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Six Reasons Why Travel Backpacks Are the Best Way to Travel

Traveling is one of the biggest joys in our lives and the most rewarding. Being able to experience new cultures and learn from them. Enjoying time with friends and family or making new friends and creating new stories. I love the challenges, education, and most importantly, being humbled by these new experiences. But it is not just the destination; I also love the adventure of GOING ON the journey and packing for it, too.

Unfortunately, there have been an unprecedented number of problems with travel due to an increase in disruptions at the airports. In a survey by TripIt, a trip-planning company, 57% of the people surveyed experienced delays and cancellations due to staffing issues as well as lost or delayed luggage. This can turn a fun trip into a stressful one. So, what can we do?

I have found that one of the best ways to travel is to do it simply – and one of the simplest ways to do it is with a travel backpack. If you haven’t thought about a travel backpack before, you will discover that it is much more convenient than suitcases or duffel bags. The other thing that you can do is read my blog post, How to Travel: Six Things to Improve Your Traveling Experience. Below is a list of the top reasons why I only travel with a travel backpack.

**This post contains affiliate links and On the Move with Liza and Stephen will be compensated if you purchase after clicking on our links, with no cost to you.

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1. What is a travel backpack?

A travel backpack is just like it sounds and it’s a game changer: It’s luggage you wear as a backpack. It has all the features of a roller bag and more, but you put it on your back instead. I have had this bag from Nomatic for years and have used it on boats, trains, planes, and automobiles. This bag is super practical, thoughtfully designed, and versatile. It is not only stylish, but it has space for everything. The bag is sturdy and can withstand the weight and pressure of all my things. It has been with me all over the world and I have used it for both business and personal travel.

2. Which travel backpack do I use the most?


The Nomatic Bag 40L has been my go-to travel bag for years. Here are some bullet points on why this is one of the best travel bags on the market. If you go to their website, they do an excellent job of explaining all the features; however, here are some highlights I like:

  • Carry-on size: I have used it both domestically and internationally with no problems from airlines, but check with your airline on baggage size requirements.

  • Easy access: The Nomatic bag opens like a clam so you have easy access to everything, both in packing and in pulling out your stuff. It is amazing how much it can hold!

  • Big main compartment: I use large packing cubes to keep everything organized. This bag can function as one big compartment or you can use the top and bottom compartments for shoes, etc.

  • Carries a computer and an iPad: They both fit perfectly and are well-protected. Plus, I am not worried about them breaking or being stolen because they fit inside against my back for even more security and protection.

  • Security features: The Nomatic bag has an RFID pocket and the ability to lock, which is perfect for our passports and ID cards. I feel safe knowing where everything is, reducing the worry about pickpockets.

  • Dedicated compartment for electronics: Batteries, cords, and headphones can all go in one spot, which removes the need to have a separate gadget bag.

  • Great material: Perfect for shedding rain and snow.

An alternative to the Nomatic bag is one from Wandrd. Wandrd has bags for all of your needs, including travel bags. Their travel bags were designed for the photographer-explorer at heart.

3. Why use a travel backpack?

One of the biggest rewards of a travel backpack is its maneuverability. It’s easy to get around when you have your luggage on your back. I like being able to walk without limits, and I can walk for long distances with my hands free. I also like having the luggage on my back ensuring that things are secure with me instead of trailing behind me and tripping other people.

The wonderful thing about a travel backpack is they are light, so you can add more stuff without worrying about weight. Be rest assured that if you do really stuff it full, travel backpacks are comfortable, too. They come with belt straps and shoulder straps that conform to your body and distribute the weight. They are also durable and can handle multiple weather conditions.

4. Are travel backpacks good as my carry-on?

The Nomatic bag I mentioned is a carry-on bag, so there are no baggage fees. To me, it’s even more than that. Carrying your bag on the flight means that you can move fast when changes occur. When you check your bag, you must rely on the airline to take care of everything for you. Unfortunately, if your bags are delayed or lost, it can cause a lot of headaches.

Here is a splendid example of what I mean by maneuverability. On a return trip from Asia, our flight was canceled. First, it was delayed and then delayed again until it was finally canceled. The airline did its best by offering a dinner voucher followed by a hotel stay with a flight out the next morning. The airline planned to unload the luggage and arrange the flight for the passengers while we were eating. Because we had our bags with us, we were able to move quickly. We were able to get our dinner voucher, eat dinner, be the first in line for our flight change, and be on the first bus to be driven to the hotel. We were able to beat all the lines because we weren't standing around waiting for checked luggage, and we were able to navigate through the airport quickly.

5. Do travel backpacks have other uses?

To make the best use of space, I try to make sure that everything that goes inside my luggage can be used for multiple purposes. But it doesn’t stop with the inside of the bag; I use my travel backpack for multiple purposes, too. Because travel backpacks have several ways to carry items and they open like a regular suitcase, it is easy to add items and take them out. This multi-use functionality means I can carry my groceries and use it as my gym bag (although, I would never carry my dirty gym clothes and groceries at the same time!).

6. Why use a travel backpack instead of a roller bag?

A travel backpack doesn’t limit you like a roller bag. When you have too many bags or when you are pulling along a roller bag, your hands are not free to interact with the world. Sure, you could let go of your roller luggage, but there are inherent risks to doing that. Also, some of the most beautiful places in the world have cobblestones or don’t have wheelchair or curb access. As a result, you may be forced to take taxis everywhere because you won’t be able to get in and out of places easily, especially on crowded streets. With a travel bag, you can keep your luggage with you and it’s easy to maneuver.

Traveling is one of the most rewarding experiences we get to have. To travel with a Nomatic travel backpack, where I know where my bag is at all times, makes my life simpler and gives me the gift of easy mobility. Not only that, but it is also more convenient, allowing me to focus on having fun and stressing less.

Follow us on Instagram: @onthemovewithlizaandstephen to see where we are and come along on our adventure. Consider subscribing to our blog. If you have questions, try reviewing our other posts or sending us an email.

Consider reading about the travel and performance clothes I pack in my travel backpack. Also, How to Travel: Six Things to Improve Your Traveling Experience is a great post on improving your travel experience.


If you are interested, we wrote a financial series to learn how to become financially independent or retire early. You may also enjoy our car camping series and how we traveled across the United States and back. We also recently completed our thru-hike on the Appalachian Trail and wrote a series on how to do it.


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