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

Loft Plus Size In Store Launch

Loft recently launched the plus size collection size 16 to 26 in 50 stores across the US. Although I will make a few exceptions I really prefer to shop in person to try on items so I was very excited to hear my local store would be one of the 50 locations offering plus sizes. The Carriage Crossing location in Collierville, TN is the only location in the entire state to feature the collection in store and I was on hand to celebrate in full force at the recent launch party.

The team at Loft Carriage Crossing is so sweet and set up the sweetest in-store celebration.

Cupcakes by Buttercup brought the A game with the sweets - these are so moist and tasty!

Ehblooms provided the most beautiful bouquets in the perfect colors to celebrate fall fashion Sarah Howard with Limelife provided makeovers which was really fun. This was my first time experiencing this makeup line and I loved the pigmentation of the eye shadows - here's my finished look:
But of course we were all there for some fab…

Lane Bryant x Girl With Curves Try On

If you wear a size 12+ unless you aren't on social media you've probably heard that Lane Bryant has launched a 20 piece collaboration with blogger Girl With Curves. With items selling out online on the launch day I knew I had to hurry up if I wanted to see things in store and try them on. 
The in-store display at the Southaven, MS location
The fitting room lighting was not great and while I'm not a fan of the mirror selfies sometimes you've got to work with what you have and I do want to be able to show you how these items fit. But, please don't judge my poor photo quality too much.
The item I wanted the most - like every other curvy girl apparently was the navy blue trench dress and this sold out online and was not in my local store. But, I was able to try on the other items I was most interested in.

The pleated lace black dress had a nice fit and I like how instead of a plain elastic waist it had a faux belt look. I think this dress would look waaaaay better …

Holiday Mail

I love sending Christmas cards, I also love getting Christmas / holiday cards. Growing up Christmas cards were serious business. My Mom kept a book of who she sent them to and who sent one to us, three years and no card you were off the list. It's something my friends and I discuss today, seems like lots of moms ran their card list that way and now I find myself being a little less strict but keeping up with my list the same way. You would think that by 29 I'd have a pretty firm list of people I send Christmas cards to, but nope, it continues to change every year. Of course, the fact that I lost the disk with all the addresses from the prior year hurt a lot, that address list had every single person who attended my mom's memorial service or sent a card, it was a very handy but sad way to keep up with my non immediate family. A few years ago I use to think that I'd send a card to anyone that if I was to become engaged would make it onto my wedding guest list. Now that…

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…

Easy At Home Teeth Whitening

Recently I was asked to submit a headshot and y'all I was so embarrassed - my teeth were yellow! So I decided to use the Smile Brilliant teeth whitening system to take care of it - sure I could just edit my photos to make my teeth look white but I'd rather have a bright white IRL smile.
Over the years I have used many whitening products - toothpaste, lights, strips and make at home trays but the reality is no matter how great the solution is getting it to stay on the teeth is the key to whitening and there's simply no match for a custom fit tray - which is exactly what Smile Brilliant offers.

In order to get a custom tray without having to visit the dentist  Smile Brilliant provides the materials needed to make molds of the teeth at home to be sent off for fitting. When I received my kit it came with all the instructions and enough materials to make three molds - this way if I got it wrong on the first try it was no big deal - I had enough materials to try again. Howeve…