Simple Tips for Choosing a Travel Handbag …

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Travelling and going on holidays is so exciting … exploring new places and experiencing new things. It can be loads of fun but having a handbag that isn’t suitable can be really frustrating. So, whether you only travel occasionally or you’re an international jetsetter, you want to carry a handbag that’s perfect for you.


I don’t take my usual handbag when I travel because it’s quite big and not really ideal. Like most Mums, my everyday handbag holds loads of things that I really don’t need when I’m travelling, so I use a smaller handbag.


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It was time for me to update mine and I purchased a Hedgren bag from Strandbags. It would be easy to get confused because there are so many options available but here are some of the things I considered when deciding which bag to buy:


  • Weight … the lighter the better. I typically walk a lot on holidays and I don’t want to be weighed down with a heavy handbag … that’s just tiring. These days a lot of airlines are also weighing handbags and counting that towards the weight of your carry-on luggage allowance, so it’s important it’s not too heavy before you even put anything inside.


  • Style … backpack or handbag? I prefer a handbag with a long strap, that way I can drape it across my body and still have both hands free if needed. A backpack will achieve the same thing but is easier for someone with dishonest intentions to get into. If I have my handbag draped across my body and sitting roughly around my hip, I can keep my hands on it and it feels more secure but it’s really just personal preference.


  • Quality … it’s got to be tough! Consider the fabric that the bag is made from and check the stitching. The stitching should be even with no loose threads. Check the stitching where the handle or straps meet the bag as this area bears the weight of the bag. Preferably this area should be stitched, not glued. Try all the zips to make sure they move smoothly and easily and make sure any buckles and clasps are sturdy and hard-wearing. Check the straps carefully … it’s a good idea if they are thick as the bag will be more comfortable to wear and adjustable straps are a must!


  • Size … not too big, not too small but just right! Travelling often involves a lot of activity and walking and the last thing I want to carry is a heavy handbag. So for me it’s a balance … trying to carry only the essentials in a handbag that’s just the right size but again, it’s a very personal choice. A larger bag will give you heaps of space but it will also encourage you to carry more. A smaller bag, however, won’t look out of place at night in a restaurant, so you can keep all your essentials with you and you wont need to pack an evening bag, which will save space. If you think you might need some extra space, include a light-weight foldable carry bag or plastic bag inside one of the pockets in your handbag and it will always be there if you need it.


  • Compartments … be an organised traveller! Look for a bag with separate sections or compartments so that you can store items neatly and compactly. If you have a zipped compartment for your wallet and you return it there each time you use it, that will not only keep you organised but save you time and stress looking for it. Same goes for your passport, mobile phone, camera and any other item you carry in your handbag. Also make sure the pockets are a practical size for what you want to store.


  • Practicality … how will you use it? Think about what you need to carry, be aware of the size of those items and then look for a bag that will meet your needs. What’s right for me, may not be right for you. I also suggest that you try the bag in the shop by putting in it the things you will carry … that’s the best test. Alternatively, purchase your bag from a shop that will allow you to return it for a full refund after you try it out at home. If possible, choose a bag that can either be washed or at least sponged easily to remove any dirt or grime.


  • Security … safety first! I prefer a bag that zips totally closed rather than one that only has a clip or is open at the top as this makes it easier to protect the things in my bag. This is also the main reason I prefer a bag I can drape across my body rather than a backpack because I can keep my bag in front of me with my hands on it all the time. Some bags are now available with zips that either click closed or lock but I have wondered if that could frustrate me and if it was fiddly … not sure!


  • Weather Proof … it’s not always sunny! Your travel handbag needs to protect your belongings and the bag that I chose is made from a semi-waterproof material, which will be important if I ever get caught in the rain.


  • Price … what’s your budget? Because I’ll use my travel handbag for many years, I was prepared to spend a little more to get the perfect bag … but it turns out, I didn’t need to. I paid $90 for my bag after a 30% discount so I was very happy with that. Look out for a special (particularly with Boxing Day Sales just around the corner) and be prepared to wait to get the bag you want for a price you’re prepared to pay. Check out online prices as well.


  • Colour … looking good! Choose a style or brand that gives you a variety of designs and colours to choose from. I chose black because it’s a neutral colour that goes with almost anything, I wear a lot of black and it’s also practical with regards to showing (or concealing) marks and stains but if you would prefer red or purple … go for it!


  • Warranty … it’s important! I want my travel bag to last me for many years so I went for a well-known brand with a strong reputation for standing by their products. The 2-year warranty will cover me for any defects or problems but I’m sure there’ll be none.


If you buy well, your travel handbag is an investment that will last many years. So tell me, do you have a separate travel handbag or do you simply take your everyday handbag? Also, where is the one place in the world that you would love to travel to?



  1. I was just in Strandbags yesterday! It’s so true that it’s not always sunny so something weatherproof is a good factor to remember when choosing a travel bag. And security, and weight! xx

    • My new bag is so much lighter than the previous one I used and I’m really looking forward to using it. I think I’ve made a good choice and it ticks all the boxes!