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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
Travelon Classic Messenger Bag
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.
Here are more popular anti-theft crossbody bags readers adore:
Travelon Anti-Theft Crossbody Bag
Travelon Double Pocket Anti-Theft Crossbody
This popular Travelon crossbody has all the anti-theft features you could need: locking zipper pulls, slash-resistant material, and RFID-blocking pockets. The straps can be locked to stationary objects, too. So, when you sit down for a meal or lounge on a beach chair, you’ll know your bag isn’t going anywhere!
Travelon Double Pocket Bucket Bag
Travelon Anti-Theft Crossbody Bucket Bag
This bucket bag from Travelon features a spacious main compartment and an organization pocket for money and passports, with secure locks. The adjustable strap is comfortable to wear, and users say it holds everything you need for a day of exploring new places. And it’s slash-resistant, too!
Travelon Anti-theft Classic Essential Messenger Bag
Travelon Essential Anti-Theft Messenger Bag
This Travelon bag gives you that cute messenger bag look while providing you with the utmost security for your belongings. With Travelon’s slash-proof material, lockable zipper, and RFID-blocking features, you’ll be able to focus on the sights around you without worrying about theft. It has great organization, can fit all you need for the day, and is lightweight too!
For security-conscious travelers, take a look at the best anti-theft travel bags!
NeatPack Multi Pocket Anti-Theft Crossbody Bag
Let’s face it: some bags are adorable, but they don’t pack very well. So, when choosing a bag for travel, it’s a good idea to look for one that’s packable.
Well-made day bags for travel have pockets, zippers, and closures that are necessary for security and help you pack items more efficiently. The key to packing all your necessities is having a well-organized bag where your things are protected yet easy to find.
The best day bags for European travel (or any other destination) should have pockets to carry smaller items, such as keys or credit cards. You’ll also want to look for bags with RFID-blocking capabilities, like the NeatPack Crossbody.
Specialized compartments, for things like a water bottle, a hat, sunglasses, a travel scarf, or anything else you want to have on hand, can be useful too!
Here are more packable bags readers adore:
Baggallini Hobo Lightweight Travel Purse
Baggallini Hobo Tote
Baggallini is a huge favorite among TFG readers, and the Hobo tote is one of their most popular styles. It’s cute and uber practical, with a wide assortment of pockets and sleeves that can hold a lot while still being lightweight. A functional option for on or off the plane!
Baggallini Cross Body Travel Purse
Baggallini Criss Cross Crossbody Bag
The Baggallini Criss Cross crossbody is lightweight and perfectly compact but has lots of room inside for your things. With so many handy pockets (including a hidden center pocket for valuables), it’s easy to keep daily essentials organized and ready to go. You can choose from a variety of colors and patterns to suit your travel wardrobe!
Kipling Pahneiro Adjustable Travel Purse
Kipling Pahneiro Bag
Kipling’s Pahneiro bag will fit everything needed for a day of sightseeing without being too bulky. A spacious main compartment holds larger items, while inner and outer pockets are just right for small essentials. It’s super versatile, so it’ll go with anything, and you can wear it as a handbag or crossbody to switch it up!
To be more secure on your next European adventure, use these anti-theft travel accessories!
Rebecca Minkoff Julian Backpack
Your day bag often doubles as your in-flight personal item, so it’s usually a smaller size than your carry-on.
The exact dimensions you need to follow will depend on what your airline defines as a “personal item.” To figure this out, we recommend checking your airline’s website. For example, United Airlines’ max measurements for personal items are 9 inches x 10 inches x 17 inches (22 cm x 25 cm x 43 cm).
But beyond meeting the airline’s requirements, a good day bag has to work for you off the plane too. Think about what you’ll be doing during your trip to determine the best size for you!
Here’s the full review of Rebecca Minkoff Julian backpack!
Osprey Porter 30 Travel Backpack
You definitely don’t want to be carrying around a big bag or backpack that’s larger than necessary, especially for sightseeing trips where you’ll be doing tons of walking.
If you’ll mostly be visiting cities, you can usually run back to your hotel during the day to grab a sweater or a change of shoes. So, a medium size bag is usually just right to hold the day’s essentials like a map, your on-the-go cosmetics, and a stylish scarf.
You can also use a packing cubes to keep your belongings organized in your day bag so that you have access to what you need right away!
Here are more bags that readers adore for a personal item:
Longchamp Le Pliage Leather Trim Backpack
Longchamp Le Pliage Backpack
The Le Pliage is a chic reader favorite and sells every year in the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale. It’s durable, gorgeous, and spacious enough to easily fit a day’s worth of must-have items. One of the coolest features is that it can fold neatly into itself when not in use!
Learn why the Longchamp Le Pillage Backpack is so popular in this review!
Herschel Settlement Backpack
If you need to comfortably carry a good amount of items while sightseeing, check out this stylish Herschel Settlement backpack! With 17L of space, it can hold a camera, a jacket, snacks, and other travel necessities. It’s simple, sturdy, and will hold up well over time, too!
Fjallraven Kanken Everyday Backpack
Fjallraven Kanken Classic Backpack
This cute Fjallraven backpack has plenty of pockets, 16L of storage space, and ergonomic shoulder straps for comfortable carrying. Made of a dirt-resistant and water-resistant material, it’s amazing for travel and super easy to clean. It comes in a TON of colors as well!
Longchamp Le Pliage Shoulder Tote
The best travel day bags are not only sized right but are made from lightweight materials, like the Le Pliage shoulder tote.
For easier travel, try to avoid bags with unnecessarily heavy fabrics and accents (like buckles, etc.). While you want your small day bag to be fashionable, it still needs to be comfortable enough to carry around during the day!
Here are more lightweight bags that readers adore:
TUMI Voyageur Ruma Lightweight Bag
TUMI Voyageur Ruma Crossbody Bag
If you like to travel light, it doesn’t get better than this TUMI Voyageur crossbody. Tiny but mighty, this bag offers multiple pockets, card slots, a key clip, and a TUMI tracer just in case it gets lost. Super functional and very stylish!
Find out what our readers have to say about their Tumi Bags in our review!
Longchamp Mini Le Pliage Handbag
Readers adore Longchamp Le Pliage for their lightweight feel, durable nylon construction, and fashionable look. The Mini Le Pliage handbag is the perfect size for holding just the necessities for day explorations and more!
Find out why Longchamp bags are the best travel handbags!
Travelon Anti-Theft Mini Sling Bag
Another small and lightweight option, this Travelon sling bag comes equipped with the brand’s signature anti-theft features to keep your valuables safe and sound as you explore. Inside, there are lots of pockets and RFID-blocking card sleeves, while the exterior has a simple look that comes in a variety of pretty colors!
Once you’ve decided on the size and weight of your day trip bag, you’ll need to think about functionality. Consider your destination, what you’ll be doing, and what you’ll need to carry.
After all, this is the bag that you’ll put all of your essentials in for the whole day!
The Sak’s Sequoia Hobo Leather Bag
Depending on how much space you have, the best travel day bag may need to double as your purse too. If this is the case, look for a bag with small zippered compartments to hold your bills and loose change, such as The Sak’s Sequoia hobo bag, which has multiple handy pockets.
Here are more functional bags that readers adore:
Baggallini Crossbody Everywhere Bag
Baggallini Everywhere Bag
The Baggallini Everywhere bag is amazingly practical, with compartments and pockets to keep everything you need organized. More functional features include a removable wristlet, a trolley sleeve, and a comfy, adjustable strap. It’s lightweight and durable, so it can handle any adventure with ease, and the variety of colors and patterns add lots of style!
Vera Bradley Crossbody Hipster Purse
Vera Bradley Triple Zip Hipster Crossbody
This adorable Vera Bradley crossbody is made from soft and washable recycled cotton and comes in a wide variety of fun patterns and colors. It’s the perfect everyday travel bag, with plenty of zippered pockets and a slim silhouette that’s convenient and comfy to carry.
Kipling Alvar Classic Cross Body
Kipling Alvar Crossbody Bag
A compact crossbody like this Kipling Alvar bag is such a great and functional style for travel! This bag is comfortable to carry and with plenty of compartments and zippered locks, your things will stay organized and are easy to access. This bag is lightweight, of great quality, and has a cute, classic look.
Fossil Kinley Large Cross Body Purse
When it comes to style, the best day bags should offer both aesthetics and function.
After all, day bags are the items you’ll have with you most of the time. So, try to find one that you’ll be happy to see in your travel photos and that you can wear all day long!
If you plan on walking around a lot, stay away from a bag that feels heavy or constantly needs adjusting. Your bag has to be functional, first and foremost, and cute or chic second!
A day bag like the Fossil Fiona crossbody definitely has the pretty factor; it’s made from soft leather, is uber comfortable to carry and lightweight, and can easily fit the day’s essentials.
Here are more stylish and practical bags that readers adore:
Deluxity Faux Leather Crossbody Purse
Deluxity Faux Leather Crossbody Bag
With dangling tassels and pretty faux leather, this Deluxity crossbody offers both style and function. Wearers say it holds its shape well and can fit a good amount of travel essentials, like a small camera, wallet, sunglasses, and more. It’s available in over 35 beautiful colors and is a very budget-friendly option, too!
This best travel purse post has more choices of budget-friendly purses!
Oak Leathers Crossbody Sling Bag
With studded details and gorgeous genuine leather, this Oak Leathers day bag gets major style points. It’ll certainly add flair to your travel look while also providing ample space, interior and exterior organization, a bill compartment, and slots for your phone and sunglasses!
Longchamp Le Pliage Cuir Classic Leather Bag
Longchamp Le Pliage Cuir Leather Shoulder Bag
An elegant choice, the Le Pliage Cuir leather shoulder bag features Longchamp’s top-notch quality and design that TFG readers love. It’s the perfect size to carry everything you’ll need for the day’s adventures, and the removable strap allows you to wear it in different ways. Chic and lovely all around!
Best Travel Day Bag Comparison Chart
|BRAND | MODEL||FEATURES | REVIEWS||RATING | PRICE|
|Travelon Classic Messenger Bag||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.||Check Price|
|Travelon Anti-Theft Crossbody Bag||This popular Travelon crossbody has all the anti-theft features you could need: locking zipper pulls, slash-resistant material, and RFID-blocking pockets.||Check Price|
|Travelon Crossbody Bucket Bag||This bucket bag from Travelon features a spacious main compartment and an organization pocket for money and passports, with secure locks.||Check Price|
|Travelon Essential Messenger Bag||This Travelon bag gives you that cute messenger bag look while providing you with the utmost security for your belongings.||Check Price|
|NeatPack Anti-Theft Crossbody Bag||The best day bags for European travel (or any other destination) should have pockets to carry smaller items, such as keys or credit cards.||Check Price|
|Baggallini Hobo Tote||It’s cute and uber practical, with a wide assortment of pockets and sleeves that can hold a lot while still being lightweight.||Check Price|
|Baggallini Criss Cross Crossbody Bag||The Baggallini Criss Cross crossbody is lightweight and perfectly compact but has lots of room inside for your things.||Check Price|
|Kipling Pahneiro Bag||Kipling’s Pahneiro bag will fit everything needed for a day of sightseeing without being too bulky.||Check Price|
|Rebecca Minkoff Julian Backpack||Your day bag often doubles as your in-flight personal item, so it’s usually a smaller size than your carry-on.||Check Price|
|Osprey Porter 30 Travel Backpack||You definitely don’t want to be carrying around a big bag or backpack that’s larger than necessary, especially for sightseeing trips where you’ll be doing tons of walking.||Check Price|
|Longchamp Le Pliage Backpack||It’s durable, gorgeous, and spacious enough to easily fit a day’s worth of must-have items. One of the coolest features is that it can fold neatly into itself when not in use!||Check Price|
|Herschel Settlement Backpack||With 17L of space, it can hold a camera, a jacket, snacks, and other travel necessities. It’s simple, sturdy, and will hold up well over time, too!||Check Price|
|Fjallraven Kanken Classic Backpack||This cute Fjallraven backpack has plenty of pockets, 16L of storage space, and ergonomic shoulder straps for comfortable carrying.||Check Price|
|Longchamp Le Pliage Shoulder Tote||The best travel day bags are not only sized right but are made from lightweight materials, like the Le Pliage shoulder tote.||Check Price|
|TUMI Voyageur Ruma Crossbody Bag||Tiny but mighty, this bag offers multiple pockets, card slots, a key clip, and a TUMI tracer just in case it gets lost. Super functional and very stylish!||Check Price|
|Longchamp Mini Le Pliage Handbag||The Mini Le Pliage handbag is the perfect size for holding just the necessities for day explorations and more!||Check Price|
|Travelon Anti-Theft Mini Sling Bag||There are lots of pockets and RFID-blocking card sleeves, while the exterior has a simple look that comes in a variety of pretty colors!||Check Price|
|TUMI Tula Nylon Crossbody Bag||This is the bag that you’ll put all of your essentials in for the whole day!||Check Price|
|The Sak’s Sequoia Hobo Leather Bag||The best travel day bag may need to double as your purse too.||Check Price|
|Baggallini Everywhere Bag||It’s lightweight and durable, so it can handle any adventure with ease, and the variety of colors and patterns add lots of style!||Check Price|
|Vera Bradley Triple Zip Hipster Crossbody||It’s the perfect everyday travel bag, with plenty of zippered pockets and a slim silhouette that’s convenient and comfy to carry.||Check Price|
|Kipling Alvar Crossbody Bag||This bag is comfortable to carry and with plenty of compartments and zippered locks, your things will stay organized and are easy to access.||Check Price|
|Fossil Kinley Large Cross Body Purse||The best day bags should offer both aesthetics and function.||Check Price|
|Fossil Fiona Crossbody Purse||A day bag like the Fossil Fiona crossbody definitely has the pretty factor; but i it’s made from soft leather, is uber comfortable to carry and lightweight, and can easily fit the day’s essentials.||Check Price|
|Deluxity Faux Leather Crossbody Bag||Wearers say it holds its shape well and can fit a good amount of travel essentials, like a small camera, wallet, sunglasses, and more.||Check Price|
|Oak Leathers Crossbody Sling Bag||With studded details and gorgeous genuine leather, this Oak Leathers day bag gets major style points.||Check Price|
|Longchamp Le Pliage Cuir Leather Shoulder Bag||It’s the perfect size to carry everything you’ll need for the day’s adventures, and the removable strap allows you to wear it in different ways.||Check Price|
Editor’s Pick: Rebecca Minkoff Julian Backpack
The TFG editor-in-chief shares her top choice for a bag that’s stylish, comfortable, and super practical. Watch the video or read her entire Rebecca Minkoff Julian Backpack review!
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:
- Best Cross Body Purses for Women
- Best Convertible Backpack for Travel as Recommended by Readers
- What Exactly Is a Carry-On Personal Item?
- Travelon Crossbody Bag Review: The #1 Selling Travel Purse
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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.
Thank you for these great suggestions! I have discovered so many unique travel items by diving into your blogs! I am a fan of crossbody bags and can now add some new options to my list for our upcoming anniversary trip!
I love my Travelon Crossbody bag I bought it for my trip to Park City to see my sister and I knew I would be walking allot and they have an event every Sunday there called Silly Sunday’s with vendors and music so it was great to use while walking around . I am going to show my mom and see if she would like one to keep her secure when she is out shopping since she is 87 years old.
Did a vry hectic sched in France & Zurick and had a small black crossbody bag pretty much same as the Fossil bag shown only probably smaller & softer so it stretched. After much travelling past year Ive secured the essentials down to little money, coins, lipstick phone & a pen. My passport & more money goes to my secret chest bag
Right now I have an Osprey Stuff pack for my packable day pack, but I’ve been on the search for a crossbody/ backpack convertible bag. my main luggage when I travel is an Osprey Farpoint 40 backpack, so I need something I can bring that is hands free, but that I can also use once I’ve reached my destination and am running around a city. It’s a bit elusive! Most are backpack/tote convertibles or they aren’t very nice. The search continues!
I use the Von Baer Liberty Women’s Leather Backpack. I just like the feel of backpacks and the Von Baer bag provides enough space for me.
Perhaps it’s an age issue, but after trying several backpacks, I’m sold on lightweight cross-body bags. I feel somewhat vulnerable in a crowd with a backpack. The purse can be placed in the front and cradled in your arms if need be.
Excellent reviews. Extremely helpful for those of us that don’t get to travel too often, but want to do it like a pro! thanks
I always took my lightweight backpack to a plane;
thanks to your articles I tried a simple purse this time.
It was awesome!!! I could have it rest on my carry-on
and my shoulders were sooo thankful. 🙂
Have I not mentioned here before just how much I LOVE my Traveon Anti-theft bags? I own several now, and they are the PERFECT travel companion. I love all the anti-theft features, the various pockets (on most bags) that allows me to keep cards, cash & passport secure, and quick access to other items (like travel guides, airline tickets, etc). I stick to the cross-body bags because they’re so comfortable to tote, and I even use them for my day-to-day bag!
I’ve just recently become a new fan and will be writing alot more about them in the future 🙂
I agree completely, I own three Travelon bags, and one off brand Bagalini. They are so light, and have useful compartments and most now have RFID protection. The cross body style is adjustable, and it stores so much. I have a small clutch, with a wrist strap, but always go back to the medium sized, black cross body. I’m in Italy now, and debating a small leather cross body, for going out evenings, but it wouldn’t off the security features I’ve grown accustomed to.
You might like this small anti-theft clutch: http://amzn.to/2qmkuZD
I put my Travalon crossbody travel handbag into my Onyaback folds to nothing packpack together with the coat and scarf i am travelling in and this still meets the size for the small second piece of handluggage.
Love the Rebecca Minkoff Julia Backpack for travel!!! I do like to take a larger tote bag with me as well. Usually put the Julia in it for my personal item. My favorite tote is my Goyard followed by my Beis.
I have found that the Longchamp cross body bag combined with a nylon Rebecca Minkoff backpack works the best for me. I can fit my travel wallet, sunglasses, tissues, key and chapstick in the cross body while extra odds and ends go in the backpack. Both are easy and light to pack.
Great suggestions thanks!
Thanks Evangeline 🙂
Thanks for the suggestions. I am on the eternal search to find the best backpack that converts into a satchel. Any ideas are most welcome! Thanks 🙂
Here are a few ideas: https://travelfashiongirl.com/convertible-backpack-purse/ Thanks!
Thanks for the suggestions. I am on the eternal search to find the best backpack that converts into satchel. Any ideas are most welcome! Thanks 🙂