LUGGAGE and accessories:

My luggage carries everything I own (as I no longer own a home or auto). I love being organized, but I know it isn't always easy. In case it’s helpful to see, below are the luggage and accessories that keep me perpetually packed for travel. XO

Lojel Cubo Spinner Suitcase

I adore Lojel’s ethical/non-toxic manufacturing commitment and their tamper-proof roller bag called the Cubo. I find the Lojel Cubo beautifully balanced with a stable, lower center of gravity. I’m rolling this Lojel Cubo in the medium size (25.6 x 17.7 x 11.8/13 in) checked bag, as:

  • my outdoor gear isn’t allowed in carry-on (I have to check it)

  • I need to bring a stash of eco + celiac items (hard to find on the road)

  • it allows me to no longer carry a backpack (a vital goal)

    • backpacks make me sweaty/frumpy/grumpy

    • placing a backpack on a roller bag = harder to roll

  • after I land, I can slip my personal item into this bag (as appropriate)

  • I ideally only have one transportation day/month

    • I like to lodge in one location for a month

    • (so I don’t roll this bag along with me everyday)

    • I Uber/bus to airport/lodging (it fits in trunks/bus)

  • for train travel, in places like Sweden, I’m comfortable placing this bag in the luggage area near the door of a train, and like to…

    • travel during off-peak hours (fewer people/bags)

    • reserve a seat nearby (so it’s always in my line of sight)

    • arrive early to nab that luggage spot

SPECIAL NOTE:  When this bag stands upright on all four wheels, its front door opens like a front door (this bag doesn’t open like a clamshell).  This allows packing cubes to be stacked flat, and remain flat and stable inside, like drawers. Thus, this suitcase can work like an old-fashioned clothing wardrobe one need never unpack. This is super helpful in airports, train stations and tiny rooms, when one has little space to work with. I can reach inside, get what I need, without anything falling out. I also appreciate how hard suitcases better survive stacking, weather, and can double as a chair.

BONUS: Mine had no chemical smell.

Anti-theft Lockable Crossbody (My Personal Item)

This has been, hands down, one of the best tools for the road, especially for high pickpocket areas (major cities/tourist attractions). In addition to having all the RFID and anti-slash features:

  • it can lock (there’s a loop for a tiny padlock near the zipper openings, plus on the strap, so someone can’t reach into it nor pull it off me)

  • critically, it has been allowed where backpacks often are not (in museums, shops, etc.)

  • it fits close to the body and can flip around, from front to back, so I can carry it on my front or back (without removing it, so there’s no need to take it off/forget it somewhere)

  • after boarding transportation/sitting, one can even slip it down over their shoulder so it rests against the belly (like a fanny pack, still looped around the body), and drape a jacket over it, to keep everything at one’s fingertips while in transit

  • it allows me to relax no matter where I am, because it’s always looped around my body (I don’t have to keep an eye out for pickpockets)

  • on the inside, there is a key ring where I can attach a wallet (using a locking carabiner/strap), so I can still pull the wallet out to use it, but not ever accidentally leave it somewhere…plus this prevents a thief from reaching in and taking the wallet, should I forget to lock the main zipper

  • it's slender, but I can still max it out on transportation days and load it with:

Anti-Theft Crossbody “Phone Wallet Purse

After looking for a convenient way to consistently keep my phone in one place, yet always available on-the-go, this does the trick. It’s made of anti-slash and RFID material, it zips open/closed, and the zippers fasten, to help prevent pickpockets.

I appreciate that this phone wallet can be placed:

  • under heavier clothing (I’d carry less in it, on those days)

  • over any clothing (it can carry more, on those days)

  • inside my personal item (when I need to wear that)

This phone wallet can hold:

  • large cell phone

  • passport

  • checkbook (so rarely used, I’m not sure I still need this)

  • driver’s license

  • NEXUS card

  • ATM card

  • 3 more cards (credit)

  • tickets/paperwork

  • pen

  • handi-wipes, makeup, etc.

Dear Pacsafe: I love your products!

When you update the Pacsafe Daysafe Anti-Theft Tech Crossbody Bag, can you...

  • allow the front pocket to unzip another inch?

  • allow the main pocket to open flat (attach the latching strap down at the same level as the non-latching strap)?

  • offer pretty and bright interior colors (like coral)?

  • offer more neutral/refined exterior colors (like gray/taupe)?

Thank you so much for considering this. XO!

Packable Travel Tote (+ Protective Underseat Bag)

I finally found a large tote that’s truly durable, plus can pack flat until it’s needed. And it’s often needed. Here’s why I bit the bullet and paid for its higher quality:

  • it’s made of such great thick material that it’s the only tote strong enough to not fall apart on me (as so many others have)

  • it also has no plastic interior lining (to later break/peel apart)

  • it’s something I feel comfy tossing into a front loader to clean

  • it’s especially helpful for budget flights (airplane floors can be funky, so I can toss the following items into it, creating one bag, then stuff it under the seat)…

    • personal item

    • travel food

    • any items I want to keep clean

  • after landing, I can pull my items out of this bag and fold this bag into its own pouch for later use as a…

    • laundry bag

    • grocery bag

    • beach tote

ANOTHER OPTION: I also love to use a nice paper boutique shopping bag (the kind of bag we receive when making clothing purchases) to carry my items under the seat. Doubling that bag up can be even better. It also helps me easily go through security, as it can hold my personal item and any items I need to remove while going through TSA. After clearing TSA, the bag can hold my food upright, too. I find it helps to have an open bag at my feet, as I can easily see and reach everything inside it.

REI Expandable Packing Cubes

I fell in love with these paprika expandable packing cubes. Similar to a compression cube, they can be filled while expanded then zipped down into their smaller size. I find their medium size perfect to manage (not floppy) when loosely packed, which I prefer, to prevent wrinkling. I have six of these cubes I stack in my suitcase like “drawers,” where they nestle two wide and three high, stable and secure, which prevents them from falling out. Here’s what’s packed in my 6 cubes:

Small Thin Zipper Sacks

These are the smallest/thinnest Zipper Sacks I’ve been able to find. They allow me to…

  • sort personal products by use, without adding bulk to my bag

  • sort items into different colored bags, to remember what is in where

  • toss each little Zipper Sack anywhere I need it, at any given time (into my personal item, phone wallet, or luggage)

Shoe Covers

These shoe covers keep my luggage and its contents clean (by keeping my shoes covered).  These are…

  • lightweight

  • stretchy (easier to use/take up less space than stiff shoe covers)

  • double up for full coverage (after inserting one shoe, if there is an exposed end, I cover that exposed end with a second shoe cover)

  • washable (I toss them in the wash with the darkest darks, as the first time I washed these, their dark color ran, so I’m careful!)

Luggage Cable

I keep this luggage cable inside the door of my suitcase for those times I might want to lock my luggage onto something solid. Like when I’m…

  • on a train

  • in a hotel

I know most people never lock anything while on a train or in a hotel, but after traveling extensively (producing events), I’ve had to deal with well-run theft rings, so I like to lock when it seems wise, so I can relax. This cable only adds a little speed bump to the theft process, but sometimes that’s all that’s needed.

ReboundTAG Smart Luggage Tag

I like to add a little security to my bag (even though I’ve only once, years ago, had my bag delayed and it was returned to me within 24-48 hours). So I have the ReboundTAG for the following reasons:

  • to have an extra support team to call if…

    • I can’t get the airline’s luggage counter on the phone

    • the airline’s luggage counter is closed

  • it works in all airports, worldwide, using multiple airline technologies

    • RFID

    • NFC

    • serial ID #

    • QR code

  • anyone can scan my tag with a smartphone and I’m notified with an exact location of my bag (via the GPS coordinates of the phone used)

  • my personal info is not stored on the tag (is never given out during the search process, unless authorized/needed to get the bag returned)

  • it doesn’t use any type of battery (so airlines can’t reject it)

  • it’s received more travel industry rewards than any similar product

TIP: On the exterior of my luggage, I place this tag where I think it will least interfere with luggage handlers’ needs. Since I have a rolling bag and I know how much luggage handlers love to use those wheels (thus will likely use the top handle), I place this tag on my exterior side handle (as out of their way as possible).

Privacy Luggage Tag

I also add an old fashioned hand-written tag to my luggage. I chose this luggage tag for the following reasons:

  • if it gets wet…

    • the luggage tag is not ruined

    • my information on the tag remains legible

  • its round corners help prevent…

    • damage to hands

    • damage to luggage

  • it hides my personal info

    • it only shows my name in the visible slot (first initial, last name)

    • in the hidden section, I only list my cell # and email address (plus a note to call/email me for my current location, as it changes)

  • this tag is small enough that I can also place one…

    • inside my luggage (should the exterior tag ever come off)

    • inside my personal item/phone wallet

  • it minimizes the use of plastic

  • it’s easily cleanable

  • these tags come in pretty colors (!)

TIP: On the exterior of my luggage, I place this tag where I think it will least interfere with luggage handlers’ needs. Since I have a rolling bag and I know how much luggage handlers love to use those wheels (thus will likely use the top handle), I place this tag on my exterior side handle (as out of their way as possible).

Heat Therapy for Long Flights

While on flights, my back hurts from sitting for long periods, even when I take exercise breaks. Yet heat therapy has helped immensely (it also helps me stay warmer on flights). So I stick these heat therapy pads on, right before each flight (during my last potty break at the airport). I find this size pad to be the most versatile to use (because the larger back pads can move out of place/be cumbersome, and the neck pads don’t always fully fit under my collar). But I can place these…

  • on my upper back (where I tend to hold tension)

  • on my lower back (where I tend to feel the most pain)

TIP: I think these might also be amazing for that time of the month, when out and about, on the most painful/crampy day.

Trtl Travel Pillow

I bought this travel pillow (which fits like a neck scarf) because it appeared warmer and more compact than other travel pillows. And it is. It just took me three flights to figure out exactly where to position it for the best sleep. And that’s okay. I love that it can also wrap around any bag handle or slip into a bag pocket. It’s also great in autos, buses, and trains. BONUS: it’s easy to wash, quick to dry, and has no chemical smell.

What else is in my bag?

Luggage + Accessories

Travel Clothing

Eco Bath Kit

Travel Electronics

Tiny Travel Kitchen

om: a mantra...used in contemplation...

venture: to go somewhere that is unknown...