I feel like I’ve gotten traveling down to a science. Let’s talk about bags.

Longer Trips
I take one large piece of luggage that has room for souvenirs.  Because they get beat up so much in transit, I check out Marshall’s, TJ Maxx, or Ross for hard-sided luggage.  I only replace them once every 5 years or something, and they go abroad 2 or 3 times a year.  Paying $70 – $90 for a suitcase seems like a good deal.  From the photo above, I ended up purchasing the palm tree suitcase for a 3 week trip to South Korea where I had to take a bunch of stuff.  Bonus: I can always identify my bag on the conveyor belt.

As my carry-on, I use a North Face Surge II.  Since I often travel for work, it is perfect for the following items:

  • Computer and iPad – It has a section for both of these, and they stay very safe in the separate zippered area.
  • Toothbrush/Toothpaste
  • Fuji X-T10 Camera.  If I take my Canon 5D and lenses, I travel with its own Pelican case.  I’ve found that this little camera with a 35mm (50) lens does a great job.  While it doesn’t have a full-frame sensor, it takes beautiful photographs, has wifi capability so you can easily download your photos for sharing online, and it is unassuming so that it isn’t intimidating to people if you want to take their photo.  I’ve found that unless my destination is specifically for photography, this little camera is perfect.
  • Quest Bars – Airplane food is gross, amirite?  Quest Bars are low carb, high protein bars that I eat almost every day.  They are a great supplement on the airplane, and if you watch your carb intake like me, they are perfect for starting out the day while traveling or even as a meal replacement or snack if you’re in the middle of nowhere.
  • Change of clothes, usually a knit dress and undies
  • Scarf – Those airplane blankets aren’t always the nicest way to keep warm.  I keep a large comfy scarf packed away for the flight.

Often this backpack is the only carry-on I need.

For my “personal item” it depends what I am doing when I reach my destination.  If I need a briefcase/business bag, then I’ll take that to set at my feet.  I put my essentials (passport, lip balm, Quest bars, headphones, iPad, compression socks) in it, and then I don’t have to mess with the overhead bins during the flight.  The most recent laptop purse I purchased for a business trip was from Office Depot: the Kenneth Cole Reaction Laptop Tote.  I knew I needed a professional-looking purse that could hold a computer once I reached my destination, and this one did not disappoint.  I’ve purchased cheaper bags at Marshall’s and Ross, and the handles always seem to tear after one trip.  This one made it 3 weeks being toted everywhere.  It was also roomy enough to put an umbrella, phone, selfie stick, wallet, camera, iPad (if I didn’t take my computer), Quest Bars, and any other items I might have purchased throughout the day.  10/10 would buy again (but I won’t have to).

Small Bags

I adore Knomo Bags.  They are beautiful and functional.  I have the Elektronista Clutch in Chili which is perfect for meetings or even as a carry-on.  It comes with a charger which is cool.

Finally, I don’t know what I’d do without my Kavu Rope Bag.  I have two: black and flamingo.  Yes, flamingo is a color.  They are like Mary Poppins’ magical bag – you can fit so much in them.  The zippers are super accessible and the two front pockets are perfect for keys, lipstick, and a phone.  They are also so comfortable for every day wear.

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