women's leather tote bag

When it comes to travel, it’s essential to have the perfect carry on. With airlines getting tighter seating everyday and flight delays abundant, no one wants to be stuck in the airport or on a plane without the essentials. Packing your tote bag for travel can feel like an overwhelming task, deciding what gets to come onboard and what will get checked to hopefully be seen again on the other side, but we’ve compiled our list of the top items to bring with you.

The Absolute Essentials to Carry On

leather tote bag

It’s good to start with the big things, packing them in and making sure they’ll fit snugly before throwing in the little pieces. Make sure to include your:

  • Laptop
  • Light Sweater
  • Notebook and Pen
  • Water bottle (empty to get through TSA)


Make sure your laptop is stowed securely in a padded laptop sleeve so it can stay protected and use a designated water bottle strap to keep everything from tossing around. Packing layers will make mom proud and keep you warm. We love the Pad & Quill Journal Notebook, for tracking thoughts, making to-do lists and keeping your ideas sorted.

The Secondary Items to Fill Up Your Tote Bag

women's bag

After you’ve fit the big pieces into place, you can fill in the gaps with the smaller essential items. Remember to pack:

  • Travel-size toiletries
  • Headphones
  • Chargers + Compact Outlet Power Strip to charge multiple things at once
  • Snacks


When it comes to the little pieces, personal preference will decide which direction you go in for packing. Need all your tech to travel? Investing in a TechFolio can help you organize your cords and charging essentials. Looking to maximize comfort, include your favorite toiletries, snacks and your iPad to watch your new favorite binge.

Picking the Right Leather Tote for Travel

leather tote bag

Perhaps the most important piece when it comes to packing your tote, is choosing the right one! A tote is an essential for travel, carrying everything you need and holding it together securely. While totes often are just catchalls for everything, at Pad & Quill, we wanted a bag that could be more than that. For us, a tote is meant to hold every piece securely but not require you to dig through it to find that one pen you need. That's why we included a padded interior pocket, external pockets and a clutch with wallet to let you carry every essential with ease.

See great products like this and more at Pad & Quill