For most females, our purse is our lifeline. In everyday life we never know what we might need, which is why it can often seem like a bottomless pit for everything from hair clips to tissues to receipts and a good book.
But on your travels it is even more essential, potentially serving as a carry on bag and backpack in one. Important features include some sort of theft protection and comfortable straps for long wear. It’s also a good idea to have a cross body feature so that it is harder to pull off your shoulder. The last thing you need is to get your bag stolen. We’ve discussed whether or not you should travel with a purse, but if you decide that you want to, here are our picks for top travel purses that are both functional and cute!
PacSafe Citysafe 400 GII Hobo BagAs an owner of another PacSafe bag, the Slingsafe 300 GII, I absolutely love this company’s products. You can expect the same features for this purse, namely the mesh-lined fabric, zipper clasps and plentiful pockets. I find this purse to be a bit cuter than the Slingsafe 100 Anti Theft Travel Purse because it looks more like one I might carry back home.
- Pros: lots of colors, zipper clips, compartments
- Cons: strap adjustments
Travelon Anti Theft PurseThe Travelon has many of the same features as the PacSafe purses. Guest blogger Kristen told us about the different features of her bag and how it kept her from being pickpocketed in Portugal. The cross body bag’s outer pockets mean that there is a place for everything.
- Pros: zipper clip, slash proof strap, multiple compartments, expandable pockets
- Cons: long strap length
Manhattan Portage Vintage Messenger Bag Jr.Long before I started traveling, I got this bag to be an everyday cross between a purse and a backpack. Since then it’s been to San Francisco, New York and everywhere in between. I like that it has enough room to hold a notebook or anything else you might need.
- Pros: simple design, clasp, size
- Cons: shoulder strap isn’t very comfortable
Keen Brooklyn II Travel BagWhile Keen is typically known for their footwear, they also make some great travel bags, like the Brooklyn model. The interior has enough room for all your knickknacks as well as an outer pocket for your boarding pass and passport.
- Pros: plenty of pockets, made from recycled aluminum
- Cons: few color choices
Tom Bihn Small Cafe BagThis bag is the perfect size for travels and has a clasp and zippered pocket to keep others from getting in. There are lots of nice colors and it doesn’t necessarily make you look like a tourist.
- Pros: clips for organizing pouches, key strap, sturdy nylon
- Cons: cost
What Should You Carry In Your Purse?
While traveling, here are a few items that I recommend always carrying with you. Some items can be substituted if you have a smartphone.
- A map of your destination, which you can typically pick up for free at the visitor’s center
- The address to your hostel or hotel, ideally a business card
- Pen and paper
- Copy of some form of identification, preferably passport
- Bandaids in case of blisters
- Lip balm
- Hand sanitizer or wet wipes
- Scarf for churches or other religious sites
>> You might also be interested in this post on non-travel handbags that are useful for travel.
What’s your favorite travel purse, and what do you carry in yours while traveling?
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