Happy Memorial Day, everyone! I hope you are all enjoying your day off and welcoming the official start to summer. After I put Grace to bed last night (and left her with responsible/loving caregivers) I hopped on the late flight to London to meet Pete and his family for a few days.
And I would like to discuss, briefly, airport style.
Not like this.
Because that is not real. Or it is not, at least, my reality. My chicest airport moment is not as chic as when Harper threw up on Victoria Beckham.
But I do my best.
To me, travel chic begins and ends with your choice to carry on or not. Obviously the less grahdoo you are hauling about, the less like a sweaty bag lady you look. I am a devout carry-on-er, so to start I am at a deficit when it comes to airport style. It doesn’t matter if I am going somewhere overnight, or say for six weeks (my euro trip after college, still my crowning packing achievement) I am carrying on.
I have been an avid solo traveler for the past 13 years, starting with trekking back and forth from Texas to Connecticut for boarding school at 14. I have been through many luggage pieces- family hand me downs, fashion-statement-attempts, but I finally feel like I have my airport game down now.
The formula is wheelie bag + oversized tote.
The wheelie bag of choice for the past 5 years has been this Bric’s bag. It’s good lookin’- but not too flashy. It is structured- a must for packing IMHO, but soft enough to be able to sqwunch into a tight spot. It doesn’t have a lot of junky pockets and doodads on the inside taking up space, and it is pretty light weight. Most importantly, it is durable. I brought it on the aforementioned Euro trip, and it took a severe beating. Literally thrown down flights of stairs in train stations while running to catch a departure, up and down cobblestone streets, sat upon in tight cabins. That was it’s maiden voyage, and I have used it on every adventure since and the only noticeable wear and tear are a few scuffs and the rubber grip on the handle is starting to rub off a bit.
There she is at a train station in Germany beneath my feat, the other flotsam and jetsam surrounding me are the bags of my less gifted-packer travel companions. Who I might add were boys. Tease me all you want for “backpacking” with a fancy wheelie bag, but I had by far the most streamlined operation.
For the oversized tote, it really depends on the trip. Normally whatever my current everyday bag will suffice, but on a trip like this one I need to bring in the big guns.
This Stela 9 tote.
Here is what I favor about it.
It is large. Very large. In it I put my coat, goyard bag full, toiletries, computer, stacks of magazines, sweater. On the way back, should I acquire treasures, I could check my wheelie, pull out my regular bag, and use this as an extra suitcase.
I also like the strap options, and the side pocket. I put my wallet and passport in there for easy access and felt quite smart breezing through security.
And it is real cute, no?
So now that I have made it to London with all of my travel essentials, where should I go and what should I do? We are only here for 3 days and I think we are pretty booked in the evening with family time, but how should I make the most of my days? Best shopping? Must see sights?