Planes sometimes feel like a second home for me, i’m on them almost once a week! Whether I’m traveling for work or lately with my book tour, I’ve definitely learned the importance of investing in a great travel bag firsthand. I used to take any old roller with me, but have recently invested in a carry-on I love. Don’t let that term fool you, there are plenty of great travel options that are not expensive! When searching for a travel bag – yes you want it to be cute – but you also need it to be functional, so everything fits inside and you can find essentials super fast. Keep these tips in mind while searching for the perfect carry-on:
1. Carry On Size: Most airlines adhere to the standard maximum average of 45 linear inches (the total of the height, weight, and depth) when it comes to bags, but I suggest erring on the slightly smaller side. Smaller planes don’t let certain ‘carry on’ sizes into the stow away cupboard, and you end up having to check it at the gate, which is a pain. A compact bag means you’ll pack your main essentials, and you won’t hurt your back lugging something too heavy.
2. Mobile Bags: In short, wheels are the best thing to happen to travel luggage since mini travel toiletries. In the event that you’re running through the airport to catch your flight, wheelies are your best bet for making it on time. As an added tip, look for wheels that spin in every direction, not just forward and backward. Those are the golden ticket of travel goods!
3. Timeless Texture and Color: Once you’ve found a new bag you love, you’ll want it to last for seasons to come. Make sure it’s in a neutral color palette, preferably something darker that won’t show wear. And make sure it goes with your personal style – which sounds simple but – for example – i chose a tan and black wheelie by Aspinal of London, because I’m always wearing those colors, or colors that compliment black and tan. And ps. a final style tip, look for sophisticated textures (even if they are faux, like moc-croc or suedette panels) to solidify your status as a chic expert traveler!
4. Stain Resistant Cover: It’s less glam to mention, but nothing ruins a great luggage like stains incurred while traveling. While looking at colors and textures, look for a bag with a stain resistant cover or coating to avoid scratches, spills, and normal wear and tear. For an added sense of security, look for a luggage lined on the inside to resist liquid spills from seeping out. Some bags have in-built plastic compartments which are perfect for bottles, muddy shoes or even a bikini that’s not quite dry from the beach!
5. Add Flair: Spice up a perfectly practical bag with a cool luggage tag. A bright color or a luxe finish like leather or faux-snake is the perfect accessory to your travel companion, and since you’ll have it with you constantly, it’s worth adding on to your bag. Last year I invested in a bright burnt orange travel set: matching travel tag, passport cover and wallet, and I love it! Somehow it makes the long lines at check in not so miserable.