Packing Essentials: The Best Purse for Travel
What’s the best kind of purse to bring on my trip? It’s a question I’ve heard multiple times. Some women often even wonder if they should bring a purse at all or if they’ll be leaving themselves open to theft.
You definitely want to bring your purse with you when you travel! But you don’t want to bring just any old purse. You want one that will have storage enough to hold your day tripping essentials while also keeping your valuables safe.
My purse is essential when I travel, especially for city travel. It holds all the things I need in the course of a day of sightseeing: my phone, extra battery, my camera, wallet, antibacterial wipes, hair ties, lipstick, and more.
But when it comes to hitting the road, not all bags are created equal so I’ve put together some guidelines to help you pick the right bag as well as highlighting some of my favourite options.
Table of Contents
- What to Look for in a Travel Purse
- Best Purses for Travel
- 10 of My Favourite Purses for Travel
- PacSafe – Daysafe
- PacSafe – Citysafe CS100
- Travelon – Anti-Theft Heritage Hobo Bag
- Travelon – Anti-Theft Heritage Small Crossbody Bag
- Travelon – Anti-Theft Courier Saddle Crossbody
- Kelly Moore – The Scout
- Kelly Moore – The Luna
- Saddleback Leather – Front Pocket Leather Satchel
- Dooney & Bourke – Wexford Leather Crossbody Pouchette
- Baggallini – Original RFID Everyday Crossbody
- Tips for Keeping Your Purse Safe While Travelling
- What I Keep in My Purse When Travelling
What to Look for in a Travel Purse
No matter which type of purse you go with for travel, make sure that it has a secure, zippered closure. Big, floppy hobo bags might look cute but if it only closes with a magnetic clip, put it back. With a zippered, crossbody bag all it takes to secure it from pickpockets if for you to keep one hand on the zip.
Durable fabric that’s tough to slash
While I love the fact that my PacSafe Daysafe bag has a steel wire mesh lining on the bottom and steel wire reinforced strap to prevent any slash and run theft, this level of security isn’t absolutely necessary. But you do want to make sure that your travel purse is made from a tough, durable material that won’t slice easily. Put back the thin cotton bags or flimsy nylon.
I believe that crossbody purses are the best for travelling women. They free up your hands but can also be carried towards your front so that you can keep an eye on them. A crossbody strap also makes it more difficult for a potential bag snatcher to separate you from your bag.
While backpacks can offer more storage they’re harder to access when you want but easier for pickpockets to access in crowded places.
You may want to consider a belt bag as your travel purse since it’s very hard to snatch and leaves you truly hands-free. I don’t love them for their small storage capabilities but if you’re a minimal traveller who just needs their phone, wallet, and keys, it might be right for you as long as it meets the other safety criteria.
The main thing that might separate a travel purse from any other purse you may buy are the enhanced security features. Looks for things like:
- RFID blocking pockets
- Slash-proof straps
- Wire mesh reinforced panels
- Locking zippers
- Locking straps
Best Purses for Travel
- Best Anti-Theft Travel Purse – Travelon Anti-Theft Heritage Small Crossbody Bag
- Best Travel Purse for Storage – PacSafe Daysafe
- Best Travel Purse for Style – Kelly Moore – The Luna
- Best Travel Purse for Durability – Saddleback Leather Front Pocket Leather Satchel
- Best Travel Purse and Camera Bag – Kelly Moore – The Scout
10 of My Favourite Purses for Travel
Anti-Theft | Storage
This is the anti-theft travel bag that I’m currently using. I was looking for something with a bit more storage than my Citysafe 100 but smaller than the Citysafe200. This is the casual crossbody that fits more, like my Fuji XT-20. With external-access pockets for things you need on-the-move, and an internal compartment with organization and protection where you need it, this is your go-to bag for every day. Sling it over your shoulder and step out with confidence.
It has all of the standard PacSafe security features like an RFID blocking pocket, slash proof mesh lining and straps, zipper locks, and a strap lock that lets you secure your bag to other objects.
The PacSafe Citysafe 100 was my first ever anti-theft travel purse and it’s stood the test of time. I’ve hauled it around the world for 7 years and it’s still solid. It’s a no-nonsense design that gives thieves the slip. This classic looking travel handbag packs a bunch of anti-theft features to keep your wallet, phone, tablet and more secure on-the-go. Smart zippers and slashguard technology is just the beginning. Zip it closed and take on the world.
Anti-Theft | Storage
The Heritage line from Travelon comes in cotton-poly blend material which is a nice change from the more traditional nylon anti-theft bags. It still has all the anti-theft features you want though, like locking zippers, slash proof straps and RFID blocking pockets. The Hobo bag is large enough to fit your essentials along with a camera and travel tripod and comes with two straps so you have the option to wear it as a shoulder bag when you’re in a more secure setting.
Anti-theft | Compact
I like the casual feel of this cotton-poly blend bag. While it isn’t a thick material like leather it comes with wire mesh reinforced panels and steel cable inforced straps so you don’t need to worry. The main compartment has an interior organizer with a zippered pocket, slip pockets and pen loop. There’s a tethered key clip with LED light so you can see everything in your bag. It’s small enough to not feel like you’re schlepping your entire carryon across town but large enough to hold your sightseeing essentials.
Anti-theft | Style
This is the anti-theft bag for people who don’t want to shout to the world that they’re using an anti-theft bag. The classic saddlebag design of this Travelon purse will go with any outfit you can pack. It’s best if you don’t need to carry around a lot of stuff, like a large camera, but is a great bag for evenings out or shopping.
Style | Durability | Storage
The Scout is a do-it-all bag, with structure to support every item no matter its weight and durability from its vegetable tanned full grain leather. It features eight pockets and Kelly Moore’s signature padded removable divider for creating space and keeping things safe and secure, and a crossbody adjustable strap with a shoulder pad for added comfort. It also offers varying degrees of overall security, with two front snaps for when you need quick access, and a top zipper for longer closure times. Designed as a camera bag, this also makes an excellent overall day tripping travel purse.
Style | Storage
The Luna is a dream bag – utilitarian, well thought out, and the perfect size for everyday travel use. With a convenient shape and organizational features, this messenger will keep you in check and breathing deeply. This bag has seven pockets, including two zipper pockets, three interior clear pockets, a long slit pocket in the front, and includes a removable padded divider to hold camera bodies, lenses, and anything else you might need. With a crossbody strap, a zipper closure with a magnetic button flap, the Luna is both secure and easily accessible based on your need.
Durability | Style
This bag was designed and built to be the strongest, most durable and longest lasting Leather Satchel there is. Simple and lightweight, it’s ideal when you only need to bring the essentials.
Riveted top handle and removable shoulder strap for multiple carrying options. Front accessory pocket with D-ring and buckle closure for secure access. While it’s not a zipper, no theft is undoing that buckle without you noticing. Made of tough full-grain leather, which takes hits well and looks even better with age.
Style | Compact
This smooth leather bag is simple and chic with timeless elegance and understated style, making it perfect for work or a dressed up night about a new-to-you town.
Style | Anti-theft
The original RFID everyday crossbody bag from Baggallini has a handy exterior wallet pocket and RFID-protection. This compact nylon crossbody bag is a go-to style on the road.
Tips for Keeping Your Purse Safe While Travelling
- Keep it in front of you
- Keep a hand on it when in crowds
- Keep the zipper closed
- Either keep it on your lap or between your feet at a restaurant
- Consider putting your chair leg in the center of the strap to prevent and kick-n-snatch scenarios
- In case the worst happens, always travel with travel insurance
What I Keep in My Purse When Travelling
- Photocopy of passport ID page
- Portable battery and charge cable
- Travel tripod
- Small notebook and pen
- Lip balm / Lipstick
- Hair ties and folding travel brush
- Antibacterial wipes
- Hand sanitizer
- Reusable shopping bag
- Bamboo spork
- Folding travel straw
- Energy bar
- Collapsible water bottle
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