Travel Gear

the art of travel

If you have been reading this site for at least the past month, you will realize that I travel very regularly. Many times within the States, to NYC and Ohio to see family, but I am also an avid traveler abroad, mostly Europe. This trip to Spain has been amazing, providing us the most beautiful weather and eye opening experience. I always knew that many large European tourist cities have a plethora of tourist traps, but Barcelona and Madrid have seemed to show a little more this trip. I absolutely love both cities for different reasons. The art of Gaudi in Barcelona is absolutely stunning, the Madrid Royal Palace is breathtaking, but the cities are infested with those who can easily pick a tourist out of the crowd and lure them in. I am by no means calling myself perfect, but I have not been sucked in. Since Vlad and I are in Europe regularly, he has taught me the ropes of many of the different countries and cities and I am more ‘street smart’. Even better is that most people think I am German rather than American. I can not tell you how many times someone asks me in German where I am from in Germany, it always makes me laugh. I suppose Vlad’s growing up in Germany has rubbed off on me! The fact of the matter is in the big cities many people are looking for an easy rob; most of these people are not looking to hurt you, rather grab your wallet and run. Even better, grab your entire purse. I brought two bags on this trip, my Rebecca Minkoff Wine Matinee and my Bird Handbags Ostrich Lil Lady. Both have perks in navigating the crowded streets where people are looking to grab and go with your belongings. For the Rebecca Minkoff Matinee if someone wanted to unzip and steal something, that proves to be near impossible. I love every single extra added pocket, some even hidden! Becky has said that she would like to re-vamp the Matinee and remove some pockets, but having all of these hidden compartments has been nothing but a savior for me. Either way I still must carry this bag close to my body and hold tight. This way, if anyone is going to try to take it they will have to pull it out of my lifeless arms. The perk of the Bird Handbags Lil Lady is that it is worn across my shoulder, but I can hold it in front of my body very easily. The long strap allows the bag to have a large shoulder drop, making it simple to pull it forward and carry it close. A downside of this bag is the open top, which can be reached into, but when I hold it close to my body it is not an issue. So both of these bags are fairing well right now, as I interchange them. But the trend I see here, even with the locals, is that they all carry their bags in front of their bodies. This makes it more of a confrontation if someone is to try to steal the bag or the contents. I am by no means scared walking through the streets of Spain, but I am a tad more cautious. Then again, this could happen in any city in the US.

So my question is: what is the perfect travel bag for you? Do you take into account the area you are in?

luggage Today I will be in the airport again, this time flying to Madrid, Spain. This trip is sans-Vlad and sans-work (hopefully!). My brother is doing a study abroad program and my mom and I will be sight-seeing with him for a week and a half before he gets started. First of all, I regret never doing a study abroad. The whole athletics thing clashed with being able to up and leave for more than two weeks a year, no joke. This is why after my swimming career ended, my traveling career began. My problem is always packing. Over-packers-anonymous? HERE!

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Louis Vuitton Utah Leather Kiowa Tote

As we continue traveling, we continue shopping for a new travel bag. Vlad and I were tempted by a 50 cm Hermes Haut A Courroie (HAC), but it was just too big, yet his current messenger is just too small. We are like Goldilocks, we need something just right. I am waiting for a 40 cm Birkin, which will be the best option for me when it comes to a travel Birkin and Vlad is stumped. He needs a better carry-on bag for all of the traveling we do. We popped into Louis Vuitton Cologne and saw a great looking tote. For me, it was not a bag that I wanted him or I to leave with, but it is a great everyday bag nonetheless. The SA at Louis Vuitton said it is unisex, though I find it to be very masculine. The Louis Vuitton Utah Leather Kiowa Tote is designed with sturdy, yet supple hand-grained Utah calf leather and sports straps down the front of the bag. I am not blown away by this handbag, it is rather simple, but when it comes to giving a man a handbag, simple usually is the best route. The hardware is polished but is aged brass, so it is not too shiny for the man that does not care to draw attention to his man bag. It is always a plus to have a zip top closure, and the inside features a flat pocket and a cell phone pocket. Dimensions are still too small for a 17″ computer, but will fit the average laptop, 16.4″x 12.9″x 5.85″. I like it, I don’t love it, and I am waiting for another Birkin :wink: Buy through eLuxury for $1,940.

Bodas Travel Bags It seems only fitting that I run into these travel bags. If you all have realized one thing about me by now, it is that I am ALWAYS! traveling. In the past two months, Vlad and I have not been in one place for more than two weeks. New York, to Ft. Lauderdale, to Kentucky, to Ohio. In a week and a half we are going to Germany and straight from there I will be going to Florida. And within in place I go, we are constantly on the move too. Sure, I love to travel but I am sick of living out of my suitcase. Wondering what to pack, did I pack enough, wrap the toiletries, figure out my carry on, unload my computer, keep shoes away from clothes… did I forget anything? Probably. So while it is not necessary, and can easily be done with an old pillow case from your house, the Bodas Travel Bags are a cute idea for the gal who travels. Each cotton bag is embroidered saying bikini, underwear and shoes. Measurements are 13″x21″. That will fit my bikini and underwear, but my shoes are a whole different story. Either way, this is just a fun little gift and will help organization when packing. Buy through Barneys for $25.

limited louis vuitton handbags

Three American brothers who have not spoken to each other in a year set off on a train voyage across India with a plan to find themselves and bond with each other — to become brothers again like they used to be. Their “spiritual quest”, however, veers rapidly off-course (due to events involving over-the-counter pain killers, Indian cough syrup, and pepper spray), and they eventually find themselves stranded alone in the middle of the desert with eleven suitcases a printer, and a laminating machine. At this moment, a new, unplanned journey suddenly begins.

There are some special guest stars in The Darjeeling Limited. Eleven of them, in fact. An entire monogrammed luggage set, designed by Marc Jacobs for Louis Vuitton.
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Bottega Veneta Jewlery Box

A girl can never have too many jewels. Recently, I have become bling obsessed, buying diamond after diamond. When I travel, my jewelry is meticulously placed in my purse. I dare not place my jewels in my carry on, in case I happen to fly on a small plane that will need to check my bag under. There must be a better way to carry my jewelry. My obsession with Bottega Veneta is no secret and now my obsession is the Bottega Veneta Jewlery Box. Scrumptious Ebano leather is woven on the outside of the box which measures 12.3 x 8.4 x 5.1 IN. Carry your jewelry in a box that is beyond dreamy. Because the box itself is a stunning work of supple leather art and the jewels inside are worth far too much, I would never let this box leave my side. Buy through Bottega Veneta for $4970.

samsonite luggage

You think all towns and people are connected to the internet? Think again. This past week I was traveling once again. First I was in Washington DC, where the fast paced life was the norm. After seeing all the integral tourist attractions and waving at the White House, I was off to a small town on Lake Eerie in Ohio. Way up in the northeast part of Ohio is a town called Ashtabula. There my parents grew up and met. And for any of you Florida fans, it is where Urban Meyer grew up (boo to the Gators :wink: ). Let me tell you something, I love little Ashtabula but I felt as if I were in a time warp. We spent the mornings scouring Lake Eerie for sea glass, the days eating at the best local burger joint that feels as if you are sitting in a 50’s diner, the afternoons on the farm, and nights at various wineries. Life is slow there, the pace moves backward it seems. I kid you not, I bought 24 Swedish buns and a dozen assorted pastries from the bakery for under $9. I looked at the baker and he simply said to me, “You aren’t from around here, are you?”. It was liberating to feel free from my email and computer and even cell phone reception. I felt like the weight of the world had literally been lifted off my shoulders, so then I could have an amazing time with my family, all worries left back in the ‘real world’.

One afternoon we did venture to the sadly dying mall, where I popped into Dillards in hope of finding a little something. What I encountered were sales that made any sample sale look horrible. Sure, the selection was not amazing, but the prices made the goods feel free. My sister walked out with 5 pair of shoes totaling $190. Vlad strutted out with a pair of Nike shoes and Ralph Lauren shorts totaling $65 total. And I found the luggage deal of the century! I looked at the sign and had to do at least a quadruple take. Samsonite luggage marked 50% off, then take and additional 30% off. I have been traveling so often that my luggage has become worn down, so I snagged a large luggage bag and carry on for just about $200 total:!: What would have cost me nearly $560 cost me practically nothing. Next time you see a chic (but not always chic when traveling) lady in the airport with her Samsonite 400 Series Aspire luggage in blue, know that it is me carrying around my sturdy new luggage that I bought nearly for free. Luggage via Samsonite.

louis vuitton waterproof keepall

The spanking new LV Waterproof Keepall inherits the same measurements of the regular and loved Keepall 55. However, it has undergone serious steroid treatment in the advanced Louis Vuitton labs! The cowhide trim and handles were dumped for durable polyamide and polyurethane, the golden hardware swapped for brass and zamak pieces. This bag is the active traveler’s wet dream – even if you don’t end up submerging your Keepall in water, it is great to know you could (without ending up ruining your belongings). To me, this spacious bag could help me overcome my general disapproval of the monogram canvas. Still, is the advanced welding process (that ensures airtightness of the main compartment) worth the $800 extra over a regular Keepall 55 with shoulder strap?

The Waterproof Keepall is now available for $1,950 via 866-VUITTON or at eLuxury’s exclusive Louis Vuitton boutique.

Louis Vuitton Steamer Case

Many of my friends seem to all be engaged and planning their weddings. I keep receiving ‘save the date’ cards and keep wondering what I will wear and what I will buy for their gift. Better yet, I ponder what I will want from them at my not-planned wedding. Call me sick, but I enjoy thinking about my own wedding gifts in my sometime-in-the-hopefully-near-future-wedding. A gift that would have me bowing down at the givers feet would be a Louis Vuitton Trunk. I am determined to own an LV trunk and by-golly if I do not get one as a wedding gift I will use part of the gift money to buy one! Style.com had a mini idea section for good wedding gifts, and my eye got stuck on the Louis Vuitton Steamer Case. This case was first invented in 1901 as a smaller piece of travel luggage to be kept inside of the coveted LV Trunk. Gasp to the most perfect inside addition to the LV Trunk. The price is $3,050. So anyone who will be invited to my wedding, keep this post in mind! As usual, shop Louis Vuitton exclusively at eLuxury and this piece is available at select Louis Vuitton boutiques, (866) VUITTON. Try the lovely folks at Louis Vuitton Bal Harbour, Florida.

Via Style

Louis Vuitton Damier Azur Keepall Unless your stuck in the hazy and cloudy Midwest, then you may be enjoying the sunshine that is in full swing due to summer. Something about summer just makes people happy, whether it is being outdoors, getting a little tan, going on vacation, but it is a happy time of year. The light and fun colors of the Louis Vuitton Damier Azur pattern are a perfect summer compilation, sporting a grey/ivory combination. In July my family is headed to Key West for a week, and I would love to travel in style with the Louis Vuitton Damier Azur Keepall which in my mind is a perfect summer travel bag. Available online in the 50 and 55, this keepall boasts natural cowhide trim, red edge dying, shiny golden brass hardware, rolled leather handles, and a removable cross body strap. Put on some shades, a light white cotton tee, sexy shorts, and you are good to go. LV adds an address label and the measurements of the Keepall 55 are 22″ x 12″ x 9″. Price is $1130 and, of course, available via eLuxurys exclusive LV boutique.

Kids designer travel gear

You know you travel more than most when you start to have people who work the counter recognize you, can answer questions better than the airport staff, know exactly where each gate is at nearly every airport, and have the security check down. I am on land for another week and a half, and then up in the air on my way to Barcelona, then flying to Venice, then flying to Florida, then two weeks later to Ohio. Apparently I love cruising altitude more than steady turf. Yesterday I was lucky to sit next to a woman from Connecticut and talk about life, family, work, and everything in between. She was great. She has two kids and while I told her about Purse Blog she and I started to talk about travel gear. I couldn’t help but keep my mind from wandering about what would be perfect kid travel gear. Today I found a cool back pack for a dude and a cute roll on for a little girl. Funky and fresh, the Lipstik Luggage Roller is hand-painted and features, pink, denim, aqua, and purple coloring throughout. The front zipper pouch sports the words “love” and “peace” in paint. Easy to carry for a toddler to a tween, this roller is cute and affordable. Buy it through Neiman Marcus for $125. And for the cool dude, the Diesel Logo Backpack comes in an army green with blue denim trim and a white “Diesel 78” on the front. Toss in an iPod, hand held game player, and a car magazine, and your cool dude is good to go. Buy through Neiman Marcus for $65.

Bottega Veneta Intrecciato Trolley

Personally, the thought of buying luxury luggage makes no sense. Even if the bag is just a carry on, you are looking to have it exposed to dirt, residue, spills, scuffs, tears, and stains. I am not sure it makes me a hypocrite, but I do travel with my designer bag as my ‘purse’ carry on, and many times my bag ends up sitting on my lap. But to roll on an extravagant piece of travel gear, the kind of extravagance that people only dream can be on their handbag, is absurd. Right? Must be wrong, because the Bottega Veneta Intrecciato Trolley is being sold to the rich and famous and BV obsessed. Measuring approximately 20″ x 14″ x 9″, this trolley adheres to BV’s signature woven Nappa leather. The size is a perfect carry on, but if you have a commuter flight beware; your precious bag will get thrown under the plane with the rest of them, and undoubtedly will not be treated any kinder than the plain black luggage from Target next to it. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love this piece, but until I am flying private plane only, this will not be on my list. Buy it through Bottega Veneta for $3960.

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