05 March 2014

What's in My Carry-On Bag

As this post goes live, I will hopefully be on my way to the airport. I'm off to New York for a few days of well-earned R and R with my parents. It's been a pretty hectic year at work so far, so I'm very grateful for a break in my favourite city. The weather looks like it will be cold but without too much of the epic winter that has defined 2014 so far. As I usually travel during warmer climes, I thought I would do an update in my 'what's in my travel bag?' series. This time I'm focusing on my carry-on bag.

My Mulberry Mitzy is still my favourite bag, but when I'm travelling — especially when I have my DSLR with me — I prefer a lighter bag. My first ever branded bag was a medium turquoise tote in Lonchamp's Le Pliage range, which I got about ten years ago and wore to death. More recently, I bought a slate grey version, also in medium, which I use all the time. It has long handles, so you can carry it on your shoulder, it's light, durable, stylish and goes with everything. You can also fit a lot inside, as you will see. The dark grey isn't available at the moment (it will probably be back in the winter), but if you're looking for a colour that goes with everything, I would suggest bilberry (a deep purple).

I like to keep the contents of my carry-on bag to essentials and breakables. Although the photo may suggest otherwise, not everything has to be pink, purple or turquoise. Roughly from left to right, my bag's contents include: my Moleskine NYC city notebook, pen, pink Marc by Marc Jacobs wallet, passport in a turquoise Kate Spade cover, gum, zoom lens for my camera, inflatable travel pillow, purple Longchamp coin purse for my dollars, pink Baggu fold-up tote, an apple, water, my J. Crew hat and gloves, my iPad Mini, my phone and — unfortunately — an umbrella. My DLSR — the Canon EOS 100D that I used to take the photo — will also go inside the bag tomorrow.

For years, I used a purple Kipling cabin-size suitcase for my short-haul travels, but at Christmas I invested in a new Samsonite cabin-size case in a steel blue shade. Bicester Village had some good deals on slightly older models of their Cosmolite, four-wheel spinners, so I paid £180 — not bad compared to the £279 price tag on the new, slightly lighter models. It's worth stopping by the Samonsite store at Bicester if you're passing that way and in the market for a new suitcase.

I'm not taking too much with me: three dresses, a skirt, a few tops, lots of super-thick fleece-lined tights, a couple of scarves, sunglasses, running kit, trainers, toiletries and chargers. The two books in my case are for people I'm visiting in New York (I'm restricting myself to e-books only), which will make a little more room for some of my inevitable purchases. Well, you never know...

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