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Backpack vs Handbag (HELP!)

16 Mar 2011 Rachel asked


So I am tossing up whether to take both or to just take one or the other?
Can anyone help me with deciding? What are your opinions for past travellers?

What are the pros and cons?

  • Read the responses 8 responses so far
  • 16 Mar 2011 JackDarcy said


    Both backpack and handbag is necessary while traveling. Handbag must be light to carry so keep essential belongings like water bottle, napkin, camera etc. In backpack keep other weighted stuff like clothes. It will surely help in easy and comfortable traveling.

  • 17 Mar 2011 Kaz said


    I took a backpack last time. On the plane and tour I had my handbag in the top of the backpack (thus one carry on bag) but would leave my backpack on the bus during the days (it may have snacks or warmer stuff or your travel pillow in it on the bus) and then my satchel/handbag was big enough for camera, water, passport, wallet and all the stuff I want on me everywhere in. I then also had a smaller handbag (purchased on tour) for when we went out in evenings to clubs etc where you didnt need to take your water bottle, maps and that extra stuff

  • 17 Mar 2011 Rachel said


    Thanks for the comments! I was thinking of taking both so i can also leave stuff on the bus like you said Kaz! I just thought maybe a backpack would be easier on my day trips and walking around if i buy things, as then my shoulder won’t get sore from carrying it on the one side! But both of your opinions are a big help!!!! Thanks!

  • 17 Mar 2011 Kaz said


    Get a bag that goes across your body. You can swap sides to give it a break, but less heavy across your body like satchels rather than handbag on one shoulder.

  • 17 Mar 2011 Naomi said


    I think it depends where you are going. In Europe a backpack will attract pickpockets. Meet your needs halfway – a satchel. I took a large black leather satchel to Europe, worked for day and night.

  • 21 Mar 2011 Lindsey said


    Basically as long as the pockets on your bag are ‘closed’ – by zippers or flaps etc – I reckon you’re fine. The main thing is not to stand out as a tourist. Just use common sense.

  • 21 Mar 2011 Rachel said


    Thank you all for your suggestions! They are all very handy and helpful!!
    I recently bought a Caribee Backpack, and if anything i would put a lock of some sort on the pocket that had my valuables in it!
    Still a hard decision on which one to take, but i guess i will end up deciding last minute (or just take both)!

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