Everyone has a their own style when it comes to traveling. Some like backpacks while others like sling bags or huge handbags. When we travel I like to have my purse on me the ENTIRE time. So, it needs to be on the small side. I often don’t remove the bag from my body anywhere until I get to my accommodation as I am so paranoid. This paranoia led me to look for a bag that was slash proof, weather resistant, RFID blocking and neutral colored. It also had to be small yet big enough to carry my wallet, a family o passports, tickets, and phone. The strap also had to be cross over style so I could have my hands free for my kids.
My Favourite Travel Bag
I have gone through a lot of bags throughout our travels, and so far my favourite has been my messenger style handbag by Travelon which I bought right before we took our family around Europe for eight months.
The Travelon messenger bag is one of the few bags that I have tried that fit all my criteria. While this is the bag I bought there are many great travel companies that specialise in similar bags, so have a look around. The link I have included is the latest version of the messenger bag and this one includes a water bottle holder. The straps and the body of the bag are slash resistant and it has an RFID blocking slot. It has plenty of compartments and zipped areas. You can also lock the outside zip, so no one can easily get into your bag. My bag was subject to some pretty rainy weather, and I didn't have any problems with water getting into my bag. It’s small, yet it fits everything you need. It's also more affordable then some of the other bags on the market.
The bag has a lot credit card pockets, so for that reason I thought I would ditch the wallet. However, I realised very quickly that I had a mess of cash and coins in my bag and my credit cards kept slipping out of the compartments because of all of my rummaging around. In the end, I bought a long slim wallet that could easily come in and out of my bag and it stayed neater.
The negatives are that the bag has fairly thin straps, so if your bag gets heavy then after awhile it really starts to digs into your shoulder. But, it’s also a good sign to clean out your bag and keep only the essentials in it. Also, after eight months with the same bag, it started looking pretty boring. It’s durable though- eight months of constant use and it still looks really good. If you need to bring water bottles, diapers, snacks and other family bits and pieces you will need another bag. I was able to carry our extra things in a simple cloth bag that could be easily folded when it wasn’t needed.
All in all, it’s a sensible bag that helps make me feel secure and that I have done as much as possible to protect my belongings. Travelon, Zoomlite, and Pacsafe all offer a huge range of travel bags that are slash resistant and some of the styles are quite nice. They also offer quite a variety of other travel products that are worth checking out.
Zoomlite - This Melbourne based company offers a range of travel bags as well as other travel products such as packing cubes, suitcases, and bags.
Pacsafe- Offers several travel bags, but they also offer great transit gear such as travel hoodies and pants with inside zips for your passport, wallet and phone. While their bags are more expensive, they have an amazing range of travel products.
Travelon- Has a large range of fashionable travel bags and other travel gear.
Quick Safety Tips to Keeping Your Bag Safe
It can be tricky business keeping your items safe while chasing children around, so here are few tips for the extra paranoid. Unfortunately, there are no guarantees when it comes to bag safety but hopefully these tips will be helpful to minimize pickpocket theft.
I might be too cautious and it might sound really uncomfortable, but when we are “out and about” my purse does not leave my person. I will put my bag on my lap (but it’s still across my body) while we are eating. I keep my bag on my lap even in my hometown as people steal everywhere in the world- not just when you are on holiday.
In winter, I put the whole strap under my coat and my purse peeks out from the bottom, so I can still get into it easily.
I wear my bag across my body and have my purse at the front of me. I also try to have my purse facing away from the road, so it’s usually between one of my kids and me as I walk on the road side of the sidewalk. If I’m just with my husband than I stay away from the road and towards the wall.
The airport is not a "safe" place- some cities are renowned for having pickpocket problems at the airport because tired and confused travellers are easy prey. Petty thieves don't necessarily care that you are travelling with little ones. >10 Airport tips with Kids
Pay attention to your surroundings. Keep your ears pealed for motorbikes and scooters, look around and behind you. Move to the wall if you hear one and keep a hand on your bag if possible.
In the bathroom, I will hang it if the hook is not too close to the top of the door. If there is no safe (or clean) spot to place it, I drag one of the kids into the toilet stall and they hold it for me. Pretty paranoid, right? But, it’s a small price to pay for the inconvenience of replacing all our documents and cards.
We have an undergarment wallet that we keep spare cash and credit cards in and we will wear it; place it in the hotel safe; or hide it in one of the bags. Just make sure you tell your partner where you have put it, so if you can’t remember, you don’t have a panic attack.
Also, make two sets of copies of your passport- one that travels with you and one that you leave at home or with a trusted loved one.
Don't take all your cash and credit cards with you while you are walking around. Split them up between you and your partner or use an undergarment money pouch.
If you are robbed, report the theft immediately to the local authorities. They can't always help you retrieve your belongings, but their report will be important for insurance purposes. Also, they can direct you to your nearest consulate or embassy, so you can get emergency passports. >Be brave and travel with Kids
*All my opinions are my own and this post is NOT sponsored by any company.
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