PurseBlog Asks

Do You Wear Your Nice Bags Abroad?

Plus: are you a bag for each travel day or a one-and-done kinda packer?

“It’s not a fashion show.” My mom used to say to me as a teen when I whined that all my outfits weren’t fitting into my carry-on. I likely sassed her back with some iteration of “life is a fashion show,” and 15 years later, we’re having the same discussion as we get ready to travel to Paris in two weeks.

To sum up the above: I’m not a light packer. I never have been, and I can’t imagine I ever will be. I like options. I need options, and contrary to popular belief, I do believe that everyday life is indeed a fashion show. *shrugs*

Coincidentally enough, one of my friends is also traveling abroad this spring, departing a few days before me. She and I were having a similar discussion about outfit planning and packing. I laughed when she said she’ll be packing as lightly as possible because my packing philosophy is exactly the opposite.

Matchy, Matchy

While I know it’s unrealistic, I’ll do my very best to ensure each outfit is paired with different shoe/bag combos that match each vibe. My packing motto is: even if you think you have enough stuff, jam in some more.

Packing mentalities aside, heavily packing your suitcase full of designer duds is also two-fold, and for many, there is a concern of safety when traveling abroad. My mom, who is my travel partner this time around, expressed concerns over pick-pocketing and even heard of crossbody bags being cut off of tourists by thieves.

Being that I live in a big city like New York, I don’t find it a concern, and I’m not planning on changing my aesthetic to be less loud for this trip. Rather I’m planning to bring at least 4-5 different designer bags with me to match my outfits for day and night.

To Carry or Not to Carry

Have you traveled abroad recently to Paris or elsewhere? Do you carry your designer bags abroad? I’m genuinely curious and would love to know your thoughts!

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Caroline
Caroline
1 year ago

I find the very premise of the question asked in the title completely xenophobic, as it implies that abroad is somehow more dangerous than “at home” (aka the USA). Another cringe from PurseBlog. What is happening to this site??

Irene
Irene
1 year ago
Reply to  Caroline

I don’t think that’s what the PB implies. It’s simply because when you go on a holiday most people want practicality and designer bags are actually not that practical.

psny15
psny15
1 year ago
Reply to  Caroline

this is perfectly valid question and while i do carry my bags abroad – i do not wear my jewelry or watches when i travel abroad – abroad has to do with familiarity of location (what to avoid etc.) rather than xenophobia!

Canuck85
Canuck85
1 year ago
Reply to  Caroline

Xenophobic?? Seriously, can nobody ask a question without a weird connotation?

Kasha
Kasha
1 year ago
Reply to  Caroline

@caroline, I was thinking exactly the same. It seems the writer assumes (a) all readers live in the United States, and (b) places beyond US borders are dangerous. Unfortunately no one caught this prior to publication and it’s a poor reflection of the Purse Blog & Purse Forum, as many readers of both do not live in the United States.

Brenda
Brenda
1 year ago
Reply to  Caroline

Increased risk of theft and damage at the airport, in the hotel and customs. That’s not xenophobic

Kameron
Kameron
1 year ago
Reply to  Caroline

I don’t see it as the idea that abroad is more dangerous. Home can be dangerous too—it’s just that at home, you know what to avoid and how to get along within your own culture. At home, there are still places I don’t go after dark, where I don’t carry a flashy bag, don’t take public transportation, etc. When traveling abroad, you are naturally more vulnerable because you don’t have a sense of those things, might not speak the language, etc. and you don’t know how to navigate well to avoid risk.

What’s more xenophobic IMO is going to a new locale and never stepping foot outside of a fancy resort. People who intend to explore a new destination might naturally be more cautious.

N R
N R
1 year ago
Reply to  Caroline

Seriously?! Abroad can be more dangerous. It just depends which country you’re talking about.

Caroline
Caroline
1 year ago
Reply to  N R

Yes “seriously.” If you can’t understand that, you are part of the problem.

Sofia
Sofia
1 year ago
Reply to  Caroline

You’re laughable. In any other city you are a tourist; tourists are targeted. Even a New Yorker is a tourist in Paris, rome, london – to name a few top cities with lower crime rates than nyc. My family from Chicago was robbed silly on the Parisian subway – and you can’t compare the high crime rates of Chicago with Paris. Whatever third world country you’re from and you feel safe in, best believe a tourist visiting there would be a target for theft or worse, just as you’d still be targeted in ‘safe’ cities. But you must have a serious inferiority complex about your home to pick on smt like that.

N R
N R
1 year ago
Reply to  Caroline

I am from one of the countries that could be considered unsafe for female travelers specially the ones with expensive items on them. It’s not xenophobic to talk about these things. I learnt what not to do at an early age and tourists should be warned about them too.

Caroline
Caroline
1 year ago
Reply to  N R

So am I. So what?
But you seem to look at the Purseblog issues with blinders. This is a recurring theme both on the blog and in TPF. It’s comforting my decision to never post in the forum anymore.

K Diamond
K Diamond
1 year ago
Reply to  Caroline

Good Riddance…less drama.
There’s always a bozo that needs their thimb and a safe space.

N R
N R
1 year ago
Reply to  Caroline

So this. Convenience and safety are practical travel issues.
People should be allowed to pose questions and have this discussion without being accused of xenophobia.

Mopsy
Mopsy
1 year ago
Reply to  N R

So phrase it ‘Do you wear your nice bags travelling’. Caroline did not make an unreasonable point that the title smacks of stereotypical US arrogance and ignorance.

N R
N R
1 year ago
Reply to  Mopsy

I think casually throwing around terms like xenophobia is unreasonable.
And yes, some countries/cities/towns/neighborhoods are more unsafe than others. Making a choice based on that knowledge is common sense not xenophobia.

chip
chip
1 year ago
Reply to  Mopsy

Abroad is a generic term. It just means a country outside your home country. I don’t live in the US and we also ask this question. What do you pack when going abroad? Should I bring designer stuff abroad? Jeez.
But yes, I bring low key items. Small, non-descript jewelry and understated bags. It also depends on what I will be doing during the trip.

Carolina D
Carolina D
1 year ago

The comments on this article are very strange. People want to feel oppressed so badly…
To me, this article wasn’t about feeling unsafe in other countries with designer goods but rather, is the packing worth being ultra fabulous on a short trip (whether it’s a few days or a few weeks)
Is it worth possibly crushing your bag in your luggage or risking the airlines possibly losing your baggage?
When I travel, I usually only bring 1-2 designer bags. One being my personal item and the other in a hard case carryon trunk (I got mine from Calpak and it’s been great so far)
This has been the only solution that has worked for me. No loss or damage to my bags and no paranoia for me 🤣

Carolina D
Carolina D
1 year ago
Reply to  Carolina D

Also, unfortunately SOME countries are not the safest place to carry a designer bag. Like my native Brasil. When I go home to visit family in Rio, I either bring a small no logo bag like my bottega loop or a non designer item.

Just A Girl
Just A Girl
1 year ago

As a general principal whether I am traveling abroad or in the US I have found that most pick pockets and thieves hang out where the pickings are easy which usually means tourist areas. The most important thing I do is make sure my bags aren’t easily accessible. I also avoid backpacks as the last time I was mugged they used the backpack to physically control me by pulling me backward before they took my stuff. Forget the bag. It is losing your ID that is the real problem.

Samantha
Samantha
1 year ago
Reply to  Just A Girl

I’m sorry this happened to you. I carry backpacks when I travel and wear them in the front. It looks awkward, but I feel I can better thwart a pickpocket. However, maybe I shouldn’t carry one because I may not be as safe as I believe.

J H
J H
1 year ago

I travel to France usually two or three times per year. I carry a Louis Vuitton Pochette Metis that I wear as a crossbody bag and sometimes bring a Chanel crossbody bag along in my luggage if I want to switch bags or want something a bit smaller for some days/evenings. The Pochette Metis is a wonderful travel purse — it holds more than it looks like it does and the zippered pocket in the back is perfect for my passport. I started with the crossbody style after I caught someone redhanded in my Louis Vuitton Artsy on Metro Line 4 near the Cite station. Now, when I travel to places with pickpockets, I stick to one of my crossbody bags and leave everything else at home. If I am not concerned about pickpockets, I carry any of my bags but usually only one or two bags for the trip.

work_for_Purse
work_for_Purse
1 year ago
Reply to  J H

I agree with J H. LV is best for travel. I usually carry Speedy B so i have option to carry by hand or shoulder.

lalarey
lalarey
1 year ago

There are a number of reasons to consider this without being xenophobic. Having your bad stolen sucks, wherever you are. That said, you might be more likely to be robbed in an unfamiliar place, whether that’s another country, or even in NYC if you’re from a small town and you look like an easy mark because you’re looking around wide-eyed at the billboards and distinctive architecture. Add to that being in a foreign country where you are unfamiliar with your options for recourse. Having your wallet or phone stolen in a foreign country is a whole new level of headache that makes it a very serious consideration when deciding which bag to wear. I don’t wear my designer bags out and about during the day and in touristy areas but I will bring them if we’re going straight from the hotel to dinner or the theater.

Samantha
Samantha
1 year ago
Reply to  lalarey

This was me on my first trip to NYC, years ago. Getting off a bus someone hit my back. I confronted him, but my husband rushed me away. He stole $700 in cashier’s checks from my purse, but I was reimbursed. Lesson learned.

Terri
Terri
1 year ago

I only carry my bags in countries that I feel safe.
I got pickpocketed in some countries before and even got my rental van window smashed once! Good thing there was nothing inside except for a pair of sunglasses and a jacket.
I store my valuables in hidden compartments in my jacket or use a belt bag and wear a jacket/coat on top. Not exactly fashionable but it does the trick.

Eleni
Eleni
1 year ago

I do absolutely when I travel home to Greece I use my Goyard ST Louis, my Prada crossbody, my Prada white shoulder bag and my Loewe basket bag usually are my go to’s sometimes I will also pack my Dior Saddle bag too

Biogirl
Biogirl
1 year ago

I try to bring one really small bag for quick walks and one larger one for most of my sight-seeing to shove in things for every possibility. If it fits a light raincoat or umbrella, all the better! I don’t worry so much about brands but I do try to bring more subtle bags without lots of logos for security. I also try to make sure at least one of the bags can withstand rain, but that’s a toughie since many luxury bags aren’t meant to get wet…

beebee
beebee
1 year ago

I usually carry my nylon Longchamp. Mostly, because it is convenient and I do not have to worry about damaging my holy grail bag.

Turtle
Turtle
1 year ago

I usually bring 3-4 bags that are more discreet, with a couple serving dual purposes:
1. Longchamp Le Pliage (used as a purse, for day trips, or sometimes to protect the pricier bags)
2. Prada Nylon crossbody (sometimes worn with the logo facing inwards) or patent Burberry crossbody for sightseeing
3. BV pouch or LV epi pochette for dinners out (which doubles as a bag organizer)

When traveling function and throw-around-ability are my main priorities while also feeling like I’m carrying bags that “feel like me”.

HotSundae
HotSundae
1 year ago

There are several things you risk when bringing pricey bags – getting targeted by pickpockets, getting the bag damaged in transit or stolen at any point (from checked luggage, from a hotel room, by a mugger). In Paris, there’s also the risk that if the bag is questioned by customs and believed to be a fake that it could be confiscated and destroyed. I know some folks have had their Mcqueen knuckle clutches taken because airport security thought they were weapons. These are all rare and extreme cases, but not worth the risk, at least not to me. I would rather relax and enjoy my vacation. The fanciest bag I have brought on any trip was a crossbody by Clare V. No loud logos or labels. I lived in NYC for years and have traveled all over the world and have never been pickpocketed or mugged once. (Knocks on wood).

Klara P
Klara P
1 year ago

To me, it is all about if the occasion calls for and if it requires special attention. So Chanel Classics? yes, because they are light and easy to pack, also versatile say day to night. And anything else unstructured can come along. I don’t take structured bags when travel. Did it once because I bought it while traveling, never again. Structured bags while traveling is a royal pain.

Aspen
Aspen
1 year ago

This PC bullshit is too much. It’s just an article. Abroad is any place that isn’t your “home” country. The USA can be abroad for people. Some people are also not used to traveling or know travel etiquette and become targets. It’s a fine topic to discuss.

Evergreen602
Evergreen602
1 year ago

Well, I tend towards lighter packing, partly for practicality and partly to allow room for purchases if I plan to shop while on vacation. If you plan to return with some “souvenirs” I would consider that with planning your outfits.

Ali R.
Ali R.
1 year ago

Great timing! I am currently in London, then heading to Paris. I struggled with what bag(s) to bring. Wearing my cream LV Pochette Métis for daily wear and i also brought my black Dior Caro, I prefer crossbody when traveling and the Pochette Metis is a great travel bag! I’d also thought about bringing my Loewe Puzzle, but wrong color for this trip. I have never had any issues with pickpockets, but keep my crossbody in front of me in crowds and use common sense. I’m also older so don’t go out late haha.

Samantha
Samantha
1 year ago
Reply to  Ali R.

My last trip to Paris was 3 years ago. The Eiffel Tower attracts a lot of people, including pickpockets. I had groups of young girls approach me, with clipboards, asking if I was American because they were taking a “poll”. Ha! Also, there were police carrying assault rifles to thwart thieves. Anyway, I also wear my crossbody in front & pay attention to my surroundings.

Hervé
Hervé
1 year ago
Reply to  Samantha

LOL the military agents with assault rifles are part of the anti-terrorism plan. Nothing to do with thwarting thieves.

Tallison
Tallison
1 year ago

I use a medium Givenchy nightingale as my carryon when checking bags. It is flexible and not too heavy, but can fit under a seat, and when in country isn’t too absurdly large to be styled as a day bag. I also brought a YSL tribute tote to France this fall in my checked baggage, perfectly flat and large enough to toss a loaf of bread in! And a clutch (I think an old Jimmy Choo). My secret to packing “light” is to plan a color story that all clothes and accessories fit into. So in other words, black/grey bags and shoes but not tan/brown or vice versa. I inevitably end up not bringing one of my absolute favorites, but I feel successful if I don’t come home with too many “extras” I didn’t wear. The bags I bring are luxury but not logo or the it bag of the moment. My style in general favors IYKYK bags, and I’d like to bring all of my bags in heavy rotation but it isn’t practical for packing!

SusanW
SusanW
1 year ago

Great thread and timely! I’ll be traveling to Paris/Nice/Provence for two weeks next month and already am thinking the bag issue. I love fashion but travel very light (gone from the large Hartmann suitcases to a 22 inch on wheelies). Shoes are more the problem for me since I hate wearing sneakers but want to feel comfortable on cobblestones and while walking. Re the bag, I am being very cautious. Two of my friends had bad episodes in Paris in the last two years. One had the bottom of her bag sliced open with a boxcutter on the Metro (cash, cards, passport all gone) and the other had her wallet lifted at a nice restaurant. I’ve lived in NYC my whole life, travel everywhere on the subway, and never had a problem … but when you are a tourist you are preoccupied and distracted. So I’m taking a leather (no suede or fabric) mid-sized bucket bag for day wear (lots of inner compartments) and a small carry bag for evenings out. Nothing very high end or flashy. Ditto any jewelry. Let’s have fantastic and safe trips … wishing you and mom the best!

Simone
Simone
1 year ago

I need to be able to relax on holiday so I don’t always opt to take one of my bags away but Paris is somewhere it feels nice to give them an outing. Taking anymore than 2-3 would make me anxious though! Paris isn’t showy so something understated you’d be fine with.

Ami
Ami
1 year ago

Pack light when going to Paris, Why? Because you want that extra space to shop for designer goods! 🙂
As for traveling abroad, I pick 2 of the most lightweight bags I have. I realized that the aches I feel when traveling can be attributed to bags that are heavy and the wrong footwear. Now I rotate between a Longchamp crossbody, Prada nylon bag and a Marc Jacobs canvas bag when I travel. All 3 have zippers too. I’d love to get a Goyard Artois for travel too.

Reesie
Reesie
1 year ago

I never carry any of my luxury bags on vacation. I always want to but I am worried they will get ruined somehow, weather, spills, and I don’t want to stick it on the floor under the seat on the airplane! lol..I do always want to take one but I never do. (Crazy purse girl) I do rotate daily in my home state!!!

Slim
Slim
1 year ago

I carry a tote and crossbody. My choice is based upon location travelling to and season. I never carried my Chanel bags while traveling, it’s my personal choice.

Slim
Slim
1 year ago

Wow, a simple question was asked and outrageous responses! The word CAUTIOUS is to be taken EVERYWHERE AROUND THE WORLD, PERIOD!!!

Yas
Yas
1 year ago

Yes I usually plan for my outfit but in one trip for 4 days should be 2 colors ex. Red and Black only, 1 week for 3 colors, 10 days should be 4 to 5. To save space and weight for my luggage.

Passerine
Passerine
1 year ago

I don’t see the question as xenophobic — I live in Europe and ask myself the same thing when I travel back to the U.S. Esp if going to cities like Philadelphia. I love Phila and lived there for years (Rittenhouse Square, Chestnut Hill, Washington Square, etc) but the current level of crime really bothers me and makes me think twice about wearing or carrying anything that could make me a target.

In Europe, that’s less of an issue. Ditto for Singapore. We travel mostly to Milan, Vienna, Paris, throughout Switzerland, and Singapore, all places we’ve been to many times and know quite well. I take only 2-3 bags though — a day bag, an evening bag, and a “breakfast bag” — a small informal bag that I can wear cross-body while hitting the breakfast buffet. Although I have a decent collection of premium designer bags, I tend to default to my LV Trevi PM as my travel day bag. It holds everything I need without being oversized, it’s waterproof, there aren’t a lot of fake Trevi PMs around these days (if there ever were) and it has a very clever anti-pickpocket feature baked into its design. Plus I still think it’s one of the best mid-sized bags LV ever produced and after 10+ years of regular use, it’s still in excellent condition inside and out.

seattleminimalist
seattleminimalist
1 year ago

Depends on how you define “nice.”

I do wear my nice vintage Coach bags that were made in the U.S.A. when I travel. They’re unique and the full-grain glove-tanned leather gets plenty of compliments. 🙂

Stephanie
Stephanie
1 year ago

I usually always bring my small Fendi Peekaboo on my trips to Europe. It’s versatile- it fits into my Tumi Carson backpack as like an inside organiser, and it can also fit a lot, and matches everything (Being black/gold). Once at my destination I just pull it out. If I have more space I will also bring my LV Pochette Metis.