When you hit the road on your next travel adventure, it’s important to make sure you have the right bag to bring along with you.
With the right stylish backpack or cross body bag you will be prepared to go exploring anywhere, whether it is shopping in London, art gallery hopping in Paris, watching a local festival in Peru, exploring ancient ruins in Rome or wandering through the floating markets of Bangkok. A great versatile bag can be the perfect traveling companion and can also be used on your daily commute to work.
You should be looking for a bag that has security features that can help to protect your belongings from pickpockets and thieves. Plus, a lightweight bag is desireable: it’s more comfortable and won’t weigh you down. So, what are some of the most important factors to consider when you are choosing the right bag for a travel adventure? Let’s take a look at what you should be thinking of when seeking the perfect bag.
How Much Space Do You Need?
How much room will you need to carry the things you need to take with you on your travel adventure?
Your answer will vary, but here’s something to keep in mind. It’s a natural tendency to fill whatever space you have. So, if you have a large cross body bag or backpack you are likely to fill it up with stuff, which can be heavy and awkward to carry around. If you bring a smaller bag with you, then you won’t have the room to fill it up with stuff so you will naturally pack much lighter.
Avoid over packing your bag, as this will put stress on the zippers and wear out the bag more quickly.
Consider the Style of Bag
Do you want a crossbody bag that you can sling over your shoulder, or a backpack that you can carry on your back?
Let’s take a look at the pros and cons.
|Cross Body Messenger Style Bag||Backpack|
|You will have your belongings easily accessible, so you don’t have to take off your bag to reach them.||The weight of the bag will be spread out over both shoulders, preventing uneven shoulder strain.|
|It is the more stylish option.||It’s easier to move through crowds and small spaces. It’s also much more comfortable for hiking and walking long distances.|
|Can be uncomfortable when carrying a heavy load. You may have to switch it back and forth so that all of the weight isn’t always on one shoulder.||On a hot day your backpack can cause your back to sweat (unless the backpack has a breathable design).|
|Often have smaller capacity compared to a backpack.||Can be easier to get at by pickpockets because it is behind you (although there are solutions to this, such as zipper locks.)|
One style of bag isn’t better than the other, it just depends on your preferences and how you like to travel. Try out a few different options to see which feels more comfortable for you.
RFID Offers Added Protection
When shopping for travel bags you might see RFID blocking features advertised. What exactly is this and why should you buy them?
RFID chips are the chips embedded within your credit card that allow you to make payments just by touching the card to a scanner, rather than inserting them into a terminal. This contactless payment method is designed for convenience, but they also leave your cards more vulnerable.
Thieves have been walking around with scanners and scanning the wallets and bags of unsuspecting people in crowds and on public transport. This has really happened to people, take a look at this story on Reddit to learn more about how it can happen.
Fortunately, it is easy to prevent this from happening to you. An RFID blocking pocket in a bag will encase your credit cards in a material that will interfere with the radio waves. This will block out any electromagnetic fields and prevent any communication between your card and an RFID scanner.
Of course, if your credit cards don’t have the contactless payment feature then there is no need to pay for this added protection. But if they do, it might be worth it for peace of mind. For example, the Kaitlyn RFID tote has a dedicated pocket with RFID protection to keep your credit cards safe. Or, if you are looking for a backpack the Brianna RFID backpack is a lightweight, water repellent backpack that also has an RFID blocking pocket.
Look for Pickpocket Safe Features
Having your bag pickpocketed and your valuables stolen is a quick way to add a lot of stress and hassle to your travels. If your money and credit cards are stolen you have to go through the headache of canceling them while abroad and getting money somehow. If your passport is stolen this can cause a lot of problems and it can be a hassle to get a new one while abroad.
Unfortunately, thousands of travelers are pickpocketed every year - especially in the popular tourist destinations such as Barcelona, Paris, Rome, London, Prague, Buenos Aires, Rio de Janiero and others.
Often pickpockets will work in groups - one or two people will distract you while someone else is busy stealing your stuff. Then, the thief who stole the item will hand it to someone else and they will all go in separate directions, which makes it almost impossible to track them.
You can prevent pickpockets by being as vigilant as possible while in a public setting and being very suspicious when someone tries to distract you. Here’s a great post about the many ways that pickpockets try to trick you. You can also stop a pickpocket by carrying a bag that is difficult for them to get into. For example, on this Julie Crossbody RFID bag you can lock several compartments of the bag with a fixed clip, which will prevent pickpockets from getting into the bag easily.
What factors do you consider when choosing a bag for travel? Let us know in the comments below.