How I Packed for 12 Days in Europe in a Carry-On || AWAY Luggage

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If you follow me on Instagram, (@makingjoyandbliss), you may have seen that I’ve been spending the past week or so in Europe. Of course, this trip is especially dreamy and has me reflecting on my 19th birthday wish. When I blew out the candles two years ago, I wished to travel more. It’s not that I have never traveled, but I wanted to get on a plane more than once every few years. After I made that wish, I found myself on a plane to Naples, Florida with my friends for spring break, then on a privately owned jet to Europe that summer, and then to Park City, Utah as well. I was ecstatic when I remembered what my wish was, and now I’m the biggest believer in birthday wishes. 

This year has been the same way when it comes to travel and I’ve been so happy about it. My parents recently bought each other new luggage from AWAY, and when it arrived at our door I had no idea why my mom was so darn excited about it. I mean, it was just luggage. I’d had the same suitcase for years and I figured it worked all the same. Turns out I was wrong-- I used the carry-on size

Packing Tips:

Use packing cubes: These were my saving grace. The straps that buckle inside tighten and then help to compress all of the clothes down to as small as they could. They also made it much easier when it came to needing to tear apart my suitcase every time I needed something. 

 
 
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Pack basic pieces, and tons of accessories: For this trip to Europe, my suitcase was pretty much made up of a packing cube full of dresses, and a cube full of planned out looks. First off, dresses and rompers are a great idea because duh, instant outfit. All you have to do is hop out of bed, throw on a dress, and run down to breakfast. When I was packing other outfits, I was sure to specifically plan them out and then pack. On a trip where I'd have all the suitcase space in the world, I usually just throw in a ton of options but planning was critical here. Remind yourself that there is no need to pack 3 or 4 of everything! It sounds silly, but that was my biggest issue-- I always pack like I'm going on a month vacation. 

 
 
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Purchase an accessory organizer: This isn't the exact one that I have, but it's pretty similar. It really doesn't matter which one you have, but I do know that if you are a jewelry junkie like me, these are a game changer. Also, to make those basic items that you packed fun to travel in, focus on accessories. If you're a hat person, pack them (wear on on the plane). If you're all about jewelry like me, pack fun earrings. 

Now, back to this incredible new luggage...

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When it came to choosing a color for my suitcase I was planning to get the bright pink. I mean, I love pink. I’ll always love it, right? Then I realized that purchasing a suitcase from AWAY means a life time warranty, meaning, what if one day I don’t want to be a 30-year old with a pink carry on? So, I went ahead and started scrolling through their Instagram to find a neutral color that wasn’t black. I wanted it to be able to be recognizable in an airport and in the overhead bins. 

I went ahead and chose the color “Sand”. When it first arrived, I definitely had a moment of “ugh, what did I do. I should’ve just gotten gray or something” but now that I stuck to this shade, I’m in love. Here’s a breakdown of my luggage’s features. 

SIZE

The carry-on that my parents have that got me hooked on this brand was just the standard carry-on size. I didn’t even know that they had a bigger carry-on until I started doing my research, and it’s what I ended up with. Considering how much space the standard size had, I thought, “since I’m a huge over-packer, why not just go up in size?” 

The AWAY website describes it as “Ideal for travelers flying on big planes (with bigger overhead compartments) or anyone looking to get a few more days out of their carry-on. Fits in the sizers of all major US airlines.” It also says that its size is compatible for 4-7 days of travel and 6-10 outfits. 

FEATURES

—Battery: The ejectable battery is a feature that you can choose to opt out of. I thought going without it would change the price of the bag, but that wasn’t the case so I went with it. The only reason you would choose to not have this included in your luggage is if you wanted a little more space in the bag... but really, the extra space is like a few inches of room, it’s not a big deal. I also use the battery when I’m not using the bag because it’s light!  

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— Hidden laundry bag: This was a fun discovery when I got the bag! I’m always forgetting to pack a bag for dirty clothes, and then I always end up just washing everything when I get home because I’m too lame to sort it all out. Game changer. 

— TSA Approved Lock: Enough said. (I never use this soooo)

— Interior compression system

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— 360 degree wheels: Easy transpiration through the airport! Whenever I travel with the family that I nanny for, I always sit the 3 year old kiddo on the suitcase and wheel him through the airport. Oh, how life gets easier when I do this. 

CARE

The polycarbonate shell claims to be unbreakable, according to AWAY’s site. Whenever I use the luggage, I experience nothing but strength and durability in the product as well as functionality. 

I will say, the polycarbonate WILL get marks from the normal stuff that luggage goes through. You’d experience marks even if you were to purchase the black suitcase. When you feel the need to tackle the marks, grab a damp Mr. Clean Magic Eraser and go to town. Most of the marks will disappear. The material is definitely easy to clean. 

WARRANTY 

The lifetime warranty covers

     •    Cracks or breaks in the shell

    •    Wheels, handles, or telescoping handles that break off and are no longer usable

    •    Zippers that can no longer be opened or closed

    •    Fabric tears that render front pocket fabric non-functional

Shop the luggage here!