I’m always looking for the perfect travel bag. It’s very hard to find… or maybe I just don’t know what I’m looking for. But, since I bought a new camera and we’re going to be traipsing through New Zealand (it better be beautiful) AND this will involve a long plane ride, I thought maybe now would be a good time to find a bag that will hold my precious new camera safely, still have room for some airplane neccessities, and possibly be able to act as a purse (albeit, a very large purse) while I’m playing tourist. It also had to look cute. Otherwise, what’s the point?
After much back and forth and research and comment reading, I settled on the non-leather Jill-e bag. The “small” one. It’s actually not as nylon-y as I feared and it’s pretty cute. There are velcro dividers so you can arrange your space to fit what you need. It’s almost perfect… if there was a space on the inside that would fit my netbook, it would be my ideal carry-on.
I started with a generic layout, basically to make sure my wristlet would fit. I think the wristlet can act as my wallet while I’m traveling, since I’m pretty sure I won’t need all my credit cards, Vons card, library card, etc. Also, note the fun polka dots on the inside!
Since it would be my airplane bag, I used the little webbed compartments in the “lid” of the bag to hold my iPod and earbuds (in the Altoids Tin), the charger, my earplugs (a necessity on airplanes), and extra memory card and a screen polisher. There’s still room for other things, but that’s what I had in my other travel bag already.
I still had these dividers, to be used for subdividing the larger spaces. I’m not sure what to do with that little strip. Maybe to hold down cables or something?
So, I’ve got my wristlet (it actually clips into a ring on the bag, so you can’t just grab it and run off), my neck pillow and eyemask, the camera goes in the middle (obviously not there because I was using it to take pictures), and I’ve packed the camera battery charger. I need to throw in a couple of KIND bars for a snack, and it could probably hold a small paperback, but other than that I’m not sure what else to put in. I think a magazine would fit over the top, which is easy since I typically just leave my magazines when I’m done reading them. There are plenty of pockets along the outside to hold flat things like gum, papers, a boarding pass, or extra napkins. The shoulder strap is really comfortable, but something I’d only use in the airport. If I’m going to use it as a day-to-day vacation bag, I’d just use the side handles.
It did well on our trip to Vegas, but I didn’t use it as my regular purse. I just didn’t see the need to carry all of that around. We’ll see how much I like it when we come back from New Zealand!