Wally

Losing Your Wallet on Travel

I travel a lot. In all the years I have been traveling I have NEVER lost my wallet while on travel...until last week. I had a 6am flight out of Denver and somehow between security and the gate my wallet decided to take a little walk. I still don't know know how I got separated from my wallet. I didn't realize it was gone until I tried to pay for a cup of coffee before getting on the plane only to discover I didn't have my wallet. Except I did have a wallet. You see, I carry two wallets. Hey, I carry 2 iPhone 6's why not 2 wallets? So I was able to just pull out my 2nd wallet and use it to pay for my caffeine fix.

Now What?

So you just lost your wallet while on travel. What is the first thing you do? Before I even took a sip of my coffee I opened up the app on my cell phone connected to my main debit card and shut down the card right from my phone. No phone calls needed, just a few taps on my iPhone screen and it was done. I use a debit card called "Simple" for 99% of all my banking for many reasons. The wicked fast way in which I was able to freeze my lost debit card is just one of many reasons why I love this card/bank. Read my post about my Simple card for more information. I only had two other payment cards in the wallet I lost, my Starbucks card and my government credit card. I was able to remove the funds from my Starbucks card from the app in my phone just in case someone found my wallet and decided to overdose on some Starbucks. One card left and this card was a major pain. My government travel credit card does not have an iPhone app. I had just a few hours earlier entered my credit card information into 1Password, but I didn't enter the phone number for customer support. Worse yet, I was boarding the airplane and didn't have much time. So I used my phone to login to my credit card account online and it was a nightmare...

Oh, we see you are logging in from a new device. We are emailing you a code to enter before you can login.

So I switch over to email and get my code and then guess what? Time to create a new password. REALLY? The plane doors are getting ready to close and all I want to do is cancel my bloody credit card and they want to me reset my password! Just as I was getting ready to go through the pain of resetting my password so I could login and report my card as lost, airport security walked on the plane with my wallet. Disaster averted.

Why 2 Wallets?

I don't carry two wallets so I have a backup wallet while on travel. I would love to claim that I am some kind of travel genius and thought that out ahead of time. No, I carry two wallets because my main wallet is a minimalist wallet called the "Wally" (see my review of the Wally iPhone wallet here and my review of the stand alone Wally wallet called the "Wally Sleeve" here). I like just having the bare essentials in my main wallet (main debit card, government travel card and my emergency caffeine access card, and a little bit of cash). But every once in a while I need to use a different credit card or a different bank card and I also want to carry a little more cash than the Wally will hold, hence the need for a 2nd Wallet. I've actually been doing this ever since traveling out of the country where I did specifically set everything up so I had 2 wallets. I just never thought about the whole 2 wallet thing being handy when traveling domestically. Turns out it's not a bad idea.

Reporting Cards as Lost or Stolen

As geeky as I am I still fell just short of where I needed to be. You see, my government credit card was just updated a few months ago and I had not completely updated ALL of the new credit card information into my 1Password app. I had entered ALL of my credit cards into 1Password just before going to Germany last November. When I say all the data I mean all, including customer support numbers both the 1-800 and the international numbers. When traveling overseas you want to be able to quickly get a hold of your credit card company in the event you can't access cash with your card or you are having problems with purchases. Had I not just had my credit card replaced I could have called the customer support number, but alas I didn't have the number. Luckily I had the 1Password app and was able to quickly login to my account, except I wasn't. The stupid security protocols made it extremely painful almost to the point where I didn't have enough time before taking off to report the card lost. Then my wallet found its way back to me.

Tips

  1. If at all possible carry two wallets when traveling or at the very least keep another form of payment and some cash in a second location besides your wallet.
  2. Make sure you know exactly what you are carrying in your wallet so if it is stolen you know exactly what you have lost so you can report it stolen.
  3. Keep customer support numbers for all your credit card and bank cards handy (by handy I don't mean in your wallet). I use 1Password so I can keep not only the phone numbers but the credit card number itself right in my iPhone as well because the data is securely encrypted within the application.

I still don't know what happened with my wallet. I remember sliding my driver's license back into my wallet after going through security and I thought I had put my wallet back into the Grid-IT case I carry in my man purse (I have a blog post reviewing my leather Muzetto bag as well). In the end it doesn't matter because I was prepared. Now you can be too.

Review: Wally Sleeve

A while back I wrote a post about how much I enjoyed my Wally "iPhone stick-on" wallet. Well, I had to change things up a bit. When I upgraded to the iPhone 6 I decided that the additional screen size made the phone just enough bigger that I didn't want to have any more of a case than absolutely necessary. That meant I needed to find an alternative to the Wally Stick-On for my new iPhone. I knew that distilunion made a standalone slim wallet so that was the obvious alternative. So I purchased the Wally Sleeve.

I was a little bit worried about going from the convenience of having an all-in-one wallet solution integrated into my iPhone (the one device I ALWAYS have on me) to a solution that involved a separate item that I had to remember to carry. It's actually working our great. Most of the time I am carrying around my Muzetto Leather Messenger Bag so I just carry my Wally Sleeve in the bag. For the times that I leave the house without my messenger bag I am typically driving my car. So I store my car key and the Wally Sleeve in the same front pocket of my bag so it is nearly impossible for me to grab my car key without also grabbing my wallet.

The quality of the Wally Sleeve is just like that of the Wally Stick-On, which is excellent. The leather is very durable yet soft to the touch. It just feels good to pick it up and hold it in your hand. I know, that sounds really strange. But think about it. If you have to carry something around with you shouldn't be a pleasure to use?

The Wally Sleeve has a bit more capacity that the Wally Stick-On, it holds 5 or 6 credit cards or IDs plus a few bills...which is more than enough for my needs. The Wally Sleeve is also pretty darn small, coming in at about the size of a credit card with a thickness being equal to that of my iPhone 6 with the Apple Leather Case ...in other words really thin!

If you are looking for a well built minimalist wallet I can highly recommend the Wally Sleeve. It's small enough that it doesn't even look like you are carry a wallet in our front pocket, but substantial enough that you won't forget you are carrying it and wash it with your pants (at least so far so good).

Wally iPhone Wallet Review

I have used a case with my iPhone every since I got the original iPhone and had it slip out of my hands while sitting in my car, which resulted in the scarring of my beautiful new device. That was, up until recently...

When I got the iPhone 5 I made the decision that the slimness of the phone combined with the wonderful feel of aluminum and glass exterior would make covering up such a thing of beauty a crime. I carried my iPhone 5 around without a case for almost a year and the phone still looked just as good as the day I pulled it out of the box brand new. I really enjoyed carrying around such a slim lightweight phone. Then I read an article about a company called distil union, specifically I read about thier (new and a kickstarter at the time) Wally Case for iPhone. I have always wanted to be able to carry just the bare essentials from my wallet with me without actually having to carry a wallet, but after going caseless with my iPhone I just couldn't bare to put my phone back in a case. That's when I saw that distil union made a similar product called the Wally stick-on wallet. That, I could consider attaching to my naked iPhone!

What is the Wally exactly? It's a high quality leather "pouch" sticker that you put on the back of your phone. The "pouch" has a red pull-tab built into it that pulls the contents of the wallet out so you can access them. The wallet itself can carry up to 3 credit cards (or rewards cards, driver's license, etc...) or two cards and a couple of paper bills.

So I pulled the trigger and bought the Wally stick-on wallet. I ordered a few extra "refill" stickers because I knew I was going to be getting the iPhone 5s when it came out and I would need to take the Wally off my iPhone 5 and install it on my iPhone 5s. The installation of the Wally was incredibly easy. You simply pull the backing sticker off of the Wally and apply the Wally to the back of your phone. There is plenty of "sticky" on the Wally so you can apply it and immediately pull it off again until you get it applied in just the perfect orientation. Once you are happy with the fit, press down and rub the Wally to ensure it gets a proper stick to the back of your phone and the installation is complete.

I love this wallet! It is so nice knowing that I have a wallet with me everywhere I go now. The Wally does add some extra weight and thickness to my iPhone and I thought I would NOT like that, but I really don't mind. In fact, the extra weight and the little bit of extra grip I get from the leather make the iPhone much more comfortable to hold. I'm not sure what it is, but having the Wally makes me much less concerned about dropping my iPhone. It adds very little extra protection (other covering up the back of the phone so it doesn't get scratched), but I think its the extra grip that makes it feel so much more stable in my hand. I wear dress pants to work and I refuse to carry a wallet in my back pocket, so both my iPhone and any wallet I carry must go in my front pants pocket. I really liked how thin the iPhone 5 and 5s were in that they didn't result in making it look like I had a large brick in my dress pant's pocket. The Wally didn't add any perceivable thickness to the iPhone while it is my pocket, in fact it had a very unexpected benifit. With the Wally on the back of my iPhone I no longer have a pronounced rectuagular shape visible in my dress pants pocket. The Wally rounds out the back of my iPhone just a little bit so it makes the shape of the iPhone while in my pocket less pronounced. The quality of the leather is superb! It feels great. It has a soft but not buttery soft feel and because its not too soft it holds up extreemly well. I've had the Wally for about 6-months now and there is no visible wear to the leather other than it feels broken in like a high quality leather wallet should.

There is really no down-side to the Wally. It feels great, is extremely functional and adds very little weight or thickness to the phone. The only thing I have noticed with the Wally is that you have to be careful to not put too much into it. If it gets overfilled and the phone warms up (like when using it heavily when in a poor cellular coverage area), the heat from the phone and the stress on the Wally from being so full causes the Wally to start detatching from the back of the phone. No worries though, just press the wally back down against the iPhone and after the phone cools back down the Wally is once again firmly attached. Again, this only happens when you put too much into the Wally.

If you have ever considered getting some kind of iPhone Wallet case and don't want the heft of having a case on your phone I highly recommend the Wally stick-on wallet. If you really need the protection of having a case on your phone then the Wally Case for iPhone is probably a better choice for you. The Wally runs $39.99 and the Wally case is $49.99. Another bonus, if you bought a Coin or are thinking about getting a Coin, the Coin makes a wallet like the Wally even more practical. Never heard of Coin? See my blog post about it here (see item 9 in the list).

This IS NOT a wallet for George Costanza...

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