Goal no. 18 on my 101 in 1001 list is to invest in grown-up luggage. With trips to Charleston (I leave today!), upstate Connecticut, Saint Martin (just booked!), and hopefully Europe on the horizon, you can tell where my head’s at. How many times have you packed in a giant tote bag for a weekend trip? Or hauled a duffel bag with a broken strap through airport security? I think it’s high time to invest in a nice suitcase that will hold up on weekend getaways and international expeditions alike for many years to come.

atlantic pacific airport travel style

Perhaps a chic leather duffel bag that will only get better with age?

loewe spring summer 2011 luggage copy

Or a matching set in a couple different sizes for longer trips?louis vuitton luggage

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A few of the lines that seem like they’re worth investing in are Bric’s, Globe-Trotter, and Steamline Luggage. (If, on the other hand, you’re looking for a bargain, this is it.) I would love to know who makes your favorite luggage, when you invested in a new set, and how it’s held up over time. I’m so excited to share all my upcoming travels with you on the blog and on Instagram (keep an eye on my ever-evolving travel guide for packing lists and new favorites!). Shop a few of my favorite splurge-worthy pieces below and comment on your own luggage below so we can all weigh our options!


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  1. I have a set of Victorinox luggage that I love – one carry on size and one larger, both with wheels. My mom has also had her set for years and they look nice and have held up during many overseas trips. I travel a lot and while I love some of the higher end luggage, I think most of it isn’t practical for plane travel – I would be super hesitant to check a piece of LV luggage.

  2. Congrats on St Martin! I went to Grand Case two years ago and it was so beautiful; I’m sure you’ll love it. Make sure you explore the other side too though, it’s very different. There are some really fun and funky restaurants which almost have a New Orleans feel.
    As for luggage, if you’re looking for practicality and don’t mind spending a bit of money I highly recommend Tumi. If you travel a lot and want a bag that will really hold up they’re the way to go. I have the vapor line in gray and it actually looks quite sophisticated. And I can’t vouch for the durability enough.
    Enjoy your trip (and your luggage?), I know you will have so much fun!

  3. my parents bought me my first piece of luggage when i started traveling to DC on a regular basis. less than twenty trips later, it came off the belt at baggage claim singed… it had been burned somehow! it wasn’t utterly destroyed but it was in rough shape and the airline more or less told us it wasn’t their problem. (oh, and two zipper pulls had been pulled off, too.) so – that being said – don’t buy anything you don’t feel comfortable checking. i haven’t checked a bag since my incident. i now use a fjallraven duffel (waxed canvas) that can carried at shoulder or on the arm, but can also be worn as a backpack. i love that bag a lot – it’s the perfect size for a 3-5 day/night trip. i usually pair it with a larger purse (since most airlines allow you a carry on + ‘personal item’) and i haven’t needed more space – even on the trip back home – i tend to pick up new things while away, so this is worth noting. not having an enormous piece of luggage forces me to pack only what i need and not go crazy trying to bring an extra ten options, too!

  4. Lo & Sons make great, stylish, practical bags in a variety of sizes and colors. My OMG bag got me through Northern Europe last spring.

  5. Lately, Kestrel Bags makes my favorite weekender. I bought it from Anthro. But checked out Kestrelbags.com and looks like some other retailers sell them too

  6. I did Europe once with one small shoulder weekender bag from anthropologie… I love it for sentimental purposes! That said, I’d say you need something small with wheels for Europe! If you are planning on taking trains around it will keep you & your shoulders sane.

  7. I love the look of a chic leather duffel— but beware: if the leather is real in a lot of cases it is very heavy! — Not exactly ideal for carrying around! I would only recommend it for trips where you’ll be keeping your luggage in one place. My parents recently bought me a small hard top suitcase for using as a carry-on, and I find myself constantly reaching for it because the wheels can turn in any direction and it holds SO much for being so tiny! It may not be LV but its fantastic! Love your options as well!


  8. I actually snagged some great finds at Marshalls! I have a DVF large hard rolling suitcase (black with camel detailing), and a Hartman small soft rolling suitcase (navy!). I’ve only had them for this summer, but they’ve withstood all the airport adventures that they’ve been on so far!

  9. My suggestion is far from Globe Trotter and the like, BUT hear me out. I purchased the Hays USA Britto Collection hard sided luggage set for my daughter and I, and a Rimowa set for my husband. The reason we went with Hays was for the ease in identifying our luggage. My poor daughter had her plain black Tumi suitcase lost somewhere between New York and Rome – we originated in Seattle. I decided to do my best to never have her, or any of us, relive that experience! And we haven’t. We receive compliments on our luggage during every trip we take because it is so cheerful. We’ve all had our sets for over 5 years, travel a few times a year, and have had no quality issues. Happy shopping and happier travels!

  10. I have an ancient Colefax & Fowler duffel bag that was my grandmother’s and it is my go-to for all of my big trips… I still use an ancient LL Bean boat & tote for weekends! That said, some friends of mine have Globetrotter luggage and they swear by it!

    Taste & Tact

  11. Ah, love that Bric’s luggage so much! I’m also dying for LV luggage, but it’s not in the cards at the moment. I currently have the Delsey Helium hard-sided luggage set… I got it during senior year of college (2010/2011) and it’s held up SO well! I have the set of 3 (21″, 25″, 29″) and I use the carry-on 21″ size a few times a month. Can’t say enough good things about it, especially for the price. I’ve had a few friends get the same set and they love it, too!

    1. Hi – just came across your site – Have you checked Delsey Chatelet? Beutiful, with leather trim, sturdy & goes well with LV . Has a 10 yr warranty😄 just introduced a 24″ spinner that pacs 4 pairs of shoes, 10 shirts, 2 toilet cases, 4 pants and 2 jackets – and has a chance to be carried in cabin – what does a girl need more? If you have a LV monogram keep all GM you are set to go…

  12. I am a big fan of duffle bags, preferably in some kind of coated canvas or the like. We have had a bag from Land’s End for like 10 years now that is a workhorse and is still in spectacular condition. I wish I’d bought two. With SpacePak bags from Flight001 I can pack for two not small adults for a week, plus almost all the toiletries. Mind you, we don’t usually bring extra shoes. We almost never check bags, either. So my husband carries that on, and I carry on a Bloomies Canvas tote bag with the rest of the must haves and my purse is inside of that usually. Or if I don’t use the Bloomies I use my Catalina from Lo and Sons. And if it’s just me, I often put my SpacePak in the lower zip compartment of the Catalina, and my toiletries and purse in the top compartment. Viola. ONE BAG.

  13. I purchased a Tumi Alpha 2 (http://intl.tumi.com/product/index.jsp?c=1114083&productId=29998626&prodFindSrc=paramNav) back in April and I love it so much. It’s not the most beautiful thing in the world by any means, but it has four wheels and makes flying a BREEZE. When I take trips with my girl friends, they all struggle with their heavy duffle bags and I just zip around no problem! I got it in black and had them monogram it with gold foil (free!). It also holds a lot and is really durable – I don’t worry about scratches or anything getting on it.

    PS – Saint Martin here you come! So excited and jealous!

  14. I swear by my Briggs and Riley 24 inch spinner. It is pricey but has a life-time warranty! I travel to and from Italy frequently for work and I found I was having to replace my luggage every two years. After six years of this, I realized that one expensive bag, with a life-time warranty, was actually more cost effective. So I bought my first Briggs and Riley and I was immediately converted. The quality, size, and weight are amazing and it makes traveling a dream. I then invested in the international wide-body carry-on and tote bag (It has an incredible amount of room). This luggage takes a beating every year, but still looks great. When the interior pocket on my tote ripped, I took it to a local luggage store and they fixed it free of charge! You really do get what you pay for! I also recommend investing in a clear protective cover for your larger checked bag, especially if you invest in nice luggage. Handlers are so rough on bags and a cover has saved my bag from scratches and rips numerous times!

    Ashley | History in High Heels

  15. London Fog makes great luggage in cute plaid patterns and different sizes. I got a set a few years ago before I went abroad and it held up well traveling all over Europe. Otherwise, I’d definetly recommend rolling luggage with four wheels, it holds up better than duffers and often fits more.

  16. I dream of the day I can purchase the LV duffel! Until then, I’m beyond happy with my Travelpro Flight Crew line. It’s not the prettiest, but I’ve used it for over four years, two of which I was a flight attendant and traveling over 60% of my time. It really, really stands up to the test of frequent travel and was worth every penny!

  17. Honestly… My fave is ll bean!! It may not be as chic or stylish as Louis Vuitton but the ll bean luggage is very sturdy, affordable and can be monogrammed. Plus they will replace it for free if anything happens. Esp when airport workers just hastily go through your luggage and throw it around on the baggage claim, I don’t want to be spending thousands just to get something ripped or damaged!

  18. After spending 3 years traveling for work, I feel very adamant about my love for wheels on luggage 🙂 You just get tired of carrying things around airports! (Since I’m assuming you’ll be carrying your laptop in a purse as well.)

    TUMI (mentioned above) is very popular in the business travel world As is OGIO.

    From a less-practical more-fashionable perspective, I’ve always admired other people’s leather duffels.

    Related note: Eagle Creek makes packing accessories to help organize your suitcase. I use their packing cube and like it!

    Enjoy charming Charleston!

  19. For airport trips, I rely on rolling bags. I used a Vera duffle once and it was miserable carrying it though the airport. Granted our airport is massive, but such a pain. If it’s for car trips however, I feel the duffle is best for squishing it around other suitcases.

  20. it’s not an investment, comparatively to the pieces you’ve linked, but i LOVE my ll bean rolling duffles. i have a carry-on size and a large one, and they are AMAZING for travel! and also, they’re monogrammed. i firmly believe your luggage isn’t adult until it has your initials on it!

  21. I’ve worked in the airline industry for several years and I’ve loaded/unloaded thousands upon thousands of suitcases in that time. In my opinion, the best two brands for luggage are Samsonite and Victorinox. They just hold up SO MUCH better than any other brand. I personally have Samsonite, I can’t think of the model name but it’s a hybrid of a hardshell and a nylon softside suitcase. I’ve had them for around five years and they still look like the day I got them.

    Tip: The airlines won’t cover repair costs to luggage if stuff like a strap, handle, or wheels break off your case. Keep that in mind when choosing luggage, as those cute straps details just give the airport equipment another way of ruining your luggage. I once had to press battery charges against a woman who hit and scratched me because the handle on her LV luggage broke and the airline wouldn’t pay to fix it per policy.

  22. My Tumi luggage has never failed me. I’ve had my set for years and it’s so sturdy. My husband and I have a range of pieces from the bigger suitcases, a rolling duffel to carry-ons. Love everything!

  23. Tumi, no question. I have this one http://www.tumi.com/na/p/continental-expandable-2-wheeled-carry-on-022021D2?subcat=true (monogrammed, of course). It is a carry on but expands so it fits a ton. Just took it on an 8 day trip to Europe and it fit everything I needed. They have a similar version with more color but black is classic, never goes out of style, and hides travel wear and tear well. I’ve used tumi for years and their luggage is high quality and very durable. I definitely suggest a rolling suitcase for anything other than a weekend trip.

  24. The suitcases you list are absolutely gorgeous, but at the end of the day I can’t recommend Tumi luggage enough. My family has had our set since the early 90s, and it’s still in perfect shape! It’s no-frills and boring, but the quality is amazing and the upside of having basic black luggage is that you never have to worry about it getting ruined. I also read an article recently that said that eye-catching or expensive-looking luggage is more likely to be opened/have things taken from by baggage handlers, so there’s that!

    That said, for shorter trips I use a ’80s LV duffel that I inherited from my mom, and it really does look better and better with age!