As a female, my purse serves as an all encompassing bag for every knick knack, from my day planner to gum to my wallet and keys. When I travel, I need a bag to keep even more essential items, like my passport and digital camera. But carrying a purse while traveling has its own set of worries. What if it gets stolen? What if I need more room? What can I use instead of a purse?
*photo by boogy_man
We’ve got all your questions answered.
Stylish travelers choose to carry a purse because it fits their everyday style as well as their travel style. It can keep you from looking like a tourist, much so more than those carrying fanny packs or neck pouches. Purses aren’t as cumbersome as daypacks, so they don’t take up as much space at cafe tables. You also don’t have to check them at museums like you do backpacks and shopping bags.
>> Check out a list of our top 5 travel purses. Or how about these non-travel handbags that also prove useful for travel?
But on the other hand, purses are a target for theft. Straps are slashed with razors or just plain snatched off your arm. They don’t have room for your large camera and other valuables or offer the support to prevent electronics from breaking. If you put too much in your purse, your shoulder can get sore because the weight isn’t evenly distributed.
So if not a purse, what should female travelers carry?
Heather introduced us to her camera bag that looks similar to a purse and has extra pockets for other items. While two-in-one camera bags will protect your camera from getting knocked around, it doesn’t have the security of other bags.
Brooke had great experiences with the PacSafe Slingsafe 300 GII daypack, which is sewn with metal mesh within the fabric, which means it can’t be slashed. The zipper clips make it more difficult for a pickpocket to unzip. It’s also smaller in size than many daypacks. Normal daypacks can also serve as replacements for purses, but are also prone to theft. Keep an eye on your belongings at all times.
Some travelers may prefer to have their belongings closer than their backs or shoulders, but instead attached to their bodies. Michele Herrmann raved about the Eagle Creek Undercover Belt as her substitute for a purse, but travelers might feel self conscious about having to reach into the belt to take out money or other essential items. The bra stash, introduced to us by Gray Cargill, is another product that keeps you from needing a purse, but instead holds your credit card and room key in a pocket in your bra.
But what if the idea of pulling up your shirt to retrieve your items sounds uncomfortable and awkward?
There won’t always be a place to discreetly take out your money belt. Some brands make clothing that you can use to store essentials instead of carrying a purse. Cargo pants, like the ExOfficio Nio Amphi pants, have plenty of external pockets and a few secret ones thrown in for added security. ScottEVest is known for their vests, jackets, dresses and shirts that have enough pockets that you will forget all about your purse.
>> Check out our podcast episode on how to hide money when you travel.
Do you carry a purse when you travel? What do you use instead?