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Best Travel Purses

Best Travel Purses

It seems most women have a love affair with with handbags, similar to how they feel about shoes. I guess I’m the odd one out because I’m not obsessed with either BUT, being an avid traveler I do have a passion for good travel bags and hence my mission to find the best travel purse for you and me. Here is what I discovered.

What Features Does the Best Travel Purse Have?

When you’re on the move it is especially important to have a good travel purse to store your travel documents, credit cards, and personal items like lipstick and a hair brush. The best purse for travel has to have adequate storage space, and well designed compartments to organize your things in a logical manner so you can find them easily when you need them. Tourists are frequently targeted by pickpockets so a secure travel purse that has anti-theft features like an anti-slash strap and lockable zips is also a good idea. When away on vacation, we not only want a purse that has all these practical features, we want it to look good too, right? Especially if we are traveling somewhere style conscious like France and want something that will look great with our Paris attire.

In this post we’re going to review 9 of the best travel purses found online, discussing their strengths and a few weakness. I’ll be mainly featuring crossbody travel purses because they are both more secure and convenient c.f a shoulder purse, leaving your hands free to do other things.

Crossbody Travel Purse

Pacsafe Citysafe CS100

This a popular cross body travel purse allows you to keep your hands free and has some good security features, like all Pacsafe travel purses and bags. It has a zipper which opens the main compartment and it’s exterior contains a special mesh which makes it slash proof. The adjustable shoulder strap also can’t be slashed because of light weight stainless steel wire that runs through. At 12.6 x 3.1 x 9.1 inches it is a good sized bag that you can put a fair amount into. Like most larger purses, when full, it can get heavy and in this situation some people say the shoulder strap digs into them a bit. The zippers can be attached to special latches which makes this an extra travel safe purse.
One of it’s compartments is padded and is big enough to hold a 9.4 inch iPad or android tablet. Another pocket for your credit cards and passport is “RFID blocking, which is supposed to prevent the information on your cards from being stolen through cyberspace by a high-tech scam thief a few feet away. It would seem that this type of theft is not common however and perhaps this feature is not necessary. This bag does come in black (as well as cranberry and teal) but features of the bag don’t show up well in the photo, hence I have shown the almond color. A simple feature of this traveling purse that many people like is that the interior of the bag is a light color and, not being black, this allows you to find items a lot more easily. Minor criticisms of this travel Cross-Body purse could be that it is not as stylish as some of the others out there, and it only has one, albeit large, external zippered compartment in the front.

Travelon Anti-Theft Classic Messenger Bag.

As far as travel purses go this one has most bases covered. It has a stylish design and comes in a wide range of colors. A cross body travel purse it has slash-proof body panels and a slash-proof adjustable strap. You can fit a surprising amount within it’s 11.5″ by 10″ by 4.5″ frame, including a 9″ IPad or similar. It has 3 compartments, all with zipper snaps for extra security. Within the main and back compartments there are storage areas for pens, cell phone, credits cards (with the RFID blocking technology) as well complimentary clip-on pen light. The front compartment is within the front flap and is held closed with both a zipper and a magnet. It’s 2 side pockets are convenient for carrying the likes of a small water bottle, travel umbrella or sunglass case. The interior of the compartments is a light grey making searching for items easier. Considering it’s low price and all these features it must be one of the best purses to travel out there.

Travelon Anti-Theft Cross-Body Bag

This slimline cross body purse for travel is a popular choice and come in multiple colors. It has all the security features that Travelon is well know for in it’s anti theft travel purse range: lockable compartments and strap, slash-proof body and strap, RFID system for protecting cards and passport. Customers report that you can get a fair amount of stuff in its 12.5″ by 10.5″ frame but it only has a depth of 1″ which would be a problem for me. It has a removable LED light like a number of other bags in the Travelon range.

Baggallini Horizon Cross-Body Travel Bag

When traveling you not only want your handbag to be practical but you want it to be stylish too.
Baggallini make some great looking purses and this one would be arguably the best travel purse for Europe and other fashion conscious destinations. The color range includes some with a attractive textured patterns like “cheetah”. As an anti-theft purse for travel it does lack the security features of the Travelon and Pacsafe bags. This purse has 2 pleat opening zippered pockets at the front which makes more room for slipping in your cell phone etc. It also has a larger external zippered compartment across the back which I like. The purse has good height and length but, be aware, it is only 1.5″ in depth so it has no side compartments and is not going to be able to fit in as much it it as some of the roomier bags mentions above. Some reviewers still found the wider strap uncomfortable too. Despite it being one of the more popular travel purses for women it would not suit me as I like carry more things.

Unisex Purses for Travel

Travelon Anti-Theft Tour Bag

When you’re looking at good travel purses this handsome bag fits the bill and has the added bonus of being truly unisex, so men won’t mind carrying it. As well as being slash proof and having a pocket with RFID protection, the main compartment’s zipper can be locked, and this anti-theft travel purse has a crossbody strap that can lock it to a table leg or the arm of a chair when you’re sitting down. Again it has a compartment big enough to fit an iPad, and a couple of external pockets for handy access to non essential items. The exterior has a side mesh pocket which can hold a small water bottle or similar sized item. The bag would be improved by padding the strap to make it more comfortable. A few people have had problems with the main zipper being faulty or the main strap coming apart for the main bag, but it mostly gets very positive reviews.

Pacsafe Venturesafe 200 Gll Anti-Theft Travel Bag

This is a larger unisex purse for traveling at 13.1″ by 9.4″ by 2.4″ which makes it more useful as men like it too. Coming in 5 basic colors it certainly has a casual backpack-like look to it so not a fashion statement. Large enough for small-moderate sized camera and iPad it is a lightweight travel purse for it’s size. The main compartment has a RFID pocket to protect credit cards etc. The front compartment has a mesh pocket with zipper. It is a crossbody travel purse which I like as it leaves my hands free. As one in the range of Pacsafe’s travel safe purses it has the anti-slash and RFID technology, and lockable zippers and strap. Minor criticisms are that it could do with a few more internal pockets/organizers, it lacks a side pocket for holding a bottle, and I personally don’t like the padded back on it.

Small Travel Purses

Baggallini Everyday Travel Cross-Body Bag

If you’re someone who dislikes searching for things in the dark depths of what seems like a bottom-less purse, then this could be the best travel purse for you. At 7″H by 10.5″L and a generous 3″ in depth at the base, this smaller, lightweight purse is an organizational delight and stores a lot more than one would think. It comes in a nice range of colors too and has the famed Italian styling. More advanced security travel purses like the Pacsafe and Travelon brands may have an edge in that regard but this Baggallini model is better looking which counts a lot to many women.

Travelon Anti-Theft Classic Mini Shoulder Bag

This smaller travel purse comes in a good variety of colors, and at approx. 9x10x2 inches in size it is surprisingly roomy and large enough for your kindle or ipad Mini. It has slash proof panels front and back, but as one recent reviewer said, this doesn’t prevent the side of these “anti-theft” bags from being slashed which happened to her, so be aware of that. The slash proof strap has a carabiner whichever enables you you attach it to a table or chair which is useful. The interior has a RFID blocking pocket and a slot to put your passport. A great bag but personally I’d want something a little bigger.

Baggallini Pocket Cross-Body Travel Bag


For those looking for a small travel purse this is a good option. At 8.5″H by 8.5″L by 2.5″D it’s not going to be big enough to carry an iPad but will fit a smaller tablet and it is roomy because it has decent depth. It has 3 external zippered pockets for easy storage including a hidden side one. A stylish fully lined purse for travel this Baggallini comes with a separate small wristlet purse which is RFID protected for your credit cards. Coming in an attractive range of colors it is a good looking travel purse, cross body too which is a plus. The only complaint seems to be that the strap is quite narrow and can cut into your neck.

There are pros and cons to both larger and smaller purses. Small purses are easier to carry for long periods but they lack the room to carry all the things you need for a day out sightseeing. This can be irritating when you make small purchases which you then have nowhere to put. You can pack much more into a big purse but the weight can cause discomfort through the shoulder strap, and it can be hard to find things in the deep dark depths of a cavernous bag. Having specific compartments for different items makes this easier, as do bag accessories that attach to an internal compartment via a detachable clip e.g small LED torches that come included with some bags. Travel wallets carried within purses also help to keep things separated and organized. Re. wallets you can fit in your travel purse you don’t need a large clutch one with a cheque book section. We all use cheques less these days and certainly not when traveling abroad. What it does need is a coin compartment, multiple credit card slots, and a see-through slot for an ID card.

Personally for me, purses for on the road are not just travel accessories to look good with what I’m wearing. They need to be functional and ergonomically designed, with basic anti-theft features built in.

Having looked at all the options above, the best purse for traveling in my opinion is the Travelon Messenger Bag, with the Travelon Tour Bag coming in a close second. I am more into practicality than style, and I do like the added security features of this brand, but you do pay extra for it. If you want a smaller, stylish, lightweight travel purse and you don’t want or need the extra security, then I’d go for the Baggallini Everyday bag.

I hope this post has given you some helpful ideas of what to look for in bags, wallets and accessories for your future travel.

Best Travel Purses

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