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Not sure what the best travel day bag for your next trip is? There are lots of factors to keep in mind and we happily break down the criteria you should consider when selecting one. Check it out!
Best Travel Day Bag
Table Of Contents
A day bag for travel is a must-have for any journey you take and an essential part of your capsule wardrobe. However, there are important criteria that you should consider when selecting one:
The right bag will check all the boxes on the above list, and ensure your personal items are kept safe and secure without being clunky and heavy. Below, we cover all these points and more!
How to Choose the Best Day Bags for Any Trip
Security is an important factor to consider, especially when choosing the best day bag for European travel where there is a higher occurrence of pickpockets. Even if that’s not the case, you’ll still want a bag with good security features.
The security features you should look for are:
- Locking compartments
- Slash-proof material
- RFID-blocking card slots
A crossbody bag is a strong choice because you can keep it attached to you, rather than dangling off your shoulder. Make sure the bag part is visible to you (hanging closer to the front of your body) while out-and-about or in crowded areas.
Also, leave your passport or laptop behind at your accommodation in a locked suitcase or safe. That way you don’t have anything vital with you and your bag is lighter to carry.
For security-conscious travelers, take a look at the best anti-theft travel bags!
Let’s face it—some bags are adorable, but they don’t pack super well. When choosing a bag, tick off the boxes for packability.
Well made day bags for travel have pockets, zippers, and closures that are necessary not only for security, but they can help you pack items better. The key to packing all your necessities is having a well-organized bag, where your things are secure yet easy to find.
The best day bags for European travel (or any other destinations), should have pockets to carry smaller items such as credit cards and cash—preferably something with RFID-blocking capabilities like the NeatPack Crossbody.
You’ll also want compartments for things like a water bottle and if you need one, a compartment big enough to toss your hat, sunglasses or travel scarf, or whatever else you bring along.
To be more secure on your next European travel, use these anti-theft travel accessories!
Your day bag will probably double as your personal item, so by default, it’ll be a smaller size than your carry-on.
The exact dimensions you need to follow will depend on what each airline defines as a personal item. For this we recommend checking out the airline’s website—as an example, United Airlines’ max dimensions are 9 inches x 10 inches x 17 inches / 22 cm x 25 cm x 43 cm.
Besides complying with the airline’s requirements, the best day bag has to work size-wise for you. That means you have to figure out what your days will consist of.
Here’s the full review of Rebecca Minkoff Julian backpack!
Carrying around a bag that’s larger than necessary is never fun, so what are the essentials that you’ll want on you at all times? Especially if you need a day bag for Europe, as those types of trips often involve tons of walking.
If during your trip you’ll mostly be visiting cities, there will probably be a moment during the day when you can run back to your hostel or hotel to grab a sweater and a change of shoes. Look for a medium size that will comfortably fit a map, your on-the-go cosmetics, and maybe a scarf.
If you plan on eating out during the day, you needn’t worry about room for a water bottle. You could even use a packing cube to keep your belongings organized in your day bag so that you have access to what you need right away!
Read my full review on best Osprey backpacks and find out why we think Osprey is one of the best packs for travel!
The best travel day bags are not only sized right but made from a lightweight material, like the Le Pliage Tote.
Depending on where you’re traveling, try to avoid unnecessarily heavy fabrics and accents (like buckles, etc.). While you want your small day bag to be fashionable you still want it to be comfortable to carry around over stretches of time!
Find out why Longchamps bags are the best travel handbags!
Once you’ve decided on the size and weight of your day trip bag, you’ll need to think about functionality. Namely, what kind of compartments do you need to carry your belongings?
After all, this is the bag that you’ll put all of your valuables in while you’re on the move (when the nice man asks for your luggage to put under the bus for your 10-hour overnighter, keep your daypack on you!)
Here’s another round-up of the best day packs for travel!
Depending on how much space you have, the best day travel bag may double as your purse. If this is the case, look for a bag with small zipper pockets to hold your bills and loose change, such as the KAVU Sydney Satchel, which has three different zippered compartments.
Here are the best travel shoulder bags for women!
When talking about style, the best day bags should entail both aesthetics and comfort.
This is an item you’ll have with you most often. Try to find one that you’ll be happy to see in most of your travel photos and that you’ll be happy to wear all day long.
If you’re looking for budget-friendly purses, check out these cheap purses for travel post!
A daybag like this one from Fossil fulfills the pretty quotient but is made from a soft material (leather), so it’s uber comfortable and can fit essentials like cash or a phone.
If you plan on walking around a lot, stay away from one that feels heavy or constantly needs adjusting. Your bag has to be easy to carry, first and foremost, cute or chic second!
This best travel purse for your budget post is another list of choices of budget-friendly purses!
Best Travel Day Bag Comparison Chart
|BRAND | MODEL||FEATURES | REVIEWS||RATING | PRICE|
|Travelon Anti-Theft Crossbody Bag||A crossbody bag is a strong choice because you can keep it attached to you.||Check Price|
|NeatPack Anti-Theft Crossbody Bag||The key to packing all your necessities is having a well-organized bag, where your things are secure yet easy to find.||Check Price|
|Rebecca Minkoff Julian Backpack||Your day bag will probably double as your personal item, so by default, it’ll be a smaller size than your carry-on.||Check Price|
|Osprey Packs Porter 30 Travel Backpack||Carrying around a bag that’s larger than necessary is never fun.||Check Price|
|Longchamp Le Pliage Nylon Crossbody Bag||The best travel day bags are not only sized right but made from a lightweight material, like the nylon of this Le Pliage.||Check Price|
|Osprey Packs Beta Port Daypack||If you plan on bringing a tablet or phone, look for a dedicated sleeve like the one this Osprey has.||Check Price|
|KAVU Sydney Satchel||Look for a bag with small zipper pockets to hold your bills and loose change, such as the KAVU Sydney Satchel.||Check Price|
|Fossil Kinley Large Cross Body Purse||When talking about style, the best day bags should entail both aesthetics and comfort.||Check Price|
|Fossil Fiona Crossbody Purse||Your bag has to be easy to carry, first and foremost, cute or chic second!||Check Price|
Editor’s Pick: Rebecca Minkoff Julian Backpack
How TFG Editor Rocks Her Favorite Travel Day Bags
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What a fantastic trip to Paris I got to go on a couple weeks ago with my mom! In addition to this stop, we were also able to visit Rome, Venice and Basel, Switzerland – we celebrated both of our birthdays together while abroad and it was seriously such a trip to remember. ❤️ And of course, it wouldn’t be a true travel fashion journey without bringing along some of my favorite TFG-approved pieces, such as Rebecca Minkoff’s Julian backpack and Leith’s ruched body-con tank dress. There are plenty more pics to share of this magnificent trip so stay tuned! #TravelFashionGirl #TFGonthego
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Got to put SO many TFG favorites to use while exploring Europe! There was comfort for all day walking in my @skechers Pureflex slip ons, anti-theft protection thanks to my @travelonbags messenger bag and lightweight layering in my @anatomiestyle Kenya jacket (it even folded up perfectly in the Travelon bag when I wasn’t wearing it!) plus the Anatomie Skyler pants, too. Last but not least, my favorite @ospreypacks Ozone 35 Liter backpack allowed me to pack carry-on only for 12 days (with the help of my Compass Rose packing cubes inside, of course ?) I was so happy to curate a look that ended up doing it all – have YOU tried any of these TFG approved items? Let me know in the comments below! #TravelFashionGirl #TFGonthego
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Easy & breezy ? Sunny days call for maxi dresses and this piece from @toadandcoclothing does the job perfectly (it’s literally called their “Sunkissed Maxi”) Flowy and functional, this is beautiful enough to be worn anywhere from a beach wedding in Playa Del Carmen, strolling around the temples in Southeast Asia or right there in San Diego where I shot these looks. Also pictured is their vacation perfect Americano hat – couldn’t have been a better match! #livewelldogood #trailtotavern #everydayisanadventure
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So many sights to see in beautiful Playa Del Carmen ☀️ One of my favorite activities to do when I’m in town is some good old sightseeing, and a day spent at @mercado30pdc certainly didn’t disappoint! Wearing one of my favorite dresses for travel, which is available to shop (and currently on sale ?) via my LinkTree! #TravelFashionGirl #myrm
What do you think is the best travel day bag? Share in the comments!
For more travel bags, please read:
- The 10 Best Laptop Bags for Travel
- Shop the Best Beach Bags and Totes for Summer Vacation
- 14 Cute Backpacks for Travel You’ll Want to Wear Everywhere
- What are the Best Travel Bags with Trolley Sleeve?
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Author Bio: After three exciting years in New York, Claire Gros left the big city in pursuit of the alluring unfamiliar. She now finds inspiration in the traveling summer solstice and the affordable flights that keep the sun in her sky. Follow her journey on instagram: clurrgros.