Why Put a Crayon in your Wallet When You Travel?

crayon in wallet

Why put a crayon in your wallet when you travel? There are lots of reasons for slipping a crayon in your wallet.

I first became aware of the crayon hack about a year ago. I was a seasoned traveler, so this travel hack trick kinda blew my mind.

It seems a simple crayon can save a life (in many ways), save the contents of your wallet, and provide entertainment.

So, I reached out to our readers to ask them why they carry a crayon in a wallet or purse.

Why put a crayon in your wallet when you travel?

One reason is to keep your wallet from warping. Inside your wallet you have credit cards and ID cards that can get bent or damaged. A crayon in your wallet will keep that from happening.

But, a better reason is because a crayon is the ultimate writing instrument. It works when wet, it works in the cold, and it can write on any surface. A crayon can even write under water. Later, I’ll explain how it can save your life.

Even a pencil isn’t a good as a crayon. With a pencil, the lead can break and it will require sharpening.

And, unlike a pen – A crayon can be washed off almost any surface.

How to store a crayon in your wallet

I prefer to use a small envelope. I use an envelope from the bank that’s made to hold an ATM card. Then, I’ll then cut the crayon down to wallet size so it fits.

This keeps it from damaging items in your wallet.

And, Crayola seems to be the best brand of crayons. It’s more durable and is a better quality than cheap knock-offs.

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It Could Save a Child’s Life

Children in a life threatening situation can’t always ask for help. But, it you spot a child that may be in trouble, you can slip them a crayon. Children’s lives have been saved when they’ve written notes asking for help.

A child drawing with a crayon isn’t going to attract much attention.

Even if they don’t write a note at the time, they can later leave clues (markings) or write a note on a bathroom wall in a potentially life-threatening situation.

crayon marking

Sarah Elrod-Ausbrook was the first person to use this technique. She had learned it as part of a child endangerment training course. Then, in Tennessee she had a gut feeling that a girl was in danger. After noticing red flags, she slipped a crayon into a girl’s pocket.

It Can Save Your Life

Many people that have been abducted have left trace markings behind. These are marks (sometimes arrows) on placed on walls and floors.

While you are not likely to get kidnapped off the street near your home, things are different when you travel. According to the U.S. State Department, kidnappings are on the rise in other countries. And, American tourist are often targeted.

A Crayon Can Distract or Occupy a Child

As a parent, you’ve traveled with your children when they’ve become board. It happens in long lines, waiting rooms, and everywhere else.

If you have a crayon and a piece of paper, then your kid can draw and doodle. Or play tic-tac-toe (or hangman or older kids).

crayon travel games

This is why many restaurants give small crayon packs to the young ones. It keeps them (and the adults) occupied until the food comes. Some places even have paper table coverings to draw on.

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Even for the parents, doodling has been proven to relieve stress. And, what is more stressful than traveling. Especially air travel.