Simple travel style: carry-on and tote.

Fly Away

Where is your next travel destination? Is it for work or for pleasure? For all of you out there, I surely hope it’s the latter.

Regardless of the reason for it, traveling to different places is such a great way to learn about a new place, foods, sometimes culture, and definitely more about yourself. Especially if you are traveling with someone else, you learn the most about yourself.

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Outfit styling options.

Options, Options, Options

When packing for any type of travel, I love options. This is my packing madness, I mean method: I pile on all the clothes, accessories, toiletries, shoes and bags I could possibly want to use during the trip onto the bed. For some reason, I always think during my traveling, I’ll be using face packs that I don’t use at home – at all and pack those. Do you have these incongruent ideas of your self on travel that’s different than you at home?

Travel friendly sized toiletries.


I check the weather for the duration of my trip and my schedule. Are there social activities, or excursion activities that require different outfits, lots of walking, or just looking cute? If it’s work related, how many business outfits do I need and what’s the minimal number of slacks I need which creates enough variety so it doesn’t look like a repeat outfit.

I usually like a lot of mileage for my bottoms, meaning I intend to wear them more than once for most trips. (Depending on the weather and the activities I’ll be participating!). Unless it’s a sweater, I rarely like to repeat tops for a week long trip. If it’s longer than two weeks, I would prefer to squeeze in a laundry opportunity.

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Prepped to be packed.

Put It to Paper and Stick to It

At this point I like to jot down my outfits on paper. I have the days of the trip and the activities, and start dolling out the outfits for the days and the outfit combinations. For example, I can wear the same black slacks on Tuesday which I’ll wear again on Thursday.

Less Is More…. Space!

This is where the paring down happens. I realize truly which outfits I want to wear and place them in a pile. I do have several alternates, depending on weather, but I usually like to pack interchangeable tops in case I’m not feeling the vibe on the day I planned on wearing the outfit.

I like to see how I feel about the outfit and sometimes don’t like to stick to the preplanned outfits. Once I’ve decided on all the outfits and the alternates, I edit some pieces and assign double duty to more outfits. I try to travel minimally since I’ve had the unsatisfying experience of lugging items around my carry-on or suitcase that I never touched during a trip and became resentful of the space it was taking up on my return trip back.

Overpacking can be a drag, literally.

Handbag Favorites for Traveling

Now, for my travel bags. For any travel here are my musts: lightweight, easily packable, durable, practical, and of course, stylish. When selecting bags, I review my (known) activities and what I’ll be wearing as well as the weather to finally pick the bags I need for the trip.

As a rule I always like a small crossbody that is appropriate for most occasions and an extra tote just in case I need a larger bag to carry a jacket, purchases, etc.

For the airport, I like to keep it simple. I roll my carry-on which is expandable for those purchases I’m sure I’ll be making on my trip and a tote with easy access to my travel documents, kindle, scarf (as a blanket for the air-conditioned plane ride) and few essential toiletries.

Here are my travel bag choices that have all the attributes in a travel bag.

Large Tote Bag

Tote bag of choice for traveling for me is the Long Champ Le Pliage tote. They are the perfect choice for traveling since they fold up into a fraction of their size as well as they are water resistant and lightweight. I always tuck a large tote into my luggage in case I need extra luggage.

The large totes are roomy and can bear a lot of weight and my favorite part is the closure, completing zipping the entire contents. They also come in a variety of colors that suits your mood and personality.

Long Champ Le Pliage Tote Large in blue.

Crossbody Bag

A crossbody bag is great for easy hands free roaming and traveling. Even for business travel I prefer a cross body bag since I’m carrying my laptop bag and a jacket, most likely and love the freedom of having my hands free. Any cross body will work.

Le Sportsac crossbody bag.

I tend to go for the the lightweight, small, durable nylon (versus delicate suede) bags. I prefer Le Sport Sac cross body bags with the many zippers and can be packed easily and don’t take up a lot of space and is functional. They come in variety of prints as well as solid colors that can go with your outfit selections.

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Marc by Marc Jacobs Natasha Mini Crossbody, nylon.

I usually don’t bring my leather cross body bags as they are bulky, heavy and depending on weather, might get damaged. I also like the Marc By Marc Jacobs nylon bag lines such as the Natasha for the same reasons. I also like that I can wear the crossbody bag to the front so I can keep an eye on it at all times.

Stylish Backpack

Long Champ Le Pliage backback in red.

For trips that require a lot of walking and carrying more than your passport and small essentials, I prefer a backpack. For all my bags I like bags that close and are lightweight. There are a lot of sporty bag packs for roughing it type but they are more bulky. I recommend trying the Long Champ Le Pillage Back Pack. It’s not too small, but big enough to carry your jacket and camera and few extra things.

I also like that a backpack evenly distributes they weight of the contents across both your shoulders versus just one side as the cross body. For trekking the outdoors or long walks, I would prefer the backpack. Like the Le Pillage totes, these are water resistant and fold flat for easy packing.

Long Champ Le Pliage backback in black.

Bags Not to Take Traveling

Of course your travel needs entirely depend on the type of travel you are doing. Will you be traveling like Kim Kardashian, where you valet will be taking care of all your items and unpacking them before you get to your destination or will you be hitch hiking your way through Europe?

I’m sure it will be somewhere in the middle. Since I want to enjoy the views and the adventure and not be distracted by worrying over my belongings the bags to avoid taking are delicate expensive pieces that need a lot of care. Or bags that are too heavy. When traveling, function and practicality win out, but without sacrificing style.

Wherever your next travel plans take you, have fun and enjoy.

“All journeys have secret destinations of which the traveler is unaware.”

– Martin Buber

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