7 Best Crossbody Travel Purses For Women For International Travel

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Last Updated on October 6, 2020 by Mary Emmer

Coming up with the best travel purse is not easy.  The struggle is real! Travel purses for women come in such a huge variety of style, color, and size, how in the world do you choose?

Travel Purses For Women – So Many Options

How many of you have planned your entire trip, planned out what clothes, accessories, and shoes you intended to pack, and perhaps even done your packing.  Then, it’s the night before your departure and it’s time to switch over to your travel purse.

But figuring out which purse is the best travel purse to use is a problem.

You need to decide which travel purse features are the most important because all bags are clearly not equal when it comes to some specific features that you might need.

Do you go with the most secure in terms of safety?

The largest?

The most comfortable?

The most stylish?

Would the most lightweight travel purse be the one?

My favorite type of travel purse for international travel is a crossbody bag.  I prefer this type of bag for any type of air travel really, but especially for international travel because chances are that you will find yourself needing a few extra supplies, ID, travel papers and such on international flights than you would on shorter domestic flights.

What Is A Crossbody Purse?

crossbody purseA crossbody purse is one that has a strap long enough that you can put it over your head, therefore allowing the strap to go from your should on one side and down across your body to the bag which is resting on the side of your body around your hip.

Messenger bags can also technically be considered crossbody purses, but in my opinion, they are too big.  Despite the fact that you can fit more stuff in them, I think they become too heavy when you pack them full so I do not use them as a travel purse because they become too bulky and hard to manage along with all of the other items that I probably have to carry or keep track of.

Why Use A Crossbody Travel Purse?

My #1 reason for preferring a crossbody travel purse is because it leaves you completely hands-free to deal with anything else that you need to manage or carry.  This is important during any type of travel, but really important during international travel because there will most likely be multiple times during your journey when you will have to pull out your passport and possibly other travel documents and you don’t want to have to struggle with the issue of where to put your purse while you’re dealing with that.

This is simply common sense, but not everyone thinks about it – the #1 worst thing to do is set your purse down somewhere.  Even if you think you are watching it.  It’s very easy to become distracted and your purse could be gone before you even realize it.

So using a crossbody travel purse means that your purse never leaves your body.  Well, except when you go through airport security…but that’s a whole different issue.

Top Features To Look For In Travel Purses For Women

So what’s important in the perfect travel purses for women on an international flight?

The purpose of your trip, your destination, the season, and other things may certainly factor into your decision on what type of travel purse is right for you.  But these are all things that I consider when I’m making my own choice.

  • Material – What type of material is the bag made out of?  The important factor for me here is that I want something that will be weatherproof, if not completely waterproof.  Certain materials will do better in inclement weather than others, so be sure and check that out.
  • Inside Pockets – Are there enough different pockets and slots to organize all your stuff?  I personally don’t like to have to dump every item into one big space inside because it becomes hard to find anything later on.  So a big inside space with some dividers or inner pockets or sleeves with velcro closures can be really helpful.
  • Outside Pockets – I like to use outer pockets for things that I need quick access to.  Like my passport, my airline boarding passes, or other required ID.  A passport-sized outer pocket is something I always look for!
  • Hidden Pockets – Some bags have hidden pockets too.  These are usually ones that rest somewhere against your body.  They are quite invisible when you have the purse across your shoulders and body and are great for securing important items like credit cards, cash, or passports.
  • Type of Closures – Zippers!  Zippers are the most secure closure.  Buttons and flaps alone do not do a very good job of keeping your items secure, and they also allow gaps where someone could slip their hand inside your bag.  For me, if the bag doesn’t zip it doesn’t go with me.
  • Color choices – Well, not much to say about this except we all have different tastes in color choices.  I usually opt for black or a darker color which won’t show dirt.  But each to their own!
  • Size options – Another very personal decision is what is the perfect size of travel purse for you.  Some things to consider though….large sounds great when you’re throwing everything you can think of into your bag.  But that same bag gets awfully heavy when you have to walk for what seems like miles in a foreign airport on the way to baggage claim.  Plan for the unknown.  And pack your stuff assuming that you will have to carry it all….maybe for long distances.
  • Comfort – This seems like an odd one, but we sort of “wear” purses just like we wear clothes.  We like our clothes to be comfortable and our purses should be too.  Consider the strap and how comfortable it will be when it’s over your should and across your body.  Is it comfortable not only when the purse is empty but also when you have it packed full?
  • Durability – You don’t want a bag that is too flimsy to last for along time.  Choosing the right sort of material for the body of the bag is important to make sure that it will stand up to the rigors of travel.  And the straps should be sturdy with heavy-duty and reinforced areas where they are attached to the body of the bag.
  • Weight – One of the most important features for me is that everything that I need to carry needs to be lightweight.   We all know that the purse will be heavy enough by the time you fill it with all the required essentials for the trip.  No reason to start with a bag that is just too heavy before you even fill it with anything.

Some Popular Travel Purse Brands

These are some of the leading travel purse brands –

  • Tumi
  • Travelon
  • Baggellini
  • Pacsafe

Although you can certainly travel with any brand of purse on your journey, these companies specialize in making travel purses for women that not only have the latest safety features, but also have lots of different styles, colors, and sizes to choose from.

7 Best Crossbody Travel Purses For Women For International Travel

Here are some really great options from the companies I mentioned above.  These bags do come in various different color and size options too.

My Personal Top Pick

There are so many great brands and styles to choose from when it comes to travel purses for women.  No matter what you are looking for the perfect bag is certainly out there for you.

My personal favorite is the Big Zipper.

It comes in loads of different colors, but I’ve personally used this exact bag in the black color for at least 5 + years of travel to and from Europe as well as using the bag the entire time I was there…..which was a few months at a time.  This bag is indestructible.  I finally just ditched mine a few months ago because it just got too dirty!  But nothing was really wrong with it and it didn’t even look worn.  Amazing.

Baggallini has a lot of cool stuff!


I’m always looking for new brands and styles that could work for me.  What’s your favorite brand or style of travel purse?

If this is your first visit to my blog, don’t miss my welcome page here so you can learn what the heck goes on around here.

2 thoughts on “7 Best Crossbody Travel Purses For Women For International Travel”

  1. Great suggestions for crossbody travel purses. I was actually looking for something like this for our next trip. I need something smaller that will hold my travel documents and necessities like my phone. Zippers and good pockets are a must, and you shared some really great alternatives. So now, when you got rid of yours, which one will be your next purchase?


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