One of my greatest travel obsessions is a good ol’ trusty travel bag — but make that plural. There are different types of travel bags, after all, and each of them serves a purpose. I admit, when I was young and naive, I used to think that you need only one or two travel bags for a smooth-sailing adventure. But alas, age has caught up with this “almost tita”, and I find that I stop midway when I “force” items into a bag they don’t belong in. “No, no. That goes here, and this goes in there,” I tell myself.
Don’t ask me whether this need to have several travels bags comes from being OC, or simply because I want my things to be kept in nice-looking bags to make my travels feel more personable. Maybe it’s more of the latter on most days, and the former on special days. Maybe it’s both. I can’t tell. But you get the picture — I love travel bags in whatever shape or form they come. I bet they’ll grow on you too. So to set you on the right track, check out the 10 types of travel bags you’ll (inevitably) use in this lifetime!
1. Your favourite suitcase
A suitcase is a traveller’s best friend, and if you choose wisely, it won’t ever let you down. Like all bags, suitcases come in different materials, sizes, and colours. But what I love about them is how you can adorn them with quirky items to avoid mistaking someone else’s similar one as your own. You would have to be blind not to see suitcases in an airport whose handles are wrapped in colourful overgrips and ribbons. Some suitcases even have stickers on them or an illustrative cover that conceals the whole bag.
Point being, your luggage doesn’t have to be boring. Pick one in your favourite colour, or maybe one that has several compartments apt for your travel style. Once you’ve made it your own, you’ll find yourself reaching for your suitcase every time you travel, not because it’s the only one you have, but because it reflects you in style and function. Now that is a good travel investment!
2. An everyday backpack or shoulder bag
Don’t cringe — I’m also picky with the day bag I use during my travels, if only for the reason that they’re an extension of one’s OOTD (no judgements, please). But again, I would suggest you merge style and functionality. It is absolutely unacceptable to pick a day bag just because it looks cute and trendy. Your belongings need to fit comfortably, and you need to be able to take them out effortlessly. The last thing you want is a bulky travel bag that you need to dig into just to retrieve one item. Let’s admit it though — we’ve all been there, so it’s time to take a stand. Upgrade to a new day bag and end thy suffering!
Tip: I personally love Legato Largo and Anello bags for travelling. Their price ranges from ₱1,500 – ₱3,600. Plus, their designs are just the right blend of lovely and practical for men and women. Check out the different brands of travel bags you can buy in the Philippines!
3. A sturdy hiking bag
If you plan on conquering mountains and pursuing a hiker’s bucket list, you’ll need a hiking bag. Sure, backpacks could serve you well…in a pinch. Those travel bags naturally wear out quickly if you keep using them on hiking trails. So, instead of placing your poor backpack at the mercy of Mt. Ulap or whatever summit you’re climbing, invest in a hiking bag whose durability will not only carry your belongings but can also withstand the elements. Plus, the hip belts on hiking bags are Godsent. Give your exhausted back a break, adjust those belts, and let the weight of your bag rest on your hips instead!
4. Your best beach bag
I’ll be damned if I had to use my everyday handbag to the beach. Handbags aren’t exactly built for the sand and sea, especially if they come from a premium brand. This is why it’s important to have a beach bag waiting at your beck and call. It doesn’t need to be fancy, really. It just needs to be spacious and if possible, waterproof. And if you ask me, as long as you can find travel bags that are waterproof, go for it.
5. A helpful eco bag
By now, I hope you know that eco bags are helpful in more ways than one. Plastic waste can take up to a thousand years to degrade, while it only takes most consumers a couple of hours or even minutes of using plastic before throwing it away, thus contributing to the world’s plastic pollution.
Having a trusty eco bag will not only make you feel less guilty, but it’s genuinely one of the solid helpful actions to take in your everyday activities — especially when you’re travelling. No one is excused from their environmental responsibility no matter where they are. So the next time you’re shopping for souvenirs, bring an eco bag! In fact, maybe your beach bag can double up as one.
6. A spacious duffel bag
Based on experience and observations, travellers usually buy a duffel bag when they need to redistribute the weight and content of their luggage due to souvenir shopping. If you find yourself stuck in this scenario, lucky you. You actually have a valid excuse to buy another carry-on bag before flying home. You can even use it as a gym bag when you’re not travelling. Travel bags can be multi-purpose too!
7. Your ever-reliable anti-theft bag
Anti-theft bags are becoming more and more popular for the obvious reason — no one wants to get mugged in their travels. To be honest, they’re not the most stylish travel bags to carry around. In fact, some designs look odd. But if you plan on going to reputable dodgy places, to hell with style. Prioritise your safety and the security of your valuables. Anti-theft bags come with secret pockets, are also anti-cut, and have Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) compartments where you can safely place your passport and credit cards without worrying about unauthorised scanning. Now that is a hardcore travel bag if ever I’ve heard of one.
8. Your go-to laundry bag
Before you snicker, you have to consider that this is one of the most underappreciated travel bags ever! Don’t tell me that you just dunk your dirty clothes in your luggage. They need to be segregated too, else let your whole travel bag stink. Some hotels offer complimentary laundry bags that have agreeable quality. If you don’t want to buy one, why not bring those home for future use?
9. A vanity and toiletry bag
To keep everything neat and orderly, place everything you use in the bathroom, meaning your skincare products and toiletries, in one vanity bag. Don’t hesitate to get a big one either. You never know what you might need to place inside a vanity bag. As someone who takes her skincare very seriously, I found that I had to invest in a spacious vanity kit if I really wanted to keep the horrible acne and dryness away.
To do that, I had to bring more products with me on my travels than just the usual facial wash and toner, and I couldn’t settle with mini travel bags to fit all my bathroom essentials. But that’s just me. I’m sure there are plenty of travellers who can’t be bothered with skincare. Still, having a toiletry kit is a must to keep any form of liquid from touching your suitcase and clothes.
10. Organisers or packing cubes
Speaking of keeping things in order, what better way to do that than to use organisers or packing cubes in your suitcase? One for underwear, another for clothes, one more for swimwear, and the works. You’ll feel infinitely grateful for packing cubes when you’ll need to rearrange your suitcase before flying home and then finally unpacking — because you can narrow down exactly where to find something!
That’s about all the travel bags I believe every traveller will undoubtedly use in this lifetime. I know I’ve used most of them. Which of these travel bags is most useful to you?