Better for your posture, comfort and safety, cross shoulder travel bags are the best kind of bag to carry when you're on a business or pleasure trip. Shop carefully to find the size and weight that works best for you, so that you'll be sure to maximize your travel enjoyment.
Advantages of Cross Shoulder Travel Bags
You really only need to take one trip, or spend all day out, on your feet, wandering through crowds, to appreciate the benefits of a good cross shoulder travel bag. Wearing a bag crossed over your body distributes the weight of its contents, so that you are less likely to experience a sore neck, shoulder or back, all of which can compromise the pleasure of your trip.
Easy to Use
A bag you carry this way is also practical. When traveling, you are constantly reaching in your bag for the camera, map, notes about restaurants, phone, water and wallet. While a backpack more evenly distributes weight on both shoulders, it is hugely impractical because you constantly have to take it off one shoulder in order to rummage around in it for whatever you need. A cross shoulder bag stays handily in place.
Protects Your Valuables
This level of practicality is useful for a less pleasant reason. Many locals all over the world know a tourist when they see one, and unfortunately, there will be some who prey on the distraction of tourists to pick their pockets, or pocket bags. The cross shoulder travel bag is one of the hardest for a would-be pickpocket to access, because it sits so close to your body and is mostly in your sight. The more brazen bag snatchers will also avoid a cross shoulder bag, because they're looking for something that's easily pulled from someone's body. You're much less likely to experience either unpleasantness with a bag worn securely over your torso.
What to Look for in Your Bag
A good travel bag should be able to hold your wallet, camera, phone, sunglasses and sundries, as well as have some space for small purchases and the like. You should be able to stow a travel cup or bottle either in the main pouch or its own exterior pocket. Be mindful of buying something too large. It will tempt you to overstuff and then you will be uncomfortable.
For security's sake, you want a bag whose main pouch not only zips, but has a fold-over flap that buttons, or otherwise fastens securely. A magnet isn't going to be good enough for deterring would-be thieves. You also want to have an exterior zip pocket that rests against your body - this may be your ideal pocket for your wallet. Finally, you should have at least one interior pocket that zips for your keys, especially if you're staying in a rented house where getting a replacement would involve calling a locksmith.
Choosing Material for Your Travel Shoulder Bag
Leather bags are wonderful, but remember that you'll be carrying a number of items in the bag that will be heavy. You don't want your bag to have much weight before you've even put anything in it. Also, if you're traveling in summer, the bag might become sticky on your shoulder, which will be unpleasant. Canvas, which is light but sturdy and easy to clean, is a far better option. You can get something in bright, bold colors, or a bit more all-purpose.
Shopping for Your Travel Bag
Buying bags online is a great way to save time and money, but when it comes to a bag you're using for travel, you may do better to shop for it in person. You want to try it on, to feel the fabric and assess its comfort and practicality. This is a bag you'll carry every day and most nights for as long as two weeks. Take the time to be absolutely sure it's exactly what you need.