Frequent flyers and business travellers like to travel light.
And some of us, we love to travel light – with every trip an opportunity revise and refining the art of streamlined packing and ‘carry-on only’ to near Zen extremes.
For me, that includes my wallet – or rather, wallets.
There’s a travel wallet containing my ‘airport and flight’ stuff – passport, necessary frequent flyer cards, boarding pass plus a small stash of cash for when I hit the ground.
Then there’s my everyday wallet, which I slim down the night before a flight to contain just the essentials I’ll need on the road.
It’s a bifold wallet that, when closed, is slightly larger than your passport – and when opened, has just about the perfect number of slots and nooks for what you need, without tempting an overload of stuff you don’t.
That’s part of the Travel Wallet’s pitch: it’s a form of ‘practical minimalism’, although there’s nothing stopping you from a quick Operation Slim-Down of your own wallet before you fly (Bellroy actually has a few great tips to share on this).
In the case of the Bellroy Travel Wallet, you get an easy-access pocket for your passport – thankfully, one that’s fat enough to take the 68 page passports favoured by business travellers and frequent flyers.
Opposite this are four slots for your most-used cards, and using the Travel Wallet on a few recent trips this seemed about the right number: my frequent flyer card, credit card, a travel money card plus prepaid travel card such as London’s Oyster or Hong Kong’s Octopus.
Tucked behind those, in the first of two wide billfold sections, are three more slots for extra cards (one of which which I found ideal for stowing my hotel room’s keycard).
There’s a tiny fourth slot at the far end which at first glance seems tailor-made for a SIM card, and thus tailor-made for the globetrotter – just don’t try to slip a microSIM in there, as it’ll be a devil to get back out again.
The Travel Wallet’s passport-dictated size gives it the advantage of coping with large banknotes, and plenty of them.
A small silo in the middle of the Travel Wallet contains a compact pen for filling in all those departure and arrival forms.
Made from leather and constructed with plenty of attention to detail, the Travel Wallet is available in smooth black or a lightly-grained cocoa which will ‘age’ more naturally if you’re into the weathered Indiana Jones look.
And Bellroy’s three year warranty is testimony to the company’s faith in their products.
So is this the only wallet a traveller needs? It will depend on your own travel habits, including where you’re going and what you’re doing.
It’s well suited to a jacket where you can slip the wallet in a pocket and keep it sitting flat. But I wouldn’t use it to replace my everyday wallet if I’m just wearing jeans and a shirt, as the last thing I want is for my passport to get bent out of shape in my back pocket.
The rest of the time, however, the Bellroy Travel Wallet proves to be pretty much a perfect travel companion.
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