Last updated on June 8, 2020
Next to your passport, tickets and comfortable walking shoes, having a trusty travel bag is key to a successful trip away. Not only will your luggage allow you to take everything you want with you safely and securely, but it’ll also free you up so you can enjoy new destinations without being preoccupied by it.
Here are the essential bags all types of travellers should have in their arsenal.
Big Backpacking Backpack
Nothing beats a good hiking-style backpack. With tons of space and multiple compartments, they’re ideal for keeping organised while travelling.
They also allow you to strap things to the outside, which is great for carrying even more stuff or airing out your clothes as you move from place to place.
What’s more, some backpacks are compact enough to take them on on planes as carry-on, so these are great options if you only want to travel with one bag.
Small Weekender Backpack
A comfortable backpack is ideal for short trips away. Some travellers even keep a small backpack rolled up in their big backpack, so that they can use it as a “hands-free” day pack.
You can also use them to carry everything you need with you for your trip, then empty it at your hotel and use it as a day pack to carry essential items as you explore new destinations.
Small Wheeled Carry-on Suitcase
If you’d rather not have to carry your bag on your shoulders or back then a soft or hard-shelled suitcase on wheels could be just the trick.
They come with pull out handles that make them easy to manoeuvre and pull around, helping you breeze through airports.
Most of the smaller ones are made to be carry-on size too, so you can travel lightly and freely with just one bag.
Be aware, however, that they are a bit more of a pain to drag around old cobbled-stoned cities and you can draw attention to your “tourist-ness” sometimes, which isn’t always desirable.
Large Wheeled Suitcase
If you’re going away for a few weeks or months and want to take all your creature comforts with you, a solid suitcase on wheels is the way to go.
You’ll have to check it in at the airport, but a hard-shelled suitcase will keep all your stuff safe and secure, while the wheels/handle will make it easy to get it to and from the airport.
Tote bags are always handy to have rolled up in your suitcase and backpack. Use it to go to the supermarket, to the beach, or to carry your picnic to the park.
They’re lightweight and strong – essential regardless of the type of travelling you like to do.
Different fabrics have different characteristics, so the material of the tote bag you choose should be considered carefully. Some options are more durable while others are more cost-effective, so your choice will depend on your personal preference. Try to avoid tote bags made with synthetic materials and opt for canvas, cotton or jute where possible.
Offering loads of space and serious durability, duffle bags are hard-wearing travel bags that last a long time.
They come in all sorts of different shapes and sizes, some with backpack-style straps so you can wear it on your back, or a shoulder strap so you can carry it more like a book bag.
Some duffel travel bags even come with wheels and pull out handles, making them suitable for carrying heavy sports equipment.
Some are small enough to take on your flight as carry-on, while others are big and bulky enough that you’ll have to check them in. But either way, you can count on your duffel bag to take a beating.
Bum Bags / Fanny Packs
Sometimes you don’t really need a bag at all, but still need somewhere other than your pockets to carry your travel essentials, such as your phone, wallet, passport and keys.
In this scenario, a trust bum bag (UK) or fanny pack (USA) can really come in handy.
Wear it around one shoulder, over your chest, and you’ll look as trendy as many of the cool kids these days.
Yep, 80s fashion has finally made a comeback!