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Style Travel

How I Travel: The Bag Within a Bag

Today’s post is one that I’ve been meaning to do for a while, sharing how I normally travel with just a handbag/laptop bag, and a carry on suitcase. As many of you know, I absolutely loathe checking luggage (although I know that this is going to have to change with baby) and always try to travel without ever interacting with a baggage carousel.

My most important tool in my quest to travel lightly? The handbag within a bag! Unless I’m going on a short trip, you’ll never catch me at the airport with just a roller and a little gorgeous purse dangling off my arm. You are much more likely to see me instead with a trolley and what looks like a gigantic, stuffed bag on my shoulder. Inside that bag, is my actual “real” handbag – as well as a shawl, my laptop, water for the plane (purchased after security), snacks, my Kindle, and more. Doing so not only allows me to carry lots more than what just my handbag could carry, but also protects some of my favorite bags inside. The last time I went through the TSA Precheck line, they weren’t even letting people put their purses inside of a plastic bin – they all had to go on that very dirty rolling conveyer. I’m all for using and not babying my items…but subjecting your little box Kelly to that treatment without even a bin or bag to protect it, I’d say borders on abuse.

Here are a few of my favorite bags to use for traveling. I call them my “plane handbags” for that reason. I’ve picked them because they are each super light, fit most of my favorite leather bags well, and also quite a few other goodies as well. I’ve used both of these bags on multiple trips, by the way – and have never been questioned by aircraft crew about using them as my other “handbag” carry on.

Kelly in Longchamp

The first is the old standby – the Longchamp Le Pliage. Here, it’s pictured with my 32cm Kelly inside and a shawl. It easily can fit a laptop in a padded case, my Kindle, a bottle of water, and some other goodies as well.

A size comparison on top of my Globe-Trotter carryon (my other frequently used one is the Tumi Alpha)- as you can see, the top of the Kelly handle peeks out here, as the bag doesn’t zip fully with it inside. Doesn’t bother me at all, but just something to note. Continue Reading

Travel

My Biggest Travel Mistakes

I’m very, very near full term now, and one of the things I’m looking forward to after giving birth is traveling again. I pretty much stopped traveling once I reached my third trimester, and I’ve been an insufferable whiner about it. I have major cabin fever/wanderlust! I decided to reminisce the other day about some of my favorite holidays with Mr. Feather, and amongst all the great memories I was also reminded of some of the many mistakes I’ve made while traveling. Here I’d like to share some of mine….I’d love to hear yours!

bk18

Not reading the guidebook – especially under the part labeled “scams”. 

I know it’s super “newbie tourist” to buy guidebooks and actually refer to them in public while traveling…but hey, usually when I go somewhere new – it’s as a tourist! I actually love guidebooks and will usually purchase one before a new destination. They’re relatively cheap, and fun reading on a plane. That is…when I actually read them. The first (and only) time we ever went to Thailand, I brought a nice big fat Lonely Planet edition along. Which unfortunately, I never got around to reading. Which resulted in me not being aware of several massive scams to avoid that Thailand is infamous for.

I ended up falling victim to one of the biggest ones out there-  the infamous Gem Scam (curse my weakness for jewelry!). Luckily I didn’t end up buying anything, and Mr. Feather and I actually enjoyed our free Tuk Tuk ride around the city and our conversations with “strangers” about all the great jewelry deals out there. The level of organization and deception was actually quite impressive. But it could have gone a lot worse…and if we’d only taken the time to read basic warnings, we could have saved quite a few hours on one of our precious days in Bangkok! Continue Reading

Europe Style Travel

The Paris Shopping Guide: Chanel

After my last Paris shopping guide on Hermes, I received requests to do various other editions, including quite a few for Chanel. Since I’m currently unable to travel myself (so frustrating when you’re suffering from some serious wanderlust as I am right now), I thought I would put together some travel shopping posts for those lucky enough to be traveling.

So without further ado, my Paris shopping guide, for Chanel!

1. Get ready for a crowd. My experience is largely limited to the St Honore, Cambon and Montaigne locations (which I listed in order of personal preference by the way), but I imagine they’re all quite similar – aka stuffed to the gills with eager purchasers to be. I’ve always found Montaigne to be the worst for some reason – I’ve always entered and turned around and gone right out. Never have completed a purchase (Alaia is just a short stroll away though, enjoy!).

Anyway, get ready for some jostling and limited seating space, and possibly a queue. This isn’t always the case, and I hope that when you go, you’ll stroll right in, get a wonderful sales person, and have a memorable experience. I’d say that’s been what I’ve found maybe 50% of the time (it helps to go during off season). But otherwise….be prepared.

Chanel-Boy-Box

2. Have a list ready. Chanel isn’t like Hermes, where rightfully so or not, it may feel like just breathing the wrong way will earn you the dreaded words “not in stock” while your exact requested item sits in some dungeon stockroom awaiting a more civilized purchaser. In my experience, you don’t need to worry about that with Chanel. If the store has an item in stock, it will generally sell it to you (fascinating concept, no?). So if you want a Chanel Boy, in a very specific color and size? Let the salesperson know right away, along with anything else. Continue Reading

Aviation Travel

How I Survive Long Flights

I’ve been asked a few times to share some of my tips for surviving long haul (10+ hour airline flights). To be honest, at this point I don’t really mind long flights so much. I get to watch all the bad movies that I want, I catch up with my Kindle, and I get to eat in a reclining position. What’s so bad? But I do have a few routines that I do on all of my long flights, to make them more tolerable, besides the obvious “bring your own entertainment,” “bring your own snacks” pieces of advice. So here are some that I’d like to share with you today..and I’d love to hear your survival tips as well in the comments!

Qantas-A380

1. Lots and lots and lots of water. I am obsessed with drinking water on planes. I have a procedure down pat – right before boarding and after security, I go and buy the biggest bottle (usually around a liter) of water that I can find in a gift shop, along with a smaller bottle of sparkling.

Then on the plane, I always ask for both sparkling and still water at any opportunity before and during the meal service. And drink it all. I don’t open my own bottles until bedtime, when there’s less service. Also, in business/first I always ask for the individual bottle of water if it isn’t already placed during turndown.

That equals two smaller and one large bottle of water…not to mention all of the water I ask for during meal/snack service. And yes, I drink every last drop. It helps keep my skin hydrated, and I’m convinced it helps me adapt jet lag wise. Do it! There’s virtually no downside, except for the cost of the water and the many bathroom breaks. Continue Reading