Inspired by the World

  • Purses, and especially travel purses, get dirty incredibly easy. All that grime collected during your travels, (coffee stains from Rome, mud from that hiking trip to the Rockies, etc), stains your purses, dulls the colors, and forces you to basically retire your purses early to the depths of your closet. Well, no more!

    Here at Baliloca we created a version of our travel purse completely made in neoprene, in exciting bright colors, and perfect for those rough trips or outdoorsy activities. And the best thing about them? They are completely machine washable! 

    Before we show you how easy they are to wash and maintain to help them stay like new, we need to warn you that this only applies to our neoprene purses, please don't wash your Baliloca leather purses! The leather would be ruined and we'd all be very sad. 

    STEP 1: Prepare your purse, in particular, make sure you have emptied it completely and tied the elastic strap in a tight knot to avoid it getting stuck. 

    Washable bag

    STEP 2: Fill your washing machine with your dirty colored clothes, and choose the cold water settings. Do not wash white clothes or using hot water to avoid any potential color bleeding! 


    STEP 3: Complete the washing along with your other clothes as normal, and when the cycle is finished, just take the purse out and let it dry naturally. Do not use dryer. 

    Take out and dry

    And that is all! Your purse will dry naturally and be ready for your next adventure! To preserve the materials best, do not wash too frequently, it's best to wait until it's apparent that the purse is stained or dirty. 

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  • Reaching the top of the legendary Mount Fuji is a challenge for your mind and also for your feet, but the payoff of a new sunrise viewed from above is well worth the effort. Every year, thousands of people travel to Japan to ascend the 12,338 feet rite of passage to witness the colorful palette of dawn, the attempt of which is usually performed at night. This is not as easy as it sounds, but worry not! We’ve put together a few tips to make the climb a breeze:

    1. Try to be at least in moderately good shape before you commence the ascent.

    Of course, even kids and the elderly calmly sip tea at the top of the volcano every year, but don’t let that fool you, climbing Fuji involves six intense hours of walking from the bus stop to the very top. And once you’re up there, you still will have to face four more hours of descent with the added bonus of sleepiness, heat (it will be daytime) and potential foot soreness.

    It’s not necessary for you to be in top cross-fit shape, but we recommend that your cardio is on point before you travel to Japan, you’ll definitely thank us.

    View from the top of Mount Fuji

    1. Carry with you sunblock and a hat.

    Officially, the ascent should be undertaken only in July and August so taking into consideration the altitude and the depressing lack of shade throughout the trek, you’ll be exposed to intense sun rays for many hours. Even if you climb at night, you’ll still have to descend under the punishing sunrays for several more hours. Make sure that you’re well protected if you want to avoid mutating into a human sized red lobster.

    1. Buy enough water and calorie-rich snacks before you go.

    When your knees are aching, you’re tired and start getting thirsty; the overpriced water bottles sold at certain stops along the way will offend you deeply. Save money and headaches by gearing up before the climb and carrying it all in your backpack.

    1. Dress in layers.

    It will be cold. And then suddenly it will be hot. The high altitude ensures that most likely temperatures will drop below freezing levels during the night, but will hit 90ºF once the sun starts shining. You’re not going skiing so don’t go overboard, but take these temperature changes into account and wear layers which you can steadily peel off. We saw a Japanese man jokingly climb the mountain wearing only a bathing suit, but an hour later not surprisingly we saw him shivering.

    The summit of Fujiyama

    1. Make hotel reservations in advance.

    After completing the descent of Fuji San, (probably ending a bit before noon), you will be sleep deprived and will not feel like searching for a place to take a nap. Remember than many youth hostels and hotels in the nearby city of Fuji Yoshida will most likely not accept guests until 4pm, so the best way to ensure that you can shower and rest immediately after the climb and not have to wait around is to have a reservation in place for both the current night and the previous one as well.

    1. Don’t forget to pack a flashlight!
    Remember that you’re ascending at night, so a flashlight is essential to avoid tripping or slipping on a rock while on the path. If you forget to carry one you’ll have to make friends with someone who does very fast, or the climb will be much more treacherous.
    Tags: Asia, Japan

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  • We pride ourselves in crafting the only cute travel purse out there. Most other travel purses are made of nylon or other fiber, and are boring, so-very-dull and definitely not chic. Let's just say they are "practical". Well, is your only aspiration to be practical? We didn't think so! 

    So celebrating the arrival of the Fall season, we wanted to give you some tips and ideas on how to combine clothes, accessories and your Baliloca purse. Made with the finest leather, our purses can keep your valuables safe while also making a fashion statement. Don't believe us? Just take a look at some outfit combos we received from some great designers when we ran a contest:

    Fall purse outfit combo

    Turn heads with this purse outfit

    The perfect hipster vibe

    Urban purse outfit

    Need any more ideas? You can find more designs and outfit combinations at our Polyvore contest page!

    Tags: Baliloca, Outfits

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  • Everybody knows that Australia is home to more than its fair share of venomous critters. Beasts with sharp teeth and a penchant for delicious human meat also roam freely until they meet Crocodile Dundee and end up as leather bags. But it’s such a beautiful country that this shouldn’t stop you from visiting, so we wanted to let you know which are the usual suspects so that you can easily avoid them.  

    Blue-Ringed Octopus

    This spectacular octopus despite being the size of an Apple, packs a surprising punch and holds enough venom to kill a human twenty six times over, (or twenty six different humans in a row). Even though the animal is rather shy, our advice is not to get too close to a cephalopod for which there is no effective anti-venom. The only available treatment is performing CPR until the victim is connected to an artificial ventilator up to when the victim can breathe on his own again.

    Australian Stonefish


    This sneaky fish pictured above lives near the warm coasts of Australia and may be camouflaged as a rock on which you may step on.  Treading on it would clearly not be a great idea, as its venomous stings cause can excruciating pain if the skin is punctured, and can kill a fully grown human in only two hours.


    Yes, everybody’s least favorite insect is well represented Down Under. You should be careful in your travels especially with two types of local spiders: The Redback and the Sydney Funnel-Web. While the former is shy and avoids intentional contact with humans or pretends to be dead if challenged, the latter is foul-natured and aggressive.

    The good news? Antidotes exist for both types of bites, but the bad news is that they are usually administered at hospitals so you would have to make it there in one piece, and considering the huge distances between places in Australia, this is not always a given. Just avoid any red or hairy spider you may encounter and you’ll be fine. We’re sure you do so already.


    Are we crazy? Is this adorable but weird-looking cross between a duck and a beaver dangerous? Well, sorry to burst your bubble, but yes. Males possess a  spur on their heel that can send you to the hospital in pain, although fortunately it’s not lethal.

    Box Jellyfish in Australia

    Box Jellyfish

    Seemingly floating peacefully in Australian waters between the months of October and May, the box jellyfish is one of the most menacing creatures of the sea. If stung, your first symptom that something is amiss would be insufferable pain, followed almost inevitably by falling into unconsciousness and very probably cardiac arrest. This invertebrate can also move using speeds of up to 3.5 knots, which is not shabby at all, but on the plus side they are beautiful to look at from afar.  


    Australia is proud home to one of the most aggressive animals alive, the crocodile. Two separate species inhabit the area; freshwater and saltwater crocodiles. While the freshwater crocs only attack if they feel themselves cornered or threatened, but the saltwater ones (or “salties”) are very territorial and presumably just love the taste of your meat.

    Measuring up to 20 feet and weighing up to a whopping 2200 pounds, if one of these beasts attacks you, you’d better pray to Steve Irwin’s soul and run away as fast as you can.


    Just kidding. Koalas are delightfully cute animals, but their adorable faces can distract you long enough for some other animal on this list to eat you.


    Dun dun. Dun dun. DUN DUN DUN DUN… And then probably a loud “CHOMP” sound. Unfortunately we’re not only talking about the film “Jaws”, but of a stark reality that takes a handful of lives every year.

    Even though human meat is not palatable for sharks, some species of shark can become curious enough of our splashing around to give us a test bite to find out if we’re as tasty as we seem. Unfortunately, surfers wearing wetsuits and resting on their surf boards closely resemble seals when viewed from underneath, albeit very scared and nasty tasting seals.

    Australian White Shark


    All you need to know about these slithering vertebrates is that within the ten most venomous species of snake, six of them inhabit Australian soil. So if you hear any suspicious hissing, walk backwards as fast as you can just in case!


    Kangaroos are everywhere in Australia, and during your travels you’ll probably see them mostly in the form of roadkill. Even though they are harmless to humans, they do cause injuries and even death for drivers unfortunate enough to run over them at top speed. Imagine this scenario: If an adult kangaroo weighing 150 pounds is attracted by your cross lights and hops onto your hood at 70 mph, the end result will not be pleasant for the insurance company or for your dentist if the kangaroo breaks through the windshield.

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  • It’s not cute and it’s not fashionable. The infamous fanny pack makes any wearer immediately look like a cross between a grown up Steve Urkel and a bloated kangaroo. We know that if you’re reading this you instinctively know that wearing one is a fashion crime against humanity, but you may be tempted by the practicality of wearing your essentials with you and keeping them safe. That’s why we present you with alternatives to wearing this horrible accessory.

    Nobody can pull off the fanny pack


    Money belts are simply hollowed out regular belts in which you can fit money and few other things. Here are their pros and cons:


    • Seems like a regular belt so it’s pretty inconspicuous. 
    • It’s generally comfortable to wear if you usually wear belts.


    • Usually they do not fit that many things inside, only money can safely be carried, but there is no space for passports, wallet or your phone. 
    • They are incompatible with wearing anything other than pants, (for example you cannot wear a belt if you’re also wearing a skirt).
    • It’s hard to access the money, since you have to take off the whole belt before you can open it to retrieve the contents.



    Backpacks are the staple of the budget traveler, (for good reason they are called “backpackers”), but they come in many sizes to adapt to the wearer’s activity. Here we will be discussing the pros and cons of the small backpack as we consider the huge ones a different category with a separate purpose.


    • Has a large capacity and can fit water, maps, food and extra clothing. 
    • It rests comfortably on the back, and the weight is evenly distributed to the shoulders. 


    • They can easily be pickpocketed by someone standing behind you. 
    • They do not really look cool, so they can work well for sightseeing but not for dinner and a drink in a terrace overlooking Paris.


    PURSES (Crossbody, shoulder bag, etc)

    The most common and best-selling accessory for women , the purse allows the functionality of carrying gear and valuables without sacrificing style.


    • Purses usually fit most of the items you will need for the day – unless you are a hoarder!
    • They come in infinite styles so you can pick whichever matches your current outfit and color.


    • Thieves have an easy time pickpocketing them or cutting the strap with a razor to take the money and run. 
    • They are not useful if any moderate physical activity is required, since they shift around and you have to hold the strap with your hands.
    • After a while, especially when full, they may become uncomfortable.



    Popular among some tourists, these items usually involve a standard purse design such as a crossbody or messenger purse, but with some extra safety features added to the mix such as unbreakable straps and slash proof materials.


    • These purses are not easily pickpocketed, although they are visible so they could be taken by force in an aggressive confrontation. 
    • The larger sized ones usually fit most of the items required for a day trip.


    • They are not very good looking, as they are made with safe materials which are not compatible with a great appearance – and probably do not combine well with your clothes.
    • Due to their design, they cannot be worn underneath your clothes if necessary, which means it will be apparent to all that you’re wearing an anti-theft purse, bringing potentially unwanted attention to it. 
    • They are clunky and bulky.  



    The Baliloca Hands-Free purses consist of a shoulder bag with an extra strap that fastens across the opposite shoulder, for a snug and stable fit. It’s not only because we designed them (self-promotion wooo!), but really these purses are a godsend for travelers. Their fit is like shown in this picture:


    • It’s completely handsfree, you can do somersaults or cartwheels with it on and it will stay put. 
    • It fits all valuables you will need on a day trip (wallet, keys, phone, makeup…)
    • It’s made in leather and comes in many colors, so it’s cute and can combine with whichever clothes you choose to wear. 
    • It’s completely theft-proof since not only does it stay close to the body and is held by two straps which prevents thieves from slashing the strap and taking the purse, but it’s thin so it can go under a sweater or a coat and nobody will know you’re actually carrying a purse.


    • Not many cons except for the fact that it won’t fit huge books or large items which you may want to carry – it’s an all-purpose bag.

    So there you go, these are the alternatives to that ugly scourge of humanity, the fanny pack. Remember, you can’t make a fanny pack look good, but you’re in good company because nobody can really pull it off!

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  • Following Christopher Columbus’ first journey, the European powers of the day rushed to attempt to profit from the vast and relatively undefended territories that had abruptly appeared on the maps. Portugal, Spain, Great Britain and France were among the first to command expeditions to increase their spheres of control, but were not the only ones. The Dutch and later the Germans, Italians and Belgians did their very best to join the race.

    One of the side effects of this process was the creation of colonial cities in the territories to which these powers tried to expand. The export of European culture blended with local traditions was apparent in the new architecture and amazing art that appeared in these new melting pots. What follows are the 5 best colonial cities in the world, for which we’ve considered cities in which the original city planning and structures have been mostly preserved.

    Salvador da bahia skyline

    1. Salvador da Bahia (Brazil)

    Home of what is arguably the best Carnival celebration in the world, (or at the very least the craziest) Salvador was founded by the Portuguese in 1549 and quickly became a regional powerhouse due to its optimal port infrastructure.

    Separated in two parts (the higher administrative town and the lower commercial town), the beautiful city center has been restored recently to its former glory. The bright colors on the buildings are a cheerful reminder of why this city is considered the happiest in Brazil.

    Trumpet player in New Orleans

    1. New Orleans (United States)

    The “Big Easy” as it is affectionately referred to, is probably the debauchery capital of the USA (tied with the permanently sleepless Las Vegas). Drinking a hurricane or hand grenade cocktail in a huge plastic cup on Bourbon Street is almost a rite of passage for college students everywhere, but don’t let this fact distract you of the great state of preservation of its historical French Quarter.

    Founded by the French in 1718 honoring the Duke of Orleans, but mostly built by the Spanish years later, the city proudly displays its melting pot heritage in every antique shop, every live jazz café, and every ornate terrace. The birthplace of Cajun food, there is much more to this city than just throwing beads to bystanders.  

    Santo Domingo horse carriage

    1. Santo Domingo (Dominican Republic)

    The oldest European city in America, Santo Domingo commenced its rise to prominence in 1498 when it was founded by Bartholomew Columbus, younger brother of Christopher Columbus, and by the beginnings of the 16th century it was the dominant force of the Caribbean. Walking through the cobbled streets is like stepping back in time, since the historic city center has been essentially unchanged for over five centuries.  

    A city of firsts, Santo Domingo was the first city in which the grid-like urban planning was used in the Americas, and the site of the first cathedral, university, customs house and hospital of the continent. A true pioneering city!

    Cusco skyline

    1. Cusco (Peru)

    You’ll definitely be out of breath fast while exploring this Andean gem, considering that the town was built at an altitude of 11,200 feet over sea level, so take it slow and enjoy the relaxed pace of life in this incredibly well preserved living monument.

    An ancient city, it had belonged to several cultures before the Incas took it and made the city their capital, in the urban shape of a puma, with the magnificent temple of Sacsayhuaman and its serrated walls acting as the head of the animal. When the Spanish took the city in 1533, they commenced a frenzy of church building activity and urban planning, which has left a huge amount of religious structures, including four churches only in the main square!

    Colonial Cartagena

    1. Cartagena (Colombia)

    The city of Cartagena de Indias is a masterfully designed colonial town, which was the first main port of departure for the gold galleons bound for Spain. Founded in 1533, it has survived throughout the centuries many attacks by rival European powers and also by pirates, due to its outstanding fortifications and in particular the massive castle of San Felipe which guards the bay.

    Today, this city maintains a colorful and incredibly well preserved historic town center, full of small quaint alleys, impressive churches, and great sea views from the 8 mile long fortifications. Nothing beats sipping on a fruity drink from the top of the walls, while watching the sunset on one side, and the most beautiful colonial town in the world on the other.      

    It was excruciatingly hard to choose only five sites. So here are the honorable mentions: Ouro Preto (Brazil), Havana (Cuba), Quebec City (Canada), Boston (USA), Stonetown (Tanzania), Quito (Ecuador), Goa (India), Vigan (Philippines), Charleston (United States).

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