How to pick the perfect vacation bag

From Adisee's Resort 24 collection
From Adisee's Resort 24 collection


Remember two things when you pick a bag for your next holiday: function and aesthetic

Whether you’re going to the hills or to a beach, investing in the right vacation bag is important. It needs to be fail-proof, stylish and spacious enough to fit in your ID, wallet, keys, sanitizer and sunscreen, among other essentials. 

Another important thing to remember is that it's utilitarian. For instance, if you're a solo traveller and plan on biking or renting a scooter, a chic utilitarian backpack is a good option. In case you plan on spending an afternoon by the beach and are thinking of carrying snacks, besides books and big headphones, then a structured bag is a better idea to ensure the contents don't get squashed—perhaps try a stiff canvas or a jacquard or jute tote with leather lining. 

And if you're an all or nothing kind of traveller who believes in packing just the bare essentials, then a crossbody sling crafted in nylon or (vegan) leather could be a nice pick. 

Accessories designer Aditi Khorana of label Adisee notes that there are two major factors that define the choice of vacation bags: function and aesthetic. While designing her brand’s latest edit, Resort 24, she drew a whole itinerary of a traveller while researching, and what all stages does a traveller go through, including the air travel, the stay and the outings like shopping, brunches and sightseeing.

“When I'm on vacation I’d like to feel free, so any bag which is handheld would be a second choice. I would pick a bag that has a somewhat elevated strap so my hands remain free," she says. “The bag should fit my essentials at all points of travel. Another important factor is accessibility of those essentials, some things you want to have access to all the time."

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For mountains, she suggests picking a bag in a darker colour and a heavier material. For beaches and plains, she recommends going for a lighter hue and materials like raffia or denim.

You essentially need to merge practicality with the style quotient, says Mangalam Lalpuria, founder of label Kaamna.

When it comes to going to the hills for a vacation, durability and space organisation should be the main factors in choosing a bag. You can go for weather-resistant fabrics like coated hemp canvas, to ensure longevity in any condition, says Lalpuria. 

"On beaches, one can go for lightweight bags with a brighter palette and water-resistant materials like recycled nylon or cork. They should have ample room for towels, sunscreen, and some beach snacks. For plains, versatility can be the deciding factor as one can opt for bags that seamlessly transition from day outings to date nights," recommends Lalpuria.

Designer Saahiil Kapoor of accessories label Doux Amour notes that the core of any good vacation bag is its perfect size and weight. 

If you're planning to go for treks, ensure your bag is comfortable to carry along. “Most of the bags are either crafted out of slouchy material, making it difficult to carry and have easy access to the belongings, or either they are too huge and heavy," says Kapoor. 

Keep the shades neutral, he says. They complement any outfit in any part of the world, be it a safari soiree, a cruise holiday or a mountain gateway.

Manish Mishra is a Delhi-based writer and content creator.

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