while there…but not one like that! 🙂
      Janette, I would love to see you guys again. I’m not planning on attending Haven but would love to meet you for dinner again. That was so much fun last year!

  27. I would like that bag for everyday use. I like hands free for when I’m grocery shopping and my shoulders are far to small to keep a strap on them.
    I hope you have the most amazing (robbery free) time in Italy. A popular blogging buddy of mine runs tours there. Let me know if you want to contact her.

  28. Marlene Stephenson says:

    Thanks Susan for all of this information it helps alot and very kind of you.

  29. Marlene Stephenson says:

    Hope you have a great time on you trip Susan. Thanks for the information about the purses to carry for security purposes,that will come in handy when i take a trip.

  30. Susan, I actually have the exact same handbag, in black, which I purchased for our trip to Paris and London last year. I’m sorry to be a Debbie Downer but my iPad did not fit – inside or out. The purse is not quite as roomy as it appears although your essentials, phone, cash, credit cards, will fit just fine. I used the outside zippered compartment for maps and travel guides which you’ll be reaching for frequently. I found myself locking and unlocking it often, but it was a small price to pay for feeling so secure. It’s a good bag.

    • Judy, which iPad do you have? Mine is the Air…not the latest version but the first one. It was a little smaller than the first ones. It’s probably just as well if it doesn’t fit since it’s a bit heavy to lug around. I’m not sure I can use it over there, I need to check. Glad to hear it’s a good bag. I love the style of it!

    • Judy, I have great news! My bag arrived today and my iPad Air fits inside easily, even inside its leather case that I bought from the Apple store. I thought it would fit based on the measurements for the bag and it did. Maybe when you purchased your bag, they were making them smaller because my iPad fits great; I can take it in and out with no problem. Just wanted to let you know. I think this is going to be an awesome bag! 🙂

  31. Lynn miller says:

    We have done the Cinque Terre several times. If you get an early start in Monterossa you can get to Riomaggiore by five (you need to double check that but I think that is the last boat)just in time to take the boat back to Monterossa where you started. It’s really cool to get a sea view of what you just hiked. The first two segments are the longest. Depending on the time you can eat in Vernazza or just rest and have a snack there and eat in Corniglia. If you poop out you can take the train part of the way, but definitely worth the journey. I know you will have a great time. Lynn

  32. I wanted to mention the gypsies but didn’t want to scare you……never leave your purse on the chair or on the floor or seat next to you……keep it in your lap. You’ve chosen the perfect bag for your trip…..

    Same thing goes for your shopping bags or whatever you will put your purchases in, they steal those too……. Italy does care about the gypsies running around, and are chasing them all the time. They mostly come from other countries that do not have a lot of tourism…..like Romania….they go to the large tourist attractions, carry a police whistle with you!!! You’re gonna be fine……

    • Oh, good point…I hadn’t thought about packages. Thanks for the reminder! I’m scared to ask but why do I need a police whistle?

  33. We were in Italy last year in October. It was a wonderful trip; our first trip to Europe. You will definitely need comfortable shoes. I would recommend keeping a copy of your passport with you at all times and keep money and credit cards more than one place. That way if your purse is stolen, you still have money and ID somewhere else with you. Last October, temperatures were unseasonably hot and they are not allowed to run air conditioning after September in many areas. We had no A/C in Rome and very little in Venice. Make sure you have more than one adapter as the power goes off in some hotels when you leave the room. You would have to put the room key in a slot to make the power work in the room. We had a hard time keeping phones, cameras, iPads, etc. charged all the time. Have a wonderful time. It is a beautiful place. If you take a train, be wary of gypsies. They come up to you as if they work in the station and offer to help you, then demand money from you. If they are able to get your suitcase, they will not return it until you give them money.

  34. Susan, you are going to have a fabulous time and I think you made a wonderful choice for your first travel debut. That said, as it appears you have every thing well under control; you are going to be fine.
    Hugs -Brenda-
    P.S: Wish I was going with you …. ☺.

  35. bobbi duncan says:

    This bag’s features checks all the boxes. Love it, and what a great value! Thanks so much for this information. We take lots of trips so I’m ordering mine today.

  36. Shelle Curley says:

    Also be very careful of moped and motorcycle drivers, one of the biggest ways people over sea’s get their purses taken is not only from traditional snatch & Grab’s but driving by and snatching and grabbing….never walk on the edge of the road….the person on the back of the scooter will reach out and grab your purse. I’M AN ABSOLUTE believer in the Travelon Anti-Theft bags, there are so many to choose from now, very fashion forward. feel free to check them out. I would never travel without one
    greattravelstuff.com

  37. Shelle Curley says:

    You are so right about the RFID Blocking. I’m very passionate about it. Someone can walk by you , you don’t see whats in their bag and could have a scanner, SKIMMING as they call it, happens every 2 seconds now. It is being called the EASIEST way to get “paid” by thieves without getting caught. They don’t get identified and before you even know about it, its too late. I have a whole category dedicated to just RFID blocking items.

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