Fumbling through the abyss of my travel tote, struggling to find my passport, folks behind me in the security check line were getting impatient. Similar scenes happened throughout the trip with my brand new travel tote. Yes, it was stylish, and yes, it held lots of stuff. However, the bag wasn’t practical.
I’ve tried lots of bags and travel gadgets over the years and learned that the right bag can make or break a trip.
I have two bags I never travel without. They are suitable for every age, gender, and style. Each is durable, super organized, cleanable, and comes in different colors. Both are readily available and budget-friendly. One is a shoulder bag and the other is a toiletry organizer.
1. Travelon Anti-Theft Crossbody Bag
This bag isn’t just for travel but for daily use. I carry it every day. I’ve used a Travelon shoulder bag for 12 years and I just bought my third one. So, I got six years each of daily use from the first two. This is the best made bag of any kind I’ve owned, hands-down.
What’s So Good About It?
The construction and materials are high quality and extraordinarily durable. In addition, it has all the pockets and organizing space a fastidious traveler like myself could wish for. I love the outside pocket that is precisely the right size for my smartphone. The magnetic snap cover keeps it secure but handy.
An outside zipper pocket with metal latching hardware holds my passport when traveling internationally. It is secure from pickpockets but easily accessible to me. I’ve found a place for all I need in one of over a dozen zippered pouches, open pockets, hooks, and RFID-blocking credit card slots. Even my tablet fits in the main compartment.
The main reason I bought my first Travelon was because the inside is not black. Instead, the soft but heavy-duty lining is a pale gray. I enjoyed being able to see the contents of my bag without pulling out a flashlight. Since that first purchase, I have adopted the Travelon as my forever shoulder bag for its many other features.
Let’s Talk Hardware
What is one of the first things that breaks on any bag? The zipper, of course. All Travelon’s hardware is rugged. In 12 years, I never had any kind of hardware failure. Believe me, I’ve put them through their paces. I haven’t even lost a tab from a zipper. If it does happen, Travelon will replace the bag at no cost and no questions asked.
Another thing I like about the hardware is its size. No little zipper tabs or petite latches that my arthritic hands will fumble. I not only use them efficiently, but I can also see them.
Security Is Essential
Purse snatching is often a reality, especially in bustling tourist destinations. So the crossbody bag’s first security feature is the extra long adjustable strap that allows you to wear it across your body, making it less of a target than a shoulder bag.
For the thief that might use a blade to cut the strap, Travelons have two flexible steel braided cables inside the strap. For the crook eyeing your bag hanging on a sidewalk café chair, you can unhook one end of the strap, pass it through the chair’s railing, then re-attach it to the bag.
The fabric is tightly woven, slash resistant, and water repellent. It comes in six colors. All have a light gray lining.
I’ve purchased my three Travelon bags from Amazon. Find one in your favorite color: Travelon Anti-Theft Cross Body Bag.
2. AvaJax Travel Toiletry Organizer
At last, I can get all my toiletries in one bag that isn’t another black hole where toothpaste goes to die. To make it even better, it unfolds to give access to everything. Then, you can hang it with the attached swivel hook. Bye-bye to the ‘no counter space in the hotel bathroom problem.’
A Universal Bag
My travel partner wasn’t interested when I offered to get him one before our 60-day Europe trip. Instead, he said while holding his ancient man’s shaving bag, “This was good enough for dad; it’s good enough for me.” He changed his mind a week into our trip after packing and unpacking his assorted small totes and plastic bags with his assortment of toiletries, lotions, and potions. He saw that one bag holding it all was a good idea for either gender.
Kevin’s now an AvaJex convert and uses his red bag for his shave gear, skincare, haircare, bath needs, supplements, and prescriptions.
Plenty Of Room
This bag is spacious. There is plenty of room for larger-sized items. Six zipped pockets make organization easy. Some pockets are breathable netting, while others are plastic. All materials are water repellant and cleanable.
I purchased my AvaJax from Amazon. Find one for your next journey here: Avajax Travel Toiletry Organizer.
Enjoy these two excellent, travel-writer-tested bags for your next travel adventure. I highly recommend these bags and I will buy them again for myself or as a gift.
Note: I purchased all of these bags. They were not gifts from the manufacturers or Amazon. The reviews are my opinion.
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