Gone are the days when travel meant cargo pants and sandals with socks.
I’m sure you’ll agree that modern-day travel is about finding the perfect balance between practicality and style.
Luckily, the makers of travel purses agree.
Below is a list of the best travel purses of 2021 so that you can travel in style but feel safe at the same time.
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- TOP 17 Best Travel Purses Reviewed 2021
- Baggallini Pocket Crossbody Travel Purse
- Travelon Anti-theft Crossbody Bag
- PacSafe Stylsafe Anti-theft Convertible Bag
- Baggallini Everywhere Bag
- Travelon Anti-theft Heritage Crossbody Bag
- NeatPack Crossbody Bag
- Suvelle Lightweight Go-Anywhere Travel Bag
- Travelon Anti-theft Classic Mini Shoulder Bag
- Ogio Brooklyn Tablet Purse
- Osprey Packs Daylite Shoulder Sling
- Dakine Jo Jo Crossbody Handbag
- Vera Bradley Iconic Triple Zip Hipster
- Lily Queen Canvas Tote Handbag
- Sherpani Simplicity Travel Crossbody Bag
- Roma Leathers Crossbody Purse
- Myfriday Small Crossbody Purse
- Gcepls Canvas Crossbody Cellphone Purse
- What Should You Look for in the Best Travel Purse?
- Tips for Keeping Your Valuables Safe
- International Travel Considerations
TOP 17 Best Travel Purses Reviewed 2021
Baggallini Pocket Crossbody Travel Purse
Review: This is a crossbody purse that keeps the bag close to you and safer from opportunist pick-pockets.
It is made of durable nylon material that is water-resistant so your things will be safe if you get caught in the rain, and it has four zippered openings so you have plenty of options for keeping your things organized.
- Whole bag is fully RFID blocked.
- Water-resistant material.
- Hidden zip pocket on the back.
- Durable and long-lasting.
- There’s really not much to fault with this bag provided the size is right for your needs.
Travelon Anti-theft Crossbody Bag
Review: This is one of the most popular travel purses available right now. It is anti-theft, in a secure crossbody design, that is also sleek and stylish enough to not make you feel like an obvious tourist.
There is a layer of stainless steel mesh under the outer layer of fabric so that the bag can’t be cut open in a hurry by a passing thief.
And, the main compartments lock for extra security.
- Slash-resistant sides, bottom and strap.
- Lockable main compartments and strap.
- RFID card pockets.
- Removable LED light inside to help you find things.
- Doesn’t hold a large volume, only really suitable for carrying valuables and small items.
PacSafe Stylsafe Anti-theft Convertible Bag
Review: This is another great security-focused purse that doesn’t look like it.
It has a sleek, smart design but with lockable zips and a hard to cut strap that can be locked around stationary objects.
It has one main zippered compartment which is surprisingly spacious and two additional zippered front pockets.
Overall, it looks good, is comfortable to wear (provided the strap isn’t too long for you), and keeps your valuables safe.
- The long strap can be adjusted to convert the purse into a short-handled handbag.
- The strap has stainless steel wire running through it to make it hard to cut.
- RFID blocking.
- There’s no middle length on the strap, it’s either long for crossbody wear, or short-handled.
Baggallini Everywhere Bag
Review: Baggallini’s Everywhere Bag is a popular option among urban travelers. It has a massive seven external pockets together with a spacious main compartment that is big enough for everything you might need without being bulky.
The main compartment is also not too deep so you don’t have to rummage too much to find what you’re looking for.
- Made of lightweight but durable nylon.
- Comfortable wide shoulder strap.
- Removable RFID blocking phone-sized wristlet.
- Rolling suitcase-compatible sleeve.
- Credit card slots are not RFID blocked.
Travelon Anti-theft Heritage Crossbody Bag
Review: Made from cotton canvas and suede, this is a durable bag that will definitely stand up to the trials of travel.
It has one main zippered compartment that includes an RFID blocked zippered pocket and two additional phone-sized sleeves.
It also has a long, adjustable, slash-resistant shoulder strap that has lockable clips so that it can be secured to a fixed object. It’s large enough to hold everything you’d want in a purse for a day, except maybe a water bottle.
- Slash-proof bag and strap.
- Large, RFID blocked interior zippered pocket.
- Lockable zippers and shoulder strap.
- Not everyone loves the design of the strap on this bag.
NeatPack Crossbody Bag
Review: This NeatPack bag is a similar design to the Baggallini bag above but with a slightly taller, narrower shape.
It has plenty of pockets and is capable of holding a lot of stuff!
It has some security features, including an RFID protected credit card pocket and lockable zippers.
And, it has a padded shoulder strap so it will be really comfortable to carry even when fully loaded.
- Padded, adjustable shoulder strap.
- 2 external zippered pockets and 2 slip pockets, one ideal for a drink bottle.
- Made of tough moisture and stain repellant nylon.
- The shoulder strap may be too long for some people.
Suvelle Lightweight Go-Anywhere Travel Bag
Review: This purse doesn’t score many points for style, but it’s practical. It’s lightweight, easy to wash, holds a good amount of stuff, and has useful, well-placed pockets.
Some people won’t love the casual look of the water-resistant nylon, but it does the job and this little purse is surprisingly durable for its price.
- Lightweight and comfortable to carry.
- Water-resistant, stain-resistant and easy to wash.
- 3 exterior zippered pockets and an additional zippered interior pocket.
- Credit card slots and a key loop.
- The water-resistant material gives it a slightly swishy raincoat-like feel.
- No anti-theft features.
Travelon Anti-theft Classic Mini Shoulder Bag
Review: This is another reliable option from Travelon, with all the same anti-theft features but in a sleek urban design that keeps you from feeling like a conspicuous tourist.
This mini shoulder bag comes in a wide range of colors and is just big enough for the essentials.
- Multiple anti-theft features.
- Durable fabric.
- Good quality zippers.
- Plenty of colors and designs to choose from.
- The sides aren’t anti-slash, just the strap, bottom, front and back.
Ogio Brooklyn Tablet Purse
Review: If you travel with a tablet, this is the purse you’ll want to pair it with.
It has a fully padded tablet pocket so you know that your device will be protected from bumps while you’re traveling.
The shoulder strap is an extension of the bag so there’s no risk of the strap detaching or coming loose. It has two large main compartments and a hidden zippered pocket underneath the front flap.
- Integrated crossbody shoulder strap is wide and comfortable.
- Different colored bags come with different colored polka dot or zigzag lining.
- Very large interior.
- Hidden pocket under the front pocket is a great security feature, ideal for a passport.
- Durable material could be hard to slash without trying to be anti-slash.
- Shoulder strap isn’t adjustable and could be too short for some people.
Osprey Packs Daylite Shoulder Sling
Review: This probably isn’t the style of bag you think of when you say purse, but it’s an excellent cross between a backpack and a purse for travel – it’s purse size but in a single-strap backpack style.
It has a spacious zippered main compartment and a zippered mesh front pocket with an additional mesh organizer and clip for your keys inside the main compartment.
If you are more of backpack person and are interested in anti-theft features, check out my list of the best antitheft backpacks to get you started!
- Very comfortable to wear in hot weather.
- Easy to access contents without taking the bag off.
- Lightweight and well-made with reliable Osprey quality.
- Can only be worn with the padded strap on the right shoulder.
Dakine Jo Jo Crossbody Handbag
Review: This bag finds the happy middle ground between price, style and practicality. It is affordable but durable, comes in a range of colors and patterns but is also functional.
The main compartment is the right size for a tablet and has an additional zippered pocket inside it to compliment the two exterior pockets.
- Crossbody strap is adjustable.
- 2 exterior zippered pockets.
- Light-colored linings make it easier to find what you’re looking for without rummaging.
- Excellent quality.
- No specific security features.
Vera Bradley Iconic Triple Zip Hipster
Review: Lightweight and comfortable, this is a top of the line bag that you’ll use forever. It has a streamlined design so it stays close to your hip and doesn’t get in the way while you walk.
It is also a tablet and power bank compatible with three zippered openings as the name suggests.
The zippers are smooth and secure and there are plenty of pockets. It’s a winner all round!
- Power bank pocket with holes for cables.
- Wide range of patterns for pattern lovers.
- Adjustable shoulder strap.
- Machine washable (on cold).
- A little pricey.
Lily Queen Canvas Tote Handbag
Review: This is an excellent option if you want a larger, casual tote for carrying more stuff, like a packed lunch and a warm layer for day trips when you’re out sightseeing.
It’s made of durable canvas and unlike some totes, it has a zippered top which makes it ideal for travel. The slightly larger size also means it will fit 13” laptops.
- Wide, adjustable shoulder strap.
- The reinforced bottom will cope with being put on the ground regularly.
- Excellent value for money.
- Deep design can result in some rummaging, and it’s not freestanding when half full.
Sherpani Simplicity Travel Crossbody Bag
Review: This is a great bag for the minimalists at heart. It is simple and elegant in its design, and is another small bag that is deceptive in how much it can hold – ie. more than you’d think!
It doesn’t have any pockets, and the designers have saved weight and bulk by leaving the interior unlined, but that means that it can fold up and be tucked into your pack when not in use making it ideal for travel.
- Lightweight and compact.
- Simple with just one main compartment.
- Long adjustable strap can be worn as a crossbody or shoulder bag.
- Made of durable, water resistant nylon.
- Only comes in one color.
Roma Leathers Crossbody Purse
Review: This is a compact little leather purse that is ideal if you just want something secure to carry your valuables.
The tough leather means it’s not easy to cut through, and the crossbody strap is adjustable and keeps the bag securely against your body.
It has five zippered pockets making it very easy to keep your things organized.
- Well-crafted and durable.
- Multiple pockets for organization.
- Long adjustable strap.
- Small, compact size, perfect for valuables.
- If you over-fill it, it will be very hard to access things inside the pockets.
- May or not be real leather…
Myfriday Small Crossbody Purse
Review: This is a deceptive bag that looks small but holds a lot. It has three zippered compartments that each have card slots inside them as well.
It’s made of synthetic leather, comes in a wide range of color options and has a buckle adjusted shoulder strap.
It’s not a travel-specific purse, but that can be an advantage when you don’t want to stand out as a tourist.
- Secure, zippered compartments.
- Good quality.
- Deceptively spacious for a compact purse.
- Lightweight and comfortable to wear.
- No RFID blocking.
Gcepls Canvas Crossbody Cellphone Purse
Review: If you prefer not to carry your phone in your pocket and want a handy cellphone sized purse for your travels, this is the bag for you.
It’s just big enough for your phone, lip balm, some credit cards, your passport, a notebook, pen and a travel-sized packet of tissues. It has a long, adjustable crossbody strap and is lightweight and comfortable to wear.
- Lightweight, compact option.
- Long, adjustable strap.
- 2 main compartments and a zip pocket.
- Very affordable.
- The durability is what you’d expect from a bag this affordable… the attachment points for the straps seems to be the weak point.
What Should You Look for in the Best Travel Purse?
A lot of the criteria for a good travel purse are the same as for your everyday purse.
You want it to be durable and well-made, but also well-designed with convenient pockets that make it easier to find your things rather than lose them in the depths of the bag.
As mentioned earlier, the best travel purse for women combines the perfect balance between practicality and style.
But there are more reasons for this. Blending in a little with the locals can make you less of a target to pickpockets, and a sleek, smart handbag can help a lot with this.
But, at the same time, the bag needs to be secure enough to keep your valuables safe, and well-designed so that you can easily find what you’re looking for without having to spend ages rummaging.
A lot of the bags on the list above are messenger bag style. And there’s a reason for this too – a bag that is worn across the body is much harder for someone to grab and run off with.
But back to travel purses!
Some key things to look for include:
- Zippered closures – these are the most secure option for keeping your things safe from wandering hands.
- Anti-slash strap and fabric – it sounds dramatic but muggers are often armed with a blade to make taking off with your bag easier.
- Adjustable shoulder strap that lets you customize the length so you can wear it securely across your body.
- RFID-blocking pockets to keep your credit cards and passport safe.
- Easy to clean material – machine washable is definitely a bonus!
- A hidden pocket or two – it might sound obsessive, but having a zippered interior pocket is definitely a step in the right direction towards security.
- Lockable strap – this is a shoulder strap that can be undone and then locked securely around a stationary object (like a chair leg in a restaurant) so that someone can’t take off with your bag while your back is turned.
But even with the best anti-theft travel purse, there are other precautions you should take when traveling to avoid being the victim of petty crime…
Tips for Keeping Your Valuables Safe
Don’t Keep All of Your Money in One Place!
This point deserves the exclamation mark. It could be the most important travel advice of all time. It was more relevant in the days of the cash economy, I’ll admit.
But even with credit cards ruling the roost now, having a back-up is a still a solid plan.
The ideal scenario would be for you to have a small coin purse with some cash in your bag, and then your credit card hidden on your person.
There are some great options for clothing with hidden pockets available which could make this really easy and convenient. A hidden pocket in your pants coupled with a good travel purse would be the perfect combination.
Take Photos or Scans of Important Documents
And then back them up on a device and/or online. If something does get stolen, having a copy of the originals can save you a lot of hassle.
Also keep the phone numbers that you would need to call handy so that if you did get your credit card or passport stolen, you would know who to call straight away to get it cancelled, before too much damage can be done.
Don’t Leave Your Bag Unattended
It sounds obvious, right?
You’d be surprised how many people put their bag down for a second and then turn around…
International Travel Considerations
If you’re going to be traveling with your purse as carry-on, there are a few more things to think about.
The weight allowance is the first thing. A heavy bag will take up your precious weight limit and leave less room for your things.
On the same note, a bulky bag will end up counting as your main carry-on item rather than your ‘personal item’, meaning you don’t get the most out of your carry-on allowance.
Choosing a compact, lightweight purse will mean that you can still bring your carry-on bag as well as your purse.
(P.s.) If you’re on the lookout for a new carry-on bag, I have a great list already made up of the best carry-on bags for women to choose from.
But hold on a minute… we go traveling for fun and enjoyment, right? Not to be afraid of being mugged the whole time!
I’ll admit, this article has been fairly security-focused.
But please don’t let that get you down or doubt whether you want to go traveling at all.
In reality, we are at risk of being mugged anywhere in the world. Anywhere where there is a concentration of people, the likelihood of having thieves consider your belongings for their next meal ticket is increased.
But, the chances are still fairly low, and you never know, they may actually be even lower than your home town. The key is to take sensible precautions so that you don’t have to worry. And then if something does happen, you’re prepared.
How to Pack a Purse for Travel?
Packing for travel means being a little savvier and keeping things like your passport, which you wouldn’t usually carry on you, in a safe place.
Look for interior zippered pockets for valuables like your passport and spare credit card.
What to Pack in Your Travel Purse?
The easiest way to figure this out is to tip out your everyday purse and then put back only what you know you’ll need on a daily basis.
Don’t bother with the ‘just in case’ things. Essentials include sunscreen, sunglasses, purse, phone and water bottle.
What is the Best Purse for European Travel?
Europe is the style center of the world, so if you want to blend in, you’ll be looking for something subtle and classy.
But European cities are also rife with pickpockets, so choosing something with strong straps and zippered pockets is a safe bet. The best travel purse for Europe is a balance of chic and practical.
How do You Stop Pickpockets?
There are many ways to make yourself less of a target. Check out my tips above and read my ebook on solo travel safety.
But at the end of the day, use your common sense, keep your bag on you at all times and don’t keep all of your money in the same place.
What Should I Not Bring to Europe?
The simple answer to this is anything that you can easily buy once you’re there. Over-packing is the biggest buzz-kill.
Don’t bring more than a couple of changes of clothes or personal care products that you don’t use every day.
If in doubt, leave it behind, and if you really find that you need something once you’re in Europe, you’ll be able to buy it there.
Traveling is a dream when everything goes right, and having the right travel purse can definitely help with this!
First, decide on the size you’re looking for and then whether you’re looking for a more casual or dressy vibe. There is something on the list above for everyone.
Feel free to share your thoughts below if you’ve found the best travel purse for 2021.
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