The Best Travel Purse for Europe in 2023

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While planning an epic adventure abroad can be one of the most exciting things in life, finding all of the perfect gear to take with you can be one of the most frustrating and tedious things you can do before you set off on your trip. In particular, finding the best travel purse for Europe can be tricky if you’re looking for a balance between style and security.

While many people might be happy just donning a typical day pack while setting out and exploring an unknown city, many women (and some men!) prefer the style and convenience of a purse or handbag — myself included.

Especially if you’re planning on travelling in Europe, the tattered day-pack from your Osprey Farpoint isn’t going to cut it on the high fashion streets. Not only are backpacks not particularly stylish, but they also have the added nuisance of making you look like a tourist and therefore a target to potential thieves and scammers.

So if you’re looking to find the best travel purse for Europe, then browse through this article to figure out what features you should be looking for along with my top suggestions.

Want a quick answer? My personal choice for the best travel purse for Europe is the Pacsafe Citysafe Convertible Backpack (also available direct from Pacsafe here).

Best Travel Purse for Europe Comparison

Pacsafe Citysafe Convertible
Type: Backpack
Size: 17L
Weight: 700g
Material: Nylon Twill
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Travelon Anti-Theft Bucket
Type: Crossbody
Size: 9.2L
Weight: 425g
Material: Polyester
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Baggallini Original Everyday
Type: Crossbody
Size: 6L
Weight: 283g
Material: Polyester
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Check on Zappos
Travelon Anti-Theft Tailored Hobo
Type: Crossbody
Size: 3.6L
Weight: 312g
Material: Nylon Twill
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Pacsafe Citysafe Crossbody
Type: Crossbody
Size: 5L
Weight: 294g
Material: Polyester
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Pacsafe Citysafe Mini Backpack
Type: Backpack
Size: 11L
Weight: 576g
Material: Nylon
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Baggallini Everywhere Bagg
Type: Backpack
Size: 10L
Weight: 425g
Material: Nylon
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Check on Zappos

What to Look For In A Travel Purse

What features make up the best travel purse for Europe or international travel and how do they differ from your everyday purse? Well, there are a few distinct features that you should keep an eye out for when you’re in the market for the best purse for travelling abroad.

First and foremost, you want to look for a travel handbag that is easy to keep an eye on and difficult for those pesky pickpockets to get into. This means that you should always look for a crossbody or shoulder bag for travel.

Having a purse that you can wear across your torso will make it difficult for a quick thief to just grab it from you and run. It will also make you more able to keep a casual hand on it while you are wandering through busy streets and tourist centres where theft might be more likely.

The second feature you need to look at is how easy it is to get into. A handbag that has, say, just a magnetic closure, might be convenient if you want to access your items quickly, but it also makes it easy for a thief to do exactly the same — especially if you’re distracted by all of the amazing sites you are seeing while navigating an unfamiliar place.

Look for a travel bag with multiple zippers or buckles that can either be locked or take more than a couple of seconds to open. The best thing to keep in mind when trying to avoid petty theft while travelling is that pickpockets look for convenience over anything, so a bag that is difficult for them to just grab will deter most.

Finding a purse that gives your important items and documents maximum security with minimal effort on your part is an essential factor for enjoying your trip to Europe. I have only travelled with crossbody purses and (touch wood) have avoided being robbed thus far.

The last thing that you should look for is how lightweight and packable the handbag is…especially if you’re backpacking or travelling carry-on only. It is unlikely that you will carry your purse on a plane or bus with you, especially with such strict requirements that some airlines have when it comes to personal items in the cabin.

So, in an effort not to take up valuable luggage space and not add unnecessary weight to your bags, finding an easily packable and lightweight travel handbag for going abroad is absolutely essential.

One last feature that is worth keeping an eye out for when searching for a travel handbag or purse for Europe is to see if the handbag has any RFID block capabilities. While this isn’t absolutely essential, it can give you the peace of mind that your credit cards and travel document aren’t going to be victim to scanner scams.

Scanner scams (where a thief can just scan the data on your passport or credit cards) aren’t nearly as common as you might be led to believe, especially with the advanced preventative technology in most modern credit cards and passports.

Investing in one of the best travel purses for Europe is a good idea prior to your trip
Having a good travel purse is essential for Europe

Best Travel Purses for Europe

Now that you know which features to look for while finding the best purse to travel with, take a look at these fantastic options for travelling abroad. They all combine the best features that I outlined earlier, with different style-options depending on your own particular tastes.

Pacsafe Citysafe Convertible Backpack

This handy little bag really gives you the best of both worlds and very well might be the best backpack purse for Europe travel.

The Pacsafe Citysafe Convertible Backpack (also available on REI here or direct from Pacsafe here) can either be worn as a traditional backpack or switched to a crossbody bag and looks stylish while doing it.

The Citysafe comes in a range of colours to suit any personality and has a ton of features to boot. There are numerous compartments, all with interlocking zippers and anti-theft technology that make getting into this bag nearly impossible for thieves.

It is also lined with RFID-blocking technology and has a slash-proof exterior so no one can pull a “cut and run” on you.

This sleek and stylish bag is also a great option if you’re travelling light as it can transition seamlessly from day to night with just a few simple steps.

So many anti-theft travel purses tend not to look all that fashionable, however, the Citysafe will protect you from pickpockets while also not aiding you in committing a style faux pas while wandering the streets of Paris or Rome.

The interior of the bag is also quite spacious, especially if you’re wearing it in the backpack form. There is ample room in the main pocket for essential daily items like a water bottle, a camera, a tote bag, and a guidebook and it can even fit an average-sized tablet!

The smaller outer pockets are perfect for stashing your wallet and mobile phone and are also equipped with anti-theft zippers so you don’t have to worry about them getting easily snatched.

All in all, the Pacsafe Citysafe Convertible Backpack might well be the best purse for Europe travel.

Travelon Anti-Theft Bucket Bag

If you’re not fond of backpacks and are looking for the best crossbody bag for travel in Europe, then look no further than the Travelon Anti-Theft Bucket Bag. Travelon continually produces some of the best purses for international travel and the Anti-Theft Signature is no exception.

Equipped with some advanced anti-theft technology, this bag is spacious and comfortable to wear across your body for a long time.

The adjustable shoulder strap is slash-proof and allows you to easily attach it to a chair leg or post so you don’t have to worry about someone running off with it while enjoying an espresso or glass of wine at a streetside cafe.

There are multiple pockets where you can store your things and the interior is spacious enough to hold a book, camera, and water bottle with some room to spare.

While it is not as sleek and fancy as the Pacsafe option mentioned above, it is still cute and trendy and will be perfect for going out during the day. It may not be an appropriate travel purse to take to a nice restaurant or fancy bar, however.

There are dedicated passport and credit card slots in the purse that have RFID-blocking technology in order to keep your important items and documents safe from scanners.

All in all, however, you really can’t go wrong with selecting the Travelon Anti-Theft Bucket Bag for the best purse for travelling abroad.

Baggallini Original Everyday Crossbody Bag

If you’re looking to maximise your space and luggage weight without sacrificing convenience when trying to find the ideal travel bag, then the Baggallini Original Crossbody Bag (also available on Zappos here) might be the best option for you! This handy little travel bag is incredibly lightweight without sacrificing volume.

Though there are no external pockets on this purse, there are a number of pockets inside allowing you to easily organise your items efficiently. The entire bag is also equipped with RFID-blocking technology to ensure the safety of your most important documents and credit cards. 

Its simple design is also incredibly durable and water resistant, which means it won’t get damaged even if you’re strolling around London without your umbrella. It comes in a range of colours as well.

Though the Baggallini Original Crossbody Bag isn’t equipped with the slash-proof technology or locking zippers of the above two options, it still ranks as a great contender for the best travel purse for Europe.

It is also a great purse for Europe travel if you’re visiting places where pickpocketing and petty theft isn’t as common.

Travelon Anti-Theft Tailored Hobo Crossbody Bag

If style is your number one priority in finding the best fashionable anti-theft crossbody travel purse, then the Travelon Anti-Theft Tailored Hobo is a fantastic option for you.

Sleek and stylish, this spacious bag is the perfect purse for the fashion-oriented traveller who also wants her items to have the maximum amount of protection possible.

Available in a variety of colours, this bag is also equipped with fully locking compartments, a slash-proof should strap (that is also easy to secure around a chair or table leg), and RFID-blocking technology.

It is very slim, so it packs down quite small and is also lightweight so it is the perfect addition to any minimalist packing list without sacrificing style.

Basically, if you’re looking for a quality medium-sized purse to use while you’re travelling, then the Travelon Anti-Theft Tailored Hobo is one of the best travel handbags for you.

Pacsafe Citysafe Crossbody

If you are looking for a small and simple travel handbag to take with you on your trip, then the Pacsafe Citysafe Crossbody (also available direct from Pacsafe here) might be one of the best travel crossbody bags for international travel you could choose.

Containing much of the same features as the Pacsafe travel bag listed above, the Citysafe Crossbody comes in a variety of colours and has a classic and simple design that can easily transition from day to night.

Despite its smaller size, there are still a number of inside and outside pockets in order to effectively organise your things. It can also be expanded into a large bag if you need space.

The purse is equipped with RFID-blocking technology, a slash-proof strap, locking and secure zippers, and is waterproof. It is just the right size to carry your mobile phone, sunglass case, a tote bag, wallet and maybe even a small, travel-sized umbrella.

The exterior is also water resistant, so neither the purse itself nor your items inside will be damaged if you encounter some rain.

So if you’re on the look for the best small travel purses for Europe but don’t want to sacrifice style, then the Pacsafe Citysafe Crossbody is a fantastic option for you!

Pacsafe Citysafe Anti-Theft Mini Backpack

If you’re looking for a convenient yet stylish backpack for your Europe trip, then the Pacsafe Citysafe Anti-Theft Mini Backpack (also available direct from PacSafe here) is an absolutely fantastic choice for you.

Equipped with sophisticated anti-theft features, you can have peace of mind when strolling down a crowded European street while keeping your hands free and your shoulders evenly balanced.

Unlike a number of travel backpacks, this Anti-Theft Mini Backpack is also incredibly stylish and will ensure that you blend in well with the locals rather than sticking out like a tourist and making you a further target for theft.

To add an extra layer of security, the bag boasts RFID-blocking technology, a slash-proof fabric, locking zips and cut-resistant straps (that can also be removed to secure around a table leg or luggage rack).

It comes in a range of colours and, for its size, can hold quite a lot — including a 13-inch laptop! So if you’re looking for a stylish, anti-theft backpack to bring with you to Europe, then you can’t go wrong with the Pacsafe Citysafe Anti-Theft Mini Backpack.

Baggallini Everywhere Bagg

If you’re on the hunt for a water-resistant and lightweight crossbody bag for Europe, then make sure to have a look at the Baggallini Everywhere Bagg (also available on Zappos here). This handbag is both practical and stylish and has a number of anti-theft and travel features that are sure to impress.

This stylish travel purse is perfect for those looking for something that is incredibly practical but also doesn’t sacrifice style. Though it isn’t the most trendy of travel bags, it has a classic look that can easily blend in wherever you’re travelling.

It can fit quite a lot, has a number of different zipped compartments and even has a strap in order to easily secure it to your luggage. It also comes with its own RFID-blocking wristlet wallet in order to safely store your credit cards, mobile phone and passport.

The Baggallini Everywhere Bagg comes in a variety of colours to suit anyone’s personal tastes and styles. All in all, if you’re looking for a great crossbody travel bag, you can’t go wrong with this one!

With a seemingly endless array of options, it can be really difficult to find the best purse to travel with. If you keep an eye out for a few key features and know which styles you like, however, then you will have no trouble at all finding the best travel purse for Europe!

Are you looking for the best purse for travelling abroad? Have you found one? Let us know in the comments!

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Maggie is a co-founder and writer for The World Was Here First. When she’s not dreaming of far-away lands, Maggie enjoys drinking copious amounts of coffee, Harry Potter, and coaxing stray cats into her home.

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