March 04, 2010

It's All in the Travel Bag

When I am preparing for a trip, I try to acknowledge that working with a limited closet requires being cognizant of how separate garments will match and how they'll keep after living in luggage for extended periods of time. This applies to my accessories and bags as much as it does my outfits. Some items are automatically out of contention due to their impracticality or travel unfriendliness. For example heavier handbags, like this old favorite- the Marc Jacobs Stam hobo, have never left the city by plane.
Even when I've brought it with me on short journeys (to DC for example), it ended up getting very little use because of its heft.

For the last half dozen or so extended trips that involved plane rides, I've brought with me my two lightest and most versatile handbags to use during the days and evenings: Balencaiga Day and City. They're so easy to fold/roll, and take up such little carryon space.
The black and gray match just about everything I would bring with me. Making any additional bags, unnecessary. They're also very lightweight which is good when you're saddled with cameras, maps, scarves, bonus layers, and sundry souvenirs.

En route to my final destination, I pack the bbags into bags. I usually stuff one into my beloved, lightweight, sleek, and incredibly mobile (thanks to its inline skate wheels) Heys XCase 20" Carry-On. This fits very easily into overhead bins AND in a pinch I've even stuffed it under my seat.

I bought two of them (in grey and black) for a song at the closing sale of Pittsburgh's now-deceased Filene's Basement.

The other purse goes with me into my durable Longchamp Le Pliage Medium Folding Tote
It has a secure zip closure and is so sturdy and lightweight, it is kind of ridiculous. I got the above one (which was a seasonal offering) from the Great Fall 2008 Saks Sale. This fits very easily underneath the seats. The heavy nylon keeps everything safe (since I am fussy about putting anything leather onto the floor). It also holds a TON of stuff. I fit my leather bag (with purse contents), laptop, spare pair of ballerina flats, quart bag of liquids, snacks, jewelry pouch, cosmetic pouch, pashmina scarf (to double as a blanket if I get cold on the plane), magazines, book, and a spare outfit, easily.

I've often considered bringing more formal looking or uniquely colored bags with me on my travels but I always force myself to reevaluate the impulse to overpack prior to departure of my home. I remind myself gently that the more I bring, the more I'll have to hulk around airport(s), onto mass transit, into taxis, etc. And the less space I'll have to bring home new, exciting finds!

How do you travel your belongings? Do you have a beloved duffle? A system of emergency Baggus? Do you go the Rachel Zoe route and Fed Ex everything to your hotel so you don't have to think about it? I'd love to know your strategy.

3 comments:

grechen said...

i just struggled with this last week...first, i need a new carry on, the one i bought at nordstrom rack is the right size, but the front pockets make it SO hard to get into the overhead bin. it was ridiculous. i love your heys bag - been looking at those, and the fuschia is on sale at amazon ;-) should i get it??

i just need to get better about paring down what i need in my handbag - i ended up stuffing so much crap in it, it was so heavy and i was miserable carrying it...wish i had a balenciaga sometimes...looks so lightweight.

lesloo said...

i have such love for the day bag, it will be a long time before i can afford even a used one. megafrown.

Jesspgh said...

Gretchen, The Heys bags are so light and they manuever so easily because of the wheels. But they are smaller than the standard maximum carryon size and their hard shell means that fudging your things to fit is less easy to pull off than in a canvas or fabric carryon. My only beef with the bags is that you have to basically open up the whole thing to get something into or out of it, because of the hard case. There are no external pockets. But that just means I pack my folding longchamp strategically. In case I am asked to check the Heys I don't want anything delicate (despite the safety of the hard case) or anything I would need during a flight to be packed in there and unavailable to me.

Having said that, they fit in even the smallest of overhead bins with ease (even on flights where they announce that you will have to check anything with wheels).

Lesloo and Gretchen, I got a killer deal on mine from someone on tpf. Occasionally (especially the black day) authentic ones pop up for relatively low prices on ebay. I've seen authentic black days go for even less than I paid for mine.

Thank you both for reading!

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