It can take awhile to figure out which travel purses fit your style. There are companies devoted to creating the latest safety features and you pay for the convenience. Above all it’s important to use what makes you feel comfortable, secure and relaxed. Of all the discussions I’ve seen little about the best features for handbags and purses.
I like to travel light and prefer shoulder straps that can be adjusted for cross-body, slinging on one shoulder or can be removed completely. Keeping it simple and lightweight is key. I’m not fussy about purses, preferring to travel with something durable and adaptable. It all depends on the kind of trip. For business travel I may carry a bag with fashion in mind, but that’s not the kind of travel I usually do. This is about finding the go-to bag for a multi-city or country trip with lots of different activities. Often I’ll pack two different kinds of travel purses.
You need to decide what is best for you, where you’ll be traveling and how. Some safety experts recommend that you not wear your purse with the strap crossing your body. The idea being that if you’re connected to your bag, you could be pulled along with the strap. You can be knocked off balanced, making you more vulnerable or end up in a physical altercation with the assailant. If your purse is draped over one shoulder you can easily let go of it.*
It’s a consideration in dicey areas but for safety I use purses with adjustable straps. The flexibility makes it easy to go long or short. At times having a purse slung over one shoulder makes me feel more vulnerable. Thieves look for the easy mark, why give them the satisfaction? Hugging my purse close with the strap across the body just feels safer.
The sports edition:
I was recently given this new, Go Caddy bag to review. It’s been with me on morning treks around Mission Bay where a sip of water is a necessity. I’ve gone hiking around tide pools and through canyons with it and love the narrow profile. Having a water bottle carrier with room for valuables could be handy on a cruise as well.
The bag has several pockets and an inner compartment for a water bottle. It’s shipped with a handy sleeve to keep the bottle cool and dry to touch. There’s a roomy, elasticized pocket for cell phones, maps or pens. The other side has a Velcro flap for more security. I really appreciated the stitching on the strap which helps keep it from sliding off. Most straps are either thick and heavy leather (heavy) or durable nylon (slippery.)
This older Bagallini can hold all you need for a carry-on and still be lightweight. I like having a bag with outer pockets for bottles and items that can be grabbed quickly. These aren’t secure, unless you have a bag with zippers on the pockets, so again it depends on where you’re using it.
I carried this bag all around Rio during Carnival and only lost a bottle of juice from the outer side pocket. The large inner pocket has a strap with a toggle to secure your wallets. You can keep passports, coin purses and cameras safely zipped inside.
If I want to dress it up a bit, out comes everything but necessities and a small, colorful scarf is tied onto the lower strap. It works in any situation where you don’t need to be too dressy or need a smaller bag.
This is a lightweight Bagallini, a few years old and a cloth bag with lots of compartments that sits flat to the body. I’ve seen them in many colors and variations. It works well for a short adventure or urban walk. My chunky SLR camera doesn’t fit inside which means carrying it separately, but the outer cell phone pocket works for quick access and photos.
This little, leather bag is a work horse. There’s only room for a a bit of cash, ID, a comb and lipstick but the cell phone fits well too. Several inner compartments make it easy to find things. The strap can go long or tucked inside if I want a clutch. I’d feel comfy at an Embassy dinner or nightclub with it.
Whatever kind of bag you choose, stay aware of your surroundings, trust your gut and don’t go anywhere you feel unsafe. Having the right kind of bag will make you a more confident traveler.
* The experts at Krav Maga training centers instruct thousands of people, supporting the company’s core commitment to improving and saving lives through fitness and self-defense programs.
Many thanks to Go Caddy for the bag to review.
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