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

Ipsy Ocotber 2017

I thought I had unsubscribed from Ipsy but apparently I just skipped last month so yesterday I had the unexpected surprise of an ipsy bag in the mail. The October bag is really cute and I will absolutely use this as my purse makeup bag. As for the products I have mixed feelings, here's what's inside:   Marc Anthony True Professional  Hydrating Coconut Oil $11.80 I usually don't use a oil in my hair but my ends have been kinda dry and frizzy lately so I figured hey why not. I was pleasantly surprised how this didn't make my hair feel greasy or weighted down and it did make the ends smoother so it's something I would consider purchasing in the future. I do wish it came in different scents, this one smells beachy which is nice but this time of year I'd prefer a less tropical scent.
Dermelect Nail Polish $12 I'm not even going to link to this product I thought it was that awful. I personally am not a fan of the shade but that aside the formula had an awful app…

Sunday Secrets - Behind the Filter

Two weeks ago I posted a "Sunday Secrets" post giving a little insight on the real me vs the social media me and I really enjoyed it and decided to try making it a regular thing. When I first started blogged it was mostly just a journal about my life I shared with my facebook friends filled my thoughts and personal rants. Since "cleaning up" my posts earlier this year I realized that I've missed having that outlet and I've worried that in only talking about this beauty product or that outfit I might be too shallow and it's ok to be a little bit real online sometimes. So today I'm taking about my life behind the instagram filtered lens.

Instagram filtered version of me  Latley I've been a little overwhelmed by adulting. I don't remember my parents ever acting like just being an adult is hard. I was too young to remember much from when my paternal grandfather died but I do remember my maternal grandparents dying within a year of each other a…

Trunk Club Review

Recently I saw the trunk club service advertised on instagram and I was very interested. The service started as a personal shopping service for men but since being purchased by Nordstrom has expanded the service offering to women. The basic premise is something similar to Stich Fix - create a profile providing sizes, likes and dislikes, converse with a stylist and be sent a box with 10 items to try on -keep what you like and send back the rest. This service has a $25 styling fee that is waived for Nordstrom card holders. When I first created my profile I knew that I wanted to add some tops to my wardrobe but I was really looking for a dress to wear to my brother in laws upcoming wedding. I was super excited when my assigned stylist indicated I could request specific items and there were three items I asked to be included. Before the trunk is sent out you have the option to preview, decline any items that are not what you're looking for and then either just get the previewed item…

Vi Peel

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 facial when I turned 23. Then a few years ago I went to a friends Botox party, I was 26 and scared of Botox at the time but I got a TCA peel and liked the results but not the price tag so I bought the solution online and started doing them myself. All was fine and dandy at home until I stopped following the instructions, opps. The peel was supposed to be applied with a cotton pad , I had the genius idea this past march to brush it on. It dripped and got too deep into my skin resulting on uneven peeling.
So I had to wait for that mess to heal before I could get it professionally fixed. I decided to switch to the vi peel because its supposed to be better and hurts less, tca literally produces tear…

Nordstrom Rack Memphis

Last week was a big week for Memphis shoppers - our very own Nordstrom Rack opened! I like Nordstrom Rack, it's one of my favorite places to shop online, so I was excited to hear that we were getting one in Memphis.


When visiting the new store I was surprised at how much it reminded me of a TJ Maxx. The home section is much smaller, the shoe section much larger and there's no jewelry case but otherwise it's similar in size, layout and merchandise. One difference I appreciate is that the purse and clothing sections are separated out by designer - so if for example you're looking to buy a Tory Burch bag you don't have to look through all of the bags - they are organized together. Shoes are not separated by specific designer but they are in two areas - regular and designer, which seemed to be shoes over $150 a pair. Super small home section Women's clothing Purses! I really want one of these Rebecca Minkoff bags Pretty earrings For plus sizes I'm torn on ho…