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Travel in Style: The Best Travel Day Bag (& What to Pack in It)

The best travel day bag lets you travel in style while holding everything you need. As a bonus, we've included a packing list of daily travel essentials!

Travel used to be glamorous. In fact, the Boston Globe recently asked, What happened to the glamour of air travel?, referring to the moment in the 60’s and 70’s when commercial airplanes were more like cocktail parties—a time when being on an airplane meant to travel in style.

Well, travel became more accessible. Now don’t get me wrong, I appreciate the rugged backpacking trip as much as any other frequent traveler. It was my very first backpacking trip through Morocco to the Jemaa el-Fna in Marrakech that firmly attached the travel bug to me in the first place. Countless others, such as our budget backpacking trip through Sri Lanka, have reaffirmed my love for the bone-breaking honesty in wholly unglamorous travel. But even I, in all my multi-facetness, choose to travel in style when I can. This doesn’t mean I’m carrying around a case of diamonds or Louboutins everywhere I go, but it does mean I integrate smart, space-saving yet fashionable choices when packing that allow me to travel in style without any fuss.

One of the most important pieces to this puzzle? Finding the best travel day bag.

Read on for our verdict on the best travel day bag, and what you should pack in it!


Best Travel Day Bag

The Best Travel Day Bag

Finding the best travel day bag takes the battle out of trying to travel in style. My travel day bag is my right-hand man—it stores all my essentials, and is my most prominent accessory. Further, if I choose the right one, it can eliminate the need for a purse or other accessories, ultimately saving me space in my luggage. So, what do I choose for the job? Easy. I use the Roma backpack by MAHI Leather.

The perfect accessory to upgrade my travel in style game and avoid looking like a tourist, the MAHI Leather Roma backpack is easily the best travel day bag for any stylish travel excursion (and it goes perfectly with one of these travel infinity scarves. And the effort to avoid looking like a tourist isn’t all vanity, by the way! Thieves and pickpockets often target tourists, and some giant neon-dyed nylon travel bag might as well be a massive “I’M A TOURIST” sign plastered on your back. Pair that with a look of confusion on your face, and you very well may be pickpocket prey. So shame not when trying to dress more like a local in any trendsetting city!


MAHI Leather Roma Backpack

Introducing: MAHI Leather

To travel in style, the best travel day bag needs to be two things: functional and fashionable. MAHI Leather gives it all.

Fittingly, travel is inherently built into the brand itself. Based in London and named after the revered Mahi River in India, MAHI Leather even pays homage to its namesake in the form of coordinates on their badge, 22° N, 72° E, pointing to the mouth of the Mahi River at the Arabian Sea.



Offering a line of masterfully-crafted leather bags taking the shape of duffles, backpacks, totes, weekender bags, purses, and plenty more, MAHI Leather is so much more than other leather brands. The mission at MAHI Leather is to eliminate waste and extra cost by making premium leather bags to order and shipping them directly from their workshop, taking out the middle man and cutting the retail price in HALF next to comparable premium leather brands.

And what’s more, MAHI Leather donates $1.50 from every bag it sells to FRANK Water charity, which has already helped an impressive 300,000 people gain access to clean drinking water.

Learn more about the incredible MAHI Leather mission.


MAHI Leather has given shoppers a gift: figuring out the secret to keeping the cost lower for us while sacrificing nothing in the way of beautiful construction. With soft, full grain cow leather, brass fittings, and built-to-last YKK zippers, MAHI Leather bags speak to a time of effortless glamour in travel often missing these days. The bags come with a dust cover, and can even be embroidered with your initials!

Browse the MAHI Leather collection.

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The Roma Backpack by MAHI Leather

Why do I nominate the Roma backpack by MAHI Leather for the all-important title of the best travel day bag?

Yes, MAHI Leather’s Roma backpack is beautiful, but it’s also functionalcomfortable to wear, well-made, affordable, sized perfectly for holding my DSLR and other essentials (whether on the plane or for day excursions), and, as a fabulous bonus, it supports a charitable cause.


Best Travel Day Bag by MAHI Leather

Beautifully Compliments Any Outfit

Handcrafted from soft, supple leather and brass hardware accents, the Roma backpack makes it effortless to travel in style. The Roma also comes in a rich ebony black, but I found the classic vintage brown leather simply irresistible. It’s a bag so versatile, it works just as well with a casual pair of denim cut-offs and flats as it does with a dressy pair of heeled boots and a blouse. The adaptability of the Roma bag is an absolute asset when traveling, allowing it to compliment any outfit and location, whether paired with a moto jacket for the streets of Prague, or a flowy dress for a visit to Italy.


Vintage Leather Backpack to Travel in Style

Functional and Organized

As functional as it is fashionable, MAHI Leather’s Roma backpack keeps me organized in the hectic reality of travel. With a zipped internal pocket, back pocket, and front pockets, the Roma backpack keeps everything I need, where I need it. The back pocket is perfect for keeping my valuables—passport, wallet, and the like—if I choose to forego a money belt, as it stashes everything safely away from thieves and pickpockets. The main compartment of the bag is also well-protected with a durable zipper covered by the top flap.


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Comfortable for All-Day Wear

The extendable back straps on the Roma backpack make it easy to adjust the bag to your own comfort. And with such soft leather, I can wear the bag all day, filled with everything I need, and it never feels cumbersome or heavy. It’s a nice change of pace from different over-sized travel day bags, that I usually end up overfilling with a bunch of stuff I never need anyway, leaving my shoulders sore and achy. That’s never the case with MAHI’s Roma backpack!

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Masterfully Crafted

The Roma backpack is seriously built to last, with leather that only gets better with time. In addition to MAHI Leather’s incredible value, the masterful crafting of the Roma backpack makes it ideal for the thrifty yet stylish traveler. The durable construction includes tough zippers, keeping my things safe from wear-and-tear and eager thieves. As the bag is made of beautiful leather, I’m still careful with where I put the bag down, but the included dust cover does well to protect the bag during storing and packing.


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Doesn’t Break the Bank

I researched far and wide for the best travel day bag that doesn’t sacrifice quality or style while still being affordable. Here to save the day, MAHI Leather’s Roma backpack is a remarkable 50% cheaper than high street alternatives! MAHI’s made-to-order and direct shipping business model ensures the cheapest price and highest value, while still maintaining integrity in craft.

Best Travel Day Bag, Leather Backpack

Perfect Size for Travel

Another reason the Roma backpack is the best travel day bag is that it’s the ideal size for traveling in style—whether I’m going on a plane, or packing for a day out on the town (or even lounging by the pool in Bali). For plane travel, I use MAHI Leather’s Roma backpack as my personal item in addition to my carry-on luggage for the plane, and it’s the perfect size for stashing under the chair in front of me, without taking up all my precious leg room.

For more information about what you should put in your Roma backpack for carry-on travel, check out our Essential Carry-On Packing List! Knowing your airline carry-on rules is very important to problem-free travel. Bringing prohibited items could potentially end up in questioning by security officials and even civil penalties of up to $12,856 for the worst violations. For more information, you should also refer to this Guide to Airline Policies for Carry-On Luggage.

As the best travel day bag, MAHI Leather’s Roma backpack is as stylish as a purse, while having much more room (and is far more comfortable to wear, as well). I can fit my DSLR, 13″ laptop (if I need it, though I rarely bring it around), phone, water, snacks, and other essentials to keep me going all day while traveling.


Travel in Style: Best Travel Day Bag


Supports a Charitable Cause

Part of what makes MAHI Leather so great is the special attention the company pays to helping the world. MAHI’s charitable efforts make the brand so much more admirable than most, and I love knowing that every bag I buy from their collection will also benefit the UK-based FRANK Water charity, and help raise even more money for those needing access to clean drinking water.


Get your own Roma Backpack from MAHI Leather!

Travel in Style with Mahi Leather

What Do I Pack in My Travel Day Bag?

Okay, now that you know what I think the best travel day bag is, let’s go over what I pack in it. As a frequent traveler, I’m savvy to a few certain travel essentials that make my life that much easier, and will all fit in my adorable MAHI Leather Roma backpack. The following are all things I pack in my travel day bag, but of course I adjust the list based on the destination.

  • Camera and extra SD cards. See which cameras we recommend!
  • Sometimes, I bring my laptop and durable laptop case
  • Collapsible Canteen water bottles
  • Cellphone and backup charger
  • A few small travel adapters (if needed) and cords
  • Earbud headphones
  • Sunglasses
  • Copy of passport photo page
  • Map or copy of the address of the place I’m staying at
  • Cash (hidden in various compartments/pockets) and credit/debit cards
  • Band-aids
  • Pen/Notepad
  • Travel-sized sunblock
  • Foldable hair brush with extra hair ties
  • Chapstick
  • Baby wipes
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Snacks (nuts, bars, etc.) and water
  • Swiss army knife (be careful not to carry this on the plane!)
  • Toilet paper stored in ziplock bag
  • Bug spray
  • Rainproof bag cover



For anyone looking to hark back to the golden age of travel glamour and give themselves a little dose of the ‘travel in style’ juice, MAHI Leather’s Roma backpack is just the stuff to fulfill all functional and fashionable needs.  And while I wouldn’t bring this bag Sapa trekking through the rainy rice terraces of the hill-tribes in Vietnam, I would most certainly consider the Roma backpack the best travel day bag for a stylish European vacation, frolicking in the flower fields in South Korea, or even right at home walking down the Venice Boardwalk in Los Angeles. With its gorgeous construction and timeless vintage aesthetic, the Roma backpack is the perfect choice for a travel day bag that allows me to enjoy the beauty of the world, while wearing a little beauty myself.


Disclosure: This post is a collaboration with MAHI Leather, but as always, all opinions are very much our own!

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 The best travel day bag lets you travel in style while holding everything you need. As a bonus, we've included a packing list of daily travel essentials! The best travel day bag lets you travel in style while holding everything you need. As a bonus, we've included a packing list of daily travel essentials!


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  • Reply
    March 21, 2017 at 12:47 am

    Gorgeous bag! If only it was vegan leather! <3 Thanks for sharing!

  • Reply
    March 21, 2017 at 1:36 am

    This bag looks so roomy and versatile! I love the photos of you two carrying it. You look so stylish!

  • Reply
    Agness of eTramping
    June 27, 2017 at 2:31 am

    A travel bag is an essential accessorize! Excellent idea and post!

  • Reply
    Grady Elliott
    August 7, 2018 at 6:03 am

    Traveling is my favorite hobby. I am searching on google for which bag is best for travel and i got your blog the right information here. Very helpful blog. Thanks!

  • Reply
    Television of Nomads
    January 22, 2019 at 12:29 pm

    […] Travel in Style: The Best Travel Day Bag (& What to Pack in It) […]

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