It’s getting to be that time of year when we start poring over travel magazines and planning summer excursions. By nature, I’m slightly neurotic and I like to research where I’ll be and what’s my best plan of attack…in fashion. Handbags are a huge concern.
It seems as if there are two definitive camps in the cross body debate. Yes, your hands are free, but your boobs are segregated in that oh-so-unflattering-way. On the one hand, you’re more protected from a pickpocket, but when you wear a cross body bag, in Europe especially, it screams, “Tourist with a passport!” You’d do well to just write that on your forehead. It’s the same result.
The local women, especially in Paris and Rome, (where they frighten you with stories of gypsies and vagabond rouges,) leave their tote bags carelessly hanging open as they stand near the Metro. I’ve seen it. You know that pinched up face people get when they’re changing a poopy diaper? That’s the look a lot of us Americans have when we’re forced into a closed quarters situation with “Them.” We hang on tightly to our stuff and hope that we’re giving off a “va via” (go away) vibe.
While I’m all for safety and being responsible, I think that when we’re already out of our comfort zone, the worst thing to do is compound that by going out of our comfort zone with our belongings. If you’re normally not a cross body kind of gal, you probably have a reason for it. Personally, I find that they’re too small. When I’m in the store stuffing the paper wrappings into other bags to see the inside, (yes, that’s me,) it always seems big enough. (I hate that look of a warped overstuffed purse banging against my hip.) Yet, when I get home and add a wallet, sunglasses and a ridiculous stuffed dog I bring on vacation, it’s not as roomy.
I think the lure of the cross body is not in the bag, but in the strap…the strap that comes with most purses. Huh. While you should clean your bag out of extraneous items before you leave, you are probably better off using the one you carry every day. I’m assuming to some degree that you’re not toting a giant bag with all the hardware; that can be heavy. You have to be reasonable in what you’re willing to carry through the course of a day. A bulky bag may be a deterrent in cafes if they have to perch on your lap. Most of us girls manage with a medium-sized bag so it’s not a problem.
A thing you must consider, in some attractions like historical buildings and museums, if your bag is too large, you may have to check it. Nothing renders me “deer in the headlights” like leaving my bag in a foreign closet check. You don’t want to black out in the Sistine Chapel because you’re obsessing about your abandoned purse back in the lobby. You never want to be separated from your gear. You want your possessions easily accessible to you, but safe from everyone else.
What do you carry every day? It’s funny how we think about travel bags as something we only use on a trip. As a veteran purse carrier, you already know the drill; keep your bag zipped and your hand on the handles. Enough said.