Couture Neckwear

Fashionable couture neckwear for the International traveler is flourishing.

While dodging crowds of sightseers and the occasional pickpocket, tourists sport a variety of de rigueur accessories, although haute couture is not the goal.

For several weeks on my recent excursion to Scandinavia and Eastern Europe, I was encumbered with five indispensable items hanging around my neck. No wonder I was listing forwards.



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Couture neckwearlocation: in front of a cathedral at Red Square, Moscow.
photo by Jo Hickey of Flight Centre Travel

Couture Neckwear

  • First, of course, was a mini-purse slung to the right with a few rubles, euros or kroner - sometimes all three - plus coinage depending on the countries du jour. Also stowed in the purse were sunblock, lipstick - a girl’s gotta look good! - business card with my hotel’s address, and ID: a copy of my passport and pertinent visas. 
  • Next was a camera in a small canvas case with extra film, batteries and back-up disc.
  • The third appendage was a black soft plastic rectangular holder with a 500 ml. bottle of water in a sling dangling to the left. Good for sips when no potable liquids are available, which was often.
  • Fourth, a flesh colored money pouch with some serious currency looped around my neck but worn underneath my shirt.

Sometimes the cord in back and side straps were evident at my neckline so the pouch wasn’t consistently well hidden, thus defeating its purpose.

Occasionally the knot would untie and those straps would slide the bag beneath my shirt down to my waist for a lumpy mid-torso look.

  • The fifth embellishment was the tour guide’s new secret weapon—a small black and red receiver with earpiece called a “whisper.”

In museums, palaces and cathedrals, and at monuments and other landmarks, guides can speak sotto voce into a small microphone and group members wear the receiver to hear the commentary.

Also it’s a voice-saver because there is no shouting to overcome the ambient din; listeners can easily hear the spiels.

Couture Neckwear

The final adornments were a wide-brimmed hat and a jacket tied around my waist with a half-hitch—not so fashionable but necessary as the autumn climate turned progressively to chilly. 

My entire ensemble shrieked “Tourist!” This is not a good thing, as it tends to attract attention from pickpockets and thieves.

Much better would be a secure backpack with hidden zips, and various secure compartments. I think it is also a good idea to carry a 'mugger's purse' or wallet, with a few low-denomination bank notes and expired cards. Have this in a prominent location, to distract pickpockets and muggers from your more valuable things.

story by Cam Usher

Couture Neckwear

Adventuress Travel Magazine Associate Editor Cam Usher enjoyed a 35-year career in the tourism industry, most recently as Director of Tourism and Director of International Sales for a major destination marketing entity. 

She has visited over 50 countries on business and leisure and considers travel one of life’s most rewarding experiences. 

A graduate of the University of Nevada Reno, she also earned a master’s degree in public policy from the University of Nevada Las Vegas.  

Awards include the American Society of Travel Agents’ Allied Member of the Year, Womens’ Convention Sales Association Top Executive, and 4 times selected one of the 100 Most Powerful Women in Travel by Travel Agent magazine

Favorite places are Greece, Hong Kong, and any tropical rain forest. Other interests include sailing, foreign films, jazz, and cinema history.

Click here to read Cam’s adventure in Belarus, Russia

Click here to read Cam’s adventure in the Vatican Museum

Click here to read Cam’s adventure in Israel.


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