Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Bags for City Breaks

I’ve spent the last few days in Brussels, which I can thoroughly recommend to any chocolate and beer lovers out there but be warned, you may need to spend the next 3 days in the gym just trying to shift all the waffles and alcohol! We took the train to Brugge, and even though Brussels offers streets bursting with all kinds of shops selling traditional souvenirs and hundreds of local beers to your classier stores offering Armani Jeans bags and shoes, I think Brugge came across as an easier place to part with your cash as the shops were more concentrated and intermingled with pretty caf├ęs overlooking the canals.

As I was only staying there for two nights I took 3 bags with me; my black MK tote as it fitted all my essentials in for the train journey, a black clutch back for the evening big enough for my camera, and a tan across the body bag from Primark (on the left in the picture below, right is from Oasis) for the daytime when I’d be carrying my sunnies as well as everything else.

Whenever I indulge in a city break, I think carefully and practically about my bag choices as I know it has to be big enough for the daytime essentials, comfortable to carry as I know I’ll be walking until my legs give up on me, and above all, it has to be safe due to the risk of pickpockets in larger cities. I chose my Primark bag to accompany me this time (thanks to @Primark asking me so nicely on Twitter!) and it did the job perfectly.

Call me over precautious, but I have strict criteria for city break bags.

  • It must have a long strap to put across the body leaving your hands free for those all-important photo opportunities
  • The strap mustn’t have clasps attaching it to the bag itself as they’re too easily removed
  • It must be a colour that goes with all the outfits you’re taking
  • There must be an inside zipped pocket for your phone so it doesn’t slip out when you’re fumbling around for the map
  • And it must have a zip across the top as well as a fastened cover over the zip making sure it’s like Fort Knox to get into!

So here are my recommendations for some bags around at the moment to take on a city break with you.

Skye Satchel by Oasis comes in two colours but even though the green would put a spring in your step, the black here would be a safer option if your suitcase is already threatening the sit-on closing method. The snakeskin effect corners and the shiny gold chain and lock bring a touch of Parisian glam making it perfect to use moving from day to night. Best of all, for £25 I think you’d get your money’s worth.

For just £19.99 
Missguided have this faux leather, small satchel bag in blush, a colour more fitting for a spring or summer city break. The leather effect material is a wise choice in case you get caught in an unexpected shower and the satchel style would look at home in any European city. It can be easily paired with lighter outfits especially those light denim shorts that every girl owns! 

For a little more at £65, you can get this
 handmade real leather saddle bag from Zatchels, guaranteed to be hard wearing if you’re going to be globetrotting around a few cities in one trip. With the fastening being underneath the bag I think this gives extra security as it isn’t easily popped open. The website recommends applying a Nano Pro spray to add a waterproof layer to the bag making it suitable for all weathers and as with the lighter bag above, this can easily be paired with spring fashions like floating florals and other pastels shades, looking well placed on the streets of Rome this summer. The best bit about this bag is that you can personalise it with your name or initials for that extra special touch!

Trusty New Look always have something to suit whatever you’re looking for and this is no exception. This tan leather-look woven bag is perfect for a casual look complementing a beige lace dress or a denim shorts and jumper combo for when you’re slightly more uncertain of the weather forecast, and its just £9.99! The colour, material and style of this bag is more bohemian than the others and wouldn’t look out of place accompanying you around the arty sights that Gaudi so kindly created for our viewing pleasure around Barcelona.

Obviously you may have a preference to use a larger shoulder bag on your holidays, but I would strongly advise going for the security aspect when you’re travelling to any cities. Ensure there’s a good zip and if its on show, make sure its facing towards you. And even though it may sound far-fetched, try to avoid using one with a clasp attaching the strap as they’re easily undone and can go unnoticed on a busy metro. 

If you’re satisfied that your valuables are safe and sound by your side, while looking suitably stylish of course, trust me, you’ll feel a lot more relaxed and free to enjoy your sightseeing around the wonderful cities of the world!


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