Travel purses are like travel clothes. They will need to provide a level of utility in order to prove worthwhile for packing, but where utility flows in, fashion often flows out. Many popular travel purses are the accessories equivalent of those khaki zip-off pants (which do have a purpose on some packing lists), so for trips where you’re not hiking down dirt roads and instead are drinking wine in fancy European bars, you might want to forego a bit of that extra security of typical travel purses for added style.
If chosen well, travel purses can be both fashionable and functional.
Comfortable: The most important feature of a handbag for travel is the ability to wear it for a full day of walking around. It must have comfortable straps and plenty of compartments for your needed knickknacks.
Secure: Cross body bags are better at preventing theft, as are slash-proof straps. While we still recommend the robust security of a slash-proof mesh lined purse, going for something made of leather is usually tougher to cut through than fabric. Also, forget the bags that only secure with a snap or magnet and go for a tough zipper that you can then lock with a lobster clasp or carabiner clip in crowded areas. If for some reason you prefer the look of a bag that has only a snap closure, try to find one that has a hidden pocket to store your more valuable purse items.
The Right Size: The size and style of purse will depend on how you intend to use it in your travels. Will you use it for cash, cards, and small bits and bobs (like lip balm and a mirror)? If so, then a smaller purse that can also act as a clutch can suffice. Some travelers, like Adventurous Kate, prefer the smaller purse models because they can easily be managed, shifted, and hid close to the body.
If you intend to use your travel purse to carry extra essentials- think in place of a daypack– then bigger is better. In that case, the ability to fold small for days you may not use it is even better.
Non-Travel Purses That are Useful for Travel
Here are a few examples of potential handbags that can serve you well on your travels.
Sonoma life + style Flap Cross Body Bag, $60 USD
I own this bag and have gone on many travels with it since purchasing in the States in 2014. Not only does this bag look awesome and age with faded glory, it’s spacious enough to tote around everything from a travel scarf and a light jacket to an iPad and extra reading material for an airplane. Even though this bag has a simple snap closure, there is the additional zipper pocket on the flap, and that pocket runs very deep! I’ve used this pocket to store my, and my boyfriend’s, passport.
>> Check this bag out on the Kohl’s site.
Baggallini Belfast Mini Cross Body Bag, $65
This one’s for the girls who prefer a smaller bag option for their travels. The Baggallini Belfast Mini might not be made of leather, but it has a classy vibe given the size and shape, and especially in black. Despite its size, there are several compartments secured with zips (one zippered section is even located within the main zip, making it a great place for more valuable items). The main strap is meant to be worn cross body, but it can also be removed and used as a clutch or wristlet.
>> Check out this bag on Amazon. Please note that we are an Amazon affiliate and will receive a commission if you purchase, but at no extra cost to you.
The Morgan Traveler by Fossil, $148
This cross body bag is big enough for the iPad and has pockets galore for stashing in an organized manner. The outer zipper pouch has space for 5 credit or ID cards, which can be handy as long as you feel comfortable storing them there.
>> Check out this bag on the Fossil site.
These are just a few options to get you started. Do YOU have a good handbag that is useful for travel? Share it below!