My Search For the Ideal Travel Purse

Every trip I’ve ever taken has begun with a decision about what I will carry. Will I take a big old suitcase or carry-on, or is this a backpack kind of trip? Will my purse be a stylish purse or functional—do I have something that’s both? Will I need an evening bag?

The Goldy Locks Game

The folks over at She Buys Cars asked me to photograph my purse with a car while I was previewing the New York International Auto Show this week. And of course, I immediately had to think about the purse I would bring and the car I would choose.

That got me thinking about the way I travel and how the day bags I use have changed over the years as my needs and tastes have changed.

This Purse is Too Small!

I would love it if more of my vacations required an evening bag (and if they involved this elegant Hyundai Veloster).

night-out purse

These Purses Are Too Big!

Alas, more often they require something sturdy and roomy like this Hyundai Santa Fe, and a very sturdy and practical (but boring) bag.

too functional to be called a purse

I used to be able to pack for a whole weekend in a bag like this (my bathing suits were smaller then—in more ways than one). When i decide I want to look more “woman” and less “mom,” I’ll try carrying a tote like this for a day bag—until I realize it makes my shoulder hurt and I can never find anything in it.

tote bag for when a purse isn't enough

Too Small!

Once in a while I get an urge to reconnect with my younger, funkier self and will buy a cool new purse to bring on vacation. But they’re heavy and don’t hold everything I need. Plus, they don’t leave my hands free (you need two hands available at all times when traveling with kids).

we love this purse

Too Big Again!

Sometimes I have a lot of travel writer and mom stuff I need to carry. Then I give up on style altogether and throw this in the car.

sometimes you need a backpack instead of a purse

At the very least, I’ll never have to carry one of these again (though I loved this bag when I needed it).

I used to carry a diaper bag; now I'm back to a purse

Ahh; Just Right

At the end of the day my perfect bag—and my perfect car for that matter—fits everything I need without being too big, keeps me organized, and is fun and attractive. The ideal car fits my family, our stuff and our parallel-parking city life. It also mixes practicality with style, kind of like this Hyundai Elantra.

my every day handbag or purse

What kind of Purse or Bag do you travel with?

What does it say about your life and your travel style? Tell us below!

This post was brought to you by She Buys cars. My opinions, and my purses, are always my own.


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  1. March 26, 2016 at 11:59 pm — Reply

    The bag you picked seems perfect to me. I love to travel with crossbody bags. It is small enough to carry around with all the essentials. Plus, I do not have to be leaving it in counters to enter museums or palaces.

  2. March 26, 2016 at 6:13 am — Reply

    I like the bag you picked, as long as you don’t leave it on the car mirror.

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