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Best Crossbody Bags for Travel: Women Over 40, 50 & 60 [Updated]

cross body travel purses handbags for women

by Tina Boomerina (Christina Gregoire)

The best women’s travel purses are crossbody bags or shoulder bags. If your handbag leaves both hands free, you’ll be able to pull your luggage and search for your ticket without having to stop and set everything down.

And, if you’re over 50 or 60, you’re probably carry more junk (beauty items, accessories, medications) than when you were a carefree, backpacking hippie.

Crossbody Handbags for Women

What is the best style of purse for travel?

crossbody large bags for traveling womenWell, if you’re going to the beach on Maui or spending your days on a cruise ship, the answer will be different than if you’re going slumming on the Paris Metro. Hey, a straw tote, a drawstring crossbody, or a tiny clutch with a strap is perfectly fine for beach chic and sea days.

However, if you’re a gal on the go (in Paris or any other big city), you’ll probaby want a slim, zippered crossbody bag that leaves one hand free for dragging your suitcase and another hand free for holding onto a ticket, an umbrella, or a cup of coffee… or, to hang onto a railing as you go down some steep, old, wobbly stairs… you’re balance ain’t what it used to be.

Small Cross Body Bags for Travel

There are times in Europe when a smaller crossbody or shoulder purse is better. When I need to lug more junk (usually when it’s wintery), I carry a large day bag around town. Then, I slip a smaller crossbody clutch or small purse (with a strap) into my day bag. That way I can stash my day bag when necessary and take my little purse, with my meds and credit cards, with me. This is a good strategy when you’ll be going to out to dinner or going to a museum that doesn’t allow large bags or backpacks.

Across Body Handbags With Zippers

In my opinion, a great travel bag (for Europe) must have a zip top. Totes or flap-top purses with magnetic snaps just don’t cut it. And, if you can find one with an adjustable strap, so the purse can become a regular shoulder bag, that’s even better.

If you can’t find a zippered bag you like, you must find something with a good closure. Without that, the contents of your bag will spill across the floor when your taxi driver slams on the brakes (to back up on a one-way street) in Rome or when your Vaporetto floats to a stop on the rolling wakes of Venice.

In the UK, stores use various phrases for crossbody bags, a handbag with a strap that goes across the chest:

  • Across body purse
  • Over body bag
  • Cross over handbag
  • Across the chest purse
  • Messenger bag or sling bag (smaller)


read about travel handbags

Across Body Bags for Travel 2015

Leather Crossbody Bags

Personally, I look for crossbody bags that are slim, but large (around 10” x 10” or slightly larger). That way they won’t add bulk to my silhouette, but they’ll still hold everything I need for the day.

I bought my fave leather crossbody (Peter Kent) when I was in Argentina, ages ago. But, the following styles are the type you should look for:

Nylon Crossbody Handbags:

If you want a purse that’s extremely lightweight, get a nylon travel bag. You can find everything from expensive designer styles, like the Prada Nylon Crossbody Bag, to cheap knockoffs at stores like Target. Here are a few nylon travel bags that I like:

If you want something a little different, in a cool print, check this out:

Large Crossbody Bags for Travel

If you need something big, here's the type of bag you'll want:

Designer Crossbody Bags

Here's another great option:

  • Michael Kors Jet Set Large Crossbody Bag: This MK bag is designed for travel. It's a great size and it's like he listened to me when he designed this. I love his blue handbags, but it also comes in black, white, or a rich, nautical red.
read about the best crossbody shoulder handbags for travel

Women's Crossbody Shoulder Handbags for Travel

My Crossbody Travel Handbag

One of my coolest travel purses is a hippie-trippy style from Sakroots.

  • Sakroots Artist Circle Crossbody:  This bag is made out of cotton canvas and I have a similar bag in black that I've worn for 3 years. I like the outside pocket for temporarily stashing things like train tickets. It's cool and boho and just the right size, and it comes with a decent pricetag.

I will be getting something a bit larger soon because I need to take so much medicine and other junk. I'm not sure what it will be yet. However, all of these travel handbags are adorable.

These are just some of the cute crossbody bags out there, so look around to find the perfect size and fabric. All of the purses I've mentioned are perfect for travel, but you'll love them so much, you'll wear them when you get home.

More Articles for Baby Boomer Women:

Daytime Cruise Wear for Women With Style

How to Wear Leggings if You're Over 40 or 50

Best Sites for Women's Travel Wear: Wrinkle Free Clothing

Women Over 40, 50 & 60: Parisian Style Details

Photo Credits: Prshots.com

  • If you came from Pinterest, I had to update the photos. All of the photos I lost came from House  of Fraser or LaRedoute. Or ask in comments.
  • Main Photo: House of  Fraser.
  • Travel Handbags for Women: Accessorize.
  • Across Body Bag for Travel: House of  Fraser spring 2015 (2), Desa A/W14.
  • Women's Crossbody Shoulder Handbags for Travel: House of   Fraser.

What do you think of this article? Leave a comment at the bottom of the page.

Tina Boomerina (AKA Christina Gregoire) is a Baby Boomer born at the end of 1952. Her mission is to make the internet a kinder and gentler place for Baby Boomer women around the world. Tina's specialty is fashion for women over 50.

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1 Comment

  1. Betty

    Great advise