What Are the Different Types of Travel Totes?

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  • Written By: Liz Thomas
  • Edited By: Shereen Skola
  • Last Modified Date: 09 October 2019
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There are travel totes available for nearly any type of travel and vacations. The destination and type of vacation, such as visiting the beach or going skiing, will favor certain types of totes over others. Additionally, the transportation mode may have restrictions on the bag size, weight and number. Totes vary in size, material and method of carrying.

Travel totes come in different carrying styles. They can be carried over the shoulder, slung diagonally across the body or worn like backpacks. Larger versions are typically worn across the shoulders or backpack style, as more of the torso takes the weight of the bag. Smaller ones can be carried over one shoulder or by a hand strap, as the weight is not as likely to tax the arm.

Beach travelers often will want to use specific beach totes. Some beach bags are made of waterproof material and will not become ruined when carrying wet or used beach gear. Sand should not damage the material and it can easily be washed. Still others are made of netting and used to carry snorkels, balls and flippers.

Lightweight travel totes have become quite popular for travelers. The interior of the bag can be divided into different sections that ensure the clothing and accessories stay in place, no matter the angle of storage. These bags will typically also fit easily in overhead lockers or bins when traveling by air.


Computer totes are also used widely to protect computer and computer accessories. These bags come in a range of sizes as they are designed for different sized laptops. Totes may be just large enough to hold the laptop, or large enough to also include accessories. A full size bag may have a section for the laptop and then a section for clothing and accessories.

Materials used to make travel totes varies widely. Cloth, leather, and other synthetic materials are used to create these bags. Some material is more resistant to wear and tear than others. Nylon fabrics, mainly Cordurta nylon and ballistic nylon, are used for high quality bags, as nylon does not tear and has a high resistance to abrasion. Leather is another material that has a classic look, but is very heavy when compared to synthetic materials.

Fashion also plays a role in travel totes, as many travelers prefer bags that are functional as well as stylish. Different materials are used to create many different looks, with additional variation in color and pattern. Smaller travel handbags look much like a purse, as these handbags can function as travel purses.


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