I’d Pack That: On Choosing the Right Luggage

My name is Mae, and I am a bag addict.

For whatever reasons, I can typically pass up jewelry and outfits– but when it comes to bags (and dresses), I have no self-control.

I see a bag I like and instantly envision the trips we can take together: a laptop bag to carry to Wild Detectives, my favorite Dallas coffee shop; a carry-on for when I make my weekend trip to NYC this fall; a duffel for youth camps; a tote for my climbing gear.

I fall in love with bags more than I do with boys — and I’m totally fine keeping it this way.

Questions to ask when choosing the right bag:

  1. What kind of trip am I going on? Is it active, will it require toting the bag around on planes, trains and automobiles? Is it sedentary, will I leave it at a hotel during our stay? Is it in-between, will I switch stays every now and then?
  2. How long is it? A weekend? A week? A month?
  3. What kind of outfits do I want to wear? If it’s summery, then you probably want some thin tops and a few dresses. If it’s winter, you need boots and scarves and gloves. If it’s a bit of the two, pack for the best of both worlds. Will I need a variety of clothes for a variety of occasions? Will the temperature change any time I’m there?
  4. How much do I need to pack? Will I need to wear just one outfit every day? Will I be an outfit repeater?  Will I have access to a washer/dryer?

Packing light is always a good idea.

It’s easier on your shoulders and back. It creates space for souvenirs and outfits you buy on your trip. It fits in the overhead cabin and won’t hurt as much if it falls on a stranger.

Packing smart is the overall goal: efficiently, space-friendly, economically. Bring what you need, leave behind what you don’t. Prepare to repeat outfits, it’s not the end of a fashion era. If you have a longer trip, prepare yourself to do laundry, even though it’s not ideal.

I try to avoid luggage fees at all costs, so I either fly Southwest (with two free checked bags) or bring a carry-on. I just purchased a canvas tote from Lo & Sons for upcoming trips to NYC and to Denver.

Personally, I love pockets. Compartmentalizing and organizing are my jams. I use pockets for tech gadgets and accessories, for go-to tools like chap-stick, sunglasses and pens, for toiletries. This tote even has a pocket underneath that can store shoes, towels, etc. I’m very excited to use it, so stay tuned for a review.

No matter how you pack, prepared or not, the adventure is always worth it. Don’t worry about leaving something behind or wishing you had your favorite dress. Enjoy the journey. Enjoy this life.

How do you pack? What are your tips & tricks to packing smart and light? Or do you just do your own thing each time? Let me know in the comments below!

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