The luggage struggle




How to pack and what to pack in is a constant question for me.  I frequently travel by plane for business and pleasure.  I am also on the road between family and friends.  Where I’m going or for what purpose and mode of transportation are my frequent decision makers.  Charles de Gaulle and Heathrow are not airports for carrying a heavy bag.  Also the overhead space on regional planes, especially those in Europe, is smaller than for US planes.  This summer I packed my TAnthony duffel style carry-on only to have it not fit in the overhead on my Delta flight.  I was shocked.  I had previously carried it and stuffed it in the overhead bin on multiple domestic and international flights but it was not to be.

What to pack in and to check or not to check are frequent decision makers.  Consider the decision matrix –

  • Plane, train or automobile
  • Business or pleasure or both
  • domestic or international
  • Weekend or week
  • TSA liquid allowance

If I’m traveling by car I usually opt for my duffel.  I have a Goyard boeing duffel in both a small and large size and LV keepalls in between the Goyard sizes.  I opt for the largest duffel for a week trip.  The larger of the LV keepalls has a shoulder strap that is perfect if I’m going to have to carry my bags a bit of a distance.  If it is a weekend or overnight  trip, one of the smaller duffel bags works well.

I also consider if I want two bags or one.  In addition to my primary bag, I tend to carry a tote with cosmetics, electronics, and other last-minute and miscellaneous additions.  I am forever stuffing a charger and cord for my iPhone into my tote on my way out the house.  My tote choices vary among a Tory Ella tote, a large LV neverfull,  a Goyard St. Louis GM, and a Goyard GM Bellechasse.  The neverfull and St. Louis choices are slouchy and great for fitting in small spaces in the trunks or back-seat of cars.  More often than not, however, it is the Bellechasse that is the perfect choice between structured, size and slouch.



If I’m flying, I’m going with a roller bag.  At five foot one, I’m not into running through airports carrying a large duffel bag.  I’m obsessed with my Rimowa rollerboard.  It is sturdy, easy to roll and I like the hard size construction.  I have two sizes – a small one that can be a carry-on and a larger size for longer trips that must be checked.

I usually have a carry-on for the plane.  If it is a short trip, I typically use my neverfull or St. Louis as my plus one item.  They are great for stuffing under the seat of a plane or in a small overhead.  The downside to both is that they are open totes.  For longer trips, I have a LV rollerboard and a Longchamp duffel that zips.

In the end it is a puzzle to be solved.

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