Paris Shopping: In the Other Bag

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Longchamp travel bag

My beloved Longchamp pliable.

Those of you who follow the Girls’ Guide to Paris will know that I am somewhat peculiar about what goes into my handbag, so it should be no surprise for you to learn that I am equally peculiar about travel bags. Because travel is stressful, I want my packing and unpacking experience to be pleasant, so after years of trial and error, I’ve come up with a travel kit that works for me. It is practical (for my travel style), with great design, and not exorbitantly expensive. I decided to share this “kit” with the Girls’ Guide’s readers when I realized that everything in it can be found while shopping in Paris, giving you some souvenir and gift ideas for home.

The most important question is, naturally, the bag itself. I am not one of those girls who can leave for a weeklong holiday with just a carry-on. I once managed three months in Africa with nothing more than a small backpack, but I’m a Parisian now and must accessorize, or I cease to exist. It’s the shoes that throw me over the limit every time, and the scarves. Oh, and I wouldn’t want to forget a raincoat, no matter the season. Given current airline weight restrictions, I could get in trouble fast. Except I have a Lipault bag, the lightest, most solid bag I’ve found. The bag is great when I head out on my travels, although occasionally it’s not big enough for all that I want to bring home. I never did understand how that works, but it has happened often enough that I always bring along the Longchamp pliable to use as a carry-on for the trip home.

Packing cubes and laundry bags make travel easier

Packing cubes and laundry bags make my travel life easier.

Of course, it’s on the inside that I tend to get really peculiar. In the odd event that my checked bags go missing, I always bring my toiletries, especially prescription medications, in the cabin. Naturally, my first must-have is the Tintamar vanity case, which is small and light, with clear pockets that take away all the stress of passing through airport security with liquids.

In the larger bag, I have my Sequoia packing cubes that keep all my garments nice and organized, not to mention harder for bedbugs to access. I like that I don’t have to waste time searching for my socks when I could be out exploring. And for all those shoes, I’ve bought the eco shopping bags for 80 centimes from Monoprix because they are cheap, easy to wash and look great. Another pretty bag I’ve found while shopping in Paris comes from Fragonard, the parfumeur that also sells the girliest linen packing bags. It has fun, embroidered illustrations of the contents, with titles in French, for everything from sexy stockings to your various plug-in equipment. The final bag in my collection is for dirty laundry; I’ve chosen the eco-friendly linen bags from La Grande Epicerie de Paris because they are cheap, washable and just oh-so-very Paris. Bon voyage!

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