8 Best Travel Purses for Security & Organization

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One of the biggest issues travelers face is how to conveniently carry everything you need so you can find it easily and it’s not too heavy or disorganized. Finding the right travel purse was the best thing to happen to my travel satisfaction in a long time.

Over the years, I’ve bought many variations of travel purses for international travel that have all failed in one way or another. It’s not easy finding the perfect purse for travel when you don’t know how they’ll perform before buying it.

travel purse

Thus I went on a mission to find the best travel purse for international travel that I could find. The good news is there are some really great choices out there. I’ve tried many purses to find the 5 best options, then I put together a guide to my top picks for best travel handbags.

⇒ Want to keep your belonging safe while traveling? Check out our guide to the best anti-theft purses and backpacks.

Yes, we’re talking about travel handbags for ladies today, but we’ve also covered a few other travel issues you might be trying to solve, like how to find the best travel pants (which I now wear practically every day!) and our top carry on luggage choices. Also check out our guide on finding the best travel backpack. See all of our travel gear reviews.

How to Choose the Best Travel Purse

The best travel purse for international travel fits everything you need without being cumbersome.
The best travel purse for international travel fits everything you need without being cumbersome.

There are definitely important criteria to look for in the best purse for travel. You’re going to be out and about most of the day carrying this bag, so you need it to be comfortable and effortless. The best travel purse holds everything you need to have with you in an organized fashion.

It has a sturdy and comfortable strap that can’t easily be cut or snapped by a thief. And it’s weather proof. Here are some questions to ask yourself when choosing the right travel purse for you:

  • Comfortable to carry. If you load it up, is it too heavy to comfortably carry around all day? Does the strap dig into your shoulder? Is the weight distributed well?
  • Holds everything you need. Is it too small or too big for the typical items you want to carry? Do you find yourself stuffing things in because there’s never enough space?
  • Provides good organization. Are there enough dividers and pockets to organize items? Are they proportioned well and are they functional in the way you want them to be?
  • Sturdy, theft-proof strap. Is the strap flimsy or thin? Could the strap easily be cut by a thief walking by? Is the strap the right length to enable you to protect the bag against your body or does it allow the purse to dangle at your side?
  • Weather proof. If you were caught in a sudden rain storm, would the bag become drenched on the outside and inside? Are there adequate zippers and flaps to protect the contents?

Types of Travel Purses

To make this quest a little more difficult, there’s not just one type of purse out there. There are many. Here is a breakdown of the most typical types of travel purses.

» Crossbody Bag

If I were to choose one type of bag that’s best for travel, it’s a crossbody bag. These bags have straps that are long enough to be worn across your body, so you have the added protection of the bag not dangling off your arm. While it can still be cut and taken by a thief, it can’t be snatched off your arm. Wearing the bag this way also allows you to protect the bag against your body. (Read more about cross body bags.)

» Messenger Bag

These bags tend to be larger than I would typically take on a trip, but they hold a lot more. They are also usually worn cross body and have sturdier straps. The benefit of a messenger bag is that it has a flap that comes over the top of the bag, which gives added protection against pick pockets.

» Shoulder Bag

Shoulder bags have longer straps that are intended to hang from one shoulder. These are the least-best type of bag to carry for travel because they leave you vulnerable to thieves who are really good at zipping by and snatching or cut the bag right off your shoulder. Because they’re just hanging from your shoulder, there’s pretty much no way you’ll be able to defend against it.

travel purse

Top Travel Purse Brands

I’m always tempted to check out the travel purses in bag stores in touristy areas, mostly because you can pick up the bag and look inside it before you decide to buy, and because there’s always so many of them (they know how to tempt us travelers!). However, I would highly recommend buying a trusted brand instead.

I’m not saying you can’t find a good bag in a touristy bag shop in Tokyo. I’m sure you can. But you might also be getting ripped off, or be getting an inferior product. I like to stick with the brands I know can deliver. Here are a few of the top travel purse brands that you’ll find on Amazon and in major retail luggage stores.

I like to stick with these brands, but I do have a few bags from other companies, like Rosetti, Samsonite, and Kenneth Cole. I would not suggest taking a major designer purse with you while traveling, so those brands are out.

  • Baggallini
  • eBags
  • Travelon
  • Pacsafe

Travel Purse Reviews 2023

Our Choices for Best Travel Purse 2023

There are two charts below, for each category of travel purse. I’ve evaluated smaller, mini-type shoulder bags, and larger day bags. If you’re like me, you don’t like to carry a lot of things and have a heavy bag to lug around, so the smaller sizes will be best for you.

If you do want to carry a lot of things, be able to stuff a laptop, water bottle, rain jacket, etc into the bag, then the larger size is for you. More on the choices after the charts… I like Amazon because they often allow free returns if an item doesn’t meet your qualifications, which can be a huge benefit when there are so many choices.

Lucky for you, it’s easy to get your hands on an of the travel bags I chose through the links below (note: they are affiliate links so we receive a small bonus when you use our links).

Large Travel Purse Reviews

Large travel purses typically measure somewhere around 9 in. tall, 11 in. wide x 5 in. thick. They can easily carry all manner of small items, a Kindle, a tablet, a water bottle, jacket, snacks, etc. They tend to have a lot of pockets and sections to keep things organized. Here are four large travel purses we recommend. See below for full reviews of each bag.

Baggallini Everywhere Travel Crossbody Bag

Baggallini Cross Over Crossbody Bag for Women - RFID Travel Bag with Adjustable Strap - Lightweight Water-Resistant Crossbody Purse

This is one of the best crossover bags for travel, in my opinion. There are two prevalent styles of purses, one that is tall and one that is wide. Depending on what you need to carry, one might be better than another.

This Baggallini Everywhere bag is one of the few wide bags. It’s is 12 inches wide, versus the typical 9 inches. There are multiple pockets in this bag, including two front pouches, one zips and one snaps.

There’s a secondary front pocket, as well as the main compartment, which can easily fit an iPad and lots of other things. On the back of the purse, there is a thin pocket that spans the length of the bag that can be unzipped at the bottom that can slide on to the handle of luggage to hold it on in transport.

Pros: Wider than most bags, back pocket over a luggage handle.
Cons: Two side pockets aren’t very useful

Travelon Anti-Theft Classic Essential Messenger Bag

Travelon Women's Anti-Theft Classic Messenger Bag, Black, One Size

As frequent travelers, we have used the Travelon Anti-Theft Classic Essential Messenger Bag on multiple trips and have been impressed with its security features and organization. The locking compartments and RFID-blocking card slots provide added security, while the adjustable and cut-proof shoulder strap makes it comfortable to wear for extended periods of time.

However, the tight top opening can make it difficult to access items quickly, and the rough fabric may not be comfortable for everyone. Additionally, the size may be a bit small for those who like to carry a lot of items. Overall, we highly recommend this travel purse for its security and organization features.

Travelon has been making travel easier and safer for over 35 years, and the Anti-Theft Classic Essential Messenger Bag is no exception. Its classic silhouette and soft fabric make it a fashionable choice for any traveler, while its security features provide added peace of mind.

We highly recommend the Travelon Anti-Theft Classic Essential Messenger Bag for anyone looking for a secure and organized travel purse.


  • The locking compartments provide added security and peace of mind while traveling.
  • The adjustable and cut-proof shoulder strap makes it comfortable to wear and difficult for thieves to snatch.
  • The RFID-blocking card slots protect your personal information from theft.


  • The top opening can be a bit tight, making it difficult to access items in a hurry.
  • The fabric may be a bit rough for some users.
  • The size may be a bit small for those who like to carry a lot of items.

Pacsafe 7 Liter Crossbody Bag

317OXZA8wDL. SL500

Another great bag that includes RFID blocker, the Pacsafe holds so much that it’s one of my favorite bags to have along on a trip when I need to have everything handy.

One pocket is lined with protective RFID material. There are 2 lockable zipper compartments, and 1 padded & suspended interior tablet sleeve that keeps your tablet or Kindle from touching the bag’s bottom – just in case you drop it, and there are 2 zippered interior pockets. Additionally, you have 2 side pockets for small water bottles or an umbrella. 

A feature that I love about this bag is that you can carry it two different ways. The strap can be laced through the handle on the top which creates shoulder straps to carry it like a backpack. That has come in handy a number of times for me.

Pros: Great RFID protection. Huge amount of space, with good organization. Keeps your devices safe and secure.
Cons: Too big for some uses. Not available in the UK or Canada (substitution is given when you click our links).

Men’s Canvas Messenger Bag Crossbody

XINCADA Mens Bag Messenger Canvas Shoulder Bags Travel Man Purse Crossbody for Work Business

They call this bag “small” but to me it’s anything but small. In fact, this is one of the biggest bags on this list. It’s a messenger bag and I think it’s a good bag for men and women, because it’s not at all flashy or feminine.

The best thing about this bag is the organization it offers. There are 9 pockets (7 zipped pockets and 2 external side pockets without zipper). You can stuff a lot of things inside this bag, including a 10″ tablet and a water bottle.

There are 8 credit card slots on the inside, along with a place to tuck pens, keys, etc. There’s even a little hole that you can thread your headphones through. The flap is held shut with velcro. The bag itself is made with sturdy canvas.

Pros: Amazing amount of space inside, great organization, sturdy, gender neutral
Cons: If you only pack a few things, it feels enormous. The front zipper flap is a bit floppy and can be annoying.

Small travel purses typically measure somewhere around 8 in. tall x 8 in. wide x 2 in. thick. They can easily carry a wallet, keys, passports, Kindle, small items like chapstick, and if you’ve packed light you can manage to stuff a lightweight rain jacket inside.

Baggallini Pocket Crossbody Bag

Baggallini womens Pocket With Rfid Crossbody Bags, Black/Sand, One Size US

The Baggallini pocket crossbody purse is just 8.5 inches wide and tall and 2 inches thick, but it comes packed with a zippered interior pocket, three exterior pockets and credit card slots for easy organization.

You can fit in a Kindle, but not a tablet. It’s a great option because it’s streamlined and lightweight. If you’re expecting a lot of room, this is not it. The joy of this bag is how small it is.

This is one of the best crossbody bags for travel if you’re a light packer. The strap is adjustable so you can move it up or down for your comfort. It’s not an incredibly sturdy strap though, so you don’t have to be careful in certain situations.

I really like that it has a removeable RFID wristlet included, so you can just carry your cards, if you want. The back pocket is just the right size to stash your smartphone so you don’t have to go through the interior pocket to get it.

Pros: Not too big, includes removeable RFID cardholder.
Cons: Thin strap can be uncomfortable and not very secure, back side-zipper pocket isn’t very well-designed.

» Shop other styles of Baggallini Bags on their website.

Travelon Anti-Theft Classic Mini Shoulder Bag

Travelon Anti-Theft Classic Mini Shoulder Bag, Black, One Size, 8.5 x 8.5 x 2

If you’re worried about theft while carrying a purse, you can look no further than this Travelon Anti-Theft mini bag (if it’s too small for you, there’s a larger one in the next section).

One of the features I love on this bag is the slash-proof strap. It has a locking main compartment and RFID card slots for added protection. You know how you’re not supposed to leave your bag laying on the floor or on the chair in a restaurant, but it’s uncomfortable to rest it on your knee?

The strap of this bag is made to be attached to a chair or small post so it can’t be stolen. This bag is also slightly larger than other bags in this category, with 9.5 inches of height, so you can fit a few more things inside.

It’s not really large, but it does fit quite a bit inside, like passports, Kindle or iPad mini, smartphone, wallet, keys and sunglasses. There’s also a small LED light attached on the inside. AND the interior is a bright color so it’s easy to see what’s inside the bag.

>> See all our recommended anti-theft travel bags.

This is a great option for anyone who wants a smaller bag that still offers ample protection and organization.


  • The locking main compartment provides an extra layer of security for your belongings.
  • The RFID blocking card and passport slots keep your sensitive information safe from identity theft.
  • The adjustable shoulder strap can be attached to a chair or post for added security.


  • The bag may be too small for those who need to carry a lot of items.
  • The strap may not be long enough for taller individuals.
  • The LED light may not be bright enough for use in dimly lit areas.

Baggallini Triple Zip Crossbody Bag

Baggallini Triple Zip Bagg, Black/Sand, One Size

This bag is the smallest that I’ve chosen for this list. I used to carry a bag like this one on every trip I took for more than 10 years and it served me well. It’s 8.27 x 3.54 x 5.9″.

Because it’s so small, it’s easy to pack into a backpack or another larger day bag, if necessary. There are inner pockets and card holders on both sides, but that doesn’t prevent you from stuffing things in the center. However, they have to be small items. There are front and rear zippered compartments. 

It’s just the right size to fit a passport, a camera, keys and one or two other things. Your smartphone will fit conveniently into the front zippered pocket. The zippers are very secure and can clip to each other or to the end of the bag, so it can’t be opened without some effort.

Pros: Can easily be packed into another bag so you can use it only if you need it, detachable strap makes it versatile.
Cons: Quite small, front pocket isn’t very useful, it’s too shallow to hold much

Travelon Anti-Theft Small East/West Crossbody Bag

Travelon Anti-Theft Classic Small East/West Crossbody Bag, Geo Sunflower, One Size

This is one of the larger bags in this category at 10.5 inches tall and wide, and 2 inches thick. There is plenty of space inside for the essentials, even a book or tablet can fit inside.

The bag has a zippered front pocket, a main top-zipping compartment and a u-zip rear compartment. If you’re looking for the best crossover travel bag for women, this is a very strong contender. Inside the main compartment is a slot to hold your phone, you credit cards, and your passport, all with RFID blocking material.

As far as security features go, this bag has full Anti-Theft features including locking compartments, slash-resistant construction, and slash-resistant, adjustable strap.

Pros: Plenty of pockets, lightweight and good for light packers, but large enough for a tablet.
Cons: In between size that might not fit all scenarios. Can’t carry a water bottle.


With all of these great choices for travel handbags, you should be able to find the best travel purse for you. My personal favorite is the eBags Piazza bag, but I have used some of the others regularly too.

The trick is finding the one that fits your situation best, because we all tend to pack differently. If there are any travel purses for women that you love that I left off the list, let me know and I’ll review those as well.

Be Prepared For Travel
Planning is the most important part of any successful trip. Do it the easy way:

🧳 Travel Packing List | ✔️ Why You Need Travel Insurance | ✈️ What to Do Before You Leave Home


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8 Best Travel Purses for Security & Organization

32 thoughts on “8 Best Travel Purses for Security & Organization

  1. Brianna says:

    I’m always on the lookout for a good travel purse. Baggalini had been a good to for me for years

  2. Sarah Ebner says:

    Some really good choices and tips here, but the one I really like is the Baggallini Everywhere Travel Crossbody Bag. It’s just up my street, the kind of thing I can imagine myself getting a lot of use of and very practical too. Might just buy it! Thanks

    • Laura Lynch says:

      It’s a really great bag, Sarah. I would carry it all the time if I needed that much space at home.

  3. Jackie Sills-Dellegrazie says:

    This is such an informative post and just what I need. To be honest, I’m not a purse person in everyday life, but for travel, it’s really necessary to have a bag to hold the things you need. Right now, I tend to use a small daypack or just my camera bag. Not very stylish options, I know. I’d be interested in a few of those small travel purses to hold the basics.

    • Laura Lynch says:

      I’m not either really, Jackie. I have the smallest possible purse for everyday use. But for traveling – well that’s different.

  4. Lauren West says:

    A good bag is really really important while traveling! It can save so much stress if you know that your stuff is safe in it. This is such an in-depth and helpful post! I’m definitely gonna refer to this when I’m looking for a new bag 🙂

    • Laura Lynch says:

      Great, Lauren! I hope it’s helpful. I went through so much trying to find the right one myself.

  5. Hugo Cura says:

    I’ll make sure to pass this along to my wife. I know she’s quite happy about her current purse and small backpack solution but maybe she’ll find these are worth a change. Great details and reviews!

  6. Drew says:

    Not much of a purse guy (go figure), but usually carry either a back-pack or a messenger bag when I travel. Something that is perfect for holding the multiple cameras, laptops, chargers, etc. The Baggallini Triple Zip looks a lot like the bag I carry now. The perfect size to take on a plane and store under a seat, but still fits everything I need!

    • Laura Lynch says:

      Exactly. It’s a balance between finding something big enough that doesn’t kill your shoulder to carry.

  7. Rosemary says:

    Great selection of bags. My preference when traveling is to be hands-free. I like the cross body bags. Close to my body, yet large enough for all my stuff 🙂

  8. Christopher says:

    Obviously this post is gaired towards women but I was looking for some of the same features when I was looking for my satchel. Which i eventually found in Istanbul’s grand bazaar.

  9. Anne mette Guldhammer says:

    Nice article. I would recommend the small G-1000 from fjällräven. My companion on all my travels. Great site. All the best from DK

  10. Eunice says:

    I have the Travelon Anti-theft crossbody bag and I love it! Bought it at the container store! You should totally check it out! 🙂

  11. Christina says:

    My husband and I are heading for Europe next month for a 6 week extended tour. Your article was exactly what i was looking for in finding a travel bag. Thank you for saving me from hours of comparison shopping and saving the sanity of my hubby while I shopped. 🙂
    I went with the Trevalon Classic Messenger , I will let you know how it works out, but I think it will be awesome!

    • Laura Lynch says:

      Fantastic Christina! Believe me, I’ve been there. The hours of shopping is excrutiating. I’m sure you’ll love the Travelon bag.

  12. Ellie Davis says:

    I love what you said about the strap on the purse, and making sure that it isn’t too flimsy or long enough to let the bag dangle. I, obviously, hope that it isn’t going to be an issue, and I luckily haven’t ever had to deal with my bag being stolen before. Being prepared is a lot better than losing all of the important things you may be keeping in your purse, though, especially if you’re on a vacation.

  13. canvas bag says:

    Sounds like the Anti-theft bags have really good quality straps.I also prefer genuine cow leather straps cause they look nature and manly on the basis that I’m pretty confident with the protection of my carry-on bag by constant attention to it.I keep wondering what kind of material can keep the bag from snapping?and what about the locker?will it make inconvenient access to my own bag?Give me answers to my Email,please. Thanks a lot!

    • Laura Lynch says:

      The anti-theft bags today, like the Travelon Anti-Theft Classic Messenger Bag, have a slash-proof chain-link construction that makes it nearly impossible to cut through on the go. If you keep your bag locked at all times, then of course there is a little more inconvenience to your being able to get into it easily. I personally don’t keep mine locked when I’m using it frequently. You have to weigh the risk and decide if it’s necessary for you or not.

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  16. Susan says:

    We’re getting ready to go on several trips& I love these bags but need one that cares a water bottle. Why don’t travel bags have pouches for a decent size bottle?

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