7 Must Have Pieces of Luggage for your Next Healthy Adventure


This post may contain affiliate links. See my disclosure policy.

travel luggage recommendations

Did you know that August is one of the most popular vacation months out of the year? Everyone’s jet-setting, relaxing under palm trees and fulfilling their dreams of wanderlust. And to that, I say bravo!

We all need a little R&R to be our healthiest and happiest selves and a change of scenery is a very good thing. Having travelled all 7 continents and recently returned from five months of overseas adventures, I may know a thing or two about travel (or… I may have a slight addiction to travel. Semantics, right?).

But one thing I can assure you of is this – having the right luggage, no matter your style of travel, is key! No one wants broken handles, bursting seams and wheels falling off. Clothes strewn down the baggage claim carousel…oh, no thank you! Arriving with all your belongings securely in tact does much to keep one in a relaxed and happy state of mind.

So I’ve rounded up my 7 must have pieces of luggage for your next healthy adventure. These are all pieces I’ve personally used for my own travels and highly recommend.

1. Victorinox WT22 Dual Caster Lightweight Bag

When it comes to checked luggage two things are most important – durability and lightweight. You want it to last and you want to be able to lift it. Because if you’re anything like me, you’re gonna fill it to the brim!

I’ve had my set of Victorinox luggage for over 10 years and nothing has ever broken on it. Ever! That’s quite the feat considering it’s been thrown on United Nations cargo planes in and out of Afghanistan, survived several African adventures and traveled around the world (multiple times!).

If you want luggage that’s gonna last, you really can’t go wrong by investing in Victorinox. I mean, it’s the same company that makes Swiss Army knives! My model of luggage is no longer available, so I recommend the newer Victorinox WT22 Dual Caster Lightweight Bag

travel luggage recommendations

(The dirt on the front might be from Egypt….or maybe it was India? It’s well traveled luggage that’s for sure!). 

2.  Osprey Sojourn 25-inch Wheeled Luggage

I bought this bag for my recent half-way around the world trip. I had done a TON of research ahead of time and decided to buy a new bag because I was looking for a few features that my Victorinox luggage didn’t have. Namely, that it could be converted to a backpack and that it was soft-sided for expansion and contraction as necessary. With five months of travel, you’re guaranteed to pick up a few things along the way! 

Now, truth be told, I never did convert it to a backpack. But sometimes it’s nice just knowing that the feature is there, especially when you’re on cobblestone streets, dirt roads and/or climbing stairs. And yes, this one piece of luggage held everything I needed (minus electronics and photo gear) for five months of continuous travel. I couldn’t recommend it more highly.

travel luggage recommendations 2-1

(Just chillin’ with all my gear in the Singapore Airport).

3. Pacsafe Venturesafe 25L GII

So where do all my electronics and camera gear go? In my Pacsafe Venturesafe backpack. Quite simply, everywhere I go this backpack goes with me. From the market to the beach to sightseeing and everywhere in between.

Why do I love it so much? Well, it’s the creme de la creme of anti-theft backpacks. The straps and outer fabric are “slash-proof” with embedded stainless steel wire. The straps also have turn-and-lock security features which allow you to lock your bag to a chair, table, etc. This is important when you’re sitting at an outdoor cafe where someone can snatch and grab your bag. And finally, the zipper pulls attach to security hooks to prevent pickpockets. When you travel with thousands of dollars of electronics and camera gear (as I did) in one lightweight backpack – these security features can’t be underscored.

It also has a padded laptop sleeve (which can accomodate up to a 15” laptop) and an RFID-blocking pocket. When I say this backpack goes everywhere with me, I’m really not exaggerating. It might be pricey, but it’s worth every penny.

pacsafe venturesafepacsafe venturesafe

(Wandering the street food markets in Thailand and visiting Tanah Lot temple in Bali – with my Pacsafe Venturesafe 25L).

4. Pacsafe Citysafe CS100

For the days when you want to go uber lightweight with just a small bag, I recommend the Pacsafe Citysafe purse (pictured above). With many of the same security features as the Pacsafe Venturesafe backpack, this bag has proven to be the perfect city exploring, harbor cruising, wandering about town purse.

This bag isn’t huge, but it fits my wallet, phone, sunglasses, passport, brush, Chapstick and always-in-my-purse healthy snacks. Wouldn’t you know it, Epic and Lara Bars fit perfectly in the outside end pockets. I can even squeeze my DSLR camera (shocker, I know!) if I have a small 50mm lens on.

I also love the adjustable shoulder strap so it can be worn on one shoulder or cross-body. I typically opt for the latter when I’m out-and-about, just for added security. Thankfully, I’ve never encountered any theft-attempt episodes to test it out!

5. Tumi Voyager Cortina Boarding Tote

I purchased this tote several years ago when I was traveling tons for work. And it’s still my favorite carry-on bag! It’s made from nylon so super lightweight and durable – which is important when you’re running through airports and don’t want your shoulder and neck to throb. 

But it also has the added feature of a backside sleeve so you can easily attach it to your upright wheeled luggage. Win! A few other things I love…the two front pockets, which I always stash my gluten-free, paleo-friendly snacks in and one large, wide open main section. This is perfect for my laptop (which I simply put in a neoprene sleeve), a few magazines and a shawl (as I’m always freezing in airports). The large center section makes it easy to get things in and out, which is perfect for when the bag is underfoot on a plane.

tumi voyageur cortina tote

6. Victorinox Hanging Toiletry Kit

When you’re packing your luggage, the last thing you want is your toiletry items strewn all over the place. Keeping them all together, tidy and not leaking is what you really want, right?

I’ve used a hanging toiletry kit on every trip for the last oh, six years or so. From business trips, to vacations to camping trips. And believe me when I say, the “hanging” part comes in handy more times than I can count!

I remember camping in Yosemite where there was a small bathroom and not much else. Not wanting to put my stuff on the ground, I hung my toiletry bag from the top of the toilet door and easily got what I needed out. The same has applied to 5-star resorts, where it’s just easier to hook my toiletry bag to the wall-mounted magnifying mirror, leaving me tons of counter space to get ready in the morning. It’s a small purchase, but definitely worth it.

7. Eagle Creek Pack-It Cubes

Packing cubes are quite honestly the coolest (and most efficient) way to pack your luggage. I had never rolled clothes prior to my last trip, but these little cubes made me a convert! It was so easy to roll my tops and stash in one cube, roll my shorts and pants in another, and pack my undergarments in yet another cube. The beauty of these packing cubes is that everything stays organized and separated. No more digging through your luggage trying to find that one top or swimsuit.

Another way I used these packing cubes? For food! I typically have a small stash of food that I check onto the plane, separate from my carry-on food. And these cubes make finding my food (and everything else) super easy when I arrive at my destination.

My favorite packing cubes are these Eagle Creek ones, as they’re slightly more durable than others you’ll find. But if weight is really important to you, check out the Eagle Creek Specter Set. The Specter Set cubes are 100% nylon and light as a feather. I have several of these as well.

Travel tip: buy several different colors of packing cubes. That way you can remember your tops are red, bottoms blue, undergarments green, etc. Or, you could make all your clothes one color and your significant other’s clothes a different color. So many organization options!

eagle creek packing cubes

A few additional travel accessories that aren’t luggage, but which I use on every travel adventure:

TSA Luggage Locks (I prefer the cable ones for more flexibility)

Neoprene Handle Wraps and Luggage Tags (a great way to spot your bag)

Waterproof Shoe Bag (to not bring the sand or dirt home with you) 

Waterproof Laundry Bag (perfect for separating dirty clothes and wet swimsuits) 

Travelon Packing Envelopes (for travel docs and ultimate organization) 

Travel Pillow (the special J-shape helps you sleep while you travel)

Here’s to your next travel adventure being healthy, happy AND well organized! Where are you off to next? I’d love to hear!

About the author

Lisa Bryan

Lisa is a bestselling cookbook author, recipe developer, and YouTuber (with over 2.5 million subscribers) living in sunny Southern California. She started Downshiftology in 2014, and is passionate about making healthy food with fresh, simple and seasonal ingredients.

Leave a comment

All comments are moderated before appearing on the site. Thank you for sharing your feedback!

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


  1. I’m taking my kids (14 and 16) on our first international adventure to South America. The purse you linked isn’t available on Amazon anymore. Do you have another suggestion? Do you carry your passport/money in a touch under your clothes, or is this purse safe to carry them? I have an anxious brain, so trying to research as much as I can. Thanks!

  2. Thank you Lisa! Can’t tell you how very much this information has helped us in planning our trip to Asia. I’d like ask you some additional tips if possible and will contact you on Instagram. Love your work, it is a vital contribution!

    1. Wonderful! So happy you found the post helpful. Feel free to send any other questions through Instagram or the contact form on my website.

  3. Hi Lisa.
    Thank you so much for all your tips and inspiration on everything from food to travel.
    I really like the idea of eating organic and I also look for eco friendly things and try to avoid plastic and use glass when possible.
    Therefore I wanted to ask if you have any experience with shoe bags, lundry bags etc that are eco friendly and not made of Nylon.
    Thanks again, you are such an inspiration.
    Best regards, Bettina

    1. Hi Bettina – unfortunately I don’t have any recommendations when it comes to shoe and laundry bags. Though I’m sure you can find some organic cotton ones online. :)

    1. OMG I don’t know how I ever traveled without them before! My suitcase was so well organized on my last trip – I loved it! :) x