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The Best Personal Bags for Your Next Flight 

Whether you’re jetting off for a business trip or a dream vacation, one thing that makes air travel infinitely easier is the perfect personal item or travel bag. This trusty companion will hold your essentials, keep you organized, and make your time in the air more comfortable. To help you select the best personal item for traveling by plane, we’ve put together a comprehensive guide. Here are our top tips on how to choose the right personal bag for flying—and five favorite styles to buy in time for your next trip.

Check the airline’s guidelines.

Before you start shopping for a personal item bag, check the specific guidelines of the airline you’ll be flying with. Airlines often have different size and weight restrictions for personal items, and these can vary depending on your ticket class and destination. Ensure that the bag you choose meets these requirements to avoid any surprises at the airport.

Consider your individual needs.

Everyone’s travel style and needs are totally different. Think carefully about how you like to travel, and what things make you most comfortable. Do you need easy access to your laptop, tablet, or other electronic devices? Are you a bookworm who always has a good read on hand? Make a list of the essentials you’ll want to have close by during your journey. This will help you choose a personal item with the right compartments and pockets for you.

Size matters.

Personal bags come in various sizes and shapes. While it’s important to adhere to the airline’s size restrictions, you’ll also want to ensure that the bag can hold all your essentials comfortably. Look for a bag that strikes a balance between compactness and spaciousness. Backpacks, tote bags, and messenger bags are popular choices, each with its own advantages.

Look for quality and durability:

Investing in a well-made personal item bag is crucial for frequent travelers. A high-quality bag will withstand the rigors of travel and last for many trips to come. Pay attention to the material, stitching, zippers, and overall construction. Look for durable materials like nylon, canvas, or leather, and consider water-resistant options to protect your belongings from unexpected spills or rain.

Don’t ignore comfort and ergonomics.

Comfort is key when choosing a personal item bag, especially if you have a long journey ahead. Check for padded straps, adjustable features, and ergonomic designs. A bag that distributes weight evenly will make your travels more comfortable and reduce strain on your shoulders and back.

Evaluate the bag’s organization and accessibility.:

Efficient organization is essential for quick and easy access to your things while traveling and in-flight. Look for a bag with multiple pockets, compartments, and dividers to keep your items neatly arranged. Ensure there’s a designated space for your laptop or tablet if you travel with one, plus pockets for your passport, wallet, and other small must-haves.

Don’t forget style.

While functionality is crucial, your personal item bag is also part of your look. Style may be lower on the priority list, but it matters. Choose a style and color that suits your taste and complements your travel outfits. A bag that reflects your personal style will make you feel confident and put-together on your journey.

Test it out.

If possible, try out the bag before your trip. Load it up with your essentials and see how it feels on your shoulders. Walk around and gauge its comfort and functionality.

5 Great Personal Bags for Travel:

Calpak Luka Duffle, $128

Lightweight and available in a variety of vibrant and neutral hues, this water-resistant nylon bag features nine pockets, including a convenient exterior shoe compartment, and a luggage trolley sleeve.

Away The Everywhere Bag, $195

Made with a full wrap-around zip opening for easy access, this bag from the suitcase pros at Away includes a detachable padded shoulder strap, top handles, and a sleeve to secure it to your suitcase.

Dagne Dover Landon Medium Neoprene Carry-All, $185

Crafted from durable neoprene, this duffle-style bag includes a laptop pocket, trolley sleeve, mesh interior pockets, and extra storage options like a zip-top mesh pouch, detachable key leash, and shoe bag.

Béis Mini Weekender, $98

This bag showcases a sleek minimalist look combined with all the necessary features, like wide-top access, a shoe compartment, padded laptop pocket, and trolley pass-through pocket.

Lo & Sons O.G. 2, $378

This lightweight bag has all the must-have features for a personal travel bag, including a spot for a laptop with exterior access for easy removal during security, a separate shoe compartment, and lots of pockets. Plus it has a sleeve that conveniently secures to a suitcase extender arm.

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