the art of travel

If you have been reading this site for at least the past month, you will realize that I travel very regularly. Many times within the States, to NYC and Ohio to see family, but I am also an avid traveler abroad, mostly Europe. This trip to Spain has been amazing, providing us the most beautiful weather and eye opening experience. I always knew that many large European tourist cities have a plethora of tourist traps, but Barcelona and Madrid have seemed to show a little more this trip. I absolutely love both cities for different reasons. The art of Gaudi in Barcelona is absolutely stunning, the Madrid Royal Palace is breathtaking, but the cities are infested with those who can easily pick a tourist out of the crowd and lure them in. I am by no means calling myself perfect, but I have not been sucked in. Since Vlad and I are in Europe regularly, he has taught me the ropes of many of the different countries and cities and I am more ‘street smart’. Even better is that most people think I am German rather than American. I can not tell you how many times someone asks me in German where I am from in Germany, it always makes me laugh. I suppose Vlad’s growing up in Germany has rubbed off on me! The fact of the matter is in the big cities many people are looking for an easy rob; most of these people are not looking to hurt you, rather grab your wallet and run. Even better, grab your entire purse. I brought two bags on this trip, my Rebecca Minkoff Wine Matinee and my Bird Handbags Ostrich Lil Lady. Both have perks in navigating the crowded streets where people are looking to grab and go with your belongings. For the Rebecca Minkoff Matinee if someone wanted to unzip and steal something, that proves to be near impossible. I love every single extra added pocket, some even hidden! Becky has said that she would like to re-vamp the Matinee and remove some pockets, but having all of these hidden compartments has been nothing but a savior for me. Either way I still must carry this bag close to my body and hold tight. This way, if anyone is going to try to take it they will have to pull it out of my lifeless arms. The perk of the Bird Handbags Lil Lady is that it is worn across my shoulder, but I can hold it in front of my body very easily. The long strap allows the bag to have a large shoulder drop, making it simple to pull it forward and carry it close. A downside of this bag is the open top, which can be reached into, but when I hold it close to my body it is not an issue. So both of these bags are fairing well right now, as I interchange them. But the trend I see here, even with the locals, is that they all carry their bags in front of their bodies. This makes it more of a confrontation if someone is to try to steal the bag or the contents. I am by no means scared walking through the streets of Spain, but I am a tad more cautious. Then again, this could happen in any city in the US.

So my question is: what is the perfect travel bag for you? Do you take into account the area you are in?

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Share Your Thoughts With Us

  • katkooty

    i love my Gucci indys when i travel cause of the shoulder strap so i can carry it in front of me. for comfort, it has to be a BV hobo, its light so sight-seeing doesnt have to be a chore! and i love the Fendi Buckle bags because its so hard to open!i remember having the same feelings of fear in London’s Tube, so i used to carry a Dior gaucho shoulder bag. Its like a matinee, a thousand slots and zippers and because the zippers are on the inside, its hard for anyone to reach out and open it.

  • Brooke

    I am leaving for Assisi, Florence, and Rome today, but I have been to many places in Europe. I am really cautious. For this trip I am bringing my Chloe Paddington for two reasons. First, It doesnt have the “label” writtin all over it, unlike my favorite LV’s(love you still)..and Second, it has a HUGE padlock which i have locked i have made impossible for anyone to simply reach into my bag and take stuff. I guess I am only susceptible for someone stealing it completely or cut the straps as I have heard so many theives do in Italy, but I will be on gaurd..Nobody can take on my Chloe and I!!! hehe :mrgreen:

  • sophia

    i always carry my kipling nylon bag when i go travelling – its light and in a sling so i can hold it infront of me plus they have this key chain thingy attached inside the bag that u can attach your wallet too so no one is able to grab and run with just ur wallet alone. since its nylon i can dump my passport, wallet, umbrella, spare glasses, pouch containing medication, makeup pouch & mobile phone & a small water bottle…the only problems is getting service at high end boutiques with a kipling bag…

    my cousin carried a camper messenger bag infront of her on londons tube – her wallet, ipod were all stolen.

    • katkooty

      yeah, i can imagine, especially in Europe… unless your so decked out in designer, they wont give u good service. But i guess its also cause their boutiques (Paris, London, Milan) are soo crowded all the time so they pick and choose their customers perhaps?

  • nvie

    I agree with sophia, nylon bags are the best for travelling. I always carry my faithful Classic Hobo LeSportSac to most places. It’s light and expandable, I throw in everything including umbrella and water bottle. Except for countries which are safer like Singapore or Hong Kong, I like to carry Gucci Abbey Large shoulder bag or LV Popincourt Haut. I prefer shoulder bags with zip closure. They are the best.

  • Elle

    I have a special ‘combo’ for trips :wink: ….Large piton/nylon PRADA bag + Gucci waist bag inside (for money, tickets, etc) and black nylon prada or nilla leather prada (both half moon shaped)when dining out. Fit perfectly¡¡¡ :smile:

  • Elle

    And yesss I do take account where I am (black nylon PRADA bag is unobtrusive) …Royal Palace surroundings in Madrid,like any typpical tourist destination, you´d better watch out. Even in Hong Kong you can find dangerous places¡¡¡ No better place to stroll than Tokio :cool: with its Ginza boutiques.

  • Lauren

    I always took a nylon shoulder bag with me too that I constantly kept in front of me. Even when you’re eating you have to keep it on your person. I’ve had friends lose laptops in airports and purses from underneath their chair at cafes. Europe or any big city is so awful for that, you have to be constantly on guard and not only for thieves but just scammers looking to get a naive tourist.

  • sophia

    totally forgot to add – what my aunt does is to carry her LV handbag with her but places it inside a huge sling across lesport bag. so when she enters “snooty” places, she folds up her lesport bag & you get a LV bag!

    however, last time (long long ago when we were allowed 2 carry-ons), i had place my handbag inside my longchamp tote bag & cabin size wheelie bag, i was stopped at australian security because apparently, according to the female security guard) “nobody carries a tote bag as a hand-bag” and someone else who had a handbag, a cabin size wheelie and a vanity case had no problems bringing all that into the plane…

    so does anyone have any ideas/cures for when security refuses to let u carry ur tote bag into the cabin and insists it be sent into cargo what would you do?

  • Barb

    How funny Megs mentions the loss of ones bag in Barcelona! My sister went to Barcelona several years ago and had that happen to her while in front of her hotel!! Made for a nightmare trip as nothing of real value aside from her passport was in the bag!! And I should mention she does not have the designer purse bug that I have acquired!! I would mourn my bag more than anything else!! But she spent many hours trying to get her passport replaced instead of being the tourist!! The last trip I was on I carried my white basketweave RM MAM. She was great and gathered many compliments. Fit right in with the warm spring weather in AZ. I see that Meg also has this bag in her collection. Great tastes think alike! :roll:

  • dela

    What my mother does is keep all her valuables in a secret zipper compartments and in the main compartment she puts a cheap decoy wallet with some money so that a thief might think they are getting away with something. I have heard many times when a thief doesn’t find something they are looking for they end up snatching your entire bag. I think they are well aware that most women have hidden little compartments in their bags.
    I always carry my passport and imp documents on me (no one is going to reach into my shirt, atleast I hope not) and it does get a bit uncomfortable. I carry a stylish bag with some cash and essentials on my arm. That way even if it gets stolen I am not going to loose too much sleep. Also, nevery forget to make a photo copy of your passport and keep in the hotel room.

  • nvie

    My mom travels with a handmade flat cosmetic size waist pouch with elastic band which she hides under her pants. She keeps her passport in there with some money.

    Her bag was stolen while she was in Germany from her hotel room in the middle of the night. Her roommate left the balcony door open and both were not aware until the next morning. She went through so much trouble just to have a new passport because of our country’s regulation. She carries a Deluxe Everyday LeSportSac while travelling.

    Rule of thumb, be aware of your surrounding no matter where you are.

  • FPW

    I love traveling with my LV drawstring with the ease of putting my Longchamp tote inside if needed for a lighter load. Both are secure and capable of carrying many items.

  • Andrea

    Going through security drives me crazy when I have my laptop. I want to get my laptop out and on the belt and back into my bag as quickly as possible- for everyone’s sake. The best bags are the ones that have separate compartments for your laptop because they you don’t have to worry about taking it out of you bag and your laptop sleeve. These are really hard to find though. . .

  • Andrea

    Meadowmere Lane has bags with padded laptop compartments- really good for speedy security line processing: