Skip to main content

Traveling in Style: Cute but Practical Luggage

Today I am doing a guest post swap with Amber. Yay! You can see my post on here blog here. But first, enjoy her post below.



Hi everyone! I’m Amber, from History &Pearls, and I’m so excited to do a guest post today!

I’m a PhD student in European History, which means besides grading a lot of papers and writing a lot, I get to/have to travel quite a bit for my research.

Sometimes it’s nice:



Yay Paris!


Yay tea! And scones! And clotted cream! And the British Museum!

Sometimes it’s boring:
 

So many books written in indecipherable Latin, so little time…
But one of the hardest parts of traveling so often and far is finding practical, comfortable, durable luggage and travel bags that still fit my style. This is especially true when I have to hit multiple cities or countries on one trip. Last year I went to London and Lisbon, and this year I’m going to Boston, New Haven, New York, and DC, with lots of train, bus, plane, and metro commuting in between.

Looks like it’s time for a new bag, y’all!

Here are some of my suggestions, from fun bags to professional ones (for those of you who aren’t eccentric academics!):

 


 

1. A good upright is crucial, especially if you’re taking a long trip. For my upcoming trip I will probably stick to a backpack and tote, since I don’t have to be super formal and since I’ll be getting on and off a lot of trains, but I always take a carry on suitcase for international or long, one destination trips. I try to avoid checking my luggage, so a maximum size carry on with squishy sides is best.

Also, try to get a carry on with a pattern. If you do have to check it, or just gate-check it, you’ll be glad to have a fun print in a sea of black suitcases – you can see it more quickly and will notice if someone else grabs it!

2. For shorter trips (or when I am not trying to take everything I own…) I take my basic, everyday purse. A cute color makes it fun, and this purse by Fossil is super durable. Plus lots of pockets = not losing all of your stuff in the bottom.

3. I kind of look like Dora the Explorer when I wear a backpack but I don’t care. Nothing beats the ease of a backpack. Yeah, it’s not super professional – those trips are when you can use that cute carry on. But if you have a short layover, or have a lot of other things to carry, or are going to be city hopping, trust me. I have a big North Face backpack that I can use for two weeks, so I plan on taking that on my trip and doing laundry while I’m away.

And if you worry about looking older than you are, just throw on a backpack and feel like a kid again!

4. I LOVE Vera Bradley. And I LOVE LOVE LOVE this bag. This is the Weekender, in Island Blooms, and it is the best large travel bag I’ve ever used. JUST small enough to fit under the seat, I took this and a carry on to London and Lisbon, and, because of the oversized souvenirs I bought, ended up checking this on the way back. It held up great, fits a ton of stuff in it, is super cute, and has a lot of pockets. Also the shoulder strap is a must. I’m only not taking it on this trip because I need to take my computer, and it doesn’t have a laptop sleeve, which I know I’ll need (I’m a jostler).

5. Sometimes, nothing beats a classic. A cheap, cute tote from Barnes and Noble will hold your magazines and kindle and wallet and requires almost zero commitment price-wise. Get a few, throw your stuff in them, and mix it up! Also, I’ve definitely gotten on a plane with my suitcase, my Vera Bradley bag, and my tote bag – try to not take up much room, but it’s usually treated kind of like a bag of stuff you buy at the airport in my experience.

6. Not professional at all, but one of the best large totes I’ve found. It doesn’t close at the top, which I actually like – yeah, you have to keep an eye on stuff rolling out if you put it on the ground, but who hasn’t played the “I can’t get this zipper open to put my receipt in my purse, it’ll be fine in my pocket, OMG WHERE IS MY RECEIPT!?!?” game? I can toss stuff in with one hand, the handle drop is long enough that it fits over a jacket, it’s cheap, it’s colorful, it’s sturdy, and the straps are wide and comfortable enough that I can wear a backpack and carry this and not feel like an overloaded pack mule.
So this is a pretty good variety. I think some basic rules apply to luggage in general:

DO get luggage that makes you happy!

DON’T get luggage you can’t lift yourself!

DO get travel bags that will fit within the size and weight limits of your airline/train!

DON’T overstuff your luggage – you don’t need to take your entire wardrobe!

DO take a big enough bag that you have room for souvenirs!

DON’T check a bag if you can help it!

DO have a wonderful trip!!!
Check out my blog, History & Pearls, in the next couple of weeks for posts on travel wardrobes (including my worst vice – too many shoes!), travel stories, some fun Memphis events, and lots of complaining about pollen!

Comments

  1. I totally agree with you about the backpack! There's nothing worse than having to balance a tote bag on your roller bag because your shoulder hurts while trying to make a connection across the airport. It really doesn't matter how I look if I don't get to my destination!

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Travel Essentials

Confession: I love going on trips but I hate the actual process of getting there. I get motion sickness and I so both car and air travel makes me sick and I hate wasting a day traveling. But I do it anyway because the destination always seems to be worth it. This week I’m traveling for work so I didn’t really have much of a choice but hey, I made it! For business or pleasure summer time is always a popular time to travel and I’ve been on enough trips that I have my packing routine pretty well down so today I’m sharing some of my travel essentials. I’m not one of those people that prides themselves on packing for a week in a carry on so I tend to check my bag with all my clothes, shoes and whatnot and bring a generous sized tote as my carry on. I hate the idea of getting somewhere and thinking oh shoot, I left the perfect outfit for this at home so I tend to bring more outfits than there are days in the trip to give myself options. I think this one is pretty obvious but my valuables al…

Birthday Discounts

Woohoo! It's my birthday week y'all! Birthdays are always a great time for brands to make customers special and each year I'm able to take advantage of some pretty good discounts in July so I thought I would share the love and talk about some of my favorite discounts and how to get them.

My absolute favorite discount is from Kendra Scott! During your birthday month you can receive one regular item at 50% off. It's your first time you'll have to show your id in store and sign up for their email list but then once they have you on file you can just go into the store and say that you would like to apply your birthday discount to your purchase and give your email address. This year I purchased the Tatiana Long Pendant Necklace which usually sells for $175. This necklace takes the look of the popular Rayne necklace and really amps it up.  
If jewelry is your thing you can also get a $10 credit from Charming Charlie - this discount is sent to Charm Rewards members at the…

Beach Essentials

Summer time inevitably  means a trip to the beach. Growing up my husband and I had very different ways of beaching - he being from southern California is used to just taking a towel and maybe a boogie board while I grew up with a little more "princessey" way of beaching - chairs, umbrella, blanket, beach bag with supplies for the day. True story - I was shocked the first time I went to the beach with my husband and his family used the same towel they had on the sand to dry off with. Over our years together we've melded our styles - mostly him admitting that it's nice to sit in actual chairs.

Even if we're only going for a few hours I always bring a tote with what I consider some "beach essentials" - sunglasses, a water bottle, a magazine or book, a hair brush, some hair ties or clip, and of course sunscreen.
Prep Obsessed Tote in the Mermaid Mailer Sometimes we also turn our beach day into a picnic and this cooler tote is perfect for bringing drinks, …

Summer Beauty

I feel like Memorial Day is really the kickoff to summer but if you want to be technical yesterday was the first day of summer and it got me thinking about how I change up my beauty routine for summer. I know that it's recommended to change up beauty routines seasonally but I find that I can get away with the same routine for fall, spring and winter  - but summer is a different story and I find myself with different needs during the hot and humid Memphis summer months. Here's some of my summer beauty favorites.
Ogx Quenching Sea Mineral Moisturizing Lotion $7.99 I love this lotion because it's not to thick but not watery thin and it does a good job of keeping skin soft and moisturized without being greasy - plus the nice light sea scent is great for this time of year.
Christophe Robin Cleansing Purifying Scrub with Sea Salt $19 This shampoo scrub is great once a week for gently deep cleansing and get hair squeaky clean - I find it really preps hair to accept the moisture o…

Anti Aging High vs Low Review

I recently received the Iconic Edition of the Sephora Play Box (read my review here) and one of the products I was most excited to try out was Crème de La Mer The Moisturizing Soft Cream because well it's super famous and also hella expensive so of course I wanted to know what's the big deal. The .24 oz sample included was enough for about two week's use - so a one ounce jar would last about 2 months. About a week in as I was getting ready in the morning I starting noticing that my skin did indeed look different - I looked clearer and under my eyes my lines looked a little softer and my circles less dark. I took this selfie to document my skins look - because #vain - plus I knew I would need it for this longer review. I think there's still room for improve with my skin's texture but it had only been a week.
My problem was that a month's supply - the .5 oz jar - is $85 and while that might not seem bad to some it is in major conflict with my goal of being fina…