An Away Luggage Update and Help Me Choose a New Carry-on Bag

Before I left for a trip to Egypt last October, I purchased this snazzy, aluminum, Away carry-0n bag for the trip. Over the last few months, I’ve had several comments and emails asking how that bag worked out. Though I loved the bag, I sadly decided to return it after the trip. In today’s post, I thought I’d share what I loved about the bag, why I returned it and what bag(s) I’m considering buying now.

Away Aluminum Special Edition


The Away bag comes in a non-aluminum version in a lot of great colors. So if you’ve been thinking about an Away bag, don’t let my experience with aluminum version scare you away. Their regular bags are not as heavy as their aluminum bag.

Away Luggage Bags Come in Many Colors


The Pros of an Away Bag

Pro: One of the pros of the Away bag is its size. It’s slightly larger than the typical carryon. The Away folks measured the little box thingy that airlines use to test to see if your bag is the right size to be a carryon and they found that carryon bags could be a little bigger than the size of the typical carryon being made today. So that’s why their Larger Carryon is an inch or so bigger in width and length than most carryon bags.

I flew three different airlines on this past trip, Delta, Alitalia, and Air France, and had no problems at all. No one ever batted an eye or even measured my carryon.

Pro: The built-in removable battery for charging a phone was awesome. It was used several times on this trip by myself and those traveling with me. Several times other travelers asked me about my bag when they saw me charging my phone, especially when I had my phone sitting/charging on the top of the bag while waiting in line to board one of the flights back home. The battery in the Away bag will charge a phone 3 times before the battery has to be recharged.

Pro: This bag glides like a dream, it practically rolls itself!

In summary, the pros are the slightly larger size, the built-in charger, how easy it rolls. Plus, it’s just a great looking bag.

Away Bag with Built-in Battery


The Cons of the Aluminum Version of the Away Bag

Two days before I left for the trip to Egypt, I filled my bag with the items I always place in my carryon: Laptop, camera, camera lenses, charging cables for laptop and other electronics, voltage converter and adapter, a change of clothing, my Calista, medications I might need and anything else that I’d really miss if it were lost and never arrived at the end of the flight.

Tip: Never, ever pack anything in your checked luggage that you can’t live without during a trip or that you would be devastated if it went missing for good. You never know when a checked bag could be delayed or lost forever.

Once I had the bag filled, I tested lifting it above my head as if I were placing it in an overhead bin. I found I could barely lift it up to my face, much less over my head. It felt as if I would drop it or lose control of it if I raised it high above my head. It was heavy!

If you only pack clothes in your carryon, you probably wouldn’t have this issue, but I pack some pretty heavy things into my carry on and often my carryon is where I stash those souvenirs I’m bringing back.

I called Away that very day and told them that I needed to return the bag because there was no way I was going to be able to get it into the overhead bin inside a cramped plane without dropping it or accidentally whacking someone in the head. They reminded me I had 90 days to return the bag (used or unused) and suggested I go ahead and give it a try on the trip to Egypt.

I asked the representative how in the world people fill the aluminum bag up, then lift it to get it into the overhead bin. She said that a lot of businessmen buy the aluminum Away bag. That made sense because they are probably a lot taller and stronger, and they may not be loading it down with cameras and such for a business trip. Also, they may carry their laptops in a briefcase or messenger style bag and their aluminum Away bag may just be full of clothes. That would make a HUGE difference!

Ummm, maybe I should have placed my laptop into my “personal item” but then I’d have to carry that through the airport unless I could hook the personal item bag over the handles of the aluminum Away bag. Usually, my personal item is just a handbag, but on my trip to England in July, I’m going to using a much larger bag as my personal item and I may put my laptop in it since it’s going to be such a long flight, although I hope to sleep for much of the flight, so maybe not.

If you’re taller than me (I’m 5′ 3-1/2″) and don’t carry a lot of really heavy things in your carryon, you could probably get the aluminum Away bag into the overhead bin without any assistance. Unfortunately, exactly what I feared came to pass on the trip: On every flight, I had to ask a male flight attendant to help me get my bag into the overhead bin.

One More Con of the aluminum version of the Away bag was something I knew was a possibility:  that the bag could get a dent if bumped into anything. I tried to be super careful with my carryon bag, but somehow during the trip, it got a small dent on one side. That dent killed me! I hated seeing it on that pretty bag! If it could get a dent with me being as careful as I was during the Egypt trip, I wondered how it would look like after many more trips?

As soon as I returned from Egypt, I called Away and thanked them for letting me try the bag but told them that I needed to go ahead and return it. Their customer service is outstanding each time I’ve called. They approved the return with no questions asked and I returned my aluminum bag for a full credit.


My Next Carry-on Bag

Before I head off to England this summer, I’d like to purchase another carry-on bag. Away’s regular, non-aluminum carryon bags are a good bit lighter, so I’m thinking about buying another one of their “Larger Carry-on” bags or another bag that I recently discovered that’s turning my head.

This is the other bag I’ve been eyeing–absolutely love how it looks! The only thing I don’t like is that it doesn’t have the built-in charger that I so enjoyed in the Away bag during my trip to Egypt. Also, it’s the normal, standard carryon size, so a little smaller than the Away Larger Carryon bag.

It comes in 7 different colors.

Beautiful Travel Luggage with Vintage Style

This white color with the brown leather accents would be beautiful with the personal item/bag I’m planning to take on the trip, so I’d be styling as I roll my way through the airport. Har, har!Carry on Bag with Vintage Styling


I have this thing for pink so this color called “Blush” is calling to me! I bet the Away Everywhere Bag in pink would be pretty with this bag.Pink Luggage with Vintage Feel


I also love it in navy, the contrast of the navy against the brown leather accents is stunning! I wish it came with a built-in removable battery. Not sure if I would order it monogrammed or not, but it really does look pretty monogrammed.

See all the colors this bag comes in here: Carry-on Bag.

Vintage Style Luggage, Beautiful

I also love the striped interior of this bag! It comes in all the bags, no matter the exterior color.


If I go with a non-aluminum Away bag, they also have a lot of colors from which to choose–9 to be exact.

Colorful Away Luggage Bags


Plus, they have come out with two “special edition” striped colors. This pink one is really cute! You can check out all the colors available for the Away bag here: Away Larger Carry On Bag. Of course, they make bags in all sizes, not just carryon bags.


I really like Away’s “The Everywhere Bag” that’s designed to sit on top of their suitcases. It comes in 5 colors, so it coordinates with all the colors they offer in their suitcases.

Decision Time

Should I go for another Away bag (non-aluminum this time!) with the built-in battery or the other bag with the pretty leather accents? I’ve managed to do without a built-in battery on all my other trips, but it sure did come in handy and give me peace of mind, having one charged and ready to go during the Egypt trip. I guess I could take a separate phone charging battery, I have several here at home.

Then there’s the vintage style bag to consider. It’s so inexpensive, I may go ahead and order it for this upcoming trip and see how I like it. I really love how it looks with the leather accents!Carry on Bag with Vintage Styling


Love it in red, too!Red Vintage Style Carryon bag


Again, here are links to the two bags above that I’m considering in case you want to check them out.

Away Bags 

Vintage Style Bag with Leather Accents


Which do you like best: The Away bag (with the built-in battery) in a non-aluminum color, OR the Vintage style bag with pretty leather accents, but no built-in battery?

Update: Here’s another gorgeous luggage with that vintage look. Of course, the price is a good bit higher, but it is beautiful! You’ll find it here: Luggage.

Steamline Luggage

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  1. Take a look at the Samantha Brown luggage. I got mine on HSN and I love it.

  2. I had to stop traveling with my laptop in my carry-on. I simply could not lift my bag into the overhead. I bought an iPad and it’s easy to stash in my personal item.

    • It definitely makes a bag a lot heavier! I have an iPad but can’t write/create a blog post on it, so the laptop must go…or else I can’t blog while I’m gone.

  3. I think the Away is the better choice. More room and charger! As pretty as the white vintage is, you know you can’t protect it! I would cry with the first scuff, when someone slams their bag in or the Flight attendants, rearrange! Can’t wait to hear what you choose!

    • Excellent point! I always think my carryon bag is going to remain under my control, but even on this last trip, I had well-meaning folks SCRUBBING it into the overhead bin as I winced. lol Plus, as you mentioned, bags get rearranged. It’s hard to have “pretty” luggage unless you’re traveling via chartered plane…definitely outside my budget!

      • So, what did you choose?

        • I haven’t purchased one yet, but I need to decide since I’ll be flying again in April to see family. I’m leaning toward another Away bag since I really love the practicality of having the battery available for charging my phone. They just came out with a new color in the aluminum version called Rose Gold. It’s beautiful and I was tempted to get it and just carry my laptop in my personal item to make it lighter for lifting into the overhead bin. But I know it will break my heart if it gets a ding in the metal, which eventually it will. So still trying to decide if I do go with another Away bag, which color to choose. Have you seen the new Rose Gold color?

  4. Fra Na Ready says

    The bags are pretty but for me I prefer practical. We travel with Rick Steves rolling bag ( because it is lighter weight and the outside pockets give me a place for things I need to grab or stash (jacket) at the last minute. Also the whole bag has an expandable gusset in case there are lots of souvenirs for the trip home.

    • That definitely sounds like a great bag style. Away does make their non-aluminum version with a pocket in front. I’ve been eyeing those because the pocket in front will even hold a laptop.

  5. I don’t know about the first Vintage bags you posted as the leather seems to be somewhat inset into the bag on them, but on the very last bag you showed I can see those leather pieces getting hung on things and potentially being a pain in the butt. Cute, but not practical. I think I would probably get the Away bag. After all, the company has been very accommodating. Now, please keep in mind that all this sage advice comes from someone who does not travel AT ALL! Ha!!!

  6. Sharon Walper says

    Keep in mind that technology is always changing. The battery on the Away back may become obsolete before the suitcase needs retiring.

  7. Of those you show, I’d say the smaller Away bag. Anything additional (leather strap trim) is weight added, unnecessary, and can get hooked on things. I use a Microsoft Surface Pro when traveling, and can do everything on it I do on my desktop (including blogging), and love it.

  8. I purchased 3 of the smaller Away carry on bag though you and a friend said you used the larger. We just didn’t want to get ‘stuck’. We loved them for all the reasons you pointed out. Another bonus that turned out to be a higher one was fitting into our midsize rental which definitely was not USsize. We had 4 carry on and handcarries. It all fit exactly. our trip was 17 days with 2 teen girls. We had plenty of room for our clothing and multi number of shoes! Out meds and toiletries went in my hand carry. I highly recommend AWAY. They do have a military discount. Write or call for the code. e cellebt customer service.

  9. Mary Ellen Murphy says

    I don’t travel with nearly as many items as you in my carry on, but here’s what I’ve used for close to 20 years….a Vera Bradley diaper bag! They come in many different patterns, are light weight, machine washable and fit nicely under the seat. There are many pockets, room enough for a laptop/tablet and any personal items. Also, very durable. I still use the same one and it looks new. It’s been to Europe and on numerous business trips. Also very affordable so if you want a different pattern it won’t break the bank. Good luck in your search.

    • I was going to suggest the same- or a vera bradley tech backpack. I like having my purse inside along with all of the things I might want during the flight and tuck it under the seat – then I can sling it over my shoulder /back or use the band on the back to fit over the carry on luggage retractable handle.

  10. After many European trips I now use a Lipault wheeled carry on (European size) and a 21” longchamp expandable tote and a portable charger for my electronics. Mine are both black so they don’t show any wear!

  11. I think a lot of the “hard side” luggage will be susceptible to dings and dents. That’s why I always go for soft-side luggage. I just shop at Marshall’s , TJ Maxx, Homegoods, Tuesday Morning even Ross and buy at a discount and then I don’t feel so bad if it should get lost or damaged. And who doesn’t like to get new luggage every once in awhile.

    • Alicia Brown says

      I get mine at Marshalls/TJMaxx as well and just replace them more frequently. I just bought a very nice, hard side 3 piece set for I’m thinking, under $200 and they’re super cute and very light weight so I can pack more without paying additional charges.

  12. First thank you for your information about your experience with the Away aluminum bag. After your first post, I thought that would be a great gift for my granddaughter’s graduation next year. The built in charger was a good selling point. She is only 5’2″, maybe 100 lbs, so she might not be able to handle the bag. I still might get her one, just not aluminum. I love the look of the white or pink Vintage style bags, but they might be too easy to get scuffed and dirty. The Vintage bag in navy with a navy Away Everywhere bag would be my choice. No matter which color you choose, that Away Everywhere bag is a must have. Let us know how the packing cubes are working for you.

  13. I go for function and durability. I like Briggs and Riley bags. They are guaranteed for ever, even against airline damage of any kind. They are pricier, but last forever.

  14. As my personal preference would be based on ‘function’, my choice would be the ‘Away’ piece that also has an outside pocket and charger. (A little more price wise but IMHO worth it.) Though not particularly big on style, it would still be my choice as I often even travel with a backpack (seldom a purse) if/when on day excursions. As the Boy Scout Motto says …. ‘ Be Prepared’ … which has worked for me. 🙂 -Brenda-

  15. The light colors are a problem. I bought a light beige carry on, first trip it was filthy when I checked it. Only go with light if you never check your bag!

  16. I like the look of the Terminal 1 Carry On in navy with the leather. It looks very Englishy to me. The only thing more Englishy looking would be if it were in British racing green with the leather. I also liked the look of the Steamline bags in navy, burgandy or red. I personally would steer away from the lighter colors.

    That said, if the charger was that helpful to you, you may be better off sticking with the Away bag. Hard decision, I know, but you probably won’t go wrong either way this time.

  17. Susan, if you think you would like a change of bags in the next couple of years, and some of us do, take the less expensive one. I actually think it is an awesome bag!

  18. Dear Susan, Your first criteria should be weight and size of the bag. We travel with 20 pounds each for a 2 week trip to Europe. I also take a smallish shoulder/cross body bag for documents. We don’t check our baggage even though it’s free in business class.

  19. Susan, have you checked out the website Lo and Sons? I have purchased the Weekender bag and the Edgemont bag. These bags will fit over the handle of the rolling luggage. I like the idea of the phone charging feature on the carry-on you featured. Might be something I need to check into.

  20. Considering the superb customer service and the charger option you obviously love, one of the Away bags would be my choice. Like you I like the look of the Vintage bags. I looked at the Samantha Brown luggage offered by HSN and it looks beautiful. I especially liked that many bags came with packing cubes which I love. Hope you are feeling better and staying warm.

  21. I’m voting for the carry-on with the battery. I’ve seen too many huddles of people congregated around one poor outlet in various airports. And thanks for reminding me that my husband needs a new carry-on (with battery)! 🙂

    • Wendy, if you end up ordering an Away bag, give them my name as the referral and they should give you $20 off. Same for me, I’ll get $20 off if I end up ordering again from them. I know what you mean, I’ve seen that in airports, as well.

  22. We just purchased a set from a Delsey line made for Macys. Haven’t traveled yet, but they look great. They do have a built in spot to put your own charger in. The larger bag has a built in scale. Expensive, but Macys has great sales and coupons apply.

  23. The navy one with the striped interior. I don’t know what personal item you’re taking but I have to say, I’m flabbergasted a flight attendant would help you lift your bag since they aren’t supposed to due to the possibility of injuries. I hate admitting I can no longer lift a roll aboard into the overhead but when I was in Las Vegas a few months back, I bought a hot raspberry bag that has a trolley sleeve (and the cute little raspberry gorilla key chain attached) from a Kipling outlet. I adore Kipling products and this bag is exactly what I needed. Even stuffed I can still lift it in the overhead plus it has a comfortable shoulder strap. Outside pockets as well.

    Oh, and I’m a freak for all shades of pink, too. Personally, I think you might be better off with the slightly smaller roller bag. Airlines are getting nastier about the sizes of carryons. Good luck with whatever you choose but if you get near a Kipling store, check it out.

  24. Function is more important to me than cuteness in luggage. Have you looked at a Travelon carry on luggage? Since you (and me!) are a fan of their purses, you might like the luggage. We noticed in an airport in Europe (can’t remember which one) that the batteries in luggage chargers had to be removed before boarding, so this could potentially be a hassle in some places. Let us know what you choose!

  25. I love the styling on all of the bags you’ve shown, but I stick with boring black as it holds up so much better. I discovered Lucas luggage by accident one day browsing through the selections at a discount store and have never changed from them. They replaced my heavier Briggs & Riley bags.

    Now, I don’t check a bag at all. I fill my Lucas roll-aboard and my Lucas tote that rides atop the roll-aboard and I’m good to go for at least two weeks, longer if I have access to laundry. My tote holds my purse, an iPad Pro, a laptop, medications and a water bottle. I’m only 5′ tall and can lift my roll-aboard into the overhead easily.

  26. Merlin Parde says

    VINTAGE (for me) it is gorgeous!! You would “spot” it easily on that carousel if it were monogrammed…tee, hee…franki

  27. Elizabeth Roderick says

    I vote Vintage pink

  28. I LOVE the vintage style bag with leather accents! The white and navy are really classic and I love the look.

  29. How funny that you posted this today. My husband and I are booking a trip to England in July, too (our first out of the country!), and immediately I thought “I need to find that BNOTP post about packing Susan did!” We bought our daughter a hard-sided aluminum set of luggage two years ago. Despite great Amazon reviews, it’s not done well. It’s silver, so scratches don’t show up too much, but that can’t hide the dents. My only advice on luggage that’s worked for us is ours is navy blue and very easy to pick out on baggage carousel in a sea of black bags. And as someone who’s sat on the floor around the three or four charging stations at a gate, I vote for the bag with the built-in battery! Keep us posted! You know we all live vicariously through your travels!

  30. Karen Aamodt says

    I would purchase the navy bag and have it monogrammed!

  31. Nancy Icardo says

    Hi Susan! I was one of those people who asked about your Away aluminum bag and appreciate your feedback. I’ve recently done a lot of research (too much!!) on luggage as we’re heading to Scotland in April. I ended up choosing the London Fog Dover set in teal. I’ll be taking one of them on it’s maiden voyage (a weekend road trip) this weekend. I can tell you they seem sturdier than most hard-sided luggage I’ve looked at, and they’re beautiful in teal!
    I do absolutely love the look of the Streamline brand but I can see how it might catch on everything and it’s so pricey. Therefore I vote for the Terminal 1- it has that same beautiful vintage look. Good luck with your decision! Luggage shopping isn’t easy!

  32. Diane Anderson-Edwards says

    “Pretty” looks great in the pictures, but the reality is that scuffs and dirt are a major part of travel and are certainly going to be visible on the lighter-colored luggage.

  33. Hi Susan, did you notice the monogram on the Away luggage with the leather straps is Vinyl? You could order your own vinyl monogram from another shop and put it on yourself. If the suitcase didn’t hold up to your satisfaction, you would not be stuck with the “no returns on monogrammed items” that most companies have. You could just take your monogram off.

    Is there a reason your stuck on the Away brand since you will have to go to a smaller size and it will not have the battery charger? Just curious if another brand has come out with your specifications since your research. I like the pink striped.

    • I was going to say the same thing about the monogram. You normally can’t return something with a monogram and what if you have a problem with the new bag. I also agree with the others about having a darker color… easier to keep clean. I like the looks of the white & the pink but right away thought about scuffs, etc.!

  34. Julie Huff says

    I’d go with the Away bag simply for the charger. I’ve been waiting at the gate and every charging station is full and I’ve needed to recharge! Having it right there no matter where you happen to be is a luxury!

  35. We gifted our daughter with an Away carry-on bag for Christmas. She chose the pink color. So far she loves it and says it’s super easy to clean if it gets soiled. She did love the charger and that was what attracted me to it. I have an older luggage set and thought it has rollers they only go one direction so I want to upgrade to a bag with the swivel wheels. It sounds like your bag performed admirably it just was too heavy so I’d definitely consider the lighter version

  36. Susan – I have a question for you. This is your carry on bag – something in addition to a checked suitcase for your England trip? I remember that you said you would be responsible for dealing with your luggage as you tour around the various locations. That means you will have two bags to cart around plus your purse/personal item. Is there are carry on bag that appeals to you that will allow you to sit it your suitcase for getting around hotels etc. I just wonder about the awkwardness to rolling two suitcases and your purse. It is the reason that I have never chosen a rollerboard for my carryon (which means I do not have any experience getting a suitcase, a rollerboard and my purse around outside of an airport – hence my question)

    • Great point! I was thinking about that today. I have rolled two bags before (while wearing a handbag) but it’s kind of awkward. The carry-on I’ve always used was a rolling carry on bag. For the most part, it was doable.

      This is the first trip I’ve taken where we’ll be responsible for our own luggage. Since the trip is only 10 days (not 15-16 like some I’ve taken) I’m tempted to just do a few blog posts in advance and not take my laptop at all. It would be kinda nice to not worry about blogging while I’m gone, something I’ve never done before.

      Then maybe I could get the things I wouldn’t want to check (like my camera, voltage converter, Rx, etc…) into my larger “personal item” that I’ll be taking on the plane. My Travelon handbag can go into the checked bag for the trip over. Hopefully the checked bag wouldn’t get lost.

      I will definitely need to take a large checked bag because I can’t fit 10 days worth of clothes and/or souvenirs into a small carry-on bag…wouldn’t even want to try. lol

      If I do end up taking the usual large checked bag, a carry-on and a personal item…then may have to make two trips down to bring up my bags if there are no porters available to assist.

      Maybe by saying we’ll be responsible for our own bags, maybe what they’re really saying is if we bring two bags, we’ll be responsible for tipping a porter to help with the additional bag, which I have no problem with. Thanks for thinking of that, Chris…that’s a very valid point!

      • My carry on could (if needed) fit under the seat and that has been important for me in the case of full flights and no rom in the overhead bin. It can roll but has a strap across the back to slip over the handle of my checked bag when I collec my checked luggage. I love that option. Consider your idea to prepare posts ahead of time to free you to leave the laptop at home. It will also free you to just enjoy your vacation in the moment. We will still be here to hear about it when you return home

        • @Chris: My luggage has similar as to what you describe but has detachable hooks for piggy backing your luggage which has proven to be a plus, plus for all modes of travel and circumstance.
          @Susan: Agree with Chris re preparing your posts ahead of time and just enjoy your vacation. Your readers will wait .. ☺. -Brenda-

  37. My hardside carryon is a Delsey. I love their 15 year warranty and they really stand by it. Some airlines have banned lithium phone chargers for checked luggage and most European airlines like Easy Jet insist typical carryon cases be checked.

    • They only banned the ones that can’t be removed. This one can be popped out at the push of a button, just like having a hand-carried battery in your handbag. So it’s not a problem and passes through security with no issues.

  38. Susan, there are gadgets you can buy that can charge your phone that you could carry in your purse or personal carry on. That way you could get the look at you want and not have to worry about the charger. The vintage ones are beautiful, and it would take someone like you to keep them looking beautiful. I’m rough with luggage because I want it to be a Workhorse for me.

  39. Barbara Leis says

    You mentioned how heavy the bag was to lift. I am assuming that in America they don’t weigh your carry on luggage. Here in Australia all flights both international and domestic the carry on bags are weighed at the departure gate. Good airlines allow you 7kg if the bag is heavier it has to be sent to the hold hopefully on the same flight as you are on. In Canada our carry on bag was put into the hold because it was a small plane.

    • No, they do weigh it and it was fine going to Egypt butbon the return flight I had to move something I had purchased in Egypt from that bag over to my checked luggage since it was slightly overweight. that item never made it home safely, I found it broken in my checked luggage.

  40. Sheila in Garden City, SC says

    Susan, dilemmas and choices! If one bag would suffice, without posting a blog (and what that curtails) take a break! Several times I’ve arrived at my destination, disappointed by how my checked luggage was handled. My husband made it easy to spot with a band of pink flamingo duct tape around it! Now I smile, no matter what!

  41. Jane Franks says

    I have always loved the Rick Steves’ (Europe through the Back Door) bags. He really has made a science of travelling light and with ease. I love his carry ons. They are very light, easy to handle and have a zip out expandibility feature to give more room if necessary. You can check them out here: It might not be as classy as you are wanting, but when it comes to travelling a lot through airports, I’ve chosen for being less “visible”, ease, and convenience. My opinion is that the light colors will require a lot more upkeep, but that’s just my opinion. I don’t want to be cleaning my luggage all the time. If you go with the Away, I love the pink or white for your style of travel. It will be interesting to follow your trip through England. I have a friend who does it frequently and chooses all the most wonderful places of the English Countryside. Be sure to take wellies and/or hiking boots. Lots of soggy but beautiful walking trails!! And don’t forget your “brolly”! Ha! Have fun choosing your luggage!! Jane xo

    • Fra Na Ready says

      I agree with what you said about Rick Steves. We go to Europe for a month at a time with only what we carry on. Be careful about the bigger carry on luggage because many airlines are more strict about sizes. His sight has videos on how to pack which are helpful.

  42. I just adore the vintage ones, but think how sad you would be if that got scuffed. Their interiors remind me of my parents’ luggage and they just melt my heart. I love both bags with leather trim – they are just so smart.

  43. After traveling to 80 countries, my best advice is to carry a bag that will help you blend in. You don’t ant to stand out in a crowd and make yourself a target for anyone with unseemly goals.

  44. Nan, Odessa, DE says


  45. Susan, this is an off current topic question. Do you recall the clothing steamer you recommended and bought? By Pur, I think? I’d like to know how it’s working for you. I believe it’s necessary to use distilled water. Also, I’m disabled and cannot stand for long, so I would move the pole down so I could sit and steam. Do you think this steamer would work for my situation? I’ve recently seen some negative reviews on Amazon,looked at others, and got confused. I really would appreciate your comments to me about your experience with the steamer. My husband retires next year, so our dry cleaning bill must go way down. That’s why I want a good steamer and I know those travel size will not do. I steam, or iron table cloths, men’s docker pants, and a variety of mostly Talbots clothes. I hate the iron! Thank you for sharing your experiences with me and keep giving us such unique ideas. You are my go to person for discovering new products, gifts.

    • I know, I’m not a big fan of ironing either. I haven’t used my steamer yet since I’ve been wearing all sweaters and jeans, etc… for winter. I don’t wear a lot of clothes that wrinkle during the winter months. Spring/Summer is when it will really get used when I’m wearing so much cotton and linen. The pole does slower so I think you could use it in a sitting position if you needed to. This is the one I purchased by PurSteam:

      If you think you would prefer a handheld version, you can see the reviews on those here:
      The only thing about a handheld steamer is I’m afraid it would get heavy, having to hold it up with all that water inside. That’s why I went with the one I did.

      Hope this helps, Kathleen. The good thing is Amazon will let you return anything pretty much, so if you try that steamer and don’t like it, don’t hesitate to return it.

  46. jinny spencer says

    I agree with several of the above posts. I try to blend in, especially in foreign countries where “rich Americans” can easily become targets. Non-descript luggage, no fancy monograms, etc. Years ago I learned about not wearing gold jewelry after a friend had her necklace yanked off on a busy street in Bogota. A dark soil resistant surface may not be the prettiest thing but it’s practical for many reasons.

  47. My two pence: I think the charger on the Away bag is a great feature, and if it gave you peace of mind, that’s important. Love, love love the Away pink stripe! But like others have said, you’ll stand out. On the non-Away bag, the white with tan trim is gorgeous, but will it scuff? Same on the pink stripe, too. If you decide on the Away, the navy is lovely. And the Everywhere Bag is a definite yes!

  48. I love the look of the leather-trimmed luggage! As a former road warrior (I averaged 2-3 weeks of travel every month for 7 years), I have always had a “thing” for well-designed luggage! Recently, after over-packing for a family trip to Italy, I decided that unless I was going on a 2-3 week trip, I would try to stick to using ONLY carry-on luggage when traveling (after all, I used to be able to pack for 2-3 weeks on the road in one 22″ Travelpro rollaboard, with only my briefcase added!) That decided, I then did a fair amount of research to determine how I could best maximize space while staying within airline carry-on limits. This past summer, I found the Joy Mangano medium hardside luggage in metallic navy, which measures 14″ x 21″ x 10.5″: https: I also purchased the coordinating tote and weekender (both of which have RFID protection). In September, I went on a week-long trip to California, using the hardside luggage as my carry-on, and the weekender as my personal item. I LOVE this luggage, especially the super-smooth integrated wheel design, which allows for more room to pack. The luggage is very light-weight (about 8 lbs), and is well organized, with a removable garment bag, packing cubes, zip divider, and sidewall pockets. The tote and weekender both fit over the handle, and both fit under the seats. If you are open to considering other luggage, I highly recommend these pieces!

  49. Rachel Schaad says

    I LOVE my Away larger carry-on in blush. It is gorgeous! I ordered it with the removeable battery and liked that feature even better than I thought I would. I added a pretty striped ribbon to the handle as an accessory and identifier. I have found that the blush color does show scuffs, but they are very easy to wipe away. I gave mine a quick wipe after my last trip and it looks as good as new. I think the striped interior fabric of that other suitcase is adorable, but I like that the Away divider piece has a zippered pocket to hold flat items, so that would still win in my book. Happy Travels!

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