After you’ve carefully planned out your travel wardrobe, these accessories can instantly provide style and function, but at the same time, can also be a distracting downfall if not chosen properly: travel purses. Check out these top picks!
How to Choose the Right Travel Purse
Written By: Mary Ware
Table Of Contents
Choosing the right purse for your type of travel and personal style is essential to a successful trip. It can serve as a fashion statement, a security bag, and a place to stash all of the things necessary to seize the day while traveling.
The last thing anyone should want when spending a day wandering through a city or seeing the sights is a purse that is more of a burden than a help. And with so many styles of travel purses out there, it can be difficult to choose the right one to meet your needs.
Here are a few recommendations based on style and function needs, to make the most of any trip!
Crossbody bags make the ultimate travel purses, as they are stylish and provide great organization, without requiring the use of your hands to carry or be
readjusting a shoulder strap all day, allowing you the freedom to explore each city or landscape with ease. Not to mention that many are also effective for anti-theft measures due to things like RFID and slash-proof protection, and it’s worn across your body and generally in front, so you can see it at all times!
Travelon 3-Compartment Crossbody
This popular Travelon 3-compartment purse is also a top-rated piece among TFG readers, featuring an impressive list of storage, organizational, and anti-theft features.
With RFID protection, slash-proof construction, and multiple locked compartments, this shoulder bag is an ultra secure selection to bring on your travels. It’s also lightweight, stylish, and has plenty of pockets!
Travelon Classic Messenger Bag
Travelon’s Classic Messenger Bag excels in both its spaciousness and security, with cut-proof shoulder straps, lockable compartments, and a variety of organizational pockets both within and outside of it.
Its main compartment is ultra roomy and capable of holding items such as iPads, cameras, and notebooks. Exterior pockets provide additional storage for items such as water bottles and umbrellas.
Pacsafe Citysafe CS100 Travel Handbag
This compact Pacsafe bag comes equipped with dual release security buckles, zipper pullers for discreet security hooks, slash-proof technology in both the bag’s fabric and straps, and RFID technology to protect credit cards, phones, and key cards.
With adjustable straps and a padded internal lining for laptops and tablets, this is a comfortable option for all-day wear in a city.
Baggallini Hobo Purse
Baggallini is a huge favorite among Travel Fashion Girl readers with the Hobo tote being a popular selection from the brand. It’s stylish and uber practical!
This one has a wide assortment of pockets and sleeves and it can hold a lot while still remaining lightweight. A functional option for on or off the plane!
Check out more picks with this list of best crossbody purses for travel!
A handbag that’s a little smaller which can still fit essentials is great for sightseeing or more formal nights out, like dancing or dinner. The best travel ones will have enough compartments, secure zippers, and the ability to wear it crossbody at any moment!
Travelon Anti Theft Classic Mini Shoulder Bag
The Travelon Classic Mini Anti-theft Bag is a small travel purse that can carry all your daily essentials. This slim anti-theft shoulder bag offers a locking main compartment, an RFID pocket for a passport, credit cards slots, and adjustable shoulder straps. At just 10 oz., featuring Travelon’s durable nylon water-resistant material—this bag is a clear winner!
It’s ideal for women who prefer a small travel bag or for sightseeing days where you don’t need to bring as much with you.
Travelon Signature Quilted E/W Shoulder Bag
The signature EW shoulder bags from Travelon are both sleek and lightweight. Despite its small size, it’s capable of fitting a substantial amount of storage and has a good amount of protected organization within it.
With lockable zippers, secure latching, RFID protection, and slash proof material, this is a compact and secure option.
KAVU Sydney Shoulder Purse
Depending on how much space you have, the best day travel bag may double as your purse. If this is the case, look for a bag with small zipper pockets to hold your bills and loose change, such as the KAVU Sydney purse, which has three different zippered compartments.
Fossil Fiona Small Handbag
This Fossil handbag fulfills the pretty quotient but is made from a soft material (leather), so it’s uber comfortable and can fit essentials like cash or a phone.
If you plan on walking around a lot, stay away from one that feels heavy or constantly needs adjusting. Your bag has to be easy to carry, first and foremost, cute or chic second!
Versatile travel purses like totes are a great choice for those looking for a little more space, or who want something similar to everyday function, all while blending in with the locals. Choosing an expandable model means you can bring along an umbrella or cardigan for when the temperature turns chilly, or hide your camera when not in use to feel less “touristy”.
For ease of packing when flying airlines that strictly follow a one carry-on only policy. Just as in packing luggage, however, don’t be tempted to fill the extra space with unnecessary items, or you may find yourself wishing you had left some things back at the hotel once it starts feeling burdensome during an all-day exploration of the local attractions.
Editor’s Pick: Longchamp Le Pliage Tote Bag
Classic in style, Longchamp is a brand known for quality and design. The Le Pliage tote is made from water-resistant nylon with embossed leather trim.
Editor-in-chief Alex with her Le Pliage tote
This best-seller is versatile enough for everything, including your carry-on item. It comes in a range of chic shades and has enough storage to store your in-flight things. It’s absolutely TFG editor-in-chief approved!
BOSTANTEN Large Leather Travel Totes
While nylon is very practical for travel, leather offers a chic addition to any outfit. Business travelers might like this style by BOSTANTEN. It fits up to a 15” laptop and has a zippered enclosure. Plus, it’s available in various colors.
Bric Sportina Tote Bag With Zipper
The Bric Sportina’s handcrafted satin nylon is waterproof, and you can adjust its shoulder straps for crossbody carrying. This lightweight tote bag is easy-to-clean and won’t fade in the sun, which makes it perfect for carrying all vacation long or as an everyday work accessory.
Durable and secure, with a handy external pocket, our readers have nothing but high praise for it. We also love the handle slide feature on the back side, which allows you to secure the tote on top of your rolling carry on!
Fjallraven Totepack No.1
This Fjallraven Totepack is made from polyester and cotton and has three compartments for essentials of all sizes. Stash your everyday gear in the main compartment, important items in the security pocket, and quick-access things upfront. It only weighs 1.2 lbs, which makes it ideal for travel.
See our post on the best travel tote!
For the times when you don’t want to be weighed down by larger travel purses, a wristlet or clutch is a stylish alternative when just the essential items are needed. Small and practical, clutches can provide an extra pop of color or texture to your outfit, and many even come with a removable crossbody strap, transforming it into a hands-free accessory.
Travelon Anti-Theft Convertible Clutch
This sleek Travelon convertible clutch fits the bill for safety and chicness. With slash-resistant material and locking compartments, this bag is superb for destinations where there are crowded tourist spots that pickpockets and thieves might frequent. It can also easily convert to a crossbody and comes with an anti-theft strap.
Baggallini Plaza Mini Clutch Purse
This Baggallini wristlet is a lightweight choice that’s water-resistant nylon, has two outer pockets for arranging items around, and can be used as a wristlet or a crossbody. Plus, it features additional interior pockets to organize even more things!
Pacsafe RFIDsafe Travel Wristlet
This fashionable Pacsafe wristlet has a quilted pattern and built-in organization, a detachable strap, and RFID protection. The zippered enclosure means that your stuff won’t fall out as you sightsee or dance all night long.
This is designed practically too, with eight card slots for cash and a mesh slide for your passport, you’ll look good, feeling secure!
Travelon RFID Blocking Wristlet Clutch
The Travelon wristlet is not only adorable, but it’s a lightweight option for anyone looking for a grab-and-go travel solution. It has four card slots inside of the RFID blocking material, a zippered pocket, and a removable strap.
You can fit your phone, cards, cash, passport, and even a lipstick!
Here are the best wristlets for travel that are recommended by our intrepid readers!
Let’s face it. Sometimes we just want one bag that will do it all, or are tempted to bring multiple bags or travel purses for different activities. For the traveler who is looking to use a bag in multiple ways, consider getting a larger bag that can function as both a personal item during a flight and a purse once at your destination, such as a convertible backpack purse.
CLUCI Backpack Purse
The CLUCI convertible pack is made of high quality water resistant PU leather that’s been described as soft yet durable by users. It has multiple pockets that can store sightseeing snacks, iPad, phone, umbrella, and more. Even the zippers and compartments are designed to have anti-theft features so you can walk around knowing your items are well hidden.
Comes in SO many dazzling colors, it will be easy to find the right one!
Sakroots Convertible Backpack
The Sakroot convertible backpack has an adjustable and convertible strap that can be worn as a backpack, or over the shoulder, or as a crossbody bag. It’s great for storing essentials and organizing and comes in a multitude of beautiful patterns.
Pacsafe Citysafe CX Anti-Theft Convertible Backpack
The Pacsafe Unisex Citysafe backpack is convertible and can also be used as a crossbody bag, making it one of the most versatile travel options. This bag has a laptop compartment, top handle, and top zip closure so you can keep everything safe and secure.
The Sak Ventura Fashion Backpack
The Sak Ventura is similar to the backpack and regular purse option, but for those who want to carry their bag in a cross-body style. This is a classic style, and a solid color will go great with your capsule wardrobe. A must buy!
A catch-all bag that works for sightseeing and as your personal carry-on item can be a backpack purse. They sit on your back so you can remain hands-free. It’s best to choose one that’s lightweight and durable for sightseeing or the rigors of flying, as they can double as your personal carry-on item!
Editor’s Pick: Rebecca Minkoff Julian Backpack
The Rebecca Minkoff Julian Backpack is ideal for many needs. It’s stylish, versatile, and perfect for carrying all your essentials. Although this backpack-style purse wasn’t necessarily designed for travel, it has various features that make it the ideal purse for women looking for an alternative to a crossbody bag.
TFG editor-in-chief Alex with her Rebecca Minkoff bag
TFG editor-in-chief Alex has had hers since 2015 (and bought other colors since then) and it works for all her needs; she uses it for everything. She even used it to travel for one-week luggage-free! (Check out our full review on the Rebecca Minkoff backpack!)
Longchamp ‘Le Pliage’ Backpack
The Longchamp Backpack is a super popular bag for toting around on a flight or for sightseeing. It’s water-resistant, packable, and lightweight, at less than a pound! Though not a ton of pockets in this one, it does have a lot of space to hold various things. It does have a small pocket that can fit a phone and sunglasses.
Read a comparison of the Le Pliage backpack and the Rebecca Minkoff in this review!
Knomo London Dalston Backpack
This simple Knomo backpack can easily be used for business or casual travel. It features a generous amount of space and can fit a 15” laptop. It’s made out of an ultra-lightweight, water-resistant fabric, and would work super well as a personal item or sightseeing bag.
Fjallraven Kanken Backpack
TFG readers love the Fjallraven Kanken backpack. This has a separate padded compartment that can fit a 15” laptop and had a lot of compartments for organization. Bonus: the whole bag weighs about a pound!
Read this post and find out the best travel day bag for your next trip!
Best Travel Purses Comparison Chart
|BRAND | MODEL||FEATURES | REVIEWS||RATING | PRICE|
|Travelon 3-Compartment Crossbody||With RFID protection, slash-proof construction, and multiple locked compartments.||Check Price|
|Travelon Classic Messenger Bag||With cut-proof shoulder straps, lockable compartments, and a variety of organizational pockets both within and outside of it.||Check Price|
|Pacsafe Citysafe CS100 Travel Handbag||With adjustable straps and a padded internal lining for laptops and tablets, this is a comfortable option for all-day wear in a city.||Check Price|
|Baggallini Hobo Purse||This one has a wide assortment of pockets and sleeves and it can hold a lot while still remaining lightweight. A functional option for on or off the plane!||Check Price|
|Travelon Anti Theft Classic Mini Shoulder Bag||This slim anti-theft shoulder bag offers a locking main compartment, an RFID pocket for a passport, credit cards slots, and adjustable shoulder straps.||Check Price|
|Travelon Signature Quilted E/W Shoulder Bag||With lockable zippers, secure latching, RFID protection, and slash proof material, this is a compact and secure option.||Check Price|
|KAVU Sydney Shoulder Purse||The KAVU Sydney purse has three different zippered compartments.||Check Price|
|Fossil Fiona Small Handbag||This Fossil handbag fulfills the pretty quotient but is made from a soft material (leather), so it’s uber comfortable and can fit essentials like cash or phone.||Check Price|
|Editor’s Pick: Longchamp Le Pliage Tote Bag||Classic in style, Longchamp is a brand known for quality and design.||Check Price|
|BOSTANTEN Large Leather Travel Totes||It fits up to a 15” laptop and has a zippered enclosure. Plus, it’s available in various colors.||Check Price|
|Bric Sportina Tote Bag With Zipper||Durable and secure, with a handy external pocket, our readers have nothing but high praise for it.||Check Price|
|Fjallraven Totepack No.1||This Fjallraven Totepack is made from polyester and cotton and has three compartments for essentials of all sizes.||Check Price|
|Travelon Anti-Theft Convertible Clutch||This sleek Travelon convertible clutch fits the bill for safety and chicness.||Check Price|
|Baggallini Plaza Mini Clutch Purse||It features additional interior pockets to organize even more things!||Check Price|
|Pacsafe RFIDsafe Travel Wristlet||This is designed practically too, with eight card slots for cash and a mesh slide for your passport, you’ll look good, feeling secure!||Check Price|
|Travelon RFID Blocking Wristlet Clutch||It has four card slots inside of the RFID blocking material, a zippered pocket, and a removable strap||Check Price|
|CLUCI Backpack Purse||Even the zippers and compartments are designed to have anti-theft features so you can walk around knowing your items are well hidden.||Check Price|
|Sakroots Convertible Backpack||It’s great for storing essentials and organizing and comes in a multitude of beautiful patterns.||Check Price|
|Pacsafe Citysafe CX Anti-Theft Convertible Backpack||This bag has a laptop compartment, top handle, and top zip closure so you can keep everything safe and secure.||Check Price|
|The Sak Ventura Fashion Backpack||This is a classic style, and a solid color will go great with your capsule wardrobe. A must buy!||Check Price|
|Editor’s Pick: Rebecca Minkoff Julian Backpack||It has various features that make it the ideal purse for women looking for an alternative to a crossbody bag.||Check Price|
|Longchamp ‘Le Pliage’ Backpack||It’s water-resistant, packable, and lightweight, at less than a pound!||Check Price|
|Knomo London Dalston Backpack||It’s made out of an ultra-lightweight, water-resistant fabric, and would work super well as a personal item or sightseeing bag.||Check Price|
|Fjallraven Kanken Backpack||This has a separate padded compartment that can fit a 15” laptop and had a lot of compartments for organization.||Check Price|
Final Tips on Choosing a Purse for Travel
Whatever your personal style or destination may be, there are travel purses to meet your needs. Taking the time to pack the right purse will ensure that you have the function and style you need to enjoy your trip.
No matter the type you choose, be sure to leave important items like your passport locked up at the hotel and keep your purse close to you at all times. When traveling you should always be mindful of your surroundings, in order to protect yourself from others who may be interested in “helping themselves” to your personal belongings!
How TFG Editor-in-Chief Rocks Her Favorite Travel Purses
What are your favorite travel purses? Share your picks in the comments below!
For more travel purses, please read:
- Cross Body Purses: The Best Travel Shoulder Bags for Women
- Are you a Jetsetter on a Budget? Here are 15 Cheap Purses for Travel
- Affordable Bags Similar to Longchamp Le Pliage Tote
- Baggallini Hobo Tote Review
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Author’s bio: Mary Ware is a travel enthusiast who has a love for getting lost in foreign cities with her camera in tow. She recently began blogging about her life adventures, both as a traveler and a teacher, over at Gather Moments.