1. No unnecessary weight, smaller is better.
  1. A colour that complements your whole travel wardrobe and season. It goes without saying that black is no good for an island getaway and I believe nobody wears white after Labour Day in America!
  1. An external handy pocket that will fit your travel document, boarding pass, etc when you need to show them so often before boarding. This pocket doubles as your phone pocket when you have reached your destination. Think Google Maps, camera, Uber.
  1. An internal zipped pocket for keeping your documents safe when you have finished with all the formalities.
  1. A sturdy detachable cross the body strap so you can go hands free and your bag is harder to snatch.
  1. Dump the big purse, all those loyalty cards and miscellaneous shopping cards are not needed in foreign countries or even locally when in a new environment. Take a small wallet for a couple of credit cards and some cash.
  1. Short handles are also useful. Discard the cross the body strap for an evening outing.  Holding a bag in your hand or over your arm has the same effect as wearing heels, it instantly makes you feel more ‘dressed up’ .
  1. Take a handbag hook to hang your bag from any restaurant table using the short handles.  Long cross body straps are awkward from this point of view, your bag is always sweeping the floor.
  1. One single handbag should answer all the above criteria, but take another large non- leather light holdall/shopper type bag with you to throw in a scarf, a pullover, foldup umbrella, snacks, your shopping, or even your smaller handbag when practical.
  1. If you were buying your bag from Flagship you could get an alternative strap, pocket or tassle to further accessorise your bag and change its personality depending on the occasion.  See this style at Flagship Handbags bowling bag.