The Essential Travel Bag Guide: What to Choose for Your Next Adventure

Ever been on the brink of a grand adventure, only to be held back by the daunting task of packing? I have. Packing your travel bag can feel like trying to solve a complex puzzle. But don’t fret, you’re not alone.

Crossbody Bags

When discussing essential travel bags, a common favorite in the industry is the Crossbody bag. Loved by many for its practicality, this bag provides a blend of style and functionality that proves indispensable in a travel setting.

This unique bag type offers suitability for both men and women, proving its versatility. Crossbody bags like the ones from Latico Leathers are characterized by one long strap worn across the body, hence the name. Sizes vary, but they’re typically small enough to keep movement unrestricted, yet large enough to hold the essentials.

One key benefit of crossbody bags lies in their hands-free nature. When you’re navigating your way through bustling airports or city streets, the freedom of having both hands available is undeniable.

It provides convenience and eliminates the burden of juggling multiple items, a common scenario for travelers.

Security is another nifty advantage of this bag style. Wearing the bag across your chest provides easy visibility and restricts possible theft access. Crossbody bags often come with zipper closures, adding another layer of protection for your belongings.

A couple of the most debtor-worthy Crossbody bags include:

  • Latico Leathers Crossbody Bags: A collection of affordable, full-grain leather crossbody bags that are designed for the contemporary woman. They’re versatile enough to wear to work, on the go, and everywhere else in between.
  • Herschel Supply Co. Crossbody Bags: The perfect balance of compact size and ample capacity. Their unique design complements an outdoor look, and its durable fabric assures longevity.
  • Michael Kors Crossbody Bags: These stylish bags offer a sleek look while serving a functional packaging design. Their inclusive compartments cater to organized, clutter-free storage.

Each of these bags demonstrates how Crossbody bags can dial up your travel game, further solidifying their spot in this essential travel bag guide.

All in all, the compactness, security, and convenience they offer, make Crossbody bags an unbeatable choice for novice and seasoned travelers alike. No wonder they’re a staple in the world of travel.


Stepping up from the versatility of crossbody bags, there’s another type of bag that’s pushing for a spot in your travel arsenal.

We’re plunging into the spacious, stylish world of travel totes. These come as an ideal option for individuals who crave space and convenience on the move.

In style, spaciousness, and sheer reach, totes dominate their competition. Their expansive interiors can readily hold several belongings, from your travel documents, a change of clothes, to your cherished book.

Noted examples, the Longchamp Le Pliage tote and the Everlane The Day Market Tote, provide ample storage while maintaining a sleek facade, offering you a blend of functionality and elegance.

Their broad, sturdy straps distribute weight evenly across your shoulder and arm, mitigating the discomfort that comes with hauling a dense bag.

The durability of totes isn’t to be dismissed, given their tough material build. This makes them reliable travel companions for both weekend getaways and extended trips.

Another major draw for totes settles in their accessibility. With a wide-mouth opening, I can quickly locate and retrieve items from inside. Unzipping and rummaging through multi-pocket backpacks or crossbody bags pales in comparison. They’re also easily collapsible, making storage in overhead compartments or under plane seats a breeze.

Yet it’s not all praise; I must mention some minor setbacks. Totes often lack security features, making them probable targets for pickpockets.

And, the lack of structured organization inside can have your items jumbled. But with prudent packing and vigilance, these issues might be negligible.

Delving into specific categories, for light packers, the Dagne Dover Signature Tote and Away The Everywhere Bag stand out.

These offer compact, sleek designs with structured inside pockets. For heavy packers, the YETI Camino Carryall 35 and Baggu Duck Bag cater to the need for ample storage and durability.

Just like a trusty crossbody bag, totes prove to be a reliable, stylish, and practical addition to your travel bag ensemble. The right tote could render your travel experience smoother, more organized, and inherently more enjoyable. After all, in travel as in life, the right bag can make all the difference.


Let’s shift our focus onto backpacks, another essential item in a traveler’s arsenal. Generally praised for their functionality, backpacks also find an audience who appreciate their blend of style and practicality.

Backpacks fit snugly on the shoulders, distributing weight evenly across the body.

This design aids in maintaining balance on uneven terrain or crowded places — perfect for adventurous trips or city tours. The Osprey packs, encompassing various sizes and designs, exemplify the balance and maneuverability essential for travel.

While backpacks often get associated with casual style, I’d like to steer your attention towards their potential for business travel too. For instance, the BOPAI business backpack offers dedicated compartments for a laptop, chargers, and other digital tools, immensely useful for professionals on the go.

Backpacks also don’t lag behind in terms of storage options. They often include smaller compartments and pockets, which allow for neat organization without compromising capacity.

For example, The North Face’s Borealis backpack, a favorite among many travelers, provides ample storage combined with several inside pockets. It is designed to accommodate a variety of items, from clothing and books to gadgets and water bottles.

Security shouldn’t be a concern when you have the right backpack. Bags like the Pacsafe Venturesafe have integrated security features such as lockable zippers, slash-proof materials, and an RFID-blocking pocket, ensuring your valuables remain secure.

Backpacks cater to range of travel types, whether it’s a hiking trip across national parks, or an international business meeting. Picking the right backpack depends on your travel style, providing you with comfort, style, organization, and security.

Considered one of the more versatile travel bags, backpacks provide a mix of form and function that’s hard to overlook. By choosing the right backpack to complement other bag types like crossbody bags and totes, you can ensure you’re equipped for every travel scenario.

Duffel Bags

Duffel bags constitute another essential type of travel gear, gaining their status from their expansive storage capacity, easy accessibility, and absolute versatility.

Generally associated with gym and sports usage, duffel bags offer immense value for travelers too. They can be regarded as the perfect carry-alls for everything from weekend getaways to extended vacations.

Featuring a cylindrical shape and featuring a drawstring or zipper closure, duffel bags provide a singular huge compartment, usually supplemented by side pockets.

It’s this simplicity in design that makes packing and retrieving items a breeze. Imagine a situation where you quickly need to access your jacket or change of clothes, the open nature of a duffel bag comes in very handy.

Duffel bags are also a favorite among adventurous travelers. Their spacious interiors can comfortably fit adventure equipment like sleeping bags or diving gear, with plenty of room to spare for clothing and other necessities.

In that regard, the Patagonia Black Hole and the North Face Base Camp Duffel are excellent examples, showcasing a rugged build, water-resistant features, and detachable shoulder straps.

Importantly, for travelers preferring light and uncomplicated travel gear, duffel bags check that box. They possess minimal structural additions, thereby reducing their overall weight. Extra straps and pouches? Not with duffel bags.

Everything gets stored in one large compartment, making them ideal for lightweight travel enthusiasts.

Still, one can’t ignore the stylish factor that duffel bags bring in. Leather duffel bags, like the KomalC Vintage Leather Duffel, embody an elegant, timeless aesthetic, making them perfect for luxury and business travelers.

From accommodating large item loads to driver’s cabin compatibility, duffel bags offer a slew of benefits.

It’s owing to these features that duffel bags can be a perfect addition to your travel gear repertoire, alongside crossbody bags, totes, and backpacks. Whether it’s for a quick weekend getaway, an epic adventure trip, or a sophisticated business tour, duffel bags fit the bill.

Rolling Suitcases

A transition from the previous section, I’m rolling onto suitcases. Universally recognized, rolling suitcases represent an essential component in any travel gear arsenal. For one, they offer unrivaled convenience for many travelers.

With manufactures like Samsonite and American Tourister leading the way, functionality is invariably intrinsic in the design of every model. Among the spectrum of benefits, rolling suitcases sport a linear design that allows for optimal use of space, aiding in the organized placement of clothes, electronics, travel essentials, and more.

Second on the list, rolling suitcases display a remarkable degree of maneuverability.

Equipped with caster wheels, which can rotate a complete 360 degrees, these suitcases offer easy navigation through crowded airports, bustling city streets, and narrow airplane corridors.

Great examples of such design include the Samsonite Omni PC Spinner and the American Tourister Moonlight Spinner, which have garnered high regard for their effortless mobility.

That aside, their structured design provides protection to valuable items, lending superior peace of mind for travelers. Hardshell models, like the Delsey Helium Aero and the Ricardo Beverly Hills Mar Vista, champion this feature, encasing contents in a durable polycarbonate or ABS shell.

Last up, versatility is key in rolling suitcases’ functionality. From carry-on sizes suitable for quick business trips, like the Travelpro Platinum Elite, to larger models fit for extended vacations, like the Briggs & Riley Baseline Large Expandable Spinner, there’s a variant for every need.

While crossbody bags, totes, and backpacks offer hands-free convenience, and duffel bags bring in lightweight mobility, rolling suitcases close the loop by offering substantial storage capacity, protection, and easy maneuverability.

Weekender Bags

Transitioning from the incredible versatility of rolling suitcases, I now delve into the realm of Weekender bags—a staple for quick getaways and short business trips.

These bags, typically larger than everyday totes but more compact than standard suitcases, hit the sweet spot for those quick two to three-day trips.

Let’s kick off by dissecting their prime features. Weekender bags are known for their ultra spaciousness, given their size that generally ranges between 30 to 50 liters.

This enables packing of a weekend’s worth of clothes, toiletries, and several other essentials comfortably, without the bulkiness of a standard suitcase. Storability, another distinctive feature, often finds these bags with a flat, rectangular base.

This shape allows for efficient packing, and also makes them stackable within larger storage, such as overhead compartments or car trunks.

Continuing with design features, Weekender bags typically possess strong and durable handles.

Designed for heavy-duty use, comfortable hold and carry is ensured even when the bag is fully packed.

For instance, Herschel, known for its stylish and sturdy bags, offers Weekender bags with reinforced handles. The durability also extends to the bag material—canvas, leather, faux leather, or even nylon—which underline the bag’s sturdy nature and quality.

Shifting focus to accessibility, multiple compartments and pockets make organization a breeze. External pockets are ideal for keeping travel documents, while internal zipped pockets help in securely storing smaller items. Brands such as Everlane and Baggu offer models with this well-thought-out conception.

It’s paramount for Weekender bags to maintain a balance between style and function, a factor influencing many purchase decisions. Designs range across classy leather bags for a polished look, to vibrant canvas designs that express uniqueness.

Weekender bags blend elegance, space, and convenience seamlessly making them an essential part of any travel arsenal. Next, we’ll discuss carry-on luggage, another travel bag category instrumental in hassle-free journeys.

So there you have it. Whether it’s the hands-free convenience of a Crossbody bag, the roomy and robust nature of a travel tote, backpack, or duffel bag, or the easy-to-navigate rolling suitcase from brands like Samsonite and American Tourister, each has its unique advantages.

And let’s not forget the Weekender bags from Herschel, Everlane, and Baggu, perfect for those short hops or business trips. It’s all about choosing the right bag for your travel needs, ensuring it’s spacious, durable, and functional.

Remember, the perfect travel bag is not just about style, but also about making your journey smoother and more enjoyable. So next time you’re planning a trip, consider these essential travel bags. They’re not just bags; they’re your travel companions.