10 Rolling, Carry-On Bags That Are Beautiful, As Well As Practical

I’ve been giving a lot of thought lately to what luggage I’ll be carrying when I travel to Italy this fall. When I first started dreaming and planning for a trip, the travel company I was considering using really emphasized taking a very small suitcase (like a carry-on size) for the whole trip because they often booked rooms in small Mom-Pop owned hotels where there were no elevators.

Also, due to the location of those places, they warned you might get dropped off a couple of blocks away from the hotel and have to pull your bag a long distance to get to the hotel.

Fortunately, I ended up discovering Grand Circle Travel and not only were their trips a much better value, they drop you off right at the hotel, always handle one suitcase for you and it can be a normal size suitcase, not a little carry-on size. That’s really helpful for longer trips like the one I’ll be taking.

Tuscany and the Amalfi Coast


So, with that issue put to rest ( I can use my current big suitcase) I’ve been focused on finding a great carry-on bag that will safely hold a laptop, along with the other essentials and comfort items I’ll want with me on the flight.

In researching carry-on bags, I came to the conclusion that I’d like my carry-on bag to be the rolling kind, so much easier than lugging a bag through the airport. I’d also like for it to have an inside pocket to secure my laptop. And I’d like for it to be cute.

I don’t care that much about how the bag I’ll be checking looks, but I’d really like something stylish (but practical) for the bag I’ll be pulling around the airport and using while on the flight over and back.

Stylish, Rolling, Underseat, Carry-on Bags for Travel

In this post I’m sharing some of my favorites, including the one I just purchased. I may end up purchasing another one (or two) so that I can compare them and return the one I least like. I really had a hard time narrowing it down to just one.

One of my requirements for the bag I ultimately chose was that it had to fit underneath the seat. I want my carry-on bag right there in front of me on the trip so I can get whatever I need out of it easily and quickly.

I’m not sure if all of the bags I’m sharing will fit underneath a seat but I’m pretty sure most will. I read a fair amount about each one but be sure to check the dimensions and read the answered questions and reviews for information before purchasing one.

By the way, I noticed while reading the questions and reviews, several folks commented that these bags usually fit under a seat if they aren’t overstuffed. So keep that in mind when traveling with a carry-on bag, best to not overstuff ’em.

To read more about any of the bags below, click on the title of the bag.

Cabrelli Lily Floral Laptop Rollerbrief

This adorable floral bag definitely caught my eye. It will hold a laptop up to 15.6″ in size and the handle is retractable. I noticed a lot of the rolling, carry-on bags have handles that completely retract. Some even retract down into a pocket that can be zipped so you would never even know the bag had a telescoping handle! This bag below is one that retracts away into a pocket. Love that!

Feminine Floral Rolling Carry on Bag

Cabrelli Victoria Houndstooth 15.6 Laptop Rollerbrief

I was really focused on looking for bags that didn’t look like an ordinary suitcase. I love the design of this houndstooth bag.The handle on this bag also retracts away into a zippered pocket.Cabrelli Victoria Rolling Laptop Carry on Bag

19″ Laptop Rolling Wheel Houndstooth Tote Bag

I was really loving all the houndstooth styles I found!

Stylish Houndstooth Rolling Laptop Commuter Bag


Mad Red Houndstooth Foldable Tote 

This was my favorite Houndstooth carry-on bag. When not in use, it actually folds flat for storage.Houndstooth Rolling Carry On Bag


Alligator Crocodile Rolling Laptop Carry-on Bag

This bag reminded me so much of my favorite purses by Brahmin. I love me a Brahmin bag! I wish Brahmin would make a rolling carry-on bag. Wonder why they don’t do that!

Stylish Rolling Carry On Bag in Faux Crocodile

Here’s how it looks in rolling mode. Cute bag!

Fashionable Style Rolling Carry on Bag for Travel


Remember the Travelon Cross-Body Bag I found to use as my purse while traveling? (If you missed my post about this bag, you’ll find it here: Take a Peek Inside My Travel Purse


Travelon Crossbody Travel Bag with RFID Block


Travelon Wheeled-Underseat Carry-On Bag

Travelon makes a great rolling, carry-on bag, too. I was very tempted to order this one just because I know how much I like my purse. I may do it, yet. I really like the pocket on the side for bottles. Travelon Underseat Rolling Carry-On Bag

Sportsman’s Expandable Rolling Carry-on Bag (Fits Under a Seat)

Just for the heck of it, I checked to see what L.L. Bean has for rolling, under-seat travel bags. This one looked really nice. L.L. Bean is good quality so I bet it’s a good one if you don’t mind spending a little.


L. L. Bean Rolling Carry-on Bag, Fits Under Seat


Enough of the sensible bags…back to cute! I love this sweet Frenchy bag. You’d never know it’s a rolling, carry-on bag, but it is.

Paparazzo Rolling Underseat Travel Bag 

Fashion Rolling Carry On Bag With French Design

Shown here in a different pattern, you can see how the handle is hidden into the bottom of the bag. I kind of like this design because it gets the handle completely out-of-the-way when it’s not in use.

Rolling Duffle Style Bag


Nicole Lee Cheri Rolling Tote

Isn’t this the cutest! It’s holds a 15 inch laptop in a padded compartment inside.

Update: This is the bag I ultimately decided on, the design was so cute, I couldn’t resist it. I’ve used it now for trips to Italy, Key West, Cozumel, Holland and Belgium and it worked great. It fits well in the overhead bin on an airplane and I always get tons of compliments on it, even from other travelers in airports. I’ve really enjoyed using it.

Fashion Rolling Carryon Bag by Nicole LeeCowgirl Rolling Carry-on Tote

Wouldn’t this be great for someone who loves horses. Did  you know there were so many fun rolling, carry-on bags?! I had no idea until I started shopping for them.

Nicole Lee Cowgirl Rolling Carry-on Bag


Fashion Travel Backpack

I don’t want to wear a backpack, but if I did, this would be one I’d have to consider.

Stylish Nicole Lee Backback for Travel

Cute even in back. Okay, what did I ultimately order?Fashion Backpack by Nicole Lee

Olympia Fashion Rolling Underseat Carry-on Travel Bag

This is the bag I’ve ordered, so far. It was only $51.50 and per the questions/reviews, it will fit under a seat if it’s not overstuffed. It has some great reviews so hopefully I will like it once it arrives.

Stylish Rolling Carry On Laptop Bag by Olympia for Travel


I like that a laptop is secure when it’s inside the bag.

Paisley Fashion Rolling Carry-on Bag

It also comes in Pink! 🙂Floral Fashion Rolling Carry On Bag by Olympia for Travel

Best Luggage Lock For Travel Safety & Security, TSA Safe

While we’re talking bags, I ordered a lock for the big bag I’ll be checking. This one will meet TSA requirements and has a ranking of 5 stars after 770+ reviews! I like that it’s a combination lock so I don’t have to worry about losing the key. You can set your own combination, too.Best Travel TSA Combination Luggage Lock

I just saw this quote from CNN. Did you know this? I guess it’s not a bad idea to have a lock on the bags you put in the overhead bin, too. I had no idea bags were often stolen from there, too.


Baggage Weight Scale

The other thing I purchased today is this nifty gadget. It was only $10.50 and I figure it will be great to have now that I’m beginning to travel a little. I have this fear I’ll arrive at the airport and be told my bag is 5 lbs over the limit and have to pay some big fee. Actually, on an international flight, I’m not sure they will let you fly with a bag that’s over the limit at all.


Best Luggage Scale for Travel



My Bucket List Travel Map arrived yesterday and I took it immediately to a local frame shop for framing. I’m not matting it or anything, just chose a pretty black frame. The framer is going to put some type of hardboard behind it, then mount it to some type of thicker foam core board. I think that’s how she described it. She said another couple had just brought in a travel map and they wanted their map mounted to thick foam core board so that they could use pins in it, too. I don’t think I’ll be sticking pins in mine, at least I hadn’t planned on it. It should be ready in a day or two and I already know exactly where it’s going.

It’s going here in the office, right where the clock is now. I measured and I think it will fit there beside the mirror.

Decorating Office Walls


I didn’t take time to scratch anything off before I took it to the framing shop. The only thing I’ll be able to scratch off right now will be some states in the United States and a few places in the Caribbean, but I hope to make it a lot more colorful over the coming years. 🙂


By the way, after I ordered this map, the next day the price had gone up from $39.99 to 59.99. When I checked yesterday, it was back down to $39.99, so I went ahead and ordered another one today as a Christmas present for a friend who loves to travel. You’ll find this map here: Bucket List Scratch-off Travel Map


Next up…finding a good laptop for travel. My current one is around 10 years old and weighs a ton! I have some in mind, I’ll let you know what I go with once I decide.

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  1. Jane McCarthy says

    Susan, long-time follower,first time commenter! Our family and traveled to Europe multiple times. If you store something underneath the seat in front of you, keep in mind you are cutting off much-needed leg room, a major pain for a long trip. Also difficult to get in and out of your bag with others seated near you. Remove your computer and store on back of seat in front of you. Put necessary items in your purse and store that under seat. It’s always worked well for me. Bon voyage and safe travels!

    • Sometimes in the past trips to CA, I’ve stored a bag under the seat in front of me and stretched out my legs on top of it. But this bag may be too big/tall for that. I don’t think I can get everything I want for the trip into my purse, so I’ll just have to put the carry-on bag in the overhead bin if I need more leg room. I usually put my purse along side the window because I always go for a window seat. Thanks for those tips, Jane! Appreciate those!

  2. Why not look into buying a tablet size computer? I have an iPad, a retirement gift, and have taken it on several European trips now. It is so much lighter than a laptop!

    Happy traveling!

    • I have an iPad, but what I need is a smallish 13″ or 15 “laptop so I can download all the photos I’ll be taking each day to create blog posts while I’m away. I’ll also want to resize and crop the photos, so I’ll need photo editing software. I also want a decent size keyboard. There are several great laptops out there that have big (258 or 512GB) hard drives and only weight 2 or 3 lbs…so laptops have gotten super light weight.

  3. Hi Susan – I love all of these bags. You have wonderful taste. My concern would be that they are sooo pretty they would get stolen in a heartbeat! I can’t want to follow your trip! Love your blog!

  4. Love the faux Brahman bag! They are all so distinctive.
    Pack as little as possible to take with you so that you will have room for the loot you are bringing home in your bags. I flew back from Europe with a Murano glass chandelier I found in an antique shop in the overhead compartment. You never know what you will find!
    You will be surprised as what you can do without and how little you will need.

    • I was thinking about that. I don’t think I’ll buy very much. Wow, that would be wonderful to find a treasure like that! Love the Murano glass chandeliers!

    • Now that is a wonderful purchase! 🙂 We have twice carried a set of china from England.

  5. My own travel tips and they have served me well:
    The airlines will let you board with 1 carry-on and 1 personal item (such as a purse, laptop bag, briefcase, etc). Mine are usually a roomy backpack as my carry-on, and a small cooler as my personal item – I carry only one regular sized suitcase and usually check it in all the way through to destination so as not to have to worry about hauling it around.

    I always put my purse, camera, book(s) and everything else, including my little travel pillow and the laptop in the backpack. I carry the backpack on my shoulder and the little cooler in my hand.

    I always keep some cash, airline tickets / boarding passes and ID out of my purse so it is easier to navigate through TSA and to buy water or anything I might need before boarding – I usually put these things in the front pocket of my backpack for easy access.

    READ THIS – it’s important

    TIP: DO NOT pack any thing you can’t easily replace in your checked-in baggage!!! I never pack jewelry, camera, laptop, medications, etc in my checked-in bag. All of that goes with me in my backpack.

    Clean out your wallet of any courtesy cards or things you won’t need when you travel, but keep your medical cards, CVS card in case you need medical or anything from a CVS drugstore.

    Airline and airport food is too expensive and actually pretty horrible, except in some very rare occasions. I usually carry a small soft-sided little chest with frozen gel-pack and have never had any problems, but in some airports TSA might take your gel-pack away so carry empty Zip-lock baggies to fill with ice at any of the airport food courts or food concessions – double bag the ice so that it doesn’t leak.

    I also carry a stainless-steel water bottle, attached to my backpack, empty when going through TSA, then I buy a bottle of cold water at any of the little airport shops that sell it (fill the SS bottle and return the empty plastic to the shop – they usually recycle them)

    Some of the foods I usually carry:
    hard boiled eggs (peeled) in a baggy
    those small little laughing cow cheeses or
    cheese sticks
    pimento cheese sandwich in a baggy, etc.
    Crackers, granola bars, cookies
    Spoon (for yogurt)
    Handwipes in little individual packets
    I use the empty baggies to put the wrappers, napkins and the wax covers from the cheeses to throw away

    Instead of sodas, I ask the flight attendants for bottled water, tomato juice, V-8 or apple juice – sodas will make you gassy (which is not a good thing in a packed airplane 😉

    • Thanks for all the awesome tips, Sonia! Airline food isn’t the great…you are so right about that! lol Yep, I’ve heard to never check anything you would be devastated if it were lost. I’ll check out the article you linked…thanks!

  6. PS… I try to always get window seat and if my backpack doesn’t fit under the seat in front, I place it on floor between my feet and the plane wall. It does not bother me at all. Sometimes I will lay it on floor as far as I can under the seat in front and place my feet on it to change positions a bit – especially on long flights (Honolulu to Atlanta is 9 hours)

    The laptop can fit in the pocket of the seat in front of you to use when you can or want during trip.

    • That’s kind of what I’ve done in the past if I had something other than my purse. I always put my purse against the wall of the plane and put anything else up under the seat. Then I use that as foot rest. I’ll have my Travelon purse with me this time, instead of my Brahmin tote that I normally carry. The Travelon purse is a good bit smaller so that will help with space. It would probably fit inside the carry-on bag.

  7. Linda Page says

    These rolling bags are wonderful. I am glad that I didn’t have to decide on just one because that would be hard. Out of loyalty, I would probably pick the cowgirl bag! Hey, can’t be from Texas and not pick the cowgirl bag!! I really like the bag you selected. Really cute. You are going to have so much fun.

  8. What a great selection of rolling carry-on bags! I need to read back through more carefully and look some of them up. I love to travel and am (slightly) obsessive about finding the perfect luggage and gear.

    What I’ve learned from trans-Atlantic trips is to put my carry-on in the overhead compartment before even sitting down – those compartments fill up fast and people can get pretty pushy! For a long flight I really want to be able to shift around in my seat and that means I need all the leg/foot room I can get. I take a zippered tote or bag out of the carry-on to keep at my seat. In it are the essentials I need right with me (neck pillow, headphones, eyeshade, Kindle, snacks, bottle of water, etc. etc.) plus valuables I want with me (passport, cash, credit cards, etc.). The valuables are in a small nylon crossbody purse that I can easily take with me to the bathroom if I’m traveling alone, and can also keep next to me if I’m sleeping (or trying to!).

    Depending on the trip, my actual travel purse might be empty and in my checked suitcase on the plane over. Or, if there’s room and I think I’ll want it at the airport after check in, I keep it in the carry-on (without the items I listed above) in the overhead compartment. I finally realized I needed to pack and organize separately for the plane trip. When I actually arrive and am out walking and sightseeing all day with a hotel room (and maybe a safe) to store things, I rearrange everything and use my travel purse again.

    (I should add that flights to Europe from my home town are 10 hours each way and overnight; your needs might be different for a shorter daytime trip.)

    Your detailed posts about your upcoming trip are really enjoyable – I look forward to more!

    • I need to get one of those eyeshades, I think that would make sleeping a lot easier. We’re flying at night. Thanks for mentioning that. Also, thanks for tip about the overhead bin. I have a feeling I’ll end up putting my carry on bag up there based on what everyone is saying about needing to stretch your legs. I was hoping it would fit in front of me under the seat but that may not work.
      I’m going to be wearing my important documents, papers, etc… all the time under my clothing in a little pouch I purchased. I’m completly paranoid about that! My flight will be about that long, too. I hope I sleep the majority of the way!
      Thanks for all this great info, Patty!

  9. Oh, Amazon must be LOVING you right now! I ordered the large, scratch-off map for my son’s room makeover and I ordered the Paparazzo carry-on for myself! I really like your suggestions. Thanks so much.
    Michelle from simplysantabarbara.blogspot.com

    • I love that Paparazzo bag! It’s sooo cute! Michelle, I hope your son enjoys the scratch off map. The frame shop called today and said mine was ready so I ran over and picked it up. I have it hanging now and I love it! I’ve never been great at geography so I’m really enjoying learning where every thing is. It will be a constant reminder here in the office to work less and play more! 🙂

  10. pam ~ crumpety cottage says

    Susan, my hubby wanted a smallish laptop (you are so right, those old ones are BEASTS) lol. He got a Lenovo Thinkpad that he is very happy with and I like it too. It’s nice and light weight, has a full keyboard and has good clarity, etc. It’s a couple of years old now, so they probably have a newer generation of that model, but you might check it out.

    And who knew travel bags could be so cute! I hope you like the one you ordered.

  11. Carol Anne says

    Have used Grand Circle Travel for years. I’m sure you will be pleased. Best travel value. They take care of everything.

  12. Margaret Robinson says

    Hi, Susan —

    A question for you or your other readers – I too am looking for a new carry-on bag and today when seeing some with rollers like you have on your website, wondered exactly how you stow them. Getting settled into your seat isn’t always the easiest thing (even in Business Class) and if people are already in one or two of the seats, it would seem that the wheels and the hardness of some of the frames would present an issue for pushing them under the seat in front of you quickly and effectively. Not having ever had that experience – I’ve always had a smallish, very soft-sided carry-on – would love to hear your thoughts. Thanks – MMR

  13. Susan, thank goodness we are going on a road trip this winter, otherwise my hubby would say *Naughty Susan* for tempting me with those bags.
    They are lovely, but the downfall for me, is every time we go on a trip, I have to purchase an extra bag to bring home.
    We recently donated a number of them to goodwill.
    Hubby hasn’t realised yet, how much more I will be able to get in the car than on the plane!! 🙂 We are going for two months to Palm Springs and I can get into an awful lot of buying trouble down there.
    I am excited for you going to Europe and also your cruise with the brothers!!

  14. Sorry, but I had to laugh when you mentioned you would like to have your carry-on under the seat so you could get to ‘stuff’ in-flight. Those seats for value flyers are so close together and tight, you have no room to pull anything out. Business Class is a little better and so on, up the money ladder. Everything goes overhead…try to keep items you might want in your purse even if mags, books, etc. stick out…and carry along food! You have no idea how hungry you can get on transatlantic flights! I carried tea bags for a comfortable, familiar cup of tea and granola bars. No ‘nut’ food usually allowed however. Thee carry-on should have makeup, change of cloths, shower items, meds, etc. Anything you’ll need if your checked bag is lost or late arriving for some reason. Also take cash for drinks, etc.on board…I’m waiting for the ‘pay’ toilet next!!! Why don’t we have a national ‘no fly’ day to make them spend all the money they recently connived from us? LOL

  15. Susan….I want to encourage you that you WON’T want your carry on bag under your seat or you will have no where to stretch out your legs on a long flight. Your purse, yes. When I board, I remove what I think I will need from my carry on….reader, travel books, socks for my feet and I have a small cloth zip pouch for personal hygiene items, mask, earplugs, toothbrush), pillow or blanket, and my water (I bring an empty disposable water bottle to the airport and refill it at a water filling station once through security (saves spending 3.00 on a bottle of water at the airport). I carry my makeup and and passport and travel documents in my purse that will fit under the seat but leave room for my legs. Then I put my bag in the overhead compartment. You can access it during the flight if need be. FYI….a 15″ wide rolling bag will not roll down the isles of a plane (except in first class) smoothly (especially if there is anything in the side pockets)….the isles are narrower and they get hung up so I usually end up carrying it down the isle of the plane. Just so you know!
    I keep my jewelry and a change of clothes, medications, light jacket, camera in my carry on bag in case my suitcase doesn’t follow me (which happened on a trip to Venice). Thankfully my bag arrived the next day.

  16. FYI….I like the Travelon bag best….and it’s true what another reader said….sometimes the spaces or so tight you might not fit it under the seat anyway. Some you showed are cute, but also might attract more attention, perhaps the kind you might not want….i.e. think you are a “rich American”. Sometimes, blending in is better.

  17. One more thing to think about: some airlines have a weight restriction now in addition to a size limit for your carry-on. For my upcoming trip it’s 15 lbs (Air New Zealand). This is the third time I’ve flown with them to the U.K. but the first time they’ve had the weight limit; luckily I happened to read it online. It might be a good idea to double-check your airline’s website, since a 5-6 lb. carry-on would limit how much you could put in it. (Although packing lighter would be worth it for such cute carry-ons…)

    • That’s a good, Patty…I will do that. So many things to think about…my to-do list is a mile long. 🙂

    • I just found my notes from when I talked with Grand Circle a few days ago and here’s what he told me. He said my full-size suitcase can’t be over 50lbs and can’t measure more than 62 linear inches, which is measured by adding the length + width + depth. The carry-on bag can’t be over 15lbs and can’t be bigger than 45 linear inches…length + width + depth. So that’s just what you said…15 lbs. I wonder why they started all these restrictions. Flying used to be a lot simpler.

    • I just measured my big suitcase and it’s 60 inches unpacked…so I need to make sure I don’t stuff it too much. At least I know I can take it.

  18. Susan…Interesting that your flight also has a weight limit on carry-ons; I didn’t realize it was a common thing now. From what I’ve seen people bring onboard, though, I imagine it was inevitable that the airlines had to set more limits. Good thing you bought a baggage scale – and be sure to take it with you! Your bags coming back are guaranteed to be heavier than on the way over. 😉

    • Good idea…hadn’t thought of that! lol I don’t plan on buying much of anything, I’m really there just to see the country. If I do buy something, I may have to have it shipped back. But hopefully I won’t be too tempted while there. I’m not looking forward to packing for 17 days!

  19. “I don’t plan on buying much of anything…” – famous last words! lol

    As far as packing for 17 days, I read a tip once by a world traveler who said “always pack for a week” no matter how long you’re going to be gone. Plan on washing things out at night and hanging them up to dry overnight.

    I’ve found being comfortable is more important to me than being stylish or having lots of changes of clothes while I’m traveling. I’ve thought otherwise before leaving, and ended up coming home with lots of unworn clothes. (Mostly new things I bought just for the trip; I end up wearing the known comfortable things I wear at home.) But maybe that’s just me!

    • Funny you should say that, I was talking with a friend earlier this evening and he said the same thing…that he just packs for one week and then starts wearing the same things again the next week. I’ll have to get creative…maybe pack black pants and lots of different tops so it looks like I’m wearing a different outfit. lol I also do that, Patty. I always come home from week long trips with tons of unworn clothes. I think we pack so much so we’ll be ready for anything. One day on the trip, I’ll take a side “optional” tour to the Isle of Capri. I read on another travel blog where the blogger said when she visited the Isle of Capri, everyone there was dressed to the hilt. She said they all looked like they had just stepped out fashion magazines or something along that line. So, I guess I better take at least one nice outfit for that day on Isle of Capri. lol Wonder if that’s where capri pants got started. 🙂

  20. It sounds like you’re on the right track and getting lots of advice. I am really looking forward to following along vicariously on your trips, including all your preparations, and it will also be fun to read afterwards about what YOUR tips are for traveling! 🙂

  21. Such cute carry ons Susan! Makes me rethink my carry-on for my upcoming trip to Europe. I will be bringing and checking a regular size piece of luggage but need something on the plane for iPad, jewelry, snacks, 1 set of clean clothing (in case there’s a mishap with my checked bag) etc. I have a couple of the styles you show but I am at a crossroads as I find the wheeled carry-ons to not sit well on top of my luggage as I move in and out of airports, especially as I arrive in Venice and must schlep the bags to the water taxi. My mom will be traveling with me and I may have to assist her also.

    So, I have decided I need a bag that “attaches” to my suitcase for transport. I bought a bagallini carry-on at TJMaxx for this purpose as it has a “pocket” on the back which slips over the luggage handle to secure it for transport. But no wheels. Do any of the bags you show have this feature, do you know? The problem sometimes is that the bag is too tall so it is hard to grasp your luggage handle. But bags that have that “pocket” generally don’t have wheels. So it’s a decision about ease of transport either way for me.

    My husband would laugh I’m commenting on luggage. He claims I need a new piece with every trip.

    • I think mine will arrive either tomorrow or Friday so once it arrives, I’ll try that out…see it will sit atop my other suitcase. I know what you mean because I’ve done that before…stacked them so you only to pull one. I was thinking someone said in the reviews that it did stack on top…but I can’t find it now. I looked at so rolling carry-on bags that I may have read about another one. I order three so we’ll see which one I like and keep! I’ll let you know, Jean.
      That is so cool about taking a water taxi. Where are you going when you take the water taxi? I don’t think we’ll be going that on my trip, but I wish we were! 🙂

      • Thanks Susan. Stacking ease may also be a function of overpacking the carry-on. I have a case similar to the larger Paparazzo you featured. Nothing to hold it onto the luggage but if it’s not stuffed too much the handles may be able to go over the larger suitcase handle. Nothing is perfect! What’s also interesting is the larger the suitcase, the less handle space there is to utilize for the carry-on. So all the pieces with a pocket to put over the handle work great with a carry-on sized luggage rather than the larger pieces. Such a dilemma. .

        The water taxi is in Venice Italy. Easiest (and most expensive) way to get to hotel from airport. There is a bit of a walk though to the pier. This trip is a gift to my Mom so I wanted her entry to Venice to be special.

  22. Iris McCloud says

    Dear Susan, You sound like like you are bursting to get going on the trip. You have received a lot of good travel tips. I would emphasize taking at least a change of underwear and basic hygiene essentials in the carry-on. If you can throw in a clean top it may come in handy. I have had overnight delays on several trips and being able to clean up is so helpful. I highly recommend taking on the plane a beautiful soft pashmina. It beats covering up with an airline blanket when the plane is cool. It is easy to scrunch. If you wear a dress for evening it serves as a wrap and it will save a little room vs carrying a jacket in the big suitcase. For any occasion that you feel will require looking a little dressier take a dress that will travel well, a pair of low comfort wedges or sandals that you have worn at home for a day to be sure they are comfortable. The extra shoes can let you switch off from the everyday shoes that you plan to take . Add a cute scarf or the pashmina and you will be good to go. You may be surprised at how handy a dress can be even when the trip is casual. Someone else mentioned taking socks in the carry-on and I agree – I take a pair of warm tennis socks so that I can take my shoes off. Good luck . Iris

  23. You had me at red and black houndstooth. That bag is gorgeous! I hope you have a lovely trip, and I look forward to reading your post from abroad.

  24. Hi Susan. I’m just getting to yesterday’s post and haven’t had a chance to read all the comments, so this may have already been suggested. Do not count on any carry on to fit properly under the seat. Depending on the airline and the location of your seat, all the spaces are not equal. Also on a long flight you need to be able to stretch your legs and with a bag there it’s impossible. I travel a few times a month and my best suggestion is to take a carry on AND a tote. You can keep what you know you are going to use in the tote, a book, your laptop, your wallet, a few snacks, maybe a few toiletries like a toothbrush, comb, and a lipstick. Then the carry on can then go overhead. Believe me, you will be happy for leg space! The tote will be nice while your traveling and touring for your wallet and camera and anything you may purchase. If you get the right size tote your handbag will also fit in there. You may want to bring along a wristlet bag if you are just going to dinner or something.

    I’ve been on over 300 flights in the last ten years. I have never had anything stolen and have seen anyone have something stolen on board an aircraft. I’m not saying it can’t happen, but I woulldnt be too concerned.

    I’m sure you are so excited for this trip!

    • Thanks, Cheryl! Most folks are totally agreeing with you…that I’ll need that leg space. I think what I may do is put my rolling carryon into the luggage compartment and take a backpack as my personal item…and have my Travelon purse inside the backpack along with other stuff I may want with me in my seat. Then once I get to Italy, won’t use the back pack but will just use my secure Travelon purse and money belt and neck pouch. I just can’t get everything I need on the flight into my purse…so I’ll carry a backpack and stuff the purse in it for just the flight over. Or maybe I’ll pack the purse in my carryon since I won’t need it. I can carry important stuff like cash, credit cards, passport, etc…in my money belt or neck pouch for the flight over. My biggest worry right now is making sure my laptop is safe once I get there. Apparently, hotel safes aren’t very safe from what I’m reading online.

  25. Sherry Hanners says

    Susan, what a great trip, I have the travelon bag you have and it is great for this trip, then I use reg. roll carry on and have a Vera Bradley bag with zippers like you are showing that on the back of the Vera slides over your carry on handle and I put my travelon in Vera till on plane and slip it off handle and Vera goes under seat and carry on over head. Vera has a place for laptop and all kinds of pockets and can be used as a lg. purse if needed. The Vera is lite weight, we go to Canada from Fl. And this works well! Have lived in Germany and been to Italy many times and yes you want to buy!!! Have a safe trip!

  26. Once again you have provided invaluable information. I’m always curious about the different travel plans available (hoping one day to travel to Paris). Grand Circle Travel does seem to offer some great rates, especially not charging for single accommodations. That is rare! Hope you have a wonderful trip. Enjoy and don’t make yourself crazy blogging. Relax. You can fill us in with all the details when you return. Just send a few pics so we can drool!

  27. Hi Susan, I know you are getting very excited for your trip! Please do NOT plan on putting a wheely suitcase under the seat! You WILL want the leg room, and you may not even be allowed to keep it there even if it fits. It is also impossible to get it out and open it to remove anything you want during the trip! This is my advice: take the wheely carry on, but keep it fairly empty for all the goodies you purchase, and stick it in the overhead as soon as you get on. In your personal item put all the things you need for the flight: a tiny blanket or shawl, lip moisturizer, glasses, HEADPHONES or earbuds, phone, iPad or laptop if you intend to use it, financial papers and your passport (you will need to access the info for your landing card), a bottle of water (purchase after you go through security) and any hobby (book, magazine, notebook, pen, etc.). That’s it–and make it small enough to pull out easily. If you look around you can get a carryon wheely with a personal item that slips over the handle. I would not recommend getting one that just looks pretty. You will be wheeling it through the airport over all types of surfaces and up and down escalators. We travel frequently and one of the biggest mistakes you can make is assuming you will have access to a bag during the flight. Plus, having that empty bag comes in handy when you are on the way home! I can’t wait to hear all about your adventures!! Linda

    • Thanks, Linda! That makes a lot of sense. I don’t know why I thought I’d need to access it. Actually, we leave in the evening and fly all night so I hope to be asleep the majority of the time. So, I’ll put it up overhead and just keep the few necessities you mentioned below. Thanks again! I think I should create a post with all the wonderful ideas and tips everyone has left…they are invaluable for a newbie traveler like me!

  28. Hi Susan! I am so excited for your trip and look forward to all the pictures and information you plan to post! Italy is on my bucket list and I sure wish I was going with you! Travel guru Samantha Brown has many bags and luggage on HSN. One of her items is a 6 piece Travel Survival Kit of which has a small cross body bag for easy traveling. This cross body bag has a hook in it that you can attach to the seat in front of you for easy access to whatever items you may need while you are in the air. I enjoy watching the product videos as she often gives suggestions and ideas to make traveling easier and more hassle free.

    Best of luck to you and enjoy your trip!


  29. Thank you for the great ideas…just returned from a 15 day Viking River Cruise…loved it. So happy you are going on your trip and enjoying the anticipation as well. We checked on bag and had a carry one…used our old ones and they did not roll. BIG mistake with our layovers. Will be shopping for a rolling carry on and appreciate your checking out the options. Yes, if you put your bag under the seat you may have a bit less of leg room, but I am short ( 5 feet !) and my carry one became a much more comfortable place to put my feet during the long flight. I got out what I needed for the trip and then pushed it under the seat in front of me. It was fine… and if I did need something, I did not need to get up and open the overhead. Thanks again…enjoy your trip !!!

    • That’s kind of what I’ve done in the past…carried on a large tote and maybe a coat etc…, then just shoved them under the seat in front and used them as a foot rest. I’m pretty short, too…just 5’4″ so I don’t need a lot of space. Since this is going to be a nighttime flight, I hope I’ll be asleep for most of it. 🙂
      Ann, I’ve heard great things about the Viking River Cruises. Where did you guys go, Ann? I’m eyeing the Christmas Markets Along the Rhine tour that GCT has. I’ve never been on a river cruise and that one goes through Switzerland, France, Germany and The Netherlands. You can see it here, it’s very reasonably priced: https://www.gct.com/trips/river-cruises/europe/christmas-markets-along-the-rhine/2015

  30. Hi Susan…yes, we loved Viking. We did a 15 day Grand European Tour from Budapest to Amsterdam and it was wonderful and reasonably priced. In March we got a flyer in the mail advertising FREE airfare in June and July. We were able to take advantage of that offer, and the price of the cruise was good…and we got $200 on board credit per person for booking through AAA. That covered most of our optional tours and non included beverages. All in all it was the best vacation ever! Arrived in Budapest, the to Slovakia, Austria, all along the Danube, Rhine, Main rivers in Germany, then ended up at the windmills in the Netherlands. If you had not visited Amsterdam before, the tour ended there and there was not time to explore that city, unless you planned to stay there for a few days before flying home. Many people did this. We traveled on Uniworld last year on the Seine from Paris to Normandy. We chose Uniworld for the ports it visited and especially because it was all inclusive – all beverages all the time, all tips, and most tours. We really enjoyed it, but it was high priced and our airfare was expensive as well. We found that we did not drink enough to make the all inclusive a good bargain for us. And, I think we liked the Viking boat, activities and service even more. We did not book a drink package…we were able to have mimosas at breakfast, wine and soft drinks at lunch and dinner…and it was plenty. The only time we purchased beverages was at cocktail hour or during evening shows/dancing. And, there are two stations open 24/7 with complimentary still and sparkling water, coffee, tea, latte, cappuccino, etc…as well a snacks and apples. Perfect! The ship was open, airy, and wonderful. The local tours were amazing. I only wish tipping was included…they give you a recommended amount and I worry that some people do not follow that – and the staff and service was EXCELLENT. Friendly, warm, perfect ! I have noticed those Christmas and holiday market tours…they sound wonderful but since I am a school librarian and tied to the school schedule that will have to wait until retirement! YES…sleep if you can on the flight. I always do…bring my own mask, earplugs, take a melatonin. Also use Airborn to keep the cold germs at bay and take tons of wipes. I sleep, my husband cannot. But, the first time we traveled overseas everyone told us NOT to nap when we arrived…and we were ZOMBIES! In our travels we have found that once we arrive, have a snack, and take a nap – one hour TOPS! – we are refreshed, can enjoy the rest of the day, and then jetlag does not seem to occur. Bon Voyage…enjoy your trip and bring back many memories to enjoy on your screen porch. We are enjoying our second porch…replaced the deck on the last house with a screen porch, when we moved it was a must on our current home, and as we look a smaller/warmer climate retirement homes, we always say IT MUST HAVE A SCREEN PORCH. Enjoying ours so much this summer…dinners with friends, breakfast with my girl friends, just sitting and reading the day away. Thank you for your wonderful blog and inspiration…blessings to you and safe travels !

  31. WOW Susan, what a great blog about all these lovely and wonderful carry-on bags. I had no idea. I’m needing one too. Thanks for doing all the shopping for me. Happy and safe travels to Egypt.

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