I recommend everyone carry a guitar around. Turns out, panhandlers don’t bother you if you have a guitar.
I admit guitars are cumbersome. Every day I haul mine down to my dayjob in the Loop, and then at lunchtime I lug it back to the subway station to play. But now I think I’ll bring it even on days when I don’t have time to busk. Today I passed a guy who even said, “Hey man, I’d ask you for change, but I can see you’re a musician!”