Weekender Bags for Travel

By Kate Riley October 25, 2018

Yesterday I hopped on a plane to visit my sister in Salt Lake City for a few days. With me I brought a new weekender bag – it’s my new favorite travel accessory!

In the past, I’ve traveled with a tote bag or computer bag as my “personal item” but never a weekender. I can’t believe it’s taken me so long to get one, it’s slightly larger than a tote bag and the perfect size for a quick getaway or a carry on.

I prefer canvas as a material since it’s durable and washable. This one is has a flat bottom and is the perfect size for stuffing under the plane seat in front of me.

The perfect carry on weekender bag has a compartment for my laptop, space for toiletries and a spare set of clothing, and also a flap that attaches to the suitcase handle and sits on top for rolling through the airport.

I love this bag so much I just had to share. It comes in several patterns, but I also rounded up several more stylish weekender bags.




vegan leather bordeaux  / herschel weekender (multiple colors)

candice vegan leather  (more colors)

watery blue  / navy canvas and leather

parachute / boho colorful

silver duffle / grey washed canvas / black & white stripe


I’m also shopping for a new suitcase, right now I use a rolling Swiss Gear expandable carry on for domestic travel (I usually check it for international travel), but it’s showing signs of wear and tear so I’m thinking of choosing the hard case style for my next suitcase. Opinions? Do you have a favorite suitcase that you swear by? Do you prefer the soft side or hard side style for travel?


  1. I got a set of Away luggage and love it. Have used it for NYC, Italy, and Chicago trips. One bag got destroyed and they replaced it – no questions asked.
    Also I like tote bags weekenders that have a loop/strap that lets you slip them over your bag handle.Away makes a nice one now that matches their bags.

    • Isn’t that feature so essential? The one that slides over your suitcase handle? So simple yet it makes a big difference. Thanks for the tip on Away, I’ve read a lot of good things about that brand.

  2. Gotta agree with the previous commenter who suggested Away luggage. My husband, daughter, and I all have “the carry on” (smallest size) and it’s awesome. Fits so much stuff, is lightweight, easy to clean up and make look brand new again, and comes with an airline compliant ejectable battery that is so convenient for throwing in my purse and using to charge my phone once we reach our destination. They come in so many fun, and limited edition, colors too. And the price is better than other similar bags. Haha, I sound like a commercial for them! No affiliation, I swear — I just love them. ;)

    • Wow Susan thanks so much I’ll take a look at Away! I was looking at the Samsonite which is similar but Away seems to have the best reviews.

  3. Love this post with the different options to choose from. Do you put your purse inside this or do you store it in the overhead bin? I guess I’m trying to decide if the airlines would let you have a carry-on suitcase and also a weekender bag! I love all your travel posts!

    • thanks Rose! I love this bag because it can be either your “personal item” or a carry on. Used as a carry on there’s no need to put your purse inside but what I love about the size of this bag is I can put my purse (or sometimes I travel with a mini backpack that acts as a purse) and a spare set of clothes (should checked luggage ever get lost) and it has room for my laptop (with a flap where it is separated) if and when I want to work on the plane and it also has room for all my toiletries and makeup bag too. Funny how we get so excited when we find the perfect bag to suit our needs! The two features I love the most are the flat bottom so it sits perfectly on top of a suitcase as you roll it through the airport or to your accommodations on arrival, and also it has a separate flap of fabric on the outside that slides over the retractable handle on your suitcase so it doesn’t fall off. Love it!

  4. I found my perfect “under the seat” bag at Winners for $49.00 Canadian. I like it because the handles are super soft and don’t dig into my shoulder once the bag is full. The straps are large enough to go right over my luggage handle. It’s made out of nylon so a little bit water resistant and totally washable. There are no outer pockets but I’m cool with that because I’ve never felt really good about having things too visible or loose while traveling.

  5. I have traveled extensively (lived overseas in Europe and Asia, as well as Hawai’i (Kailua!! so I so enjoyed your vacation post from there!!) and Alaska) and after browsing travel blogs, found Travel Pro luggage. I only have their Travelpro Maxlite 4 Spinner carry-on size roller bag (international size) and even my husband stole it from me so I had to buy him one! Their prices can jump up on Amazon depending on the travel season but are usually about $100-$130. It rolls so smoothly, the handle is sturdy, and the compartments are great.

  6. I also use e-bags travel compartment bags inside my suitcase. They are like having drawers in your suitcase! They also prevent TSA from going through all your stuff as easily and messing up your clothes. I have different colors for each family member, and I can pack by same-item (shirts together, pants together) or else by outfit-a-day (usually do this for my kids). I also like the travel pro roller bag (from my last comment) for the reason that I can put it in a corner of a room and lift the top against the wall, as opposed to the clam shell type of hard bag which has to lie flat on the floor. It takes up less floor space that way. Also, with the e-bags (or other brand equivalent) there is no need to muss up my whole bag; instead I just lift out what I need.

  7. I’m not a fan of the clam shell luggage b/c you have to lay it flat to pack/unpack, or to live out of it, and that takes double the room of a regular suitcase. When you open a clamshell, things can tumble out of it. Prefer 4 wheels and handle for bags of any size, for ease of airport navigation. If you shop carefully you can find a smallish wheeled carryon/weekender that has a strap on the back for threading over a larger suitcase’s handle. A large tote like you have, I find gets way too heavy to be comfortable whilst lugging through the airport and standing in interminable lines. Of course I’m at least 30 years your senior, and that can change a person’s viewpoint. I do like the Travel Pro brand for good design and reliability.

  8. Hi Kate…thanks for sharing this weekender bag idea. I just found a pretty blue patterned one on that sight for $28.95 on sale. Can’t wait to get it! I have had a TravelPro carry-on for 12 yrs! My little green carry-on has traveled to South Africa, Hong Kong three times, and numerous domestic trips. It is still in great shape, but has the old style wheels which you pull instead of new style of spinners. That is my only complaint. I found this bag at TJ Maxx, and still consider it one of my best finds ever! It has the best organized pockets on a piece of luggage that size, and I don’t even think the newer TavelPros have as many as that one. I love it, and will continue to take it along on my travels for as long as it holds together! ?

  9. My husband and I have the international-size eBags roll aboards and absolutely love them. They’ve gone all over the world and have held up extremely well. I had a small zipper issue a while back and eBags replaced my suitcase for free. The bags are organized very well and have an orange interior. It makes it easier to see what’s in your bag. The suitcases have a hard side and a soft side and expand if needed. I’m always surprised by how much I can fit into the bag as well. As our family of five travels carry on only, these bags make it easy!

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