A few years ago, before we left for Europe, I went in search of a travel purse. Because I’m a mom who ends up carrying my stuff plus everyone else’s stuff, I favored function over sexy. If you are looking for a sexy travel purse, I am not your gal. In the past I’ve had purses that were too small, too awkward…you name it. After looking around, ordering (and returning) many options, I landed on the Baggallini Hobo Lightweight Tote. And let me tell you, when it comes to travel purses, functional and lightweight is my new sexy.
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My Choice: Baggallini Hobo Tote
Baggallini makes a whole line of purses and bags. This style comes in a variety of colors and patterns to fit any taste. (My purse is actually purple, but Amazon doesn’t carry that color anymore. ) I’ve tried a lot of travel purses and small backpacks in the past, and this Baggallini Hobo Tote has been by far the best in terms of meeting my needs. (Note: The one I bought had a different number and slightly different name, but it appears to be exactly the same as this one.)
Because we tend not to spend a lot of time in cities, I didn’t opt for the super secure travel purses with the metal cable in the straps or the mesh that keeps people from slashing your purse open. I’m sure there’s a time and a place for those, but I have so far (knock on wood) been OK without it.
Here are the features I really like about this purse:
Size: This purse is roomy enough for all of my stuff (and the inevitable extra stuff I end up with when traveling, like maps, brochures, etc.). I can easily have my small travel wallet, Kindle, a travel umbrella, and various other accessories with me.
Weight: When you’re traveling, you don’t want a heavy bag to weigh you down and dig into your shoulders. I definitely didn’t want leather for this reason. This purse on its own hardly weighs anything. The nylon material is also more breathable, so it doesn’t make you sweaty the way leather would.
Durability: Despite its lightweight material, this thing is really durable. Mine has survived several trips where I worked it non-stop, and it looks as beautiful as the day I bought it. Even the interior lining is still totally intact.
Cross-body strap: I find that the cross-body strap is good for me because I have narrow shoulders. Having purse straps constantly slipping off my shoulder is super annoying. Also, it helps distribute the weight and makes it easy to swing the purse to my back and out of my way when needed. (Careful about where you have it in cities and crowded public transportation!)
External pockets: I like having an external pocket into which I can slip my cell phone. This one has several, including side pockets that can fit small water bottles. One of the external pockets zips open at the bottom, so you can slip it over a rolling suitcase handle.
Attached wristlet: Inside the purse there is a small wristlet you can keep hooked onto the purse, or take it off as you need. I usually keep mine inside for my lip balm and a few other small things.
I loved this Baggallini Hobo Tote so much, I ended up getting a Baggallini work bag that is awesome for both travel and everyday use. Behold, the Baggallini Medium Avenue Tote in charcoal:
(Note: Amazon no longer directly sells this color. They do directly sell it Prime-eligible in a couple other colors.)
Minor Downsides (for me):
Maybe a little too big: There have definitely been times when I needed every square inch of space offered by the Baggallini Hobo Tote, but most of the time it’s probably just a touch too big for my needs. See below for a few slightly smaller options.
No sections inside: It’s a hobo purse, so inside the purse, other than a few small pockets, it’s one big cavern. I know many people love their purses to be like this, but I prefer a little more structure with at least two main sections inside. Not a deal breaker, but just a preference thing.
Price: This is a relative issue. I am not someone that spends a lot on purses, since I often change my mind or my needs change. For me, an $85 US purse was kind of a splurge. For others, it’s a bargain.
Baggallini has a whole line of purses. If the hobo I featured isn’t quite right for you, try one of these (all come in a variety of different colors):
Baggallini Fine Line Hobo: A smaller version of the Hobo Lightweight Tote
Baggallini Everywhere Lightweight Crossbody Bag: Another smaller option with more external pockets
Baggalini Helsinki Bag with Silver Hardware: Just a touch smaller than the hobo, but with a little more interesting look
Or check out the Baggallini store on Amazon here.
Purses are a very personal purchase. Everyone has different needs. If nothing else, I hope breaking down my process for finding the features I wanted in a travel purse is helpful as you shop. Purses can be a necessary evil, or they can be a lifesaver. I hope you find one that is in the latter category, like I did!
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