Handbags, backpacks, satchels, purses, anything that is bag-like I can assure you I’ve tried them all. For the past two years I have been on the hunt for the best travel bag; big or small I was just looking for products that would make my life easier while on the road. I have had my share of awful experiences with bags; when you can’t stuff everything in your bag because it only buttons and doesn’t zip is actually the worst. Actually no, the worst is when you try to stuff everything in anyways and the button comes undone while your walking so you don’t notice it. Through trial and error I have finally accumulated a list of my top 5 best travel bags, all different styles and prices (and very easy to find similar, more affordable styles!)
5. Herschel Little America Backpack $100
After an unfortunate encounter with bed bugs I was forced to throw away everything I had with me… including my backpack. But luckily it led me to finally invest in the backpack I originally wanted but didn’t want to spend an extra $40 for. I have learned this lesson many, many times but I think this time it finally stuck. ‘Spending a little extra on quality will save you money in the long run.’
So I just recently got this backpack but I have already used it on a few weekend trips and it has really made quite the impression. Its the perfect size for a short trip. I love my mini rolling suitcase but when you take the metro to and from the airport you will quickly wish you had taken a backpack (there will always be more stairs than you think, especially when you are anywhere but America). It is also made of a thick canvas so it is very easy to clean and it’s water resistant. It has a velvety inside pocket that fits my 15 inch Macbook Pro perfectly, two small inside pockets, and one zipper pocket on the front. Aside from all these great features, the most important one is the padding on the straps and back. The whole back and straps have a thick padding that is magic. I instantly noticed a difference when I took this backpack on my first trip, I had to carry it a lot longer than normal because of the long lines.
4. Kate Spade Makeup Bags $70
Anyone who knows me knows how obsessed I am with makeup. No matter where I go or what I am doing, my makeup is coming along with me. Some people will downsize their makeup stash or eliminate it completely when traveling but I can assure you that won’t be me. It doesn’t matter how much of a hassle it is, makeup will always be on my list of necessities.
That being said, I have experimented with every form of makeup storage possible and found these two little bags to be absolutely perfect for travel. Now I know this is a specific brand, I love Kate Spade, her products are always great quality and last long, but you can really get any brand, its the shape I am talking about here. The key is to find a structured box shaped bag, this is for the bulky things like foundations, powders, and eyeshadows. And another bag that looks like a pencil case, this is perfect for brushes, eyeliners, mascaras, etc. These two bags fit EVERYTHING and i mean everything, I can stack my makeup neatly and their shapes make it easy to access everything on the go. They always fit on the side of the sink, even the really small European sinks in the really small European bathrooms.
These bags are an absolute must, even if you don’t carry pounds of makeup with you at all times they are super practical and can be used for pretty much anything.
3. Bimba y Lola Cross-Body Bag $165
A small side bag that zips is smart to have in any country, especially ones that have issues with pickpockets. When moving to Spain I decided I was going to buy a nice leather side bag that is still cute and zips. The search was surprisingly harder than I thought, but don’t worry I found the perfect one and am going to tell you all about it.
My favorite part about this bag is that it is structured, which means it holds its shape and stands on its own. So when I go to get things out of it it kind of just floats there and lets me find whatever I need, easily! I have only ever used unstructured side bags and it was always a hassle to get stuff out of it. Seriously this bag is amazing, it fits everything, its small, the straps are durable, quality leather (so pickpockets can’t do the thing where they cut the strap off of your purse) and it looks good.
2. Hard Shelled Luggage $Varies
This is probably the most important one (even though it is number 2). Hard luggage is a must, I have been on countless international and domestic flights and had things broken, lotions leaked, and mysterious stains on the luggage after. When I went to Dublin my luggage came out with two thick black tire marks on it… how does that even happen. I upgraded to the London Fog Retro Lightweight 3 Piece Luggage Set and I absolutely love it.
I would highly recommend getting a hard shelled suitcase, if you don’t want to invest in the set get the big one because it is the one that will be going under the plane and there is no way of telling what is going on once you surrender your bags at the check in counter.
1. Longchamp Le Pliage $115+
Okay, I know almost everyone has a Longchamp bag of some sort but there is a reason why things get popular. I have been using Longchamp Le Pliage bags for years now and they have never failed me! They are easy to clean, portable, fit everything, and zip. My favorite is the medium sized one, I have had the same black medium sized Longchamp for almost 6 years now and it still looks and functions like new. I also have the large one in dark brown and lilac.
These are my all time favorites for traveling because the one thing I really dislike about living out of a suitcase is not having variety in my wardrobe. Packing light is absolutely necessary so variety is always the first thing to go. These bags fold up into themselves and snap shut(as shown in the picture). They get almost completely flat so you can pack a bunch of them. I would suggest having one in a neutral color and one in a statement color, you can dress them up or dress them down. Whatever it is, the Longchamp Le Pliage is what you make it.
So there it is, my top 5. It has been a long time coming but I truly swear by these bags. Let me know some of your favorites!