The best flight bags to maximize your luggage on holiday
The return of travel, while incredibly exciting, has also proved challenging. Airports are packed, flights are being canceled, and more paperwork is required than ever before. While the industry works to adjust to this new normal, there are a few things all travelers can do to ensure their journey runs as smoothly as possible:
- Make sure you are familiar with the most up-to-date passport, visa and Covid requirements.
- Take a printed copy of your documents and keep them within easy reach, avoiding the time it can take to look up emails or worry about your phone battery.
- Check your airline’s recent baggage allowances in advance, ensuring your suitcase and cabin luggage fall within the requirements and are in working order.
- Be prepared for security: keep your liquids and laptop in a part of your bag that’s quick and easy to remove.
With these tips in mind, a dependable flight bag that ensures you have everything you need and within easy reach, is more important than ever. Whether you prefer a backpack, a tote or a case, we’ve pulled together our favorite flight bags, from barely-there styles that pack a punch to clever carryalls that ensure you’re prepared for whatever the journey may bring. For more suitcase recommendations, see our picks of the best carry on luggage.
The fits-everything TikTok-approved bag: Uniqlo
It might not look like much, but this small bag from Uniqlo is so powerful it has gone viral on TikTok for its Marty Poppins-like packing abilities. With room for all of your travel essentials, plus headphones, snacks and more, this hands-free style is perfect for navigating a busy baggage claim while keeping your cool.
The carry on suitcase: Away
Away is a favorite among the fashion crowd for its hardwearing, stylish luggage. The lilac shade of this carry-on will stand out in a crowd and extra flex will mean you have room to extend should you go on a souvenir spree. For more, see our edit of the best suitcases.
The backpack: Antler
Antler’s simple day pack is within the free allowances of Ryanair’s cabin baggage and includes a padded pocket to fit a laptop up to 13”. For more styles, see our edit of the best travel backpacks.
The packable tote bag: Arket
This unisex recycled nylon tote bag zips into itself for easy packing should you pick up a market basket you want to take as a cabin bag on your return flight.
The organized bag: Anya Hindmarch
Made from recycled shell, this in-flight bag has thought of everything when it comes to packing for a journey. It even features a convenient sleeve to pull over the back of a luggage trolley and a clear removable pouch to store liquids.
The passport case: Muji
If you’re using your favorite beach basket or tote bag as a cabin bag then this utilitarian slimline case is a great option to keep valuables together and organized. It also slips into the seat pocket once you board the plane.
The cable bag: Stackers
Constantly searching for your charger in the bottom of a crowded bag? The go-to brand for organization solutions has devised this genius cable tidy travel bag. Keep it in your travel tote for an easy-to-reach option while on the go.
The clear liquids bag: Mac
This trio of clear plastic make-up bags provides plenty of options for your carry-on liquids. Use the other pouches for hard-to-find items like ear pods or chargers.
The weekend bag: Smythson
Smythson’s luxurious leather 48-hour bag looks deceptively slimline but its name is a give-away: there’s space for everything you’ll need for a weekend away.
The convertible bag: Émigré
Designed for the professional on the move, Émigré’s Boston bag is spacious, lightweight and can be converted into a backpack.
The beach bag: MUUÑ
A clever packer makes their beach bag work harder by doubling it up as a flight bag. This one by Muuñ is hand woven in Ghana from elephant grass and includes a cotton pouch to keep your belongings safely stowed inside for easy access.
The tote bag: Chanel
This clever dual-purpose bag from Chanel starts as an on-flight pouch for your passport and then makes a convenient shopping tote once you reach your destination.
The structured travel bag: Victoria Knox
This Victorinox travel bag is a great utilitarian option that is durable, practical and will easily slide under the seat in front of you.
The cross body bag: Ted Baker
This cross-body bag makes for a stylish option for easy-to-reach on-board essentials, while also working as the perfect seeing bag for city breaks.
The Wallet Bag: & Other Stories
A chic wallet with a detachable strap provides the ultimate way to travel light.
The cabin bag: Louis Vuitton
A classic investment if you’re looking for a cabin bag to last a lifetime, the Vuitton Keepall Bandoulière is a truly iconic purchase. The red detail on this one gives it a modern twist for the contemporary globetrotter.
The recycled fabric bag: Ganni
Whether catching a flight or going to a festival, this cross-body bag has got you covered. Made with durability and sustainability in mind, the handy zip pockets will help keep everything organized.