Fashion

For the Fashion-Savvy Traveler: Foolproof Guidelines to Help You Choose the Right Travel Carryall

A refresher course on the basic rules for selecting the perfect travel carryall.
IMAGE LONGCHAMP
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Traveling is just as taxing as we make it, so it’s always best to prepare everything ahead of your trip down to the smallest detail, and that includes your bag choice. You probably have a go-to travel bag already; one that you intend to keep for the rest of your life (or maybe until a new model is released) but it’s always best to keep a few things in mind just in case other bags pique your interest.

Although there are many factors and elements to consider when choosing the perfect travel carry-all, do know that there are reliable bags on the market that seem to hit all bases.  

Longchamp just released a fresh travel collection called La Voyageuse. While many fashionistas trust their good old Le Pliage, the three new designs under this collection will have you coveting them in a second with their handy features. 

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Photo by UNSPLASH.

Know your wants.

What style details do you typically look for in a bag? 

Before we head on to the non-negotiables of a ‘travel bag,’ you need to be aware of your personal style to narrow down your options immediately. Which colors do you gravitate to? Do you prefer handbags or crossbody bags?

Think about the size as well. If you’re the kind of person who brings everything in her bag, then pay attention to larger bags on the market. On the other hand, if you prefer smaller bags, then make sure it’s still large enough to fit other items in case of emergencies. As for color, opt for one that will go with all your outfits so you won’t have to worry about looking uncoordinated.

These may sound like basic tips, but it’s important that you’re happy with your bag choice because you’ll be flaunting it the entire trip.

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Photo by UNSPLASH.

Know your needs.

What modes of transportation will you be using? Is your trip for business or for pleasure?

Thefts can take place wherever you travel. Aside from choosing a bag that’s secure, consider the modes of transportation you will be using during the trip so you could move around with ease. Will you be taking public transportation often? You probably want to use a crossover bag, messenger bag, or a lightweight shoulder bag. Will you be walking around often? You might want to consider a lightweight backpack for hands-free mobilizing.

If you’re going on a business trip, you’ll want to choose a professional-looking bag; one that’s classy but not overtly trendy. If you’re going on a trip for pleasure, then simply be guided by your sartorial whims.

The best types of travel bags

Crossbody bag: The ultimate travel companion is one that allows you to move around with ease. A crossbody bag is great for traveling because it's close to your body, so you could keep a watchful eye on it. (Thefts are commonplace but can be avoided with vigilance.) 

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One of the designs in the La Voyageuse collection is a crossbody bag that also doubles as a clutch, so you could trot from an afternoon with friends to a fancy soiree in the evening.

Messenger bag: Similar to the crossbody bag but with a thicker, typically more durable strap and a larger body, the messenger bag is best for organizing your belongings as it usually has many compartments.

Shoulder bag: For those who find a bag slung across the body a little stingy, then a large-sized lightweight shoulder bag—with zip closure—is most practical.

Like many of Longchamp's current offerings, the La Voyageuse bags come with shoulder straps that are detachable and adjustable. That means you could sport them as handbags for occasions that call for fewer items.    

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Photo by UNSPLASH.

Know your destination.

Where are you going?

Now that we’ve settled personal concerns, it’s time to move on to the external factors. You’ve already accounted for what you’re looking for in a bag, but you’ll need to crosscheck that with the realities of your destination’s environment and the activities you’ll be participating in.

Cityscapes

For self-confessed city lovers who will be traipsing around urban jungles, sipping Americanos at a fancy cafe, checking out the best bargains at luxury stores, and heading out for drinks at night, then a bag that can work around the clock while looking chic on the street is perfect for you. Look for bags in leather or heavy-duty fabrics such as nylon. Bluprint also mentions that coated fabrics and vinyl are sturdy and even waterproof.

Nature

For those who prefer to go hiking in the woods, doing outdoor sports, or simply spending time with family around a bonfire, then you need a bag to match your adrenaline. Opt for designs that are simple and casual, yet stylish enough for a sudden lunch out. Again, leather bags and nylon ones are always reliable; opt for ones in neutral colors and larger sizes for more storage space.

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Photo by PIXABAY.

Know the non-negotiables.

Numerous sources cite a few critical factors when choosing an all-around travel bag that won’t fail you—both in practical and sartorial terms. 

Durability

A bag that can withstand the rough and tumble of your shopping, lunching, museum-hopping, hot air balloon-flying, and more. The best fabrics for travel bags are leather, nylon, nylon and polyester blend, and Cordura. The flimsiest fabrics for bags are canvas, denim, neoprene, mesh. These fabrics are prone to breakage and aren't structured enough to protect your belongings.  

Size

Find a bag that can carry all your essentials, your purse-like wallet, and your passport for emergencies. You also need space for a cardigan and foldable raincoat, too.

Thankfully, there's a La Voyageuse iteration for those who prefer a lot of storage space. The roomy vertical tote, inspired by vintage newspaper bags, is both a handbag and a shoulder bag. Plus, it easily folds flat just like your trusty Le Pliage.

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Ease of use

As mentioned earlier, some people prefer short handles while others prefer long straps. Use what you know you’re most comfortable with but remember the external factors above as well. A bag that’s easy to use should zip quickly, and you should fish out items in a jiffy. Compartments are optimal for organization.  

Lightweight

While most leather, nylon, or other bags made of durable fabric aren’t exactly lightweight, some have the feel of being lightweight because they are well made. Get a feel of the bag by trying it on before you make the purchase.  

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Style and function

Photo by LONGCHAMP.

The hero design of the La Voyageuse line is the perfect example of the marriage of style and function. The hefty leather tote comes in buttery soft calf leather or supple cowhide leather featuring the brand's LGP monogram, which lends the right amount of chic. It's spacious enough to fit all your belongings, and the shoulder strap is adjustable, too.

This shoulder bag even has a smaller sister that comes in various colorways (just in case you can't decide on just one color). 

Waterproof

This is a factor that is often forgotten but very important. Bags should be waterproof to protect your valuable items inside and to ensure a hassle-free trip. You don't want to stress over a damaged a bag.  

Security

Even the most stylish bags can offer security with the right details such as a zip closure with an extra flap on top, or extra hardware that make it difficult for people to slip their hands inside. 

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Photo by LONGCHAMP.

The Longchamp La Voyageuse Collection is available in Rustan's Shangri-La, Rustan's Makati, Rustan's Cebu, and Greenbelt, Ayala Center. Prices are available upon request.

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