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

Amazon

Popular posts from this blog

Custom Hair Care with Formulate

I've had short hair most of my life, but the past few years I have been growing my hair out and one thing has become very clear - long hair is a commitment. And long hair that has been color treated for years is a project, which is why I was so excited when the team at Formulate reached out to have me try their new custom shampoo and conditioner. Even better yet - we have teamed up to give one lucky reader their own custom set for FREE!

Enter GIVEAWAY here! Getting hair care customized for your hair sounds complicated but the process was very simple as a consumer - I took a brief survey about my hair's current condition and what my hair goals were - you can pick up to five. I have a pretty oily scalp so that was my top priority but color protection, heat protection,. frizz and volume are also my concerns. I was then able to select my scent and strength - I like a strong scent in my shampoo that leaves a light linger and selected the green apple - I've been getting complime…

Vi Peel

2018 Update: Hello Internet! Welcome to my most popular blog post - I presume you're here because you're considering getting a facial peel. Please keep in mind this is an old post and my photo quality is not great. Please feel free to read and enjoy but I do want to let you know that as the years have passed I have taken a more proactive approach with my skin care and I do not get frequent peels. If you'd like to see my modern approach to skincare check out some of my other beauty posts and I'd love for you to connect with me on Instagram to keep up with my latest and greatest recommendations.
___________________________________________________________________________________

Hello! So I got my first Vi Peel which I was super excited about. Since the Botox post was popular I figure y'all would like this too. Besides, it's well established I'm beyond any sense of privacy or shame here.
I got my first peel years ago - a mild Glycolic peel added onto my fac…

This is Us

Y’all this year I was so excited for our anniversary activity - the 2nd anniversary traditional gift is cotton and there was a cotton field nearby. The website said “mid October” would be the perfect time for pictures so I booked a session for our anniversary weekend on the 21st. We stop by the field the day before to check it out and it was all gone. Even though no harvest date was listed on the website a week earlier it had since been updated that the cotton was harvested that Friday – seriously, they couldn’t have given one more weekend for photos, grr! All the other cotton fields were too far away so I cried how our anniversary was ruined. We wound up moving photos to the same spot where we took our wedding photos and brought along the dogs to get our family Christmas card photo. This session did not go as well as I would have liked – Because I didn’t plan to originally have the dogs sweetie was not freshly groomed. My brand new sweater got snagged by one of the dogs getting in and…

Wardrobe Wednesday - What I wore to Memphis Fashion Week

I must admit I'm pretty proud of the outfits I put together for Memphis Fashion Week so I figured they deserved a blog post of their own. I definitely feel like spending four day around fashion and really trying to put my most stylish foot forward set me on track to up my fashion game this year, plus the VBxTarget collection released right after so that helped too (I'll have a post on that soon). Overall though these four outfits were a good example of mixing what I already owned with new and restyling some existing pieces in new ways.
Earrings: Kate Spade - these are out but there's always cute ones on sale Necklace: Anthropologie (this is from 2013) Top: Nicole by Nicole Miller
To start of the events I wore my most casual outfit to the kickoff event. I was under the mis-impression that Nicole Miller (the headliner designer for MFW 2017) would be there so I wore a Nicole by Nicole Miller top. It's actually off the shoulders but got pulled up a little from me razing m…

Hostess with the Mostess

One of my favorite things is to entertain. Since moving last summer we have hosted some kind of event at least once a month and while we keep talking about slowing down it doesn't look like we'll stop anytime soon. Party hosting can be a lot of fun but it can also be exhausting, especially if you aren't prepared, so I've pulled together my "best practices" so you can learn from my mistakes and make your next gathering a little less stressful. The first step of course is to determine what kind of gathering you'll be hosting - we've hosted everything from Thanksgiving dinner with all the fancy crystal and china to a casual come on over for burgers on the grill but I think my favorite event that we've hosted so far has been a baby shower for our sweet friends.

Once you know what kind of event you're hosting think about the guest list and how you'll invite everyone - for just a gathering of our friends we use facebook but if you want to be …