In recent years, the paperwork required to jet from one country to another has increased dramatically, whether it’s paperwork relating to tests and vaccinations or additional visas.
Luckily, some of our favourite travel accessory brands have risen to the challenge, producing fantastic travel wallets that not only have room for all the essentials, but look incredibly stylish and reduce the risk of identity fraud, too.
We strongly recommend opting for RFID (radio-frequency identification) wallets, which use nickel and copper-coated material (usually polyester) to reduce the risk of identity fraud, by blocking the electromagnetic signals emitted from your bank cards.
Take the time to think about what you’re going to be using your wallet for – if you’re going to fill it to capacity, we’d recommend opting for a zip closure, but if easy access is a priority, don’t write off the humble magnet or press-stud closure.
We’re also huge fans of wallets that have clamshell openings – ones that open fully, like a book, rather than requiring you to extract your essentials through tiny openings.
Our recent trips involved a lot of paperwork (including visas, proof of negative Covid tests and currency in various denominations) as well as essentials such as our passport (obviously), boarding passes and bank cards. We had plenty of opportunities to put these wallets to the test during these trips, whether it was before we’d even entered the airport (in India, a recent destination, all passengers must produce airplane tickets before being allowed into the terminal) or at visa checkpoints. In a nutshell? We truly put these wallets through their paces, and they all passed with flying colours. That said, certain ones have been clearly designed with specific additional purposes in mind, which is why we’ve highlighted the areas in which they excel below. Happy travels!
First things first – yes, this wallet is larger than most, but it’s surprisingly slim, and every millimetre of space has been put to good use. In other words, it’s large enough to hold all the essentials for a trip abroad – passports, paperwork, medical certificates and currency – but compact enough to prevent it being cumbersome.
It’s also one of the most stylish travel wallets we’ve come across, thanks to the abstract floral design featured on its hard-wearing (but surprisingly leather-like) polyurethane exterior.
An internal, removeable card holder, a wide zippered purse and plentiful pockets meant there was more than enough room for our various travel accoutrements, and we were impressed by the ultra-strong magnetic closure.
This wallet has seven card pockets, including one covered by transparent plastic. Our advice? Use this one to stash ID cards, such as a driver’s licence – you can flash it without having to remove it from the wallet.
Larger slip pockets – placed beneath the smaller ones – are ideal for boarding passes and passports, and we used the pocket made from mesh to stash our iPhone. It’s another RFID wallet, which relies on nickel- and copper-coated polyester fabric to reduce the risk of identity theft.
Call us fickle but we loved the choice of four colourways, too (we recommend the merlot-red “plum” hue).
How Fjällräven managed to squeeze so many pockets into such a compact wallet, we’ll never know. We had plenty of room for our passport, vaccination documentation and foreign currency, which we placed inside the wallet, while we kept our boarding passes in the extra-wide exterior pocket on the wallet’s rear.
There’s an incredible sense of toughness to the kånken (thanks, partly, to the water-resistant G-1000 fabric), and we loved how the concertina-like strip of material between the wallet’s two halves meant we could open the wallet fully – no fumbling around through narrow openings to extricate essential documents.
To begin with, we were sceptical about the simplicity of this wallet but we’re now total converts. In recent years, partly because of the extra documentation required for travel (whether it’s vaccination paperwork or visa forms, much of which isn’t required to check in for a flight) we’ve taken to carrying our passport in a separate wallet, simply so we can produce it without riffling through irrelevant paperwork. Our top tip? Before entering the airport, place your boarding pass and passport in this transparent wallet (which slips neatly under jackets or T-shirts) and simply whip them out as and when required.
We love the name of this RFID wallet – if only because it brings to mind an accessory stuffed with thick wads of cash. That wasn’t the case where we were concerned, to be clear, although we did find the extra-wide pocket useful for quickly stashing a wad of 1,000 Indian Rupees (don’t get excited – this equates to just £9.89).
It’s one of the smallest travel wallets in our selection, but that’s precisely why we love it – although it might not be large enough for your passport, it’s got more than enough room for currency, boarding passes and paperwork, and its size means it slips easily into the smallest of pockets.
This is definitely one of the simpler travel wallets, but it’s perfect for the essentials – we used it for our passport and boarding passes, which were kept secure courtesy of the press-stud fastening. Subtle gold accents – namely the press stud and the lettering spelling out ‘Yay for vacay’ – earns extra points in the style stakes, and there are options to have the wallet personalised, too. We were seriously impressed to find that it was made from PU (polyurethane), given its leather-like feel.
Identity theft is no longer an invisible threat that brands merely use to convince us to part with extra cash. Well, some brands might still take this approach, but Go Travel, which is known for its top-quality RFID travel wallets, definitely isn’t one of them, and this wallet is a case in point. Despite its slimline design, it’s stuffed with pockets, to hold everything from passports (our rigorous testing proved that there was more than enough room for four) to boarding passes, which we placed in the extra-wide pockets beneath the ones designed to hold passports. Unlike with similar products, the RFID tech has added minimal bulk, and its clamshell design, with zips that opened on three sides of each half of the wallet, meant refreshingly easy access to the contents.
We were instantly smitten with the flash of pink (courtesy of the strap) against the monochrome animal print, but the interior of this wallet was just as impressive. A zippered pocket was perfect for stashing loose change, while we used the shallow card pockets for hotel room keys and business cards. The highlight, however, was the main compartment, with its four dividers, clearly labelled (in chic gold font, nonetheless) to indicate separate pockets for passports, tickets, documents and ‘other’. Full disclosure, we were initially concerned by its larger size, but a trip to India, which involved multiple internal flights (read: lots of tickets), visas and vaccination documentation meant we easily filled this particular wallet.
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