Carefully curated selection of the best crossbody bags for travel for comfort and style.
A good cross body bag is a great travel accessory and one I recommend in all my style -conscious packing lists.
Pick the right one and you can go city wandering for hours, with hands free to take photos and the knowledge your belongings are safely by your side. You will even look cute in photos!
Pick the wrong one, on the other hand, and you may well find yourself with sore shoulders and spending more time rummaging through your bags content to get the camera out (or your city pass or ticket, or cash) than looking at sites.
I have done that at home and abroad and it is so awkward and at times so unsafe I decided it was time to invest time and a bit of money on a good cross body bag for travel.
On my quest, I came across several styles and this is my round up of the best cross body bags for travel to be comfortable, safe and stylish on the go.
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Best cross body purses for travel chart
This is my selection of best travel bags: scroll down to the rest of the articles to see why these in particular made the cut!
|Make||Size (approx)||Anti theft|
|Fossil Kinley||13″L x 3.5″W x 9″H||No|
|Fossil Maya||12″L x 4″W x 12″H||No|
|Hobo Delilah||12″L x 4″W x 12″H||No|
|Scarleton Crossbody||10″x 8.5″x 4″||No|
|Vera Bradley Triple zip||11.75″W 11.75″H 1.25″D||No|
|Kipling||12″L x 8.87″H x 4″D||No|
|Kate Spade NY||10″ x 6.5″ x 1.5″||No|
|K&Bo||10.5” x 9” x 1”||No|
|Baggallini everywhere||11″W x 9″H x 5″D||Yes|
|Travelon Luggage||4.5″x 11″ x 10″||Yes|
|Travelon hobo||11.5″ X 9.5″ X 3″||Yes|
|Ebags Villa||10″ x 9.5″ x 1.5″||Yes|
|Ebags Piazza||12″ x 9″ x 3.5″||Yes|
Is a cross-body bag best for travel?
When I was younger my go-to type of day bag for travel was a backpack.
However, after many trips and travel failures, I came to the conclusion that crossbody bags are best for travel for many reasons.
Like backpacks, cross body nags leave your hands free but, unlike anything that sits on your back, they allow you to easily access your stuff and keep it safe, often your own hand resting on the closure.
Also, crossbody bags are usually more stylish than backpacks and they allow you to feel more like a local than a tourist.
Last but not least, many museums do not allow backpacks in but they will allow crossbody women purses.
So, on the basis of safety, comfort and the facts that they make you look good, I am 100% a cross body bag fan!
Do you need a cross body bag for travel?
Bags can be expensive so the first thing to consider when pondering about a new bag just for you travels, is if you may use a bag you already have or you should invest in a specific one for when you are one the go.
To answer this question, I made a quick checklist of what I needed in a travel cross body bag and compared it with what I had home already and what I saw in the shops.
What to look for when choosing a crossbody bag for travel
My must have in a good cross body bag for travel are:
It should be big enough
A good day bag should be big enough to carry essentials for a long day out, without forcing you to go back to your hotel in the middle of sightseeing.
What you need each day depends on your destination but do consider you may want to have your documents, camera, water bottle, sunscreen/make up, shawl, guidebook and so on.
It is worth taking a moment to consider what you need during your day on vacation and make sure your bag is up for the challenge.
But not too big
When choosing a good cross body bag for travel it may be tempting to go for ‘as big as possible’.
While it is indeed good to be able to stash your cardigan and spare comfy shoes in a handbag, over the course of many trips I discovered there is such a thing as a bag that is too big.
A large bag is a bag you easily fill excessively and this can cause sore shoulders and can even be a problem when entering museums.
Make sure your day bag is not as bulky as a weekend bag!
Has straps that are suitably wide for its weight
I have owned more crossbody purses that I like to admit and while some were great, some looked amazing but were terrible.
The main thing that made a bag poorly made was that they had straps that were too thin for the bag.
If you have a large bag, make sure it comes with a shoulder strap that is suitably wide not to cut into your shoulder when full.
Has straps that are not too long/ short for your body
The main thing I love about crossbody bags is that I can forget I have them on.
However, should they be too long or too short, they become a colossal pain as they bump against your body as you walk in all the wrong ways.
The best bags to buy have adjustable straps but if you like one with fixed length, pay attention to manufactures specs to make sure it doesn’t sit crazy low on your tights.
It doesn’t scream tourist
I don’t believe you necessarily need to blend in wherever you go and chances are in most places you will stand out as a tourist pretty much no matter what you do.
However, a bag that attracts attentions for all the wrong reasons and screams ‘I am a visitor and I have cash and credit cards on me’ is not a good one to have on your travels.
My rule when it comes to handbags while traveling is: if it is something I wouldn’t wear at home, chances are I shouldn’t wear it on travels either.
Made of sensible material
A cross body bag from travel must be sturdy enough to survive a lot of wear and tear.
Depending on your plans this might mean you need a bag that is easy to wash, is waterproof or just not easily marked.
Take into the account the type of trip you have ahead of you and consider what specs your bag needs and what is just a nice to have.
I also usually have a look at the material of the lining.
Ideally, I want it to be easy to clean, resistant and light in color, so you can find your items more easily (now, you can laugh at this but I learned this trick with changing bags for babies and it has changed the way i shop for bags!)
Converts into a different shape
You don’t need your crossbody bag for travel to be convertible but a bag that changes shape can be really ueful when on the go.
Convertible bags are purses that can change shape and/or carrying method: some go from cross body to tote or clutch, others turn into backpacks.
I am a huge fan of convertible bags as they are an easy way to have a day to night look without packing several purses
A little bit like the convertible thing, I do not believe you need tour crossbody bag for travel to be ant-theft but it is definitely better if your bag has some characteristics that make it less easy for pickpockets top open or snatch
These can be full bells and whistles like you see in anti theft purses or even just a clever hidden pocket and flap closure.
Depending on where you are going and what you need for peace of mind, some anti-theft purses can be a good investment and this is why I include some of them in this round up of the best crossbody bags for travel
Looks good with your frame and style
Ok, I am not going to choose the best travel purse crossbody just on how it looks on me but it is definitely something I will take into account.
Depending on your body shape, some bags look better than others: when picking one, make sure you don’t get one that is too big/ small for your frame and consider the rest of your outfit.
Do you want to add color to it or will your summer dress do all the talking and you need a more neutral bag?
Consider what you are gong to wear so you can get a bag that will make you feel ‘together’
Types of crossbody bags
When I started looking into the best travel purse crossbody style, I though i would just look at pretty pictures of bags online and in shops but I was mistaken.
While a lot of window shopping happened during my research, I also learned a lot and finally made sense of many names given to different shape bags. These are those I found most useful in my quest for a great travel bag.
A messenger bag is a crossbody bag which usually has a utilitarian shape, a crossbody strap and large flap front. They are typically made of durable materials like leather or canvas and they can be very good for travel as the front flap act as protection from pickpockets
A satchel bag usually has a flat bottom that allows is to stay upright, a handle and sometimes a cross body strap. Satchels come in different shapes and sizes and can be good for city travel in particular as they tend to be quite stylish and ladylike and don’t make you standout like a tourist.
Hobo bags are usually large bags with a distinctive curved shape at the top. the can or cannot be crossbody and they are usually unstructured meaning they tend to collapse on themselves when worn giving what i can an ‘intentional relaxed look’
A fantastic style of cross body travel purse is the foldover bag. As the name suggests, foldover bags can take any shape or size as their characteristics is that they fold over themselves going from big bag to small bag in a flash.
I absolutely love this type of bag as you can fit several things inside during the day such as an extra cardigan and a water bottle and then wear the extra item in the evening, making the bag smaller and more stylish to go to a restaurant or dinner out.
Best crossbody bags for travel
This is my list of favorite cross body purses for travel, to suit different styles and types of travel.
Fossil Kinley crossbody
I open this list with a bag that I find perfect for travel because of its size (not too big, not too small) and because of its stylish look: the Kinley crosbody bu fossil.
The bag comes in several colors and materials and good internal and external pockets for daily essentials. I love this bag for city travel and it is one that I can use back home too, which makes it a good investment in my book.
Another Fossil bag but very different in style and feel from the previous one is the Maya hobo crossbody bag.
This is a large enough bag that you can wear crossbody or as a shoulder bag thanks to its two straps: a longer one and a stort one that makes it sit under your arm.
This is an excellent travel purse crossbody and has a stylish yet relaxed look that I find makes it perfect for city travel and European travel in particular
I really like hobo crossbody bags and one I find very good for travel is the Hobo Delighlah which comes in several colors.
This is a good size bag, with a top zip closure, slip and zipped pockets. My only issue with this bag is that the crossbody strap is not adjustable, which I think would make it more versatile for different body shapes.
However, the exact length is given among bag specs so you can gauge well before purchasing if this would be a good fit for you.
Scarleton crossbody bag
Scarleton makes good bags in several colors and shape but specifically for travel, I quite like this multi pocket one.
I find it strikes a good balance with size/ number of compartments and also has a large enough strap that sits nicely on your shoulder.
Vera Bradley bags Triple Zip Hipster
If you are looking for a fabric travel bag rather than a leather one, you may like the colourful and fun ones by Vera Bradley.
I personally don’t love the look on me but a friend of mine has one and it matches he personality and style so well, I had to include it in the list.
This Vera Bradley bag comes in several patterns and it is a great bag if you want to add a touch of color to an otherwise plain outfit, something you may have to deal with on travels especially if traveling super light and going for a capsule wardrobe approach.
Kipling travel bags
My very first crossbody bag was by Kipling and I lived years with that thing; it lasted over a decade and the only reason I stopped using it was that I was sick of it being in all my travel photos!
While I don’t use a Kipling bag anymore, I highly recommend them as I find them they have wonderful relaxed look for travel and they are also very comfortable to carry and generous in size.
They are also very resistant and easy to clean which makes them great for pretty much any adventure, form the city to the jungle.
Kate Spade city crossbody bags
Kate Spade has some gorgeous bags and there are several I have my eyes on especially for city trips, when I want to look a little more ‘together’ or possibly even dress up.
Two I really like are the Miri crossbody purse which has a clever closure and flap and also her New York series, which comes in several colors and looks really stylish
K&Bo Juniper crossbody bag 4 in 1
A super versatile bag I love the look of is the Juniper 4 in 1.
This is a super fun bag with a great print and colors and while it is small, I find it great for travel as it easy to pack and can change up your outfit quickly, as it is effectively 4 bags in one: crossbody or clutch, in different colors depending on the fold.
I find this bag a fun one to have on travels has it has a strong personality and allows you to convert it easily from day to night without having to pack heavily
Anti theft crossobody bags for travel
Crossbody bags are among the safest ways to carry stuff around however sometimes, you might want to invest in an anti-theft bag, for extra piece of mind,
In this case, you will find bags with one or more of the following specs:
- Slash proof fabric
- Lockable zippers
- RFID lining (this is to protect your credit cards from electronic data theft)
Best anti theft crossbody purses for travel
Some of the best crossbody anti-theft travel bags I have come across as the following.
Baggallini Everywhere bagg
Maybe my favorite out of all anti theft purses is the baggallini everywhere bagg.
It comes in several colors, which is a nice change from others that tend to be black or nothing, and has some handy features that make is stand out, such as a removable RFID-protected wristlet and a sleeve to fit the bag safely on top of your wheeled luggage (super handy in airports!)
I will be honest, I do not love the look of this Travelon bag but it is one of their bestseller and it is excellent in terms of comfort so, I had to include it!
This bag has good capacity and it is designed to comfortably close to your body, even when full, which is a super handy safety feature to have.
Travelon heritage hobo
Different style but similar characteristics can be found in the hobo version of the Travelon bag above.
The hobo has a nice compartment with zippered RFID blocking pocket, open top wall pockets and a key clip and two slash resistant straps that make it easy to keep it on your for hours witout excessive strain
Ebags Villa crossbody bag
If you are looking for a versatile bag that can expand on demand, consider the Villa. It has two external pockets that allow you to have it small / bigger depending on need.
This bag helps keep your documents safe as it has RFID protected pocket with card slots and passport pocket and several pockets with sturdy zips that will keep them in place
Another good bag with an excellent number of pockets both inside and out is the Piazza.
The internal ones are perfect for documents and cards (it has an organizer pocket with passport and credit card slots which is RFID protected) and external pockets for guidebooks and water bottle.
I hope you enjoyed this selection of bags and it helped you pick a great crossbody purse for your next trip.
Please note: as an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases