Traveling is one of my favorite hobbies, but then shopping is too. So when I can combine the two, and purchase travel products, it is a win-win.
My must haves for travel include:
My must haves for travel include:
A Good Tote Bag
I carry my tote as a purse for most of my vacationing. I will usually take a small purse for going out at night, or a small cross-body if I think I might need that, but my tote is the workhorse of my vacation. It carries everything: all my "purse things", my big camera, a jacket, umbrella, purchases made, etc. So yeah, I like a big tote. My favorite is and will always be my Louis Neverfull. As the name says, it is never full!
The new ones, have that extra little detachable bag which I love, but mine does not. I've carried this baby to London, to Brussels, to Seattle, to Victoria, B.C., to Washington, D.C. a couple of times, to Maine, and to Boston. It is a winner.
When I set out for my Christmas in Europe tour this past December, I didn't want to take my Louis. Psychologically, I didn't mind carrying it to London, but I thought that carrying it to Eastern Europe was like painting a target on myself saying "rob me!". So I purchased a Longchamp large nylon le pliage. These come in so many colors that it's hard to choose, but I went with a good basic black.
It didn't hold quite as much as the Neverfull, but I was very pleased with it. It has also become my bad weather bag. So when I'm at home and it's raining and I don't want to risk damage to my expensive bags, it is my go-to bag. It folds so small, I can't imagine not traveling with it always. Even when I carry my Neverfull, it will be a great back-up in case the weather turns wet.
A Good Carry-On Bag
I've long carried a Vera Bradley for my carry-on. From the large duffle to the Grand Traveler. The Grand Traveler is a great bag that will hold lots, and always will fit in the overhead compartment. I even managed to convince the airports in Europe that it worked as a carry-on (they have very different ideas about what constitutes a carry-on and suffice it to say that all of the ones you see on US flights are about twice to large).
The only trouble I've had with my Grand Traveler is that I fill it too full, and if I have to do much transporting of it, then it starts to really wear out my shoulder.
I recently ordered a wheeled carry-on. Again, this wouldn't qualify if you are going to fly within Europe, but if you were just flying in and out of Europe it would work fine. I did a big search because I wanted a hard-sided carryon that was cute and would match my hot pink hard sided large suitcase. I found it at, of all places, Sears.
Now I thought it needed a little pizzaz when it came in, so I had a monogram done for it, so now it has a little more spunk.
I can't vouch for this one, but Vera Bradley has a new expandable tote that I've been intrigued by.
It seems like a decent size...
but then it expands even more!
A Luggage Identifier
There are so many to choose from out there, and to be honest, I've used ribbon and tulle as well, but I just love a great luggage tag that will help you easily identify your luggage at the baggage claim area.
Here are some super cute Kate Spade versions I found...
I have this Lilly Pulitzer version
It came in a set with a passport cover. I think there are people who love passport covers and then there are those of us who don't. I love the IDEA of a passport cover because I love the idea of accessorizing every inch of my life. But practically speaking, I just get annoyed by them and think that they are in the way. But if they are your thing, there are tons of cute ones. From Lilly to this Kate Spade to Vera Bradley...
A Good Wallet
I prefer a good wallet to a passport holder. I have always traveled with my trusty Kate Spade Lacey wallet, but always wished it was a little bigger. Kate Spade makes a travel wallet, but they want a pretty penny for it. I finally decided to take the plunge when they had a sale last month and I was able to get one for about 65% off. I will try it for the first time this summer when I go to Quebec, but I'm pretty sure I'm going to love it.
Of course I got pink...
The inside of mine looks like this...
The inside of the newer ones looks like this...
I think I actually like mine better than the newer one Kate is selling, so I'm happy I decided to buy one when I did. I think it is more versatile to use whenever, and I discovered this weekend that it totally doubles as a clutch. I carried it to my cousin's wedding with my ID, debit card, and it also held my iPhone 6 (though I think it would hold a 6 plus too) and a lipstick. I love multifunctional things!
Prior to my trip in December I decided I needed a money stash. I bought a money belt, and returned it. I bought one of the around your neck kinds, and returned it. I didn't feel like I needed to store everything I owned, but wanted just to stash a little cash and a credit card somewhere besides my wallet when I was traveling on trains. I finally ran across the Braza Secret Stash on Amazon. I ordered a couple and I loved them.
I didn't really use them how they show to use them, but instead I put them on my bra strap right where it meets the cup. It was comfortable and I forgot it was even there. They aren't huge, but are big enough for a credit card or two and some cash.
Those are some of my favorite items that I always take with me when I travel!