Having the right bag is everything. For avid travelers, a well-chosen vehicle for your must-haves (and then some) can make or break any occasion on a trip. Add to your must-haves these five bags, and you’ll find yourself both chic and prepared.
For the moments you need to feel freer than a Costco sample. Relieve both your hands and your arm muscles by carrying the bare-minimum that can hang lackadaisically on your person: phone, ID, and credit cards. A crossbody carries all these plus one or two others: a tube of lipstick or sunglasses, for instance. They’re also highly secure and lessen the likelihood of getting pickpocketed.
For the masculine piece to protect your most professional assets, and for the executive, the writer, the coffee shop telecommuter. Briefcases are simple, straightforward, no-nonse, but not without a style of their own. Nothing says professional and poised like a great leather home for your precious laptop and briefings. Briefcases, by the way, needn’t be men-only (but while we’re at it, a great men’s gift idea is a stylish, modern briefcase among one of these business bags for men).
For the bookworm, the writer, the heftier-essentials carrier. If you’re spending an entire day walking, backpacks can carry a book and a laptop (hey, it’s tough not to leave the house with both!), something to eat or drink, and other essentials. With a backpack, your hands remain free, of course, but you’re still prepared to bring shopping bags home with ease or to carry your lunch leftovers from the restaurant back to the hotel. Good backpacks should be built for daily (if not daily) use: choose one with sturdy fabric, like leather or canvas, tight stitching, and strong zippers. And as cute as drawstring-opening backpacks may look on top, beware of their tendency to sometimes spill out its contents.
Traveler’s tip: for extra security, place items in your backpack’s inside pockets-not the outside ones-to avoid getting pickpocketed.
For the fabulous and carefree weekenders, and the strategic and minimal packers. The standard size for airline carry-on bags is 14 by 22 inches. Pack anywhere from a weekend trip to a week-long excursion (yes, it is possible with a carry-on!), and enjoy the satisfaction of carting around your entire life simply, in a wheeled suitcase.
Traveler’s tip: To achieve the minimal packing job, lay out everything you think you need, halve it, then halve it again. It may sound crazy, but you really do need less than you think.
The Week-Plus Suitcase
For the traveler that likes her options-no matter where she finds herself. This is really where investment is key. When we’re talking about the shell. out. extra. I’m talking sturdy wheels that can withstand the weight of a larger bag, scratch-resistant exterior, outside and inside pockets, shoe and garment bags, design-savvy internal compartments, and a solid warranty. Quality wheels on a quality bag bear repeating. No one wants to drag a heavy suitcase through cobblestone streets in an unfamiliar area because the wheels on your now-stuffed suitcase weren’t up for the job.
Traveler’s tip: Get real fancy with it by finding a bag that can charge your cell phone. Hello, twenty-first century.
Bottom line: whatever your errand or occasion, there’s a bag for that. Choose wisely, and keep the features important to you in mind. Consider design and practicality-is this something you’re comfortable and confident carrying wherever you go? If so, then click “Buy” and travel in style!