Your Guide to the Best Travel Wallets

Shawn Forno

Keys, wallet, phone. When you head out the door, besides your travel backpack, that’s all you really need. Heck, sometimes when you travel, you don’t even have a set of keys or your phone. Truly minimalist travel and carry on packing is all about getting rid of the gear you don’t need and slimming down the stuff you can’t live without. And, like it or not, every traveler needs a wallet.

Stop lugging around a subway sandwich loyalty card-filled monstrosity. Streamline your travel wallet, and who knows‚ it might streamline the rest of your life. Here are a few tips to help you pick out a great lightweight, functional travel wallet that can protect your valuables, take a beating, and look great doing it.

Best Travel Wallets

You can go with a variety of options for your travel wallet:

  • Fits your passport, too
  • Doesn’t fit your passport
  • Slim and minimalistic
  • Suitable for a couple different countries
  • RFID blocking
  • Lots of organization
  • Minimal organization and streamlined

Really, it depends on what you need your wallet to do… and what sort of trip you’re taking. Depending on your destination, your wallet might need to hold a lot of coins (aka you’re going to Europe or Australia) or cash (going to South America!).

Travel wallets come in a number of different fabrics—leather, carbon fiber, aluminium, canvas, and even a waterproof paper called “Tyvek”—and promise features like RFID blocking, easy credit card access, hidden stash pockets, tons of room for your cash and cards,  and even water-resistance all in an ultralight, ultra slim package.

However, when it comes to picking out a great travel wallet, all you have to ask yourself is, “What do I need for my trip?”

Travel Wallets for Every Destination

The kind of travel wallet you get should really be determined by your destination. Europe uses a lot of coins, same goes for Australia, so unless you want $20 rolling out of your pocket every time you sit on the train, think about getting a travel wallet with a dedicated zipper pocket. In South America, cash is king, and ATM fees can really add up, so you’ll want to carry a travel wallet that’s slim enough to fit in your front pocket (aka theft proof), yet big enough to carry a reasonable amount of cash.

Even the best travel wallet is a compromise between size and function. Do a little research into the currency of your chosen destination before you buy something that you won’t use. Like a money belt. 

Without further ado, here’s a list of the best minimalist, passport-sized, coin purse, top-end, money clips, and every other kind of travel wallet worth buying. Luckily, none of these will break the bank.

The Best Minimalist Travel Wallets

Infinity Minimalist Travel Wallet ($13)

This coal black, super slim nylon-elastic fabric travel wallet is only for the true minimalist.

It features one main stuff pocket that stretches to accommodate up to 10 cards (although you won’t want to fit that many), and a cash pocket, which is small. This is a great wallet for weekend travel or for the digital nomad that lives in the cloud.

Casmonal Slim Minimalist Elastic Travel Wallet ($10)

If you’re looking for a great budget travel wallet, the Casmonal Elastic Travel Wallet is a steal. The design is similar to the Nomatics Basic, with slightly more give and capacity thanks to the elastic band. Stuff up to 6 cards in the main compartment with room for your cash and other small items. These wallets are interesting, light, and a great way to flaunt your minimalism… if that’s even possible. The wallet comes in 20 different color combinations, so that might help.

Nomatics BASIC Minimalist Travel Wallet ($20)

This sleek, minimalist wallet is the epitome of “less is more.” Designed around the idea that most travelers use one card everyday, Nomatic created an easy access tab for getting to your most used card. This wallet is great for every day carry, but it’s really designed for digital nomads and savvy travelers. You have your one loyalty card (that thing that gets you free flights), and you use it everywhere. Keep it handy with this minimalist wallet.

The stash pouch is also great for your AirBnB key or valuable coins when you’re abroad, and the main compartment holds an additional 3-4 cards with room for cash. I’m a big fan of front pocket, minimalist wallets, and I’ve been rocking this wallet for a while, and while it’s a bit of a squeeze, I dig it. Keep your nicknacks, photos, and souvenirs where they’re safe—in the cloud.

Check out this video about it:

Kinzd Slim Front RFID Blocking Wallet ($14)

Another great departure from bulky bi-fold wallets that just don’t fit in your front pocket, it’s got six card slots, and another dedicated “everyday” card slot. Plus, there’s a window pocket for your ID, so you don’t have to dig it out all the time.

The RFID blocking is a big plus over other minimalist wallets, and it adds a significant amount of capacity without a lot of bulk. The wallet weighs in just under 1 ounce (depending on the material you choose). I’m a fan of the cork fabric for the ultimate lightweight, resilient travel wallet.

Tyvek Paper Travel Wallet ($18)

I picked one of these futuristic durable paper wallets up a few years ago, and I loved it—while it lasted. Yes, these wallets are durable, but they just don’t last as long as other wallets. And that’s ok.

These wallets are incredibly thin (just 3mm!), stupid light, and they’ll last for a few months of heavy use.

But the best part is that they come in a wide rage of awesome colors and styles, so go nuts and get one that really highlights your travel persona. I loved mine, and I remember it all these years later. That’s saying something.

Best Money Clip Travel Wallet & RFID Wallet

Decommissioned Firefighter Hose Money Clips ($29)

Not all money clips are created equal, especially when some are made out of actual upcycled polyester firefighter hose material.

Each wallet is unique, since they’re made from actual firefighter hoses, and they can obviously take a beating. Woven with T-90 nylon thread, and with room for 4-8 cards and cash, these wallets can take anything you can dish out.

With over 241 reviews, and a 5-star rating, what are you waiting for? Also, did I mention they’re made out of firefighter hoses? Oh, I did. Cool.

Django Dapper Wallet ($65)

According to the Django Products description, this heavy duty wallet is built to “solve problems.” And it does. This minimalist powerhouse holds up to 12 cards while still looking slim and feeling light thanks to the anodized aluminum hardware and silicon band/cash strap.

Finished with premium leather and built-in RFID blocking, this wallet looks like it can kick your old wallet’s ass.

Best EDC & Coin Purse Wallets

Dash Elastico Wallet ($11)

This every day carry wallet from Dash, one of the bigger names in the wallet industry, features all the comfort and slim design of other minimalist wallets, but manages to tack on a third organizational pocket. One for cards and cash, another for small items, and a third for change. The strong elastic band keeps everything in place without taking up any space. Yes, sometimes I rhyme. Sometimes.

CHUMS Zipper Wallet ($12)

I’m a big fan of this “fanny pack” of travel wallets. As a surfer, I appreciate the zippered construction and nylon material, as well as the key ring. This wallet/coin purse is perfect for keeping your wallet and keys together. Always.

Ideal for travel in Australia, New Zealand, or Europe, especially if you’re a budget traveler trying to keep track of every one of those precious coins.

DPTR Clamshell Travel Wallet ($60)

This every day carry wallet bears a striking resemblance to a moleskine notebook, and that’s no accident. The ultra minimalist design of a single piece of leather, folded over with an elastic clasp makes this a great wallet for anyone who’s gone cashless. The Clamshell wallet boasts insanely easy access to all your cards, and a heck of a simple approach to organizing your finances.

Best Premium Travel Wallets

I’m not a huge fan of spending all your money to get a fancy wallet, but if you can afford weekly trips to Ibiza, you might as well look the part with these sleek, stylish travel wallets.

Slim 2 Travel Wallet ($32)

This stylish leather wallet is all about sleek minimalism. The microfiber lining, herringbone patterned elastic band, and leather exterior make this one of the coolest minimalist wallets you can own. Guaranteed to start a conversation, if that’s what you’re pulling your wallet out for.

Madera Poquito Slim Wooden Travel Wallet ($45)

It doesn’t get cooler than a minimalist wooden wallet. It just doesn’t. Perfectly designed to hold 6 cards and cash, this masterpiece even features a hidden pocket for a spare key or coins. Seriously, this wallet is beautiful. It comes in cherry or walnut.

Check out the video:

Bellroy Hide & Seek Travel Wallet ($95)

Bellroy is the cadillac of travel wallets. Made from premium grade leather, packed with features like internal pull tabs, 4 easy access card slots, a hidden coin pouch, flat bill section room for 12 cards, and RFID protection it’s no wonder everyone wants one of these. Everything they sell is also backed by a 3-year warranty. Bellroy makes a great travel wallet.

Women’s Travel Wallets

The problem quickly shows itself.

You search women’s travel wallet and are overwhelmed by choices in black or tan, looking as fashionable as a donkey’s rear.

Oh canvas and gaudy gold zippers, how I love that you scream tourist everytime I pull this wallet from my bag.

Puh-leeze. You want a wallet that you’re proud to whip out in public and fondle when you buy train tickets.

You want a wallet that holds its own in a suit-and-tie restaurant and is equally comfortable buying drinks at the hostel bar.

You want a wallet that doesn’t just go on trips, but loves hanging at home, too. You can have it all, I promise.  

Best Minimalist Women’s Travel Wallets

Borgasets RFID Small Bifold ($17)

Wanting minimalist? Look no further. This slim and — dare I say it — cute wallet is perfect. Hardly wider than an iPhone 6 Plus, it’s crafted with leather and scores a whopping 4.6 out of 5 stars based on 147 reviews on Amazon. Their only complaint? No change pocket.

Kate Spade Laurel Way Petty Saffiano Leather Wallet ($49)

A snazzy, small black wallet that only brings the essentials: six card slots, one zippered pocket, one exterior ID pocket. Think of this as your must-have wallet for a small purse. Or if you’re not a “wallet kinda person” but need someplace to keep your cards and ID, this wallet is for you.

Fossil Fiona Multifunction ($60)

A small leather wallet with a zippered top that packs more of a wallop that you’d expect from its unassuming outside. To quote one review: “The size may look small but it has lots of room/compartments for everything I need to carry.”

Frye Melissa Small Snap Wallet ($50)

Imagine you took a well-worn saddle and made a wallet out of that delicious leather. That’s what this wallet reminds me of. Only, due to its small size, you’d probably get 100+ wallets from that one saddle.

“This wallet is perfect for someone who likes to take the bare necessities and not the entire kitchen sink with them!” says A.C. on Amazon.

YoToo Bifold Leather Mini Wallet ($19)

My favorite part about this wallet? The brown U-shaped leather on the top. It gives this wallet a smile. Based on the 4.3 out of 5 stars that 50+ reviewers gave this wallet, I’m not the only one who likes it.

One reviewer said, “Very easy to get at everything, cards stay put and yet are easy to see and slide out. Slots for frequently used cards and lots of room to tuck away the ones you don’t need as often.”

Best Doubles-As-A-Clutch Women’s Travel Wallets

Fossil Emma RFID Large Zip Clutch ($85)

This beautiful leather clutch doubles as your wallet and your purse for a night on the town. A wrap-around zipper keeps all your essential neatly tucked away. With 4.5 out of 5 stars based on 200+ reviews, you know this beauty is well-loved.

You can even tuck your iPhone 8 Plus safely inside. So you don’t run the risk of leaving important things in the Uber’s backseat when you reach your Airbnb.

Fossil Logan RFID Flap Clutch ($85)

Supple leather that ages better than George Clooney. Yes — you might have found your soulmate in this wallet. It features RFID tech, 12 credit card slots, an interior zip pocket for your super MVP items, and a back exterior pocket to slip your phone inside. Consider it your office on the road. Be still my beating heart.

Michael Kors Jetset Wallet ($127)

This gorgeous leather wallet kept popping up in my research. Everyone raves about it from its classic, sleek look to its great size. Listen to Sher She Goes gush about it:

“There’s tons of room on the inside and I can even stuff my iphone 6S plus inside, which is a huge plus in favor of the Michael Kors travel continental wallet. I especially love the durable saffiano leather, which only needs a spot clean to get off dust and spills.”

Mundi File Master Womens RFID Blocking Wallet Clutch ($20)

A checkerboard clutch that has boasts it all: RFID tech, 13 credit card pockets, 2 hidden pockets, 2 ID sleeves, coin pocket, and an interior filing compartment. I kid you not. So if staying organized on the road is your thing — this wallet is made for you to keep receipts, tickets, souvenirs organized.

Best RFID Women’s Travel Wallets

Some of these have been listed above for their benefits in other categories, but if RFID is what you are looking for, these wallets are your best bet.

Fossil Logan Small RFID Bifold ($35)

This small, sleek one-snap and one-zipper bifold brings snazz to your game and minimalist styling to your wallet. Five credit card slots and two billfold pockets keep you organized without going overboard. Small enough to slip into a small bag for a night out on the town. Bonus: it also is RFID blocking.

Fossil Logan RFID Flap Clutch ($85)

Supple leather that ages better than George Clooney. Yes — you might have found your soulmate in this wallet. It features RFID tech, 12 credit card slots, an interior zip pocket for your super MVP items, and a back exterior pocket to slip your phone inside. Consider it your office on the road. Be still my beating heart.

Mundi File Master Womens RFID Blocking Wallet Clutch ($20)

A checkerboard clutch that has boasts it all: RFID tech, 13 credit card pockets, 2 hidden pockets, 2 ID sleeves, coin pocket, and an interior filing compartment. I kid you not. So if staying organized on the road is your thing — this wallet is made for you to keep receipts, tickets, souvenirs organized.

Best Women’s Travel Wallet + Passport Combo

Fjällräven Passport Wallet ($60)

A rugged wallet with a minimum of fuss and a maximum of gets the job done. Deep pocket to stash your money and it’s big enough to carry your passport. 

“Personally, I prefer this smaller Passport Wallet — even though you have to fold your boarding passes to fit them, it’s just a nicer hand-held size,” writes David Slotnick at Business Insider.

Cuyana Leather Travel Wallet ($185)

Luxurious leather wallet big enough to slip your passport inside. This wallet whispers “beautiful high-end Italian leather.” Use it to hold your daily travel documents or as a clutch at a fashionable, intimate dinner where you pretend you’re Blake Lively and your date is Ryan Reynolds.

 

Kate Spade Travel Wallet ($180)

Sher She Goes says, “This Kate Spade Travel Wallet was my first travel wallet and remains one of my favorites. The zip around also makes everything inside quite secure and you can stick in 2 passports if you’re traveling as a pair. Unzipped, it lays entirely flat so you can see everything at once. There’s also an exterior pocket outside the zipped section.”

Crafted from leather, it’s big enough to fit your passport and is guaranteed to age beautifully.

Best Budget & DIY Travel Wallets

Most of the wallets on this list cost less than $20, but if that’s still too much for you, there are always some sweet DIY alternatives.

Duct Tape Wallet (Free)

Yes, you can make your own duct tape wallet. Just follow these instructions, and you’ll be on your way to hipster saintdom. Honestly, these wallets work just fine, but building them is a pain in the ass, and they don’t hold up well to weather or heavy use. Just spring for an actual travel wallet.

DIY Money Clip (Free)

A slightly better DIY travel wallet is the old binder clip wallet. This guy has a decent YouTube tutorial on it, but essentially, you clip your cards together in the main section of the clip, then wrap your cash around those cards, securing it all with the clip “ears.”

I’ve used one of these for a few months, and it was fine, but the clip really doesn’t handle too few cards very well, and it’s not the easiest wallet to use. You’ll probably lose a card or some cash, and if nothing else, you’ll scratch up your cards and ID. Not highly recommended, but still pretty neat if you need something in a pinch.

TL;DR

Travel wallets are all about getting rid of clutter, keeping your valuables safe and organized, and making sure you enjoy your trip. Less is more when it comes to carry on packing and digital nomadism. Nowhere is that more true than your bulky, unsafe, outdated wallet.

  • Front pocket wallets are the most theft-proof
  • RFID blocking technology is affordable and valuable
  • Cash is still king in many countries—know before you go
  • Minimalism is amazing
  • The best travel wallet might just be a binder clip if you’re savvy

Ladies, the best travel wallets for you might be:

 

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