When traveling we are always more vulnerable. Away from our routines, out of place and without our usual social networks close by. What’s more, you have all your valuables nearby: passport, money, creditcards…
So how to enjoy traveling and yet stay as safe as you can manage it? One way is to make sure your valuables are as protected as possible.
- Keep everything you do NOT need in a hotel safe.
- Take only absolutely necessary valuables (don’t take jewelry on a tourist trip, for instance).
- Use a cross-body bag that isn’t too easily snatched from your shoulder.
- Use anti-theft travel gear and purses with security features like
- hard to slash fabrics
- locks on compartments (though these only work if you USE them, so decide on this feature at your own discretion)
- flaps on compartments
The main thing to do is to make it as difficult as possible for people to steal something. Don’t be the person whose passport gets stolen because it was just too easy to get to. Instead: be the person they pass by, because there are easier victims available.
Of course hard-core thieves may try and threaten you with a weapon or assault you, but in those circumstances the bag doesn’t matter: your life is after all more important so you should just hand it over.
However, most thieves rely on staying as invisible as possible and stick to the easy victims.
Thievery can’t be avoided completely, but you CAN minimize the chances.
So far for my general advice. When you are traveling, you still want to carry stuff around. From camera, credit card and money to hygiene products. So where to put them? Depending on how ‘cute’ you feel you need to be when traveling, a travel purse can be basic and unobtrusive or elegant and fitting your business outfit.
Both have good reviews.
I would say that the styling of Travelon gets a bit closer to the typical ‘purse’ than Pacsafe, so I’m starting with a few Travelon purses and will then show one Pacsafe handbag.
However, let me start with the Baliloca hands-free travel purse (shown to the side). It is a totally different bag. It’s the size of a neck pouch, but more securely suited to the body. You can wear it and forget about it.
And yes, bigger breasted women CAN wear them. Note that the straps don’t go cross-body, so the size of your boobs does not matter in this case.
- Available in leather and neoprene
- Fits a small wallet, passport, keys, and phone. Small items like a lip balm or lotion would fit, too.
Amazon reviews note that for some larger sized women the straps are too small. However, based on the reviews it is clear you don’t have to be as slim as the model on the picture.
Travelon purses – safe traveling handbags
- 100% Nylon
- 29″ shoulder drop: adjustable, cut-proof backpack straps
- 11.5″ high
- 13.75″ wide
- 3 locking compartments provide protection from pickpockets
- Slash-proof construction
- Includes tethered key clip with LED light
- Available in Cayenne red, kaki, black, shown in blue, pewter grey and purple.
- The middle section is big enough to hold a tablet or iPad
The main security features are the cut-proof strap, the slash-proof construction and the RFID technology that protects your cards from being skimmed.
About RFID – security experts tell us that this isn’t really necessary. It is supposed to protect you from your card or passport being skimmed through a nearby device. However, thieves haven’t actually started doing that, so it’s more about peace of mind.
- 100% Polyester
- Dimensions: 13.75 x 4.75 x 10.5 inches and weighs 1 pound
- Large enough to fit a DSLR camera AND an iPad or tablet
- Features a slash-proof shell and strap so thieves can’t cut your bag and make off with your things
- Locking carabiner allows you to remove the strap and easily secure it around a chair, table and more
- Main compartment includes an interior zippered pocket, 2 slip pockets and a locking design to keep out pick-pockets
- Rear zippered pocket and front slip pocket provide additional storage for other items like sunglasses, maps, chapstick and more
- Available in several shades of pink, blue, bronze, khaki, leopard print, black and green.
- Side pocket is large enough to hold a water bottle.
This is a somewhat larger purse (aka a HOBO). Aside from the security features it has in common with other Travelon bags, the main strap can be removed to lock the bag to a chair or table, for extra security at a restaurant or something.
The main complaints users have with this bag is that the lining isn’t done as well as it might. I guess the price has to be kept down somehow. Otherwise: mostly 5 star reviews.
- Fabric: Polyester
- Locking zip top closure
- Slash resistant
- Adjustable, slash-resistant shoulder strap with a drop length of 15-27 inches
- Slash-resistant body panels
- Crossbody bag
- RFID blocking pouch set
- Three front exterior zipper pockets
- One back exterior zipper pocket
- Various internal pockets for cards and phone
- Big enough to hold a 10 inch tablet or iPad.
- Reasonably water-proof
This is the right size of bag for everyday travel needs.
Pacsafe handbags – safety purses for travel
The Pacsafe bags are a bit less flashy, but you may well like the clean lines. They are generally unobtrusive: a safety feature in itself. With a few exceptions, they’re only available in one color and that color is black. I’ve picked out the ones I consider most ‘purse’ like and since I like color – I’ve also selected the non-black ones. They are usually available in black though.
Let’s start with a bag that I would consider buying:
- 100% nylon with synthetic lining
- Locked zipper closure
- 26″ shoulder drop (strap adjusts from 26.4 to 48 inches), 10″ high, 11″ wide
- Turn & Lock Security Hook attaches Strap to secure fixture
- RFID Blocking Material built into a pocket helps protect IDs & credit cards from hacker scanning
- Water-resistant fabric
- Relatively few compartments:
- Padded iPad/tablet compartment
- Phone / passport compartment
- One large zippered compartment
The main security features are, again, that the fabrics used have protection against slash & run theft. All outside fabric is reinforced with steel wire: mash for the compartments. And yet the purse is light-weight.
This bag can be locked to something secure like a table.