Anyone who has traveled a fair amount knows the value of a good tote. The workhorse of the travel bag ensemble, it’s the perfect carry-all for your essentials. You can toss everything in one roomy bag (we’re talking wallet, passport, phone, headphones, tablet, book, scarf, sweater, toiletry bag, water bottle, snacks — don’t forget the snacks!, and even a travel pillow), grab it, and go.
But many standard totes tend to have two straps and a main compartment, and that’s about it. While they’re perfectly fine for day-to-day use, travel requires something that's far less prone to organization chaos. You don’t want to spend tons of time digging through the depths of your bag to find your chapstick (the ultimate in-flight essential), having your headphones and charging cords tangled in a mess with your keys, or even worse, holding up the security line as you rummage for your ID or boarding pass.
So while any old tote might work for the grocery store or gym, not all totes were created equal when it comes to travel. When we’re on the go, we ask a little more of our trusty travel bags. And for those (like me) who are always rushing to make it to the gate before they shut the doors, anything that helps you stay organized is much appreciated.
Below, we’ve rounded up the best tote bags for travel that get our seal of approval — they’re stylish without sacrificing utility, durability, or carrying ability. So scroll ahead for your new go-to travel companion. You won’t want to leave home without it.