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Venturing the Impossible - Carry-On Luggage...

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Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Venturing the Impossible - Carry-On Luggage...

When I travel, I'm not a road warrior by any means. Sure, I have my packing list down pat and know that I'll wear mostly everything I pack but, like many women, I tend to over pack.

Who knows if I'll change my mind about that swanky dress and want to wear my favorite blouse. What about if I don't feel like wearing the CLWannaBe Stilettos and actually maybe, I dunno, want to wear my blue pumps. I'm a mess. And beauty products - let's not even go there. As Meowmix would say "G*Damn. Did you pack a flippin' CVS or something?" Listen, I'm prepared.

I do have the zip through security down cold well, mainly because I check my luggage. However, I'm sick of the baggage damage, the drama with getting there and waiting in line only to find out I have 2 minutes to get it on the plane to hit the 45 min. window (like the last trip!) and, really, the overbulkiness of what I bring.

So, in chats with Meowmix about the impending August trip and the recent changes on airlines about baggage allowances, etc., I'm attempting to bring ONLY a carry-on suitcase and my purse. That's It. As I'm running an event, I'd need a carry-on with allowances for a laptop in the front pocket so I can breeze through security with my laptop and clear Ziploc in hand. I need a carry-on with room for my stilettos (back to bringing either my CLWannaBes) and a pair of flats (don't gasp - I DO have them) and ample room for jeans, my travel steamer, flat iron (tho I need to get a thinner one now that I think about it) and all those do-dad cords I have to bring for the camera, laptop, etc.

As a plus size fashionista, well, let's just say that our clothes are not small. Not to mention, among my friends, I have a reputation to maintain and have to bring my A-Game Every. Freakin. Time. Bec has tried for YEARS to teach me to pack properly but I resist the teachings. I try to roll but it just comes out a hot tranny mess.

I envy people like Colin Cowie who can put things in packing envelopes and be so neat and organized. I know that should they do a bag inspection through TSA, I don't want someone grabbing my unmentionables and going "Huh - these might have bombs attached". I want to be one of those chic wenches that I often see breeze through the airports with not a care in the world.

If you go into my closet, you'll see luggage from trips past that have been well used and have seen their fair share of tour life. When I would be on the road to Vegas, my slut club gear alone could fill up a carry-on. Hey - we had 4 nights at the hotel and who knows who I would have met, right? (Shush Mike!) All of those bags, sans one, are far from carry-on size, even if HSN tried to say it was (and that sucker is heavy too!). The one for carry-on houses ONE pair of shoes along with clothes for perhaps one night.

Here's the problem. I'm going to be in Philly 5 days/4 nights. One of those nights I'm a door biatche (read: sassy club gear). Another night, I have plans with the gals. The other two - who the heck knows yet. And during the day I need to be presentable as I have a couple meetings I have to attend (and need to bring the requisite paperwork/files). And there has to be room for shopping.

However, I've given myself a break and said that I will, more than likely, be sending myself a little care package via priority mail from the hotel that way I can not worry about packing issues to get home. Perhaps I might send another package TO the hotel with the files and *ahem* a gift for a friend in Philly that, really, the TSA won't let me pack in my carry on. And also my big super size Principessa lotion that won't fit the Ziploc bag rule.

I've been doing my research online regarding luggage and resigned myself to the fact that I'd have to pay for a decent carry-on that will stand up to the wear and tear because, more than likely, its about to get a lot of use as I zip back and forth between Philly.

The other day while shopping for the *perfect* dress for one of the nights in Philly, I ran across a store that had the luggage that I was eyeing - Travelpro. I said "Eehhh - that's expensive, not this week even if it is an outlet". As I'm driving past I see ANOTHER Travelpro outlet store in the complex with the words "FACTORY SALE" Wait a minute - Factory sale??? Those puppies are easily $300+ for a decent bag and the Airline people use them. They have to be good.

I went in with a sense of skepticism because I also have rules for my luggage.

  1. It has to be durable;
  2. It has to house 2 pairs of shoes, easily;
  3. It has to be a cute color that screams "Lys"; and
  4. It has to look chic.
Well, I scored - and scored big. Apparently this bag used to retail for $480 and the other outlet store was selling it for $129. Online, I've found it for anywhere between $130 - $219. Guess how much I paid for it... g'head... guess...


Now that, my friends, is a hell of a bargain. Sure, I read that there are problems with the wheels but nothing that a local skate shop can't replace with some inline skate wheels but it zips around like a dream and its in one of my favorite colors - blue.

So, I'm now on the hunt to get the cute folders ala Colin Cowie (damn you Container Store) and a laptop sleeve so I can look like I have my crap together while breezing through Orlando International or Philadelphia International.

Do you have any tips for a gal on how to pack "light"?

[Image courtesy of]

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Posted by Lys :: 7:23 PM :: 4 comments

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