My Search For the Best Travel Bag For Moms
Every trip I’ve ever taken has begun with a decision about what I will carry. Will I take a big old suitcase or carry-on? Or is this a big backpack kind of trip? Will it be a stylish purse or functional shoulder bag and do I have something that’s both? Will I need an evening bag?
Of course my ideal tote bag has changed over time as my tastes have changed. And since I’ve become a mom, both how we travel and what I need to carry has changed drastically. For a while there were always diapers, then endless snacks, toys and leaky sippy cups. Now, I still carry water an extra granola bars, but I’m back to wanting a good lipstick with me at all times, too.
The last few years have been a bit of a Goldylocks-like pursuit of the perfect bag that combines stylish form to marry practical-mom function. I with someone would make a cute messenger-bag style purse for me, but no one has.
Here is what I’ve tried and learned so far in my pursuit of the perfect vacation daytime tote.
The Perfect Vacation shoulder bag for moms
This Purse is Too Small!
I would love it if more of my vacations required a eye-catching *evening bag. Or if I could even get away with something tiny and cute all day long. Alas, the best I can do is take a bag like this along as a satellite bag that I can put in a larger tote during the day and bring on its own when we go to dinner.
These Purses Are Too Big!
I’m willing to accept that I need something sturdy and roomy. And we have a gazillion canvas tote bags stashed all over our home, but aside from a trip to the beach or to the pool they’re just a bit too plain for me. Too deep, too open (I bet pickpockets love them) and not enough pockets for keys, phone, metrocard, maps and so on.
I used to be able to pack for a whole weekend in a bag like this (my bathing suits were smaller then—in more ways than one); it held all my essentials with room to spare. When I decide I want to look more “woman” and less “mom,” I’ll try carrying a tote like this for a day bag—until I realize it makes my shoulder hurt and I can never find anything in it.
Once in a while I get an urge to reconnect with my younger, funkier self and will buy a cool new purse to bring on vacation. But they’re heavy and don’t hold everything I need. Plus, they don’t leave my hands free (you need two hands available at all times when traveling with kids).
Sometimes I have a lot of travel writer and mom stuff I need to carry. Then I give up on style altogether and throw a backpack like this in the car or use it for my carry-on bag. It’s perfect for trips where I need my laptop and camera and a lot of cables, and also for outdoorsy trips, too.
At the very least, I’ll never have to carry one of these again (though I loved this bag when I needed it).
Ahh; Just Right
At the end of the day my perfect bag fits all my essentials without being too big, keeps me organized, and is fun and eye-catching if not exactly haute couture.
What kind of Purse or Bag do you travel with?
What does it say about your life and your travel style? Why do you love it? Recommend it below!
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