Heading on a trip and looking for the best purses for travel? Although many of us first consider what to pack for our next trip, we should really start with the bag. While sightseeing or journeying to a destination, it’s important to have a reliable travel purse that holds all the travel essentials and with easy access, yet isn’t going to be a burden to carry around. I have been through my share of travel purses and am always on the lookout for the best purse for traveling.
This guide to the best purses for travel details how to choose the best travel purse for your trip and things to keep in mind while shopping around. There are recommendations for crossbody-style bags, anti-theft bags, luxury travel purses and travel totes – complete with information such as dimensions and key features, as well as where you can purchase these travel purses online.
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How to Choose the Best Purses For Travel
Table of Contents
There are a number of things to consider before you start shopping for your travel purse. Here are a few features you need to figure out first or keep in mind while choosing:
1. Anti-Theft Travel Purses
There’s nothing worse than falling victim to crime during your travels and you’re far more at risk of pickpocketing and theft when you’re traveling somewhere unfamiliar. One way to combat one is by choosing an anti-theft travel purse. There are so many great anti-theft purses for travel, you just have to find out that suits you.
These are travel purses designed with safety and protection in mind, with features such as RDIF technology (this prevents your bank cards from being scanned through your purse and your personal information being stolen, rather than a physical item being pinched), anti-slash material, special locks (both for preventing a thief from getting into your bag while you’re distracted and for attached your bag to something so you can put it down without worrying about it being lifted).
If you’re worried about keeping important documents such as passports and boarding passes safe, or you’re planning to carry around expensive tech equipment during your travels, then anti-theft travel purses are the way to go.
2. Durable Purses For Travel
Needless to say that your travel purse should be made of a durable material and one key factor here can be the weather. If you’re traveling somewhere prone to rain, then you’re best opting for a travel purse made of water-resistant material. Nothing is worse than being out in the rain and your purse, along with what’s inside, gets soaking wet because it isn’t water-resistant. I almost ruined a camera like this.
When looking for purses for travel make sure to look for high-quality materials and reviews to get an idea for how much longevity the purse has. You don’t want to invest in what you thought was a high-quality travel purse, only to have the zippers break and the bag be rendered useless.
3. The Price For The Best Purses For Travel
Obviously, budget is important, but be aware that you get what you pay for. If you travel a lot, then it’s worth shopping around to find the perfect fit for your travel needs and style, then invest a bit more money in the quality.
Some purses for travel may come with more than one item, so you can use that versatility to your advantage rather than buy multiple sized bags for night and day, or different types of activities.
4. Space & Size of Travel Purse
A smaller, lightweight bag might be convenient to travel around with, but not if it doesn’t hold all the essentials you need. On the flip side, a larger travel purse might work great as a carry-on piece of luggage for a weekend trip, but is inconvenient to lug around when you want to go out for a nice meal in the evenings.
Consider the space you need and therefore the size of the bag, including dimensions (especially if you’re traveling with tech such as a laptop or kindle) and how much room there is inside the bag, in particular for bulky items such as cameras.
5. Organization Travel Purses
Pockets, pockets, pockets! Not only do compartments keep your important items nicely organised and easy to access (especially when you’re going through an airport and need to present boarding passes and passports), but they can also prevent theft if they can be locked or zipped up.
6. Versatile Travel Purses
As mentioned above, it makes sense to save on space when packing and therefore select a travel purse that is versatile. You may be out on day hikes in the humid Southeast Asian hills on your next trip, but will that same bag work well on a city break in European? How about when you change from day to night, or from the airport to a day of sightseeing?
Choose a bag that works not just for your short term travel plans, but can also adapt and work well for future travels, as well as for different activities.
Best Crossbody Handbags for Traveling
Why choose this travel purse? Lightweight comes with a RFID blocking wallet (7.8 x 3.9 inch), waterproof, two size options, lots and lots of pockets.
This multi-functional crossbody travel bag has two side pockets, three front zip pockets, one back zipper pocket, two interior zipper pockets and two interior open pockets – perfect for compartmentalizing travel necessities.
Black is always versatile, while the water-resistant nylon makes this purse ideal for trips to somewhere rainy or wet. The wallet that comes with this bag uses RFID blocking technology, so your debit and credit cards can’t be accessed. There’s also a wristlet strap, so you can use the wallet as a separate “clutch” while keeping a strong hold on important items.
Dimensions: 9.5 x 9 x 2 inch (L x W x H)
Why choose this travel purse? High-quality and durable leather material, versatility, stylish, multi-pockets, lightweight and a “money back guarantee” in case you decide this isn’t the travel purse for you.
This gorgeous vintage-looking leather travel purse is made in India and very high quality. Practical as well as stylish, the purse comes with three exterior zip pockets, one interior zip compartment, a fully-lined bill compartment, plus a phone holder – so your belongings can be well organised.
There is a long, adjustable strap, so the purse can be worn satchel or crossbody style. With 10 different colors to choose from, you can choose the hue that most matches your style.
Dimensions: 7.3 x 2.5 x 9 inch (L x W x H)
Why choose this travel purse? Great for adventure travel and outdoor activities, durability, water repellent material, unisex design and sustainability (made from 100% recycled nylon).
As befitting a brand that specialises in gear for athletes and outdoorsy explorers, this small travel purse by North Face is practical and comfortable, featuring a padded adjustable strap. The bag is also environmentally-friendly, as it is made with 100% recycled nylon with a non-PFC durable and water-repellant finish.
Other features include a zippered main compartment and a hidden-zip outer compartment for essentials.
If you travel with your camera then this is the bag for you! I love this stylish camera purse for travel. It doesn’t look like your typical bulky camera bag. This is a perfect bag for a mirrorless camera with a small lens. There is even a small section in the front of the bag for credit cards, lipstick, etc. This is a lightweight camera travel purse that can go from camera travel purse by day or dress it up for the evening. It is extremely versatile.
- Dimensions: 10” L x 7” H x 5” D
- Material: Leather
- Weight: 1.7 lb.
Another stylish camera bag that not only carries your camera but also a laptop. This leather bag can be worn as a backpack, satchel, tote, or a crossbody. It super versatile, four bags in one. The bag features a padded laptop sleeve, 6 pockets, and a zipper pocket. The bag also has a removable wide adjustable shoulder strap and a backpack strap.
- Width (base): 13.5″
- Width (top): 14.5″
- Height: 9.5″
- Depth: 5″
Best Anti-Theft Handbags For Traveling
Dimensions: 14.41 x 13.5 x 2.8 inch (L x W x H)
Why choose this travel purse? Slash-proof material, locking compartments, RFID blocking technology, a rear zip pocket, unisex design, plus a choice of colors.
This everyday, comfortable bag has plenty of space to fit everything you need, from travel documents to tech devices to camera equipment. The strap is adjustable and the material is water resistant.
The purse is designed to be worn crossbody, therefore can’t be easily snatched, and there are multiple anti-theft features to deter pickpocketing, such as wiring to prevent the strap from being cut and a clip that prevents the zipper from being opened.
Dimensions: 14.41 x 13.5 x 2.8 inch (L x W x H)
Why choose this travel purse? Lightweight (the weight is less than 15 ounces), durable, versatile unisex design, cute colors, lots of internal pockets, locking zippers, RFID blocking technology, anti-slash material and stainless steel cables in bag panels.
Colors available include moss green, lake blue, onyx and plum. There is an adjustable shoulder strap, so the purse can be worn crossbody. The material is also water resistant.
Anti-theft features include the datablock, which protects against digital theft; anti-theft straps, which can’t be cut and can lock, so you can attach the purse to a chair etc. when you need to take the bag off; magnaloft, which is a lightweight slash-resistant material; as well as locking hardware, so thieves can’t discreetly open your bag.
Best Luxury Handbags for Traveling
Dimensions: 15 x 12.75 x 3 inch (H x W x D)
Why choose this travel purse? Converts from tote to backpack, Tumi Tracer® technology, water resistant bottle pocket, add-a-bag sleeve, functional and fashionable, D-ring hardware, high-end design.
If you are looking to splurge a little, this convertible travel purse by Tumi is sleek and practical, made using high-quality durable nylon with a leather trim, as well as durable and versatile D-rings (often used on dog harnesses and vehicles).
There are a number of zip and wall pockets, including a water-resistant water bottle pocket, so you can store your water safely, even if it’s chilled. The “add-a-bag” sleeve allows the bag to be attached to a suitcase handle.
The ability to convert from backpack to tote to suit your needs is a huge bonus, as is the Tumi Tracer, which is a tracker in your purse that can help identify the location of the bag if it goes missing or gets stolen. The adjustable strap allows the tote to be worn crossbody.
Dimensions: 5.5 x 8 x 2 (H x W x D)
Why choose this travel purse? Small and lightweight for just the essentials, Tumi Tracer® technology, convertible strap, high-end design.
Another stylish offering from Tumi, this smaller travel purse is great if you’re out sightseeing and just need to carry the bare essentials, rather than your whole weekend’s worth of luggage.
The versatile crossbody bag is made from nylon with a leather trim finish, featuring two-way zip closures, an interior wall pocket with four card slots and a key clip; an adjustable strap; an exterior zip pocket and a back slip pocket; and the Tumi Tracer technology, as mentioned above.
Best Tote Purses For Travel
Dimensions: 16.2 x 8 x 14.5 inch (L x W x H)
Why choose this travel purse: Stylish designs, backside sleeve to slide over suitcase handle, carry-on size but large enough to carry a weekend’s worth of luggage, removable and adjustable strap can make the purse satchel or crossbody style.
This sturdy and versatile tote makes for a great everyday bag or work bag (it can hold a laptop with up to a 15.6 inch screen), as well as a travel purse. There are metal studs on the bottom that keep the bottom of the bag off the ground because you need to put it down sometimes!
There is also a backside sleeve pocket for storing quick-access items such as a boarding pass. Plus, there are a range of designs to choose from – who said a practical travel tote has to be plain?
Dimensions: 23 x 16.5 x 8.5 (W x H x D)
Why choose this travel purse? High-end design, great for special occasions, PETA-approved vegan leather material, compartment for footwear.
Cathy’s Concepts has roots in bridal accessories and therefore it’s no surprise that this elegant travel tote is designed with a weekend away for a special occasion in mind, complete with a shoe compartment. The tote is very large and spacious, including an 11-inch strap as well as carry handles. The shoe compartment is zip-around and there’s also interior zip pockets.
For the sustainably conscious and animal lovers, you’ll be glad to know this travel tote has been designed using PETA-approved vegan leather material.
More Great Purses for Travel
So, after reading this guide on how to choose the best travel purse for you and the recommendations for some of the best travel purses you can buy online, we hope you have your travel purse shopping… in the bag (sorry). There are travel purses for every budget.
If this travel purse guide was helpful, or you have feedback or suggestions for great travel purses you think should be added to the list above, then let us know in the comments section.
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