Travel & Destinations

The Essential Travel Tote: Easy. Convenient. Chic.

If you read my last article, The Art of Stylish, Comfy Travel, you know it’s possible to look fabulous and feel comfortable while traveling. To the chic, comfortable looks previously outlined, we must add the ultimate accessory: The essential travel tote, along with all the fabulous items you’ll want in yours.

Why a tote bag? And what should I look for?

The type of tote I’m talking about is an investment piece of the “lifetime purchase” variety. It will not only pop your entire look but also catapult your style into the stratosphere of chic. Of course, you want to go oversized; your tote serves the purpose of keeping you organized with easy access to everything you will want on your travels.

Even if you still bring a carry-on bag, it’s far more convenient to have all your travel essentials at your fingertips and directly in front of you! An easy-access tote also helps alleviate clutter and the possibility of leaving something behind.

You’ll want a designer bag. The reason? Your handbag speaks volumes about your level of chic and is superseded only by the shoes you wear. In short, your bag makes a massive style statement about you.

What should I carry in my tote?

BIS Travel Tote Crossbody
Crossbody bag

I always carry a small crossbody bag in my tote. In it are all the items I normally have with me every day, making it easy to know where everything is. These small bags are great and serve us in so many ways.

I often wear mine at the airport until I board my flight for easy access to cash, my itinerary, my passport, and so on.

Once seated, I pop it into my tote, where it stays until I reach my destination. Sometimes I’ll wear it once I’ve landed, but often it will remain in my bag.

BIS Travel Tote Passport Wallet
Passport wallet

I love accessories that keep me organized when I travel.

For example, a passport wallet is perfect for your passport and itineraries — help you look and feel ever-so-polished. Jewelry organizers are another accessory to consider.

If you’re anything like me, you prefer to keep your valuables with you rather than sending them through in your luggage.

And in this age of technology, a cord organizer for all your devices is a definite tote bag must-have.

BIS Travel Tote Makeup Bag
Makeup bag

Other miscellaneous items to keep in mind for your travel tote would be your iPad, tissues, a small makeup bag, and any vitamins or medications you’ll need whilst en route.

And, of course, your sunglasses should be handy for your arrival.

BIS Travel Tote Coin Purse
Coin purse

For your money, a card case or even a coin purse is useful for cash and credit cards.

Studies show it’s wise to split up your documents, cash, and credit cards when traveling; these accessories make that easy.

BIS Travel Tote Headphones
Noise-canceling headphones

In addition, there are many delicious designer options for wallets and cardholders.

I cannot live without noise-canceling headphones or earbuds, for both entertainment and a bit of peace and quiet.

Naturally, you may want a couple of protective mask options.

BIS Travel Tote Cashmere Wrap
Heavy cashmere wrap

For warmth, a heavy cashmere wrap, socks, and slippers will keep you cozy, help you relax, and protect you from chilly temperatures you may experience on your travels.

Years ago, I learned to use my cashmere wrap as my blanket.

To sum it all up:

Adding an investment travel tote and the accessories with which you fill it are the must-have finishing touches to your chic travel look. They are genuinely a showstopping combination. One glance in the mirror and your confidence will soar.

Happy travels with that fabulous tote on your arm!

Scan the QR code for inspiration and shopping suggestions on items mentioned in the article.



Bobbi Schwartz

Bobbi Schwartz is founder & CEO of The Bobbi Schwartz Group, a Dallas-based personal styling company and Be Iconic Style (, a lifestyle resource for women focused on personal transformation through style. With two decades in the industry, she has worked for some of the world’s top retailers and design houses. Schwartz became a personal stylist in 2003 and has written two books in her Style Essential series — “Build Your Ultimate Wardrobe” and “Chic Casual Dressing: The Budget Guide” — both available through Amazon.

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