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. However, having all of the travelling essentials that will save you the headache of searching for necessary items in a foreign country and last you for trips to come. While we have already covered how to budget for a trip, which luggage to bring, and the best insurance for your trip…that still leaves one thing left to be discussed: and that’s the best purse for international travel.
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 travel purse — myself included. Especially if you’re planning on travelling in Europe or to some of the chic and cosmopolitan cities in South America, 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 purse for international travel, then browse through this article to figure out what features you should be looking for along with my top suggestions.
Best Travel Purse Comparison
|Pacsafe Citysafe||Type: Backpack|
Material: Nylon Twill
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Check on REI
|Travelon Anti-Theft Bucket||Type: Crossbody|
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|Suvelle Expandable||Type: Crossbody|
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|Travelon Anti-Theft Tailored Slim||Type: Crossbody|
Material: Nylon Twill
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|Pacsafe Stylesafe||Type: Crossbody|
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Check on REI
Best Purse for International Travel: What to Look For
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 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 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. 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 a lightweight and easily packable purse for travelling abroad is absolutely essential.
One last feature that is worth keeping an eye out for when searching for the best purse for international travel 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.
Best Purse for International Travel
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 the best purse for travelling abroad. They all combine the best features that I outlined earlier, with different style-options depending on your own particular tastes.
Best Backpack Purse for Travel: Pacsafe Citysafe Convertible Backpack
This handy little bag really gives you the best of both worlds and very well might be the best purse for international travel. The Pacsafe Citysafe Convertible Backpack (also available on REI here) can either be worn as a traditional backpack or switched to a crossbody bad 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 into 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 for. There is ample room in the main pocket for essential daily items like a water bottle, a camera, 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 or the best purse for travelling abroad in general.
Best Crossbody Travel Purse: Travelon Anti-Theft Bucket Bag
If you’re not fond of backpacks and are looking for a cute and practical crossbody travel purse, 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 travel purse is spacious and comfortable to wear across your body for a long time. The adjustable shoulder strap is slash-proof (which is a great feature if you’re travelling in Southeast Asia where bags can sometimes be cut right from tourist’s shoulders) 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 a sleek an fancy as the Pacsafe option mentioned above, it is still cute and trendy and will be perfect for going out in the day. It may not be an appropriate travel purse to take to a nice restaurant or fancy bar, however.
Though the entire bag isn’t equipped with, 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.
Best Lightweight Travel Purse: Suvelle Lightweight Expandable Crossbody Bag
If you’re looking to maximise your space and luggage weight without sacrificing convenience when trying to find the best purse to travel with, then the Suvelle Lightweight Expandable Crossbody Bag might be the best option for you!
This handy little travel purse is incredibly lightweight without sacrificing volume. One of the most convenient things about the Suvelle purse is the expandable function, which allows you to zip at the bottom to gain even more space!
Though there are no external pockets on this travel 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 waterproof, 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 Suvelle Lightweight Expandable 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 purse for international travel. It is also a great purse for Europe travel, especially if you’re visiting places where pickpocketing and petty theft isn’t as common.
Best Fashionable Travel Purse: Travelon Anti-Theft Tailored Slim Cross Body Bag
If style is your number one priority in finding the best anti-theft travel purse, then the Travelon Anti-Theft Tailored Slim 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 anti-theft travel purse 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 Slim is one of the best options for you.
Best Small Purse for Travel: Pacsafe Stylesafe Crossbody
If you are looking for a small and simple handbag to take with you on your trip, then the Pacsafe Stylesafe Crossbody (also available on REI here)might be one of the best purses for international travel you could choose.
Containing much of the same features as the Pacsafe bag listed above, the Stylesafe 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.
The purse is equipped with RFID-blocking technology, a slash-proof strap, locking and secure zippers, and is waterproof. Though it is not big enough to hold such things like a water bottle or large camera, it is just the right size to carry your mobile phone, sunglass case, 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 anti-theft travel purse but don’t want to sacrifice style, then the Pacsafe Stylesafe Crossbody is a fantastic option for you!
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 purse for international travel!
Are you looking for the best purse for travelling abroad? Have you found one? Let us know in the comments!