Today’s post is a mix of travel and fashion. I am a girl after all, and I am French, so I like an ‘oh so chic!’ touch even when I am hiking up a steep hill in Lisbon or petting a deer in Japan.
I just cannot help it, there is nothing I dislike more aesthetically than a functional camera bag or a travel money bag. I am not super duper precious though, and even if I like a good designer bag, the ones I invest in are always low maintenance and functional. I need bags that can stay on the floor in a restaurant and carry my camera, wallet, sunscreen and hand-sanitiser at minimum.
It is also good to note that if I am going to a destination where items of value can get me into trouble, I will of course opt for plan B and carry a very cheap, yet functional, Karrimor rucksack.
Designer bags are expensive
Now before I list my favourite travel bags, I want to also address the elephant in the room – money! The bags I listed below are all on the pricey side and I am aware that I am extremely fortunate to have been able to afford them.
Luckily, I have a few tips!
Save, save, save!
It took me at least 18 months before I was able to afford my Gucci Soho bag! I had an objective though, and little by little I saved enough to afford it.
Duty free is your best friend!
You can save A LOT by being patient and waiting for your next trip to buy a designer bag. Most major international airports have designers boutiques. So check which terminal you are leaving from and see what shops they have. I saved more than £150 on my Gucci Soho bag by buying it in Heathrow.
How about waiting for a special occasion and asking Santa for a new bag or a little financial help to get the one you have your eyes on? I asked my parents for my first Longchamp pliage bag to be my 18th birthday gift, and 11 years later I asked for a replacement as a Christmas gift.
The best small travel bags
Now to the fun bit, the bags! I have 4 favourites to travel with, all carry-on friendly and most leave you with free hands to take pictures.
The classic – Gucci Soho shoulder bag
Compact, functional as you can wear it cross-body, Gucci Soho bag is great for a city escape!
The grain leather make it durable and less prone to scratches. I also picked the black colour because I wanted it to go with most outfits as this bag is quite pricey. It is also a great colour to avoid any stain or colour transfer! In terms of space, I can fit my camera, wallet, a pack of tissue, hand-sanitiser, a lip balm, and a few more bits and pieces.
The modern classic – M Missoni shoulder bag
Unfortunately, this Missoni bag isn’t available for sale at the moment, but it worth keeping an eye out on eBay and Vestiaire Collective if you like it! I called it the modern classic as its rectangular shape gives it a very contemporary feel. The soft leather has stained and marked more easily than grain leather. The metallic logo also shows signs of ageing but I don’t mind it, I like to see the scratches and remember how much we travelled together!
I use this bag ALL THE TIME when I travel. It is small but super spacious and functional! I can fit a little more than what I pack in my Gucci Soho bag.
The French touch – Sezane Farrow bag
If you haven’t heard of Sezane yet, you need to check them out! It is a very famous French women’s wear brand (sorry lads!) and all items have a very Parisian touch.
I went for a burgundy colour with this bag so it is perfect for autumn and winter. Once again it is very functional with grain leather and you can wear it cross-body, which is a must for me. The Farrow bag is a bucket bag so it has plenty of space. I can fit my camera, wallet, and my entire carry-on zip-lock bag in it, plus a few bits and bobs!
The super functional – Longchamp Nylon Pliage
This is a Mary Poppins bag! I have the Longchamp Nylon Pliage in L and it can pretty much fit everything and anything. I actually use it as a gym bag when I am not travelling the world with it.
This is my go-to carry-on and weekend bag. I pack my books, a spare change of clothes (in case my luggage get lost/delayed), cosmetics, and anything else I may need on a flight or for a night away. This is my second Longchamp pliage, it replaced my first one which lasted 11 years! Talk about a good investment!
Here you go guys, you have it! My four most used bags! I say most ‘used’ as, even though this post is about travelling with them, they are also my every day bags and commute to work with me most days!