I learned the importance of keeping your passport dry many years ago. After spending the day wandering around the Cevennes in the pouring rain, the passport in my pocket was dangerously damp. I'm paranoid enough to always have my passport with me when I'm overseas, but it needs to be in some form of protective covering.
Photos: Campbell Simpson
With that experience in mind, I was quite happy when the Bellroy team sent me their travel wallet to test. This all-leather design is specifically aimed at road warriors: it has a space to store your wallet, is long enough to keep a boarding pass in, and even has a small pen incorporated so you can fill out landing cards. Despite that, it still comes in thinner than my current wallet.
There are two slots in the main part of the wallet for essential cards (which in a work travel context, means your frequent flyer card and your main credit card). You can easily pop a second card behind each of these (backup credit card and train ticket or hotel room key for me). There are also four slots in the main billfold area where you can store less-used cards. The billfold section is divided, so you can use the back for notes, and the front for your boarding pass or any receipts.
I'm the kind of guy who invariably travels with multiple pens anyway, but the incorporated pen is still a clever idea. Just be sure to get it back when you lend it to the person sitting next to you who didn't remember to pack one.
I like this wallet a lot — indeed, I'm torn between adopting it as my regular day-to-day option or reserving it for my not-infrequent work trips. (As longtime Lifehacker readers will know, I don't have a driver's licence, so carrying around a passport as ID is quite useful anyway.)
The Travel Wallet $119.95, comes in four colours (I tested the mocha variant) and offers a three-year warranty.