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The Best Bags for Travel

February 28, 2017 No Comments

When we all travel, we have different needs to meet by the type of bags we are going to carry along for the ride. Maybe its a conference and you need to tote along to a laptop. Maybe you’re going to be stuffing snacks and kids’ activities on your carry-on for the flight. Maybe you need some sort of clutch for that one date night. Or maybe you need to find the trick to dealing with all three of these situations – I’ve been there! 

This is clearly going to be based on your needs and what you prioritize as important features for a bag. We can all agree that we need the most space for our stuff, but function versus chicness will be a personal call. I opt to leave my Louis Vuitton carry all at home unless I am doing a short, local flight where it will be within my sight at all times. I’m probably 75% function and 25% aesthetics. 

I’m going to give you the best bags that I have personally tested and can get behind. Each bag functions well for a few different scenarios, so I constantly keep them in rotation. I even included some husband approved bags for the guys. 

Fjallraven Backpack
I first discovered this baby in Montreal and bought a mini version on the spot. Turned out it was way too small for even a day trip to Disneyland and way too uncomfortable to wear on my back (it’s more of a kids’ size). Before our trip to Copenhagen, I ended up getting the classic size and I have gotten so much use out of it! It was great to go “hands-free” while traveling with a child and it’s minimalist design is a nice touch when you just want something to throw everything into.  It fits a laptop and is super sturdy (I now take it to Disneyland every time we go). I feel comfortable wearing it with everything from jeans in the desert to a dress in the city. 
Best perk: Comes in every color imaginable.
Dagne Dover 15-inch Tote
It’s kind of hard to imagine what the hell you will do with a 15- inch tote; that’s huge! But trust me, you will wonder what you ever did with out it when traveling.  This line of bags is my favorite for travel (I have several style and sizes) and I cannot say enough about them.  The 15-inch has a specific slot for a laptop, as well as for everything else.  If you are a believer in “there should be a place for everything and everything in its place,” the Dagne tote is your spirit animal. I hauled this all over London as my daily bag and my carry-on.  It fit all sorts of snacks, activity books, my make-up, etc. while on the plane and was great for storing layers of clothes and souvenirs while wandering around the city.  
Best perk: The coated canvas makes for easy cleaning.
Timbuk2 Messenger Bag
My husband swears by Timbuk2 messenger bags for carrying everything he needs on a trip. He often uses it as a carry-on and is able to stuff all of our camera equipment in it during the day, along with his other “man essentials.”  They come in a variety of sizes, colors, and textures. He prefers the large size for longer trips.  
Best perk: The comfortable shoulder strap.
Crumpler Shoulder Bag
We discovered Crumpler bags in Australia (where they are made). I mean, everyone had one.  I eventually got my own and it is a great quality bag. It has the strongest velcro ever (no one is getting in your bag without you knowing) and nice padding if you are toting items that need some protecting.  They have several styles now, including some great looking backpacks.  
Best perk: You probably won’t see too many people in the States with this bag. 


Dagne Dover Clutch Wallet
Okay, so this is kind of a tease, because Dagne Dover is not currently carrying this right now and I’m not sure they will again. However, I’m sure you can find it through other outlets and -fingers crossed- maybe they will bring it back since they are revamping some other signature items. Having said all of that- this thing is pretty amazing. When I travel I use this as my wallet (it tucks nicely in the side pouch of the Dagne totes). It fits all of my cards, cash, passport, and even my iPhone if I take it out of the case. When I go out on a date night, I can carry it as a clutch, with or without the wristlet strap, or wear it with the gold cross body chain. It came in the same coated canvas or there was a leather option. 
Best perk: The most diverse item; worth the cost. 
*UPDATE: Dagne Dover has released their newly redesigned Clutch Wallet and a new Slim Wallet, which looks great for every day use!
I am always looking to discover new great travel bags. Please let me know what you think about these if you’ve tried them or what others you recommend!




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    Dr. Shiloh

    Travel has always been a part of my life and I have found the key to making it a part of my professional experience. Expect recaps of great destinations, advice on incorporating travel into your work & tips on making travel with a family easier. Cheerio!


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