How I Clean My Travel Tote and Protecting It From Damage on Future Trips

When I traveled to England earlier this summer, I had an experience while going through security that sent me on a search. Whenever I fly domestically, or even sometimes when traveling via car, I use this blue and white bag as my travel tote. It holds everything I need and is the perfect size to be my “Personal Item” when flying.

I decided to use it on an international trip for the first time when I traveled to England this past summer. It worked great but I was a dismayed by how things went when I went through security. I had placed the bag in one of the trays they have available for your belongings, and as it approached the little scanner/x-ray machine area, a TSA employee standing nearby reached over and literally SLAMMED it down on its side in the tray.

When something like that happens, it makes me wonder if the person hates their job. She seemed so angry! She could have easily just pushed it over if she thought the bag was too tall to pass through the machine while standing up. Instead she literally slammed it down into the tray. I decided then and there that I needed a better way to protect my bag when traveling from this type of physical abuse.

Away Suitcase with Tiffany & Co. Tote


Mini Before and After

Before I share what I’ve purchased to protect my bag in the future, I wanted to share how I care for my bags after every trip. After each trip the corners of my bag are often a bit dirty.

Tiffany Tote Before Cleaning with Leather Cleaner


This is my absolute favorite leather cleaner for the everyday dirt/grime that I get on my bags. I use this leather cleaner on almost all of my bags and it does an excellent job.


Best Leather Cleaner for Handbags


Here’s how that corner looked after I gave it a couple of wipes with one of the leather wipes.

Tiffany Tote after Cleaning with Leather Cleaner


Here’s how the other corned looked after cleaning.

Best Leather Cleaner for Leather Tote Bags


I cleaned all four corners. The dark color you see here is a bit of corner wear to the leather itself. Plus, I had just cleaned it which always darkens a scraped place a tiny bit until it dries. It hadn’t had time to dry when I snapped this photo.

Great Leather Cleaner for Leather Tote Bags


If you need a good leather cleaner for bags, shoes, etc… I can’t recommend this one enough. I love how it both cleans and conditions my bags whenever I use it. You’ll find it where I purchased it, here:  Leather Cleaner.

Best Leather Cleaner for Handbags


How I Hope to Protect My Bags in the Future

So, here’s what I’m going to use the next time I travel via plane. I’m going to place whatever handbag or tote I’m using down inside a De Vesi bag as shown below. I saw these clear bags on Instagram and fell in love with the design. I love how you can still see your own bag through them, yet your bag is protected.

I hadn’t intended on buying two of the De Vesi bags. What happened was I placed an order for the white one at the De Vesi website using a coupon code they send whenever you sign up for their emails. The coupon gives you 20% off.  The bags were on backorder at the time and weren’t going to ship for a couple of weeks.

About 3-4 days after ordering, I changed my mind about the color I had ordered. I had ordered it in white but was wishing I had chosen their camel brown since it was almost fall when I’d be carrying darker colored bags. So I contacted them via email and asked if they would update my order to show I wanted it in brown, instead of white. They replied back letting me know they would make that change. It was another week or so before they finally got the bags back in.

De Vesi Bag Protects Your Bag During Travel or at the Beach


During the time I was waiting for my bag to ship from De Vesi, I searched on eBay for “De Vesi Bags” and saw a white one for about 1/2 the price! I could not pass that up! I figured the white one would be good for spring/summer travel and the brown would be good for autumn/winter travel. I purchased the white one on eBay and ironically both bags arrived on the same day.

These bags in the “De Tropicale 40” style/size come with a small, removable pouch/mini bag inside. They apparently make great “beach” bags since they are water-resistant and you see a lot of photos on Instagram showing them being used on the beach or around a pool. The De Vesi fits beautifully atop my rolling Away carry-on bag because the handles are nice and tall. It’s also super easy to carry as a shoulder bag.

They have some really fun, whimsical, hand-painted designs. I was tempted by a few of those but ultimately decided to keep it simple.

Protect Hermes Birkin or Kelly Bag During Travel with De Vesi Bag


I think my bag will stay cleaner and a lot safer as it rides in a tray (where shoes have been!) along the conveyor belt toward the x-ray machine the next time I travel. Also, the corners will be much better protected when I have to scoot it up under the seat in front of me on the plane. The handles on the De Vesi bag bend very easily so I think it will fit okay.

By the way, this isn’t a sponsored post, De Vesi has no idea I’m sharing this, I’m just another customer to them. As mentioned earlier, I saved 20% on my bag for signing up for their emails. That offer pops up pretty much every single time you visit their site, so look for it if you do visit their site to check out the bags.  You’ll find their website here: De Vesi.

De Vesi Bag in White and Camel Colors


Have a wonderful weekend! See you on Monday for Metamorphosis Monday!

*If a post is sponsored or a product was provided at no charge, it will be stated in post. Some links may be affiliate links and as an Amazon Associate, I may earn from qualifying purchases. *

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  1. The blue and white bag is beautiful. You’re brave to carry that color but you only live once right? Great idea on how to protect it when traveling. I’m going to get some of the leather wipes. I’ve ordered several leather purses from England and wondering how to care for them. One is a light gray. Love your posts.

    • I use it a lot and it stays clean except when I take it on planes. Hopefully, the De Vesi bag will fix that. Thanks, Sandy! I really like the Weiman wipes. Def will purchase more when I see I’m getting low. I use them on my Sperry Topsiders, too.

  2. Great idea. Thanks for the tip, Susan. You always find the most ingenious things! My late mother bought some clear plastic covers that zipped, for her beautiful luggage. This was decades ago. They are probably common place by now, but I don’t know as I am not the traveler that you are. BUT, consequently, her beautiful luggage has survived the decades beautifully! And I’m the lucky recipient!

    • I blame/credit Instagram for this one. It took me a while to track it down after I kept seeing it.
      Your mom was so smart to do that. Luggage really goes through it when it gets checked!

  3. Cyndi Raines says

    Wow! What a great idea! Glad you found something to protect your lovely bags. I love the turquoise and white one, so sharp!

  4. Brenda Lawrence says

    What a great idea and bag to protect your handbags Susan! Sometimes I think these rude people are jealous at what other people have, that and they hate that they have to work. If they only knew the people who want to work and can’t work. Or the sacrifices people have went through to have what they have, etc…Anyway, I love this “covers” for your bags and think it will help greatly when you are traveling! Hugs, Brenda

    • I don’t know what was going through her head when she did that. Maybe she was trying to make a point with me so I would know next time to lay it down on its side. Can you imagine getting away with doing something like that at any other job? Thanks, Brenda!

  5. Jenny Turner says

    Great idea! Where can I purchase just the plastic bag to go over whatever bag I’m carrying? I, too, have an expensive bag I carry when on airplanes but I can’t find a plastic one to use until I get to my destination.

    • Jenny, do you mean the vinyl one that I’m sharing in this post? I purchased it online from De Vesi and later lucked out and found one on eBay. Just Google their name (De Vesi) or click on the link I have at the end of the post and it will take you to their site. There may be other plastic/vinyl bags out there that you could also use, but this is the only one that I’ve come across, so far. Goyard makes a large “expandable” bag that I also considered, but I just loved the look of this one and liked that it was clear.

  6. Love the idea of the leather wipes for purse, thanks for re-sharing! Amazed though at how difficult a TSA job is and the time pressure that they are under to get people to their planes. If you watch there are elaborate and beautiful wedding items brought through, the fur hat of a hasidic rabbi, and other items that are far from routine and require incredible sensitivity. Sorry that you had an experience with an angry or inpatient employee.

    • Flying is hardly civilized anymore, everyone is pushed through like cattle. I’ve read some pretty horrible stories online about items being damaged. It’s especially bold and takes it to another level when they will slam your stuff around right in front of your face as you stand there.

      • She was on a power trip. It’s sad, really, how so many Americans are willing to give up their rights (like the 4th Amendment) for the illusion of security. Makes me sad for all those who fought so diligently for those rights, and for the generation that doesn’t perceive their importance.

        • Maybe so. I was so surprised, I didn’t think to complain to anyone at that moment. There was also another guy in line (not an employee but a passenger) who was trying to tell everyone else what to do. He was ordering everyone and trying to speed everyone up and a man in front of me had about had it with him. In the midst of all that was when my bag got slammed down, so it wasn’t until later when I was sitting at the gate and the image of her slamming my bag down kept popping into my head that I realized how aggressive she had been. At least if that ever happens again, it will be inside another bag. It’s so gross to think that we place our coats and handbags in the same bins that seconds before held someone else’s shoes! They should have separate bins for the shoes.

          • Agree that there seems to be less & less manners when it comes to planes and airports..sigh! Squirm factor for me is the amount of people walking on the floor in their bare feet in the TSA area.

          • Susan, perhaps it’s not too late. If you find out the supervisor for that area, you know the date and approximate time you went through. They may be able to identify the woman and at the very least, talk to her about her behavior. I’m sure they are under a lot of pressure, but so are the travelers, herded along and traveling in cramped quarters. Anyway, I’m glad it wasn’t damaged and I’m not at all surprised you found a clever and attractive solution for the next time.

            Speaking of traveling — do you still have some photos to share from your trip to England? I’m thinking you haven’t had a chance to share all your stories yet.

  7. Jean Sprimont says

    Loved this post. Because I saw no mention of the travel tote itself I went back in to your old posts that I’ve kept. I didn’t find it but did find one on the new larger white carry-on suitcase that you purchased. I clicked on that post hoping it might include information on the tote. Everytime I clicked on the old post the present one came up. I’ll never be mistaken for the computer wiz that you are, but I found this frustrating. In addition to being unable to pull up that post (think it was April 2 or April 22), I never did find anything on the tote. Can you review for me please?
    Many thanks,

    • I’m not sure why the older posts wasn’t pulling up. The aqua and white tote is one I purchased from Tiffany and Co. a couple of years ago. They do still carry it on their website. Just search for “totes” at the Tiffany website and you can see them all. They have a lot of different designs.
      I just noticed that they’ve come out with a “purse size” bag now in the same colors as my tote.

  8. Those Jellies have the same buckle as the Hermes. The colors match so well and it can double as extra storage if you find a great duty free item. Great find.
    Flashback to college when I worked at Saks, we could only come to work with clear bags. This was in effort to deter any shoplifting employee. Probably still the same today. Makes security’s job much easier. I had a faux LV jelly that always made me feel so chic.

    • I know, I love that! Hermes could make a fortune if they created a bag like this. I know a lot of their customers would buy them to protect their handbags during travel.
      Oh, I’ve seen those clear bags before, the kind you had when you worked at Saks. This would also be a great bag for taking to stadiums since I think a lot of them require see-through bags now.

  9. Great post Susan – thanks for finding these things for us! 🙂 And I’m with you on the different bins for shoes idea! Happy Sunday!

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