Best Travel Purse?

Travel Forums Travel Gear Best Travel Purse?

1. Posted by Breezybug (Budding Member 2 posts) 3w Star this if you like it!

Going to Europe in the summer and I’m looking for a small yet secure purse. All I’m finding on Google are bulky handbags made out of vinyl or some woven material. Since we’re backpacking, I’d like to find a small cross-body bag for day trips and something that can transition to nights out. Do I even need a “travel” purse or is that just a gimmick?

2. Posted by leics2 (Travel Guru 3668 posts) 3w 1 Star this if you like it!

>Do I even need a “travel” purse or is that just a gimmick?

Of course it's a gimmick...it's purely a way to make money. You don't need any sort of special 'travel' bag: you just need a small cross-body bag. Use the money you save on your trip.

I (solo female traveller) have visited 35+ countries, almost all independently, and have used a variety of cheap cross-body bags (often bought from thrift shops) that suited me.

Just find a bag that suits *you*. You may have a wider choice if you google 'bag' and/or 'handbag' as well as 'purse' because that is purely an American English word. And/or why not just go to your local mall (and thrift shops) to see what's on offer?

Don't spend a lot of money on it: there's absolutely no point. No-one will care how expensive or cheap your bag is.

Do choose a waterproof...or at least water-resistant...material: it can and does rain in European countries, even in summer. I'm not sure of the issue with vinyl or other plastic materials. Leather bags are inevitably much more expensive but if plastic is an environmental concern, make sure you either keep using the bag on your return or donate it to a thrift shop. Imo, fabric bags really aren't practical for everyday use in European weather.

Don't keep your cards/most of your cash/your passport in *any* cross-body bag. Use the hotel/hostel safe where available and an under-clothing pouch when it's not (I've also made my own fabric pockets which are sewn inside jeans etc). You're much, much less likely to be 'mugged' in European countries than the US but there are petty thieves in every country, especially in visitor-popular places. Pickpockets are often just as skilful as table magicians so keep your valuables safely underneath your clothing.

Enjoy your trip! :-)

[ Edit: Edited on 31 Dec 2021, 08:29 GMT by leics2 ]

3. Posted by Breezybug (Budding Member 2 posts) 3w Star this if you like it!

Thank you! I keep seeing bags that are slash proof, or block scanners of some sort, and I couldn’t figure out if this is actually necessary. I appreciate your advice and will definitely take it. Happy New Year!

4. Posted by berner256 (Moderator 1538 posts) 3w Star this if you like it!

Your most valuable possession while traveling is your passport; and the safest place to put it is wrapped in a thin flexible plastic bag (to protect against moisture) and secured in a money belt or in a secured hidden pocket. If you don't need the passport during the day, leave it in a hotel-room safe.

I carry an extra credit card and some emergency cash with my passport as well as the original copy of my COVID vaccination record and my international certificate of vaccination against yellow fever (when traveling in Africa and other places that require the latter).

After a thief slashed my pants pocket in China and stole a wallet thick with cash and credit cards, I now travel only with a money clip that also can hold two or three cards. It's in a small secured zippered pocket on cargo pants designed for police and security personnel. I also estimate how much cash I might need for the day and, for quick access, put it in a shirt pocket that's secured with velcro. I think it unwise to fumble around looking for cash in a bag.

Unless I'm hiking or there's inclement weather, I don't usually carry a daypack. When needed, I use a 25-liter waterproof Aquapac. It has a backing that can easily be removed, allowing the bag to be rolled up and stored until needed. My travel companion, Barbara, has a compact fabric Kavu sling (cross body) bag for day use. She uses plastic bags inside to protect items against moisture. The advantage of a small bag is that it you might not need to check it when entering museums, etc.

Finally, for safety and security, it's always wise to be alert and aware of your surroundings.

Post 5 was removed by a moderator
6. Posted by Jessie_M (Budding Member 3 posts) 3d Star this if you like it!

Hmm good question, I'd say these are some of the main features:
- Big to fit enough stuff
- Well divided to organize and find things easily
- Light so that it doesn't add weight
- A zipper preferred for security.
Hope this is helpful

Post 7 was removed by a moderator