Making the right choice for your travel purse is an important decision to make, as there are many factors to consider. Some considerations include price, size, and quality. I have found what I believe is the best purse for international travel, and I’ll introduce you to that bag, as well as a few other great options in this post. The best thing is that all of the options shown here can be purchased on Amazon for less than $40! So let’s get into it…
The Characteristics of a Great Travel Bag
There are a few characteristics that you should keep in mind when purchasing your travel purse:
1 | Purse Style – Crossbody or Waist Band
So there are really only two options for how you carry your travel purse – crossbody or across your waist. If you’re wondering why, the reason is that your bag should help you thwart the threat of pickpockters or theives who may try to grab your bag off of your shoulder.
I prefer to wear a crossbody myself – it makes bathroom trips a little easier. But I know many prefer to keep their bag around their waist to be “hands” free throughout the day.
2 | The Number Compartments
Your travel purse should have several compartments – this will allow you to keep all of the items that you need to carry on a regular basis organized. There is probably no perfect number for this, but I’d say you should have at least three pockets outside of the main area of your purse.
3 | Purse Weight & Dimensions
It probably goes without saying, but you should definitly look into carrying a lightweight purse. The reason being that you don’t want to start out with a lot of weight, and just add to it as you fill your bag with your essentials and any other items you might pick up while traveling.
The dimensions you choose should be on the smaller side, comparable to your height, and large enough to fit the essentials that you need to carry with you every day.
4 | Price
The price of your travel purse should be as low as possible, without sacrificing quality – which we’ll cover next. I do think that it’s possible to get a good quality purse for a low price, as long as your are okay with not buying a designer bag.
5 | Quality
Quality is extremely important when selecting your bag. When considering quality, you should look at the quality of the material that it’s made of, how well the stiching is done, and the overall look and feel of it. If you are buying online and can’t inspect it beforehand, pay close attention to any reviews left on the bag and make sure you buy from a place with a good return policy.
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Stylish Crossbody Bags for Travel
Roma Leathers Crossbody Bag – This bag has a built in wallet, is made of genuine leather, has adjustable shoulder straps, and 4 additional pockets on its exterior. In terms of size, this bag features dimensions of 9 x 6.5 x 1.5 inches. While it’s not the most fashion-forward, the style is simple and can be worn easily with most leisure clothing. It comes in black, beige, dark brown, and light brown.
Triple Zip Pocket Large Crossbody Bag – This purse is a bit larger and slightly more pricey than the bag above, but is a bit more sleek in style. It comes is over 30 colors too! Dimensions for this bag are 10.5 x 11 x 2.75, and while it has just three pockets on the outside, it also has two interior pockets.
Double Compartment Large Flap Over Crossbody Bag – Another style of crossbody that I like is the double compartment bag. The one shown here comes in 15 colors, and features two interior pockets and one exterior pocket. The dimensions for this bag are 10 x 10.5 x 2. While it doesn’t have as many pockets as the two bag above, the two compartments make up for it.
Stylish Belt Bags and Fanny Packs for Travel
Karpathic Travel Waist Bag – This fanny pack was designed with the traveler in mind. It comes with four pockets, a key ring, and RFID protection. For additional protection against theft, it has double buckles and is unisex in style. Dimensions are 13 x 2 x 4.5 inches, having a slim and stylish profile. The only thing bad about this bag is that it comes in just one color (for now).
Yome Waist Pack Belt Bag – This fanny pack is honestly amazing! It comes with three pockets in total, as well as a key ring. It has enough space to hold a standard water bottle, and comes with a slot for your headphone jack. It’s made of water-resistant material and comes in four colors. Dimensions are 12.8” L x 7.08” W x 5.2” H, and it’s suitable for both men and women.
Zorfin Fanny Pack – This fanny pack probably the most stylish of the bunch, but does not compromise on functionality. It has three compartments, and is made of premium nylon material. Dimensions are 7.08″, H-5.11″, W-2.36″, and the bag comes in over ten different colors.
Winner: The Best Purse for International Travel
So, which of the bags listed here is the best? Honestly, it’s all a matter of preference. I will let you know which is my favorite though! So while it’s not the most stylish out of the list above, my favorite is the Roma Leathers Crossbody Bag. There are a few key reasons why this one is my top pick:
- Durability – I have literally carried this bag on every trip that I have taken for the past three years, and it still looks great! Also, there have been no issues with stiching holding up nor the leather wearing out.
- Price – This bag is less than $20, so you really can’t beat it!
- Pockets, pockets, pockets – There is a slot for EVERYTHING in this bag. Let me show you below:
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The Essentials for Your Travel Purse
While we’re on the topic of which travel purse to buy, I’ll also mention the essentials that I carry in my bag. I hope this help you think about what’s essential for you – it will really help you narrow down your decision on which travel purse to buy. My essentials include:
- iPhone – No explanation needed
- Credit/Debit Cards – Check out my guide to international credit cards for more information
- Cash – Learn how I keep my cash expenses low by using the best debit card for international travel
- Lip Balm – Gotta keep those lips moist
- Passport – I sometimes carry this around with me, depending on ID requirements in the country
- Camera – I currently use the Canon G7X Mark II, and it’s pretty great – and nicely compact
- Travel Notebook – I like to carry this around to journal / take notes as I travel. My favorite is the Moleskine Voyager
- Hand Lotion – No one needs ashy hands, ever. I love this little tube by L’Occitane
- Tickets – I keep these on me when necessary
- Subway/Metro Card – Ditto to the above