When it comes to packing for travel or studying abroad selecting the right shoes and purses is definitely the most challenging part. You want to pack as few as possible while ensuring you have what you need for all possible occasions. You're also trying to find bags and shoes that will look stylish but also be comfortable and practical. Like I said, challenging!
Before you select your perfect purse for travel you need to think about your travel plans and what you will want or need to have with you on a daily basis. I encourage people to carry as little as possible to avoid back pain or having an annoyingly-large bag to drag around. This amount, of course, is different for everyone. Some people can get away with just their cell phone, keys, and wallet, while others need a mini first aid kit, makeup, DSLR camera, and extra sweater (#guilty).
If you only need a small or medium size purse, I highly recommend a cross-body bag. A convertible cross-body that can be both a shoulder bag and cross-body, like this one, is ever better. Cross-body bags free your hands and are more comfortable for long days of sightseeing. If you're the type of person that likes to carry everything but the kitchen sink, you will want to skip the cross body and opt for a large, but lightweight, tote. For security reasons, make sure what ever you select zips completely.
In addition to size and shape, you also want to consider the bag's material. Nylon is great because it is lightweight and durable. I also like coated canvas and Saffiano leather because both are more resistant to scratches and staining. Finally, make sure you select a practical color or pattern that goes with what you have packed.
Here are some of my favorite purses for travel:
Avery Crossbody // Britton Crossbody // Dagne Dover Tiny Tote // Jet Set Crossbody // Metropolis Mini Crossbody
THE PICTURE LOVER
Mini Avery Tote // Nylon Small Devin // Saddle Crossbody // Stacy Drawstring Shoulder Bag // Flemming Convertible Bag
Dagne Dover 13" Tote // Large Le Piliage // Cedar Street Tote
Now, you might have noticed that there are two Dagne Dover bags listed in my favorite purses for travel. That's because they really are the perfect bags! The larger totes have compartments for everything to keep you organized and protect your electronics. This is a lifesaver at the airport. My Tiny Tote, however, is one of my favorites for sightseeing. This little guy has traveled to Budapest, Salzburg, Paris, Venice, London, and all over Italy! To celebrate my love of Dagne Dover totes, they are offering 20% off to History in High Heels readers from now until December 25th with code - HistoryinHighHeels20.
FOR THE STUDY ABROAD STUDENT:
If you are studying abroad you will need a couple different types of bags. First you will need an everyday school bag. This should be something you can easily carry your books and lap top in to and from class (remember class can be on the other side of the city). I suggest a backpack (but beware of theft) or something like the Longchamp Large Le Piliage (which is perfect because it folds up).
You will also want to pack a small and/or medium sized cross-body bag for excursions and travel. Speaking of travel, make sure you bring a weekender bag or small carry-on for weekend travel. Just make sure that your travel bag is small enough to comply with budget airline restrictions (or you will be forced to check it)!
One final tip - Invest in your travel purses and bags and avoid traveling with cheap or poorly made ones. There is nothing worse than having your bag's seam tear or strap rip in the middle of the airport or a foreign city.
I hope this helps you find your perfect travel purse!