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The Ultimate Guide to Travel Luggage for Women

As a frequent traveler, I've learned that the right luggage can make or break a trip. Whether you're planning a weekend getaway or a month-long adventure, selecting the perfect travel bags is crucial for a smooth and enjoyable experience. In this comprehensive guide, I'll share my insights on the three main categories of travel luggage: checked-in bags, carry-on bags, and personal items. I'll also reveal my top picks to help you travel in style and comfort.

1. Checked-in Bags: Your Home Away from Home

When it comes to longer trips or those requiring more gear, checked-in bags are your best friend. These larger suitcases offer ample space for all your essentials and then some. 


Types of Checked-in Luggage

There are two main types of checked-in luggage: hardside and softside suitcases. Hardside luggage offers better protection for fragile items and is often more water-resistant. Softside suitcases, on the other hand, tend to be more flexible and can accommodate overpacking more easily.


Key Features of Top-Rated Women's Travel Luggage

When choosing a checked-in bag, consider the following features:

  • Durability: Look for high-quality materials that can withstand the rigors of travel.
  • Maneuverability: Four-wheel spinner suitcases offer easy navigation through crowded airports.
  • Expandability: Some suitcases offer expandable compartments for extra packing space.
  • Interior organization: Pockets and compartments help keep your belongings tidy.


Size and Weight Considerations

Always check your airline's size and weight restrictions for checked baggage. Most airlines allow bags up to 62 linear inches (length + width + height) and 50 pounds, but it's best to verify before you pack.

            travel apparel and travel bags blog post picture


Best Checked Luggage Options for Women Travelers

While personal preferences vary, here are a few highly-rated options for checked-in luggage:

  1. July Checked Plus: This innovative suitcase offers a spacious 80L capacity and features a unique crush-proof shell made from German polycarbonate. Its SilentMove 360° spinner wheels ensure quiet, smooth rolling, while the integrated weight indicator helps you avoid overweight baggage fees. 
  2. Samsonite Omni PC Hardside Expandable Luggage: Known for its durability and scratch-resistant exterior.
  3. Travelpro Platinum Elite Softside Expandable Spinner: A favorite among frequent flyers for its quality and thoughtful design.


2. Carry-on Bags: Convenience and Efficiency

For shorter trips or those who prefer to travel light, carry-on bags are the way to go. They allow you to bypass baggage claim and reduce the risk of lost luggage.


Benefits of Traveling with Carry-on Only

  • Save time at the airport
  • Avoid checked baggage fees
  • Reduce the risk of lost luggage
  • Force you to pack more efficiently

Size Restrictions for Major Airlines

Most airlines allow carry-on bags up to 22 x 14 x 9 inches, but always check your specific airline's requirements.

Features of the Best Carry-on Bags for Women

When selecting a carry-on bag, look for:

  • Lightweight construction
  • Durable materials
  • Easy-to-maneuver wheels
  • Multiple compartments for organization

Top Pick: Samsonite Voltage DLX Spinner 20"

The Samsonite Voltage DLX Spinner 20" is an excellent choice for a carry-on suitcase. I have been using this carry-on for a little over two years now and it’s been great. The four multi-directional spinner wheels ensure smooth maneuverability, while the spacious interior and multiple pockets keep your belongings organized. The USB port is a convenient feature for charging your devices on the go.  


Backpacks: Versatile Carry-on Options for Women

Backpacks have become increasingly popular as carry-on luggage, offering hands-free convenience and versatility. They're especially useful for adventure travelers or those who prefer a more casual style.


When choosing a backpack as your carry-on, consider the following:

- Comfort: Look for padded shoulder straps and back panels

- Organization: Multiple compartments help keep your belongings sorted

- Durability: Choose materials that can withstand frequent use

- Security features: Some backpacks offer anti-theft designs


My go-to backpack for travel is the Fjallraven Skule 20. This versatile pack offers a perfect balance of style and functionality. Its 20-liter capacity is ideal for short trips or as a personal item, and the durable G-1000 HeavyDuty Eco fabric ensures longevity. The laptop compartment and multiple pockets keep everything organized, while the comfortable straps make it easy to carry even when fully packed.


Carry-on Options: Suitcase vs. Backpack vs. Travel Bag

When it comes to carry-on luggage, travelers have several options to choose from. Let's compare the benefits of carry-on suitcases, backpacks, and travel bags:

  1. Carry-on Suitcases (like the Samsonite Voltage DLX Spinner 20"):
  • Offer structured packing space
  • Easy to maneuver with wheels
  • Protect contents well
  • Ideal for business travel or trips requiring formal attire
  1. Backpacks (like the Fjallraven Skule 20):
  • Hands-free carrying
  • Versatile for various travel styles
  • Often have multiple compartments for organization
  • Great for adventure travel or navigating crowded spaces
  1. Weekender Bags (like the July Carry All Weekender):
  • Blend style and functionality
  • Flexible packing space
  • Often include useful features for short trips

Choosing between these options depends on your travel style, trip duration, and personal preferences. A carry-on suitcase might be best for longer trips or when you need to keep clothes wrinkle-free. A backpack is ideal for adventurous travelers or those who value hands-free mobility. A weekender bag strikes a balance between style and functionality, making it perfect for short trips or as a complement to your main luggage.


3. Personal Items: Stylish and Functional

Personal items are the perfect complement to your main luggage, offering easy access to essentials during your journey.

Exploring Women's Personal Item Options for Travel

  • Totes
  • Backpacks
  • Messenger bags
  • Sling bags

Features to Look for in Personal Items

When choosing a personal item, consider:

  • Comfort: Look for padded straps and ergonomic designs.
  • Accessibility: Multiple pockets and compartments make it easy to find what you need.
  • Security: Features like RFID-blocking pockets and lockable zippers add peace of mind.

Top Picks for Women's Travel Personal Items

  1. Everlane Cactus Leather Sling Bag This stylish and sustainable sling bag is perfect for travelers who want to make a statement while staying eco-conscious. Made from innovative cactus leather, it's both durable and environmentally friendly. The adjustable strap allows for versatile wear, and the compact size is ideal for carrying essentials like your phone, wallet, and passport. 

          recommended sling bag for travels

  1. Cotopaxi Coso 2L Hip PackFor those who prefer a hands-free option, this hip pack is an excellent choice. This versatile bag can be worn around the waist or as a crossbody, making it perfect for exploring new destinations. The 2-liter capacity provides ample space for daily essentials, while the water-resistant fabric ensures your belongings stay dry in unexpected weather.


    Packing Tips for Efficient Travel

    No matter what type of luggage you choose, efficient packing is key to a stress-free trip. Here are some tips to help you make the most of your space:

    1. Use packing cubes to organize your belongings and maximize space
    2. Roll your clothes instead of folding to minimize wrinkles and save space
    3. Wear your bulkiest items on the plane to free up space in your luggage
    4. Pack versatile clothing items that can be mixed and matched
    5. Limit shoes to 2-3 pairs maximum, including the pair you wear while traveling
    6. Use travel-sized toiletries or refillable containers to save space and comply with liquid restrictions

    Remember, the goal is to pack light while still having everything you need for your trip. With practice, you'll find the perfect balance that works for you. For more packing tips, check out my blog post "How to Pack Your Suitcase Like a Pro"



    Choosing the right combination of travel luggage can significantly enhance your travel experience. By investing in quality pieces that suit your needs, you'll be well-equipped for any adventure that comes your way. Remember to consider factors like durability, functionality, and style when selecting your travel bags. With the right luggage, you'll be ready to explore the world in comfort and style.

    Whether you opt for a traditional suitcase, a versatile backpack, or a combination of different bag types, the key is to find what works best for your travel style. Don't be afraid to experiment with different options until you find your perfect travel luggage setup. 

    We'll be updating this guide regularly with new product recommendations and travel luggage tips, so be sure to check back before your next trip


    Happy travels!


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