Whether you’re a seasoned globetrotter or just going away for a quick weekend getaway, it’s crucial to stay organized when traveling. For that, it’s essential to have a great travel bag—or several. Besides your suitcase or luggage, you might want to also invest in smaller interior bags, such as for a toiletry bag and some packing cubes.
With so many options out there, it can be tricky shopping for the right travel bags. To make things easier, we’ve come up with a list of some of our favorites.
Below, we will describe some of the things to look for when shopping for travel bags, as well as provide a list of our top ten picks. We also review the top three choices for best bags for travel in more depth.
Luggage Versus Other Types of Travel Bags
In this guide, we’ve broken down travel bags into two main groups to make it simpler: luggage and other types of bags. What’s the difference? In short, luggage refers to any type of exterior bag that you use to transport most of the things you are bringing on your trip, for example clothes, shoes, toiletries, and other personal items.
Luggage comes in a very wide range of different shapes and sizes, such as:
- Specialty cases (such as for guitars or sports equipment)
When you’re flying somewhere, you may decide to check in your bag, which means it is transported in the cargo hold of the plane, not carried onboard. Some luggage may be suitable for checking in, but not all, depending on factors such as size and the materials the specific bag is constructed from.
On the other hand, many travel bags are not designed to be used for transporting “everything” you bring on a trip. The smaller items that you either want to keep close to you (such as inside your purse) or inside your luggage can be organized into smaller travel bags. Some of the main types of other (non-luggage) travel bags include:
- Money belts and other on-body bags such as purses and smaller briefcases
- Packing cubes
- Shoe bags
- Toiletry bags
These are explained more in depth below.
Top 10 Bags for Travel Table
Different Types of Travel Bags
When looking for the best bags for travel, you need to look for both luggage-type bags and other types. Depending on the items you are bringing, you will want to think about bringing a combination of types. The main categories are explained below:
- Luggage. Exterior bags are used to carry all the items you are bringing; this type of travel bag is perhaps the most essential when you leave for a trip!
- Body-Worn Bag. These types of bags are worn close to or on the body, generally to hold valuables, such as purses and money belts. Briefcases and laptop cases can also fall into this category.
- In-Bag Organization Solution. This category includes packing cubes and shoe bags, all types of bags that go inside your luggage to organize your things.
Top 3 Best Bags for Travel Reviews
The KP 21-inch Vintage Leather Duffel is our top choice for best bags for travel. It’s a handmade duffel-style bag made of genuine natural leather and lined with canvas. Featuring vintage-style details, this trendy piece of luggage is 21” x 11” x 9,” large enough to hold enough items for a weekend trip or quick getaway.
This bag, which has an adjustable shoulder strap, is suitable for air travel, though it might not be the best choice to check in. It has also a front pocket and two side pockets. Each bag is tanned using natural edible oil and a sun tanning process; the leather is chemical and dye-free.
For a travel bag with amazing style and durability, we highly recommend the Vintage Leather Duffel by KP.
The Dot&Dot Shoe Bag is a simple solution designed to protect your clothing and other items from your shoes. These shoe bags are a simple, but effective, way to help organize and separate your clothing inside your luggage.
We love the thoughtful features including a fabric lining to separate the two shoes, a handy top handle, and side ventilation to help control odors. In addition, the lightweight fabric is water repellent and easy-to-clean, adding an extra layer of protection to both your shoes and other items.
This shoe bag, which is 13.75” x 7” x 4.5,” is sized to hold all types of shoes, including specialty styles for activities such as soccer and ballroom. Although they’re great for travel, you can also use them to help organize your closet at home.
For a terrific addition to your travel organization system, we recommend Dot&Dot’s shoe bags.
A money belt is similar to a fanny pack but designed to be worn unseen, including under clothing. It’s another highly useful, non-luggage travel bag. The Alpha Keeper money belt can be used to store your passport and other valuables including money and credit cards.
It has the RFID-blocking technology, which helps safeguard your personal information, giving you additional peace of mind while traveling. We found that the water-resistant nylon was durable, lightweight, and comfortable.
Additional features include a sturdy zipper, an adjustable elastic waist, an earphone port, and a key holder inside. An extra front pocket is sized to hold most smartphones. Even if you use it to hold several items, we found that you don’t feel the money belt at all!
For a secure and lightweight travel money belt, we recommend this model by Alpha Keeper.