Best Travel Bags for Any Destination

Best Travel Bags for Any Destination

best travel bags luggage suitcases

Whether you’re a traveler who packs light or takes the entire house along, luggage is one of the most integral parts of any journey. There’s also a dizzying array of bags to choose from to meet myriad requirements from the globe’s increasingly diverse population of travelers.

When choosing a bag, it’s important to ensure that the bag will withstand the rigors of your planned travel, is large enough to contain your packing style and is distinct enough that it won’t be mistaken for someone else’s property. Whether taking a weekend getaway or a months-long sabbatical, there’s a bag to suit virtually every traveler. From full-size checked bags to trunks, packing cubes, toiletry pouches and everything in between, here are a few of the top travel bags from every category.


The Design-Forward Carry-On

Arlo Skye Anodized Aluminum Carry-On With A Removable Charging Station

When the Arlo Skye carry-on hit the market in 2016, it caused a stir. Conceived by industry veterans from Louis Vuitton and Tumi, this suitcase is made of buttery anodized aluminum with silent wheels, a removable charging station, zipper-less clamshell closure and internal compression system. It has everything the style-conscious traveler needs. It’s small enough to fit in the overhead even on smaller regional aircraft, which is a plus because the one drawback is its lack of durability (the manufacturer recommends avoiding checking it). For travelers who need hardier bags, there’s a polycarbonate carry on and a check-in size without the charger.

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The Modern Everyman Carry-On

The Away Polycarbonate Carry On in Blush

For travelers seeking a wide variety of bag options with modern features like removable chargers, the Away line of carry-ons is perfect. The affordable bags come in durable, lightweight polycarbonate or aluminum. There’s a traditional carry-on all the way up to larger check-in sizes and they’re stackable inside each other for easy storage.

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The Luxury Trunk

When Louis Vuitton first began making luggage in the 19th century, journeys were long and arduous, and luggage generally rode outside. Early trunks has rounded tops to encourage water runoff, but Vuitton saw benefit from a flat top design so trunks would be stackable. The company still makes trunks today (in addition to all manner of modern suitcases and carry-ons) which open like portable wardrobes. Because of their expense, most are made to order, but for high-end travelers wanting the comforts of their home closet in any environment, there’s no equal.

The company also makes specialized cases for all types of difficult-to-pack items, from watches and ties to champagne bottles with matching flutes.

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The Anti-Theft Backpack

Pacsafe Anti-Theft Luggage

Popular tourist destinations, unfortunately, tend to draw a significant amount of theft. Thieves can slash bag handles or through the sides of bags to make off with wallets, passports, laptops and other valuables. Anti-theft backpacks and other travel bags are made from anti-slash materials; often lined with steel cables or made of bulletproof materials. Zippers have hidden pulls or are lockable so they can’t be unzipped without the wearer’s knowledge. Passports and other RFID readable items can be stored in RFID-blocking pouches.

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The Chic Duffel

Herschel Supply Co. Duffel With a Hidden Shoe Compartment

The duffel has long been the mainstay of weekend trips, often to hardy, rustic locales. Portability and ease of packing make these bags popular with anyone headed out on a short journey, with just enough room for a few outfits, swimsuits and other necessities. The Herschel Supply Co. comes in a number of colors and prints and has the standard separate shoe compartment to keep your treasured outfits clean from dirty soles.

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The Updated Vintage Suitcase

Vintage Suitcase Collections From Steamline Luggage

A relatively new luggage throwback comes in a variety of colors, courtesy of Steamline Luggage. With clasp opens and Jazz-Age leather details with fanciful interior linings, these roomy cases also have modern features like integral wheels—some even come in the latest “spinner” designs. Hardy suitcase designs like this are particularly suitable for longer journeys or those where luggage won’t always be protected from the elements, as they’re more waterproof and keep shape better than soft-sided designs.

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Packing Cubes

Packing Cubes From Flight 001

Gone are the days when you have to tear apart your suitcase just to find one item. Packing cubes keep everything organized and are indispensable to packers who like to save space and keep everything as wrinkle-free as possible. The cubes are ideal for separating items by type, as well as for separating smaller items so they don’t get lost among larger contents. This set from travel retailer Flight 001 comes color-coded in various sizes for easy fitting into a larger case.

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The Corrugated Classic

Go to any airport with flights to Europe and you’re bound to see a number of RIMOWA’s famous corrugated metal or polycarbonate bags. The German company has been making famous cases for more than a hundred years.

The company’s aluminum cases are a familiar sight, but the metal construction is a happy accident. A 1930 factory fire left the company with only aluminum to continue building cases with. The rest, as they say, is history. The company’s bags are available in sizes from carry-on all the way up to steamer trunk-sized cases and the battle scars of each trip give each bag a character of its own.

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The Beach Bag

Aloha Water Resistant Travel Tote

A malleable, packable bag for shopping or beach excursions is a must-have for all journeys—whether there’s a beach involved or not. The utility for these bags is their packability. They can be folded into a small square and packed away to be pulled out when needed, yet they’re spacious enough hold all the essentials. Or, you can use the bag as your carry-on and switch it to your beach bag on arrival.

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The Humble Toiletry Bag

Medium Personal Organizer Toiletry Bag from L. L. Bean.

There are a million toiletry bags out there, and owing to TSA guidelines concerning the carriage of liquids through checkpoints in US airports, a vast number of them are clear. The stylish Personal Organizer bag by L.L. Bean comes in small, medium and large with water-resistant material and a hook so your bag never sits on a wet surface. However, if you prefer style over function and rely on a trusty Zip-Loc for liquids anyway, the toiletry bag by shave brand Harry’s is water-resistant and spacious enough to fit your morning essentials.

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