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When the mood strikes, you want to just pack your bags, hop on a plane or train, and head to a fun-filled destination for a getaway. And whether you’re heading off just for a day, for a long weekend, or even for a week or more, it’s crucial to have a travel tote that’s both spacious and stylish to hold all your essential items.
“A travel tote is the ultimate accessory for any getaway,” says Marissa Galante Frank, Bloomingdale’s Fashion Director for Accessories and Beauty. “From the airport to the beach, you will find yourself using this tote more than you anticipated, which is why investing in a good one is key.”
Meet the Expert
Marissa Galante Frank is Bloomingdale’s Fashion Director for Accessories and Beauty.
Ahead, we’ve rounded up the best travel totes on the market right now, sorted by price, versatility, material, and more.
Best Overall: Cuyana Triple Zipper Overnight
For a travel tote you’ll want to use on every single trip, look no further than the Triple Zipper Overnight bag from Cuyana. The elegant and attractive tote has multiple pockets and compartments in the interior as well as a large zippered pouch on the front, so you can easily keep all your items organized. The durable bag also comes with a trolley sleeve so you can slip it over your suitcase handle for easy transport. Pick it up in one of three beautiful colors and stay organized for all your travels to come.
Material: Cotton and leather | Dimensions: 13 x 15.5 x 5.75 inches | Pockets: Multiple interior and exterior pockets | Colors: Black, Soft Grey/Natural, Sand/Chestnut
Best Budget: CAMTOP Canvas Travel Bag
Available in nearly a dozen prints and colors, this lightweight and inexpensive tote from Amazon is a versatile option for use on all sorts of trips. It’s made of durable canvas material, has comfortable faux-leather shoulder straps and a slip panel for luggage, plus boasts numerous interior pockets to help you organize your things. It’s water-resistant, too, so you can take it on the go during your rainy-day adventures without any worry.
Material: Canvas | Dimensions: 16.2 x 14.5 x 8 inches | Pockets: Multiple interior pockets | Colors: Black Stripe, Leopard Brown, Purple, Royal Blue +more
Best Designer: Marc Jacobs The Large Tote Bag
Available at department stores, this popular (and ultra-large) tote from Marc Jacobs comes in three elegant colors, has a top zip closure, several interior pockets, and features over-the-shoulder top handles for easy carrying. It’s a roomy bag, but it’s conveniently foldable, so when you’ve unpacked from your trip, you can flatten it completely to store and save space. Or fold it into your luggage for an extra bag for souvenirs and vacation shopping.
Material: Canvas | Dimensions: 16 x 13 x 7 inches | Pockets: Interior zip pocket, wall pockets| Colors: Black, Beige, Olive
Best Stain Resistant: Neely & Chloe No. 62 Travel Tote
A sizable travel tote designed in a white hue with multiple color options for the accompanying leather straps, this bag is pretty, personalizable (you can add a monogram!), and convenient, with a big interior zip pocket to store your goods. Best of all, it’s stain-resistant, as it was made with pre-treated coated canvas that’ll keep it protected from spills and mishaps.
Material: Canvas and leather | Dimensions: 17 x 12 x 9 inches | Pockets: Interior zip pocket | Colors: Dark Blue, Black, Light Blue, Gray, Purple/Black
Best for the Beach: Madewell The (Re)sourced Tote Bag
Planning on a beach day during your travels? Pack your swimsuit, sandals, sunglasses, and more in this soft and durable tote bag from Madewell. With tons of pockets of various sizes in the interior and the exterior, the bag can separate all your belongings and provide wet clothes with their own space. There’s even a padded laptop compartment, in case you want to get some work done on the trip (when hanging out on dry land, of course).
Material: Recycled polyester | Dimensions: 13.75 x 20.5 x 5.75 inches | Pockets: Multiple interior and exterior pockets | Colors: Faded Rust, Faded Earth, Frosted Willow, Golden Spinach, Coal
Best for Outdoors: Carhartt Legacy East/West Tote
Outdoor trips require bags that are highly durable and versatile, such as this bag from Carhartt, which is made from water-repellent material. Keep your personal items organized for a road trip or camping getaway, without needing to worry about the bag staying dry, or the fabric getting wrecked. The spacious tote also features plenty of pockets on both the inside and outside, including a zip closure main compartment and long divider pocket, and it’s available in two neutral colors.
Material: Polyester | Dimensions: 16.5 x 13.5 x 7 inches | Pockets: Multiple exterior and interior pockets, long divider pocket | Colors: Black, Carhartt Brown
Best for Work Trips: Mosiso Laptop Tote Bag
If your job involves travel, this sophisticated tote, available on Amazon, is a great pick. The lightweight bag is designed to fit a laptop and other tech accessories, while also having plenty of room to store clothes, toiletries, and more. There’s also an adjustable and removable shoulder strap for easy carrying, plus a top zipper closure to best protect all your most important work and life essentials.The bag is practical for the airport, yet still looks professional enough to tote along to your meetings at your destination.
Material: PU leather | Dimensions: 16.73 x 12.4 x 4.53 inches | Pockets: Three pockets, three compartments | Colors: Black, Brown, Gray, Storm Green, Deep Teal, and more
Best Convertible: Troubadour Bivy Tote Backpack
If you can never decide whether to pack in a tote bag or backpack, let this convertible option from Troubadour solve that dilemma. It can be used as either a comfortable backpack or a lightweight tote, depending on how you want to carry it, and features waterproof fabric, two bottle holders, and several pockets and compartments. Get it in one of three gorgeous colors and enjoy the versatility of your newest purchase.
Material: Recycled polyester and vegan leather | Dimensions: 17 x 11 x 7
Best Leather: Away The Longitude Tote
This gorgeous bag from Away is made from high-quality, super smooth leather and is designed in two gorgeous, jewel-toned shades. Its spacious interior includes a detachable zip pouch with a slip pocket and key clip strap, and the bag can fit clothes, a laptop, and much more. There’s also a removable strap, which you can attach to a suitcase when you’re on the go for easy carrying, and a magnetic top closure to keep your items safe. The slightly bigger (and more width than height), Latitude Tote is also a good option.
Material: Leather | Dimensions: 12.8 x 5 x 14.3 inches | Pockets: Detachable zip pouch with slip pocket, | Colors: Pine, ruby
Best Personalized : Paravel Large Cabana Tote
Make a stylish and unique statement with this personalizable travel tote from Paravel. Add your monogram onto the front of this cute bag, choosing from embroidered or hand-painted letters and 11 color options. Whichever route you go, it’ll add some fun color and personality to the already cool bag, which features several pockets, lightweight material, a sturdy vegan leather bottom, and a striped design available in four patterns.
Material: Canvas and vegan leather | Dimensions: 23.75 x 14.5 x 7.5 inches | Pockets: Multiple interior and slip pockets | Colors: Marlin, Shandy, Domino Black, Paloma
Best Foldable: Tumi Voyageur Just In Case Tote
As helpful as it is to have a travel tote large enough to hold all your belongings without issue, storing an oversized bag compactly can often be a challenge. Not so with this convenient tote, which can be folded up and packed into a small zipper pouch — included with your purchase — when not in use. Just throw the pouch into a dresser drawer or backpack pocket, and you’ll be good to go! Pick up this cool bag in four pretty, bold color options.
Material: Nylon and leather | Dimensions: 14 x 23 x 9 inches | Colors: Black, Indigo, Hibiscus, Dark Turquoise
Best Eco-Friendly: Allegorie Black Gala Tote
With fabric made entirely from natural apple peel and plant-based materials, this sleek travel tote isn’t just visually appealing but sustainably created, too. Size-wise, it can hold a laptop, lunch bag, change of clothes, and more in its spacious main compartment, and there are also three exterior pockets to protect your smaller essential items. The exterior is black, but you can choose from two colors for the interior lining of the bag.
Material: Natural apple peel and plant-based materials | Dimensions: 11 x 13.5 x 4.5 inches | Pockets: Three exterior pockets | Colors: Teal, Misty Grey
Best Oversized: Beis The Extra Large Tote
If you’re traveling for more than a few days (or just have a tendency to overpack), you’ll want to check out this super-sized travel tote from Beis. The sophisticated faux leather bag is designed in a classic black color, and features an exterior zipper pocket to keep your most essential items safe. You can carry it as a shoulder or handbag, and feel comforted knowing that you don't have to leave any of your must-have items at home with a bag this size.
Material: Tyvek or faux leather (PU) | Dimensions: 32 x 16 x 13.5 inches | Pockets: Exterior zipper pocket | Colors: Black
Best for Parents: Lo & Sons The Catalina Deluxe Tote
A lightweight yet durable bag with multiple compartments that can be separated or combined, this travel tote is an ideal option for the parent on-the-go. The bottom zipper pocket is great for storing dirty clothes or shoes, while the panel that divides the two compartments can be unzipped to store more items as needed. There’s also a suitcase handle sleeve, long leash with a clasp for keys, and even a comfortable and soft removable shoulder pad so you don’t strain yourself during your travels.
Material: Recycled polyester or canvas | Dimensions: 14 x 15 x 7 inches | Pockets: Bottom zipper pocket, multiple zipper and slip pockets | Colors: Black, Onyx, Grey, Deep Navy ,and more
Best Durable: Longchamp Le Pliage Expandable Travel Duffel Nylon Weekender
This large tote from Longchamp is highly popular among shoppers for its durable and water-resistant material, making it an especially great pick for trips with a taste of the great outdoors. The bag, which comes in several attractive colors, also has a removable crossbody strap, interior wall pocket, and the ability to fold flat when you want to store it after you’ve unpacked. It also can unzip to reveal extra height — to fit even more on your return flight home.
Material: Nylon and leather | Dimensions: 7.75 x 20.5 x 9 inches | Pockets: Interior wall pocket | Colors: Cognac, Black
What to Look for in Travel Totes
Getting a tote that is big enough for your needs is the most important factor, says Frank. “You need space for your essentials, but also things like the extra snacks you didn’t plan on buying.” Make sure you look for a tote that’s not so large it can’t be considered a personal item on a plane, however. For most airlines, that is 18 x 14 x 8 inches.
“Depending on the destination, I often opt for totes in a casual material, like canvas or raffia, so I can use them on the beach as well,” says Frank. “I also like the flexibility of non-leather materials so you can fit those unexpected extras you picked up or an extra sweater for the plane.”
Consider the durability of a material as well — will it hold up to the beating it takes at security? Is it washable or stain-resistant? These are all factors to take into account before purchasing.
While travel totes come in all different colors, Frank recommends opting for bags “in a classic color or print” such as neutrals, tan, navy, and canvas. “They are always chic regardless of the destination or the outfit,” she explains.
What should you pack in a travel tote?
“Pouches are key,” says Frank, noting that she uses them to separate her travel documents, tech accessories, snacks, and more. She also suggests bringing a blanket or scarf in case you get cold on the trip, as well as a small makeup bag with just your most essential items so you can freshen up once you arrive.
What makes travel totes the best bags for getaways?
Versatility, says Frank. “The removable pouches in totes can double as clutches for a dinner out, and the tote itself can be used while you shop during the day in a new city.” Many also expand or fold — to store easily, or to fit souvenirs on the way home.
Why Trust Byrdie
Byrdie writer Rachel Simon has covered shopping and style extensively for publications including Glamour, InStyle, Brides, and more. Her work has also appeared in The New York Times and Vice, among other outlets, and she teaches writing with Gotham Writers Workshop and Redbud Writers Project. She holds a B.A. in Writing, Literature and Publishing from Emerson College.