Remember last week when I said that I really struggled deciding between Dagne Dover's Tiny Tote and Clutch-Wallet? Well, I ended up going with the Tiny Tote, but the decision was difficult because I could really use both for my travels this spring. Apparently, my mom picked up on my not-so-subtle hints and surprised me with the Clutch-Wallet for Christmas! I was so excited when I received it in the mail last week, and this amazing clutch-wallet-crossbody is too good not to share.
Selecting what purses to pack when you travel is almost as difficult as picking the appropriate shoes. In both instances you are looking for something in the illusive practical-yet-stylish category. When I travel or work abroad I find I need a couple different types of bags. So I thought today I would share the features of my new Clutch-Wallet and talk about the best kinds of purses for travel.
First, I like to have a clutch for the airport. I keep my passport, tickets, phone, and necessary currencies in a clutch that I can easily grab out of my extra-large tote bag (which is technically my personal item). This keeps the important things separate and handy, while still adhering to the one personal item rule, since you can easily tuck the clutch back inside your tote when needed (you can read more about my carry on strategies for international travel here). A clutch is also handy for nicer dinners or nights on the town when traveling.
Second, I bring a small cross body bag, which is perfect for hands-free sightseeing. I like mine just big enough to carry the essentials - phone, wallet, small digital camera, and keys - this ensures you won't find yourself schlepping around a heavy bag all day. Like uncomfortable shoes, this is the fastest way to ruin a day of sightseeing and exploration!
In addition to these two bags, I also like a slightly larger tote for days I want to bring my DSLR camera and extra lens. My small Longchamp Le Pliage tote is perfect for such an occasion, and since these totes are lightweight and foldable, I often bring the larger version too for quick overnight trips.
Now, I have a new purse to add to my travel rotation - the Clutch-Wallet. What I love about Dagne Dover's Clutch-Wallet is that it's a multi-compartment travel wallet, sleek clutch, and cross body bag (with a chic matte gold chain) all in one! This ingenious little Clutch-Wallet is a jet setter's dream! There is a compartment for your cell phone and a hidden compartment for your passport. There is also a detachable portion that can hold your important cards and multiple currencies. And because it's detachable, you can use it as your wallet and pop it into a different bag as needed without having to switch out everything. There is even a spot for your lipgloss.
The Clutch-Wallet comes with two straps. The shorter strap allows you to carry it as a clutch or on the shoulder tightly under your arm, which is the best way to carry your bag in areas of heavy pickpocketing. The second strap turns the Clutch-Wallet into a fabulous little cross body. It won't hold as much as the Tiny Tote, but it is perfect for the days you only want to carry the essentials. Trust me if you are traveling for an extended period of time, you will definitely have days when you are tired of carrying around a bag full of stuff - your camera, guide book, water bottle, etc... this gets heavy fast!
The best advice I can give is that, like the shoes you select for travel, you need test the purses you pack. Think about all of your possible travel scenarios - walking a lot? long bus rides? outdoor adventures? special events? museums and churches? - and layout everything you want to carry on you for each. Then pack each purse to make sure everything fits and isn't too heavy. I also recommend you bring a variety of bags. Instead of bringing two cross body bags in two different colors, bring two different types of purses in two different colors. That way if one style doesn't end up working for you, you have a back up (this is my same advice for shoes!).
You also want to think about color and durability. Nylon bags are lightweight and durable and black leather doesn't show stains. You should also carry a purse that closes completely. You want to make it as hard as possible for the thieves! Also, be wary of dark jeans and cross body bags, with lots of walking the denim dye can stain your bag (students always learn this the hard way in Florence). Travel is tough on your clothes and purses so don't bring your vintage Louis Vuitton if you aren't prepared for a little wear and tear.
Here are some of my favorite purses for travel:
Dagne Dover's Tiny Tote
Dagne Dover's Clutch-Wallet
Small Longchamp Le Pliage Tote
Kate Spade Nylon Shoulder Bag
Cute Little Nylon Cross Body (A less-expensive option)
Classic Leather Cross Body
Finally, JUST SAY NO TO BACKPACKS as purses! They are a pickpocketer's dream!
Have you found the perfect purse for travel? If so, please share!
PS - You can find more of my packing tips here!