August 22, 2023

My Favorite Travel Bags

Travel bags are relatively subjective. It’s all about how you travel, what you travel with, the length of the stay. This article is going to touch on a few different bags and why I love them. I’ve owned the crappy suitcases from Marshall’s and TJ Maxx. Now my primary suitcase is an Away bag. They’ve all served their different purposes, and some are now no longer welcome back in my house. We didn’t get into a fight, I just simply don’t have a need for them anymore. I’ve graduated, matured, found a more suitable partner. At this stage in my travel career, I have definitely found my favorite combinations of travel bags to take on trips. I’m dying to share them with you, so without further ado, let’s discover these mysterious travel bags.

My Two Away Suitcases - Carry On and Medium

1. Away Suitcases

Through lengthy research, I knew that I had to have an Away suitcase. All the cool kids have one, and I consider myself a cool kid. Scratch that, I am a nerd and we all know it, including myself. Away puts out these delightful travel bags that are just perfect. The bags have a TSA-approved lock, and in the package they even send what seems to be a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser so you can wipe off the beauty after a hard day’s travel. Truth be told, I’ve only used it once, but I liked the detail behind the gesture. Away’s suitcases are sturdy, their wheels are like no other, and the inside of it has one compartment that is open (where the cat goes) and one that zips up. It also has a flap on top that you can zip some items in. It’s always where my hair straightener ends up for some reason. I feel that that is just the right spot for it. Do you want one now? Here is a $20 off code. I advise you to buy a fun color - you’ll really stand out!

Both Sets of Packing Cubes

2. Packing Cubes

Something I discovered way too late in my travel life, packing cubes are some of the best additions to my travel bags. My alternative, which I felt was clever, was stuffing things into shoe or purse dust bags. Heck, I had kept them all over the years and I thought I’d put them to good use. However, when I discovered the official packing cube, I was sold. When you purchase a set, like the ones I have, they come in various sizes. They also come with a dirty laundry bag and a separate shoe bag. I have two sets, and one is compressible. Honestly, I don’t really see a massive difference in the packing experience with compressible bags, but I do like that they pack a big tighter. When traveling, I mix both types, depending on what I take with me. Yes, I do recommend a set of packing cubes. The organization and compartmentalization is wonderful, and everything is much easier to find.

Cuyana Weekender Bag - with Merlin on Top

3. Cuyana Weekender Bag

Splurge purchase! I can’t remember why I gifted myself the Cuyana Weekender, but I absolutely love it. Not sure why they market it to men, but I  am a woman and do own it. It’s sleek and classy, and I opted to add my initials. Cuyana is a brand I discovered from the Everyday Parisian, and I’m so glad I did. Their products are on the more expensive side, but I like their business model. Cuyana promotes women all around the world, enlisting their unique skills to help craft beautiful products that last a very long time. They are primarily women-led and and run, which is important to me in my efforts to support other women in business. This bag has gone on…you guessed it…weekend stays, and been part of my carry-on luggage for shorter jaunts. I love the sturdiness of it, and it’s a bag that I know I’ll be using for many, many years. If you have the funds to splurge, I definitely support and encourage this as part of your travel bags.

Clear Bags FTW

4. Small Clear Bags

There is absolutely no glam or glitz for these types of travel bags. My dentist started to give these away with the toothbrush, floss, and travel toothpaste for each visit. Every six months I acquire another little clear bag when I get my cleaning. For a traveler like myself, these are ideal for all of my travel-size products, makeup, makeup brushes, etc. I can see everything in the bag, so it makes it really easy for me to grab what I need when I’m traveling. If your dentist isn’t giving these out and is still giving out those tiny plastic useless bags with the handles that break, maybe it’s time for a new dentist. Alternatively, you can purchase them on Amazon. And while you’re at it, make the suggestion to Dr. Tooth so we can stop putting crappy plastic bags into the landfills. Win-win! You can go classier, more expensive, but I have really grown to appreciate their functionality. Also, they are washable. I turn them inside out, throw them in the wash on cold, and air dry them. What a great little up-cycling tale, right?

My Large Tote!

5. Large Tote

My gut was telling me to say a large “leather” tote, because that is what I have. Years ago, I bought a big, open leather tote from a company called Pour la Victoire. Sadly, I believe they are out of business. Fortunately, you can find a large tote almost anywhere at any price. Frequently when I travel, I use this bag for my large carry-on. I shove everything in there, from snacks to an extra set of clothes to my electronics case. All of my favorite travel items typically go in there, or at least what I need to get through a flight. The bag has served its purpose, it has battle wounds all over it, but oh my gosh is it one of my most used travel bags in my collection. I had no idea when I purchased it how much I would end up using it. Other great news is that I can shove it under the seat in front of me, so I don’t have to put it in the overhead bin and be away from all the “necessary” items I need on any given trip. If you don’t have a large tote already, here are a few I really like and are worthy of a purchase: Rothy's, Cuyana, Longchamp.

Longchamp Bag Unfolded

6. Longchamp Travel Bag

One of the best purchases I’ve made in terms of travel bags is the Longchamp Le Pliage Original S Travel Bag. First of all, if you’re not familiar with Longchamp, the Le Pliage collection folds up to this nice, compact version of itself so you can pack it away easily. Or, you can pack it in your suitcase so when you buy those 10 bottles of wine, you have a spot for them. How I use it best is packing it in my checked bag, because I’m a checked bag girl most of the time. When I get to my destination and realize I need wine, olive oil, ornaments, art, or anything that has to go into a checked bag, I have this bag to whip out and put my dirt clothes in. They don’t need extra protection from the abuse the hard Away suitcase will endure. Clothes can handle a little roughhousing from the baggage folks. I recommend this bag to anyone who likes souvenirs. It’s been a life-saver in many circumstances and has served its purpose on many trips. Add this to all of your other travel bags and you’ll be a happy traveler.

PacSafe Backpack in Action in London!

7. PacSafe Backpack/Crossbody Purse

Crime crime crime. It’s what we hear about when we travel abroad, as if it doesn’t happen in our own backyards. There is no denial, though, that this backpack/crossbody has really been a blessing for my travels. I don’t have to worry that someone is going to easily pull something out of my bag. When I was in Europe as a wee 20 year old, I remember being on a train and someone starting to go for my pack. My friend grabbed me and turned me around so my back was to the wall, and that was that. Nowadays, you can find a number of handy travel packs that give you one less thing to stress out about on your trip. As far as travel bags go, this is spectacular. The best feature? You can wind the strap around a chair while you’re eating at a restaurant and lock it shut. Someone tries to steal your purse, they are going to be dragging a chair or table around. Ha! Imagine that. I highly recommend one, and they make larger packs if you want a straight backpack. My personal preference is a more dainty purse option for nicer nights out.

It’s Not a Sprint to Collect These, It’s a Marathon

It’s taken me years to know what types of bags to buy, appreciate, feel are worth the money. This is a breakdown so it helps you to not waste your time or money on items that don’t end up serving their purpose. Knowing what to purchase is 75% of the battle, having the budget (for some of these) is the other 25% of it. Knowing you are making an investment on these travel bags justifies the cost. Also knowing you will use the heck out of them makes it that much more delightful of a purchase. These bags can be used for any type of travel, too. Car, train, bus, plane. I’m a plane traveler, or at least that’s my preference. This is how I use these bags on my trips, and I hope you find as much joy in these travel bags as I do. Remember, you don’t have to buy them all at once. Make it a slow accumulation to your collection, just like you would anything else expensive. And happy traveling!

Some of the links go to my affiliate account. If you purchase from one (at no charge to you), you're supporting my growing business. Thank you!

Share The Article
Subscribe To My
Newsletter List
Get 15% off of your first order, and valuable lifestyle content that will change your life for the better.
Stay Updated
Give it a try, you can unsubscribe anytime.