After years of buying what I thought were specific bags for specific purposes, I have a small collection of casual, carry-on sized totes. Because once I acquire one, I realize all kinds of non-travel uses for it: beach bag, gym bag, walk-around-aimlessly-and-let-the-day-take-me-somewhere bag. The Sugar Organized Handle Top Satchel (left, $86) and Ithak Handbag ($78, right) from Kipling’s Basic Line Collection both fit the bill.
Both lightweight nylon totes have enough room to stash all the stuff you’ll need during a flight (fellow victims of lost luggage will echo the importance of extra underwear and a swimsuit), and they’ll make seamless transitions from carry-on to everyday tote. And both have handy outside pockets with substantial zippers that can take constant zipping and unzipping without falling apart.
To complete your pulled-together travel persona, the Brownie Organizer Wallet ($18.99) has a ton of pockets for storing tickets, hotel keycards, and other stuff – and even boasts two separate sections for bills; use them to keep foreign currencies separate, and avoid finding random Euros in your wallet upon arrival at home. Because you know you’re not going to change them back into dollars.