There haven’t been any major innovations when it comes to travel totes for women, unlike backpacks or wheeled carry ons, but being able to choose one that ticks all the right boxes for the modern traveler is important. Since it’s a bag that’s carried on one shoulder most of the time, it needs to be light. Most women today carry a lot of knick knacks as well as various gadgets and other valuables, so having enough drop in and zipped pockets on the outside and inside is important. Lastly, most women don’t want the traditional travel bag that looks like too utilitarian. Style is important when you’re traveling more than ever! The best tote bags for travel combine all these features while being strong and durable. They can easily be used as your personal item along with a carry on bag on planes.
There are various styles and sizes to choose from but if you want to see which are our top rated travel totes, read on!
Leather Travel Tote
Michael Kors Jet Set Top-Zip Tote
A well made genuine cowhide leather bag is always a nice purchase if you can afford it and this tote from Michael Kors is very popular and highly rated. In fact, the Jet Set line of shoulder bags is well known. It’s a classy looking bag with just enough design details to not make it look run of the mill and it holds a lot without looking oversized.
The bag measures 15-1/2″ wide at the top and tapers slowly to 11″ at the bottom. It is 10″ high and 4-1/2″ thick with shoulder straps that drop 9″. There are two slip pockets on each outer end and 4 drop pockets, a zip top pocket and a key fob inside, while the main compartment zips closed. The flat bottom features small metal feet to help keep it from getting dirty. The hardware is gold toned, with a small brand plaque and a detachable charm logo.
This genuine Michael Kors can hold quite a bit even though it is the smallest in our list of favorites. To give you an idea, one customer mentions that she uses it to carry an iPad, Kindle, a makeup bag and wallet. What’s cool abou this bag is that it is multi-functional and can be used for travel, business or even a cocktail party. You can even get it in one of 7 chic colors.
Even though this is real leather, the bag is not too heavy. The only negative is the price but since it is a designer bag, you have to expect that. Plus, Amazon sells it for a little bit under the MSRP.
Quilted Travel Tote
Vera Bradley Vera Tote
Always a popular choice, Vera Bradley travel bags are unique in that they come in fun feminine prints with new ones frequently introduced into the line. They are machine washable, lightweight and super durable so this Vera Tote is no exception.
This is a vertical tote with a width of 14.75″, a height of 19.25″ and a depth of 6.25″. The dual shoulder straps drop 11″. This bag is made of quilted cotton fabric on the inside and outside but in contrasting prints. The base is large and sturdy with hidden stiff cardboard so the bag stays upright even when empty. This cardboard can be removed before washing the bag.
The main compartment closure is a toggle and tie type. There are two external pockets for easy access – a front slip pocket with a key fob on the inside and a rear zip pocket. There are 6 interior pockets of various sizes. This bag can store everything you need for a weekend trip, including a 15″ laptop.
Nylon tote bags for travel
Kipling Johanna Solid Tote
The easily recognizable detachable furry monkey key ring is not the only feature that draws fans to this Kipling Johanna Solid Tote! The choice of crinkle nylon or coated canvas outer shell are both water resistant and comes in several colors to pick from. The multiple and cleverly designed pockets keep everything in place and easy to find. This pick of travel tote bags also has an adjustable cross-body strap that drops to a maximum of 26″, in addition to the dual tote straps that you can use to carry it over your shoulder or slip them over the telescopic handle of your wheeled luggage.
This bag measures 15″ x 14.5″ x 3.75″ and weighs just over 1 lb. It is big enough to hold all your travel essentials, including an iPad.
The main compartment has a top zippered closure and on the inside you’ll find a key fob, 1 large zippered pocket on one wall and 2 drop pockets and pen loops on the other wall. The exterior features a large Velcro closure pocket on the rear and a total of 4 pockets on the front. These include a large zippered pocket, a small flap closed pocket, a small u-shaped zippered pocket and a small diagonal zippered pocket that’s placed on top of that.
The only small negative with this bag is that the cross body strap is not removable, but otherwise we would think that this is one of the best carry on tote bags that you can buy.
Harveys Seatbelt Bag Executive Tote
Looking for a bag in a gorgeous color and that is unusual? The handmade bags by Harveys are just that as they are made from actual seatbelts and are sure to get you several compliments! This particular executive tote is a good size as a travel bag or work bag as it can carry a 13″ laptop, a tablet, phone, makeup bag, full-sized clutch and several other items.
While the outer shell and shoulder straps are made from colorful and lustrous seatbelts, the inside is lined with the Harveys logo print fabric. The hardware is polished nickel. The dual shoulder straps drop to 11″ and the bag measures approximately 16″ wide, 4″ deep and 12″ high.
While there are no pockets on the outside, there are multiple drop pockets inside along with a zip pocket and a D-ring for your keys or small accessories. The main compartment features a full zippered closure and there are 5 metal feet on the bottom to keep it from getting dirty when it is set down.
While this is not the lightest bag, coming in at 2 lbs and 12 oz., it is very strong and great for carrying even heavy things like books and gadgets.
Baggallini Avenue Tote
The practicality of a Baggallini travel bag can’t be beat and they make some of the best travel totes, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that they have a very good tote for travel. This Avenue Tote is not the most chic option but it’s not bad looking either, with several fun or sober color options, and its positives far outweigh its negatives. It is a great bag to take as a travel tote that doubles up as an everyday work bag, as the material used is water resistant nylon with polyester lining.
It is also the only bag on this list that has a very useful piggyback sleeve at the back that also works as a back pocket when the bottom zipper is closed. To free your shoulder up when traveling, you can easily unzip the top and bottom zippers of this rear pocket and slip the sleeve over the extending handle of a wheeled bag.
In addition, it has the best pocket design of the bunch, with a padded velcro-secured tablet or small laptop pocket and slip and zippered organizer pockets on the inside for credit and business cards, a phone and loose change. If you want easier access to your phone, there’s a zippered pocket for that right on the front of the bag. It also features a key fob and a detachable ID tag that you can choose to attach somewhere outside, or clip it to the inside if you want to be discreet. There is a detachable cross body strap with a 27.5″ maximum drop and dual shoulder straps with an 8″ drop for carrying versatility.
This bag measures 15.25″w x 12″h.
Note that we have a separate selection if you’d prefer travel totes on wheels!
Haven’t found an ideal shoulder tote bag for your travel needs yet? Then try this large range on Amazon now!.