I am going on the Europe Express and deciding whether or not to just bring a side purse or a backpack? I have been looking into backpacks but cannot seem to find one that I like or on that looks safe. I have found so many and they all have so many pockets and it is hard. If there are any suggestions, please let know!!



Good topic! I was actually going to post a similar question.

I am really undecided on whether to take a backpack or messenger/satchel bag.

What I have figured so far:
Backpack Pro’s: Much more comfortable to wear & can probably fit more into it. Weight is evenly distributed.
Backpack Cons: Easier for pick-pocketers & thieves to get into, don’t want to get in the way of other people wearing one, backpacks scream ‘tourist’.

Messenger Bag/Satchel Pros: Seems safer because you can wear across the body so you can see it at all times, easy access for wallet, water bottle etc.
Messenger Bag/Satchel Cons: Worn over 1 shoulder which can become uncomfortable, Uneven weight distribution.

What are peoples thoughts on this? What have others taken travelling & what has worked best? Would love to hear all opinions :slight_smile:


I have a safe money bag and back packpack for those things that wont fin in my large bag I plan on not taking much with me during the day money and water thats about it in my safe over the sholder bag


I was wondering the same thing, as I have both options. I’m going on a 16 day Eastern Spirit tour and am also unsure about these things. I have this shoulder bag that I took to Bali in 2010 that served me well, but the only downside was there wasn’t enough space for a waterbottle. It’s great because you can keep your hand on it, and it isn’t too heavy. You can get collaspable water bottles now so I might just go with this one.


Im taking my handbag, i dont like backpacks as people can get into them, i mean they can get into a handbag too. sorry im not more helpful. but i have a big handbag but i can fit just as much into my hand bag as a backpack.


hey im thinking ill take wat i call a camel back like a back pack but small (with out the water bladder) as it has a zipper that sits against my back and would be very very hard to get into with out me feeling it for important stuff, and pockets big enuf for water etc. from past trips people ive had with me took shoulder bags work very well till you get lazy and they end up around the back of you, and or the strap brakes. just food for thought.


I’m taking a 28L MOAB JAM backpack for my tour in May and then continuing on afterwards, small enough to pass the majority of carry-on weight restrictions for planes, but large enough to pack everything i need into it.

Some backpacks that are designed for bike-riding and hiking will have a waterproof cover tucked in and zipped up at the bottom of the bag, you can pull this out and wrap it over the whole backpack as a protective layer against people accessing pockets and zips, the only way they can get through it would be to cut it. - This is really handy for walking around in busy cities with a backpack.


Hey Aimee! I took a side satchel my last time in Europe and plan to do it again. Just make sure it sits on the front of your hip and not on your butt when wandering around and across your body. I had no issues at all. :slight_smile: Safe travels!


Im going the backpack option as it doubles for carry on for the plane. If you buy one that is desiged for hiking they are usually really comfortable and you could wear it all day and hardly notice it. If you are worried about the security aspect, you can buy small padlocks that are designed especially to lock backpacks at any camping/outdoors store.



Thank you all so much!!! This is so helpful. Right now I am leaning towards the purse but just worried it won’t fit enough but I think I would feel safer with that on my front hip but I am researching all of your suggestions! Thank you!