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Choosing the right travel bag is crucial to a good vacation. If that sounds a bit dramatic, picture yourself walking through an airport pulling your wobbling luggage behind you. The kind that just won’t stay balanced on its wheels for anything. Your tote bag keeps slipping off your arm and waiting for you at your destination is a bag full of spilled shampoo because it was tossed in with your clothes instead of packed in a waterproof toiletry bag. Ugh.
That was me. . . and it will never be me again. Over the years I’ve made it my mission to put numerous travel bags to the test. From carry-on luggage to weekender bags, duffle bags, totes and toiletry bags, these are the the travel bags for women that can make a long weekend seem short (and truly effortless).
The Best Carry-On Luggage
When it comes to finding the best carry-on luggage, I always look for bags that are easy to maneuver, hold a lot of personal items and can stay relatively well organized during my (sometimes hectic) getaway. One of my favorites in lightweight luggage is the Travelpro Maxlite 5 Softside Expandable Luggage with 4 Spinner Wheels. This carry-on weighs only 5.4 pounds and is expandable, with the possibility of adding up to two additional inches of capacity.
Speaking of capacity and organization, these next two options offer a ton of extra and well-designed space. Just wait until you experience the compression system in the Away The Bigger Carry-On Suitcase and the innovative built-in packing cubes found inside the Solgaard Carry-On. They’re a packing game changer!
Looking for the best budget-friendly option? The Amazon Basics Hardside Spinner is hard to beat!
Here are a few more of our carry-on luggage top picks:
The Best Weekender Bags
For short weekend trips, nothing beats the space-saving and easy-to-carry weekender travel bag for women. If your plans include jet-setting to luxury destinations, try the SoFo Cotton Canvas Weekender by Horizn Studios. It’s sleek, cabin-friendly and best of all it’s made from recycled waterproof materials.
Finally, we can’t forget to mention the Weekender Travel Bag by Vera Bradley. Fashionable and carry-on compliant, this bag is one of our top picks because it’s also machine washable. Have you ever taken the time to think about how dirty your luggage is? Maybe it’s better not to know, but if you want to know, check out this article.
Our best weekender travel bags for women top picks:
The Best Travel Duffle Bags
Duffle bags have easily become my new favorite travel accessory! Perfect for last-minute packers, duffle bags are a great hold-all option because they’re both spacious and versatile. Admittingly, at first, I wasn’t sold on the whole gym bag/travel bag trend, but after being introduced to the Rockland Rolling Duffel Bag, there was no looking back. Because it has inline wheels, you have the option to either carry or roll your luggage, making it perfect for all types of adventures!
Another great duffle bag option is the best-seller Herschel Novel Duffel Bag, which also includes a separate side pocket for carrying your shoes.
Our favorite top-pick duffle bags:
The Best Tote Bags
Your bags are packed and loaded into the overhead compartment or trunk, but you still want to have a few items by your side during your travels… Say hello to your new favorite tote bag!
Tote bags are great travel bags for women because they hold all of those little things you don’t want to pack away in your suitcase, but still want to bring on your trip. A sweater, an iPad, a few snacks—you get the idea.
For lots of space and a designer look that can be taken anywhere, we recommend the Camtop Travel Bag. Made of durable, but soft canvas, this top pick tote also includes a shoulder strap so you can wear your tote like a crossbody bag!
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Looking for something that won’t easily show its wear? The black tote bag from Bagsmart is made of water-resistant and tear-resistant fabric. Plus, it can be easily folded into a small pouch when not in use.
The tote bags we can’t live without:
The Best Toiletry Bags
After having my shampoo spill out into my bag, I’ve never since packed without also including a toiletry bag. Options that include multiple storage compartments with zippers are now my typical go-to. Although having a hanging hook is pretty great too!
When it comes to picking the best toiletry bag, how much you plan to bring along does make a difference. If you’re planning on bringing everything except the bathroom sink, the large capacity of the Narwey Hanging Travel Toiletry Bag will help you store and find exactly what you need.
Just bringing a few items? We adore the Sea to Summit TravellingLight Hanging Toiletry Bag. It’s both durable and water-resistant. Plus, because it comes with a hanging hook, you can save time by just taking it in the shower with you.
For a budget-friendly option, try the cute and functional Narwey Hanging Travel Toiletry Bag.