Which to carry: fanny pack or purse?

Should a woman take a purse to carry money and a camera, or use a fanny pack?

Thanks,
Liza
(Idaho)

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As we ladies know, the accessory we use to carry our valuables is valuable in itself. Fanny packs are maybe the least fashionable item around, and carrying one guarantees the wearer to look like a stereotypical tourist, but, damn, they're handy. They're more secure than a purse, less likely to be left behind when changing locations and they keep your hands free. Even with all that in their favor, I just can't recommend using them. There are few people that Vegas locals -- including casino staff -- make fun of more than fanny-pack-wearers.

Instead of a fanny pack, bring a good daytime purse, than can be slung over your shoulder and across your chest. I recommend one made of cotton or canvas, because those fabrics are breathable and light. A purse made of vinyl or leather will quickly become heavy and sweaty against your skin. A nice medium tote strikes a good balance between having enough room to stash souvenirs or bottles of water and not being so bulky that it becomes a hassle.

As in any city, take the normal precautions against having your purse snatched, but you're not likely to have problems with that if you stay on the main areas of the Strip or Downtown. Those locations are actually very safe -- remember, the city of Las Vegas thrives on tourism, so they have a vested interest in keeping their major areas free of petty crime -- so long as you don't make yourself a blatantly easy target. For a little extra assurance, split your cash and credit cards into two bunches, carrying half in your purse and half on your person.

If you must carry a fanny pack (my last choice), wear it so the pack is in front, not the back. Doing so makes it extremely difficult for anyone to grab or open it without your notice.

Enjoy your time in Las Vegas, stay alert to your surroundings, stick to the main areas, and all should be fine.

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