This is the post many of you have been waiting for and I want to thank everyone for their kind words of support and also your patience while I try to get myself back together. It doesn’t matter how long or short a trip I take – it takes me a long time to unpack and organize things. This summer my husband and I planned a 2 week getaway with one week in New York and another week for Florida. The second half ended up being postponed for a later date due to work conflicts combined with my anxiety about leaving our two energetic Jack Russell Terriers and a very temperamental Ragdoll cat. This was the first trip we boarded them and while we knew we were leaving them in very good hands, I still think of them as my babies and leaving them for any period of time is hard for me especially since our fur kids are very high maintenance. But I digress – we packed for a two week getaway with carry-ons only as both my husband and I like to travel light. Many of you liked my Three Weeks in Europe with Carry Ons post last summer. This year we were lucky to try something new with carry on luggage from Away Travel.
Those following me on social have seen a few sneak peeks featuring Away – they are a relatively new company that carries affordable travel luggage. At the time of our trip they stocked one size of luggage the Carry-On ($225) which measures 21.7” x 13.7” x 9”. While in New York I stopped by their pop up Concept Store on in Noho at 325 Lafayette Street and discovered they just launched two additional sizes The Medium ($275) and The Large ($295). At this time you can order them direct from their website or purchase in store. You can use this referral code to save $20 off your first suitcase order.
A quick look inside the concept store and then a review of the carry on followed by what I packed for the trip. The store currently stocks a few items you can only find in the store. There are two themes for the store, one is Tokyo inspired and the other has a Swedish theme. Both are based on what the founders are passionate about. While in the store I bought a travel blanket/scarf they call a Blarf ($125). I hope they carry this online soon or have it in more colors. It’s the perfect size, thickness and density for the airplane. So many recommend carrying a large scarf or small blanket and I think it’s hard to find something the right size and thickness for the plane.
above image, courtesy of Away
above image, courtesy of Away
Below are some images I took of the store. The staff was very kind and allowed be to browse. They have stations inside where you can see the product in person. They also have a kiosk stocked with folded shirts and tees like a demo station as a way help you figure out what size luggage will work best for your travel packing needs.
Bottom left – try out station with clothing so you can see which size best fits your needs based on what you plan to pack. Bottom right an Away x Capsule Beauty Box Collaboration set.
A closer look at the luggage. Away sent both my husband and I carry ons to test out for our trip. I wasn’t able to get a picture of the box – but they are shipped in a perfectly fitted box and they also come with their own dust bags for storage. Upon opening it I was really surprised how lightweight it was. The exterior is made of a Bayer Makrolon polycarbonate. It has some give to it if you touch it – it’s not 100% solid like metal or glass but still very thick and surprisingly sturdy. When we both unboxed ours I have to admit we were both concerned about the sturdiness since it’s so lightweight. After putting it to the test though I can report that it’s very sturdy. We did take these on the plane with us as carry-ons so I am not sure how the exterior will hold up if you check it.
For something so compact and streamlined, it has a lot of features I found practical but genius. The space is very well designed inside and out. There’s minimal wasted space inside for maximum packing – most luggage has a lot of unusable space inside because of the handles or pockets. It comes with a built in USB charger which I found very handy. The interior comes with a compression system which helps hold all your clothes in place so there’s minimal shifting even if it’s not completely full. There is also a removable laundry bag packed at the base – it rolls up into a compact zip pouch so once again, valuable packing space is not taken up. It comes with four wheels that have a 360 degree spin so rolling it around flat or angled is easy and seamless. Handles expand up to 20.3 inches.
There are four lights that indicate how much charge is left in the battery. Each case comes with a TSA approved lock as well:
Many of you saw my preliminary packing list in this post here. This is what I ended up packing inside, I also had the clothes I was wearing to and from our destinations. In addition to our carry ons, I had a Louis Vuitton Neverful Tote in the MM size and my husband had a laptop case. Not shown below is what I packed inside my tote which included my liquids, wallet, small truffle pouch with cosmetics, makeup brushes in a MustaeV bloom pouch, laptop and one pair of flats.
All packed up:
A quick look at the interior, more shots and details on their website:
What I fit inside the left side with the zipped portion. Each is the same in size. This is the first suitcase I’ve tried where both sides are the same – most have either a deep base with a cover. The Anya Hindmarch case fit inside with everything shown below (hat not packed but rather carried by hand). In the left side I packed 2 pairs of jeans, 2 blouses, 4 tees/tanks, makeup case, 2 sweater shells, three dresses.
On the right side is a compression case. It has a zip pouch where I stored socks and underwear. Packed inside were 3 boxes of Laduree tea (for on the way home), 3 sweaters, 1 pair of jeans (yes a 3rd pair, lol), 1 summer dress, 1 black tank, 1 pencil skirt, a pair of heels in dust bags, 1 tank, yoga pants and my camera case. My clothes are small and were lightweight so it was easy to roll or fold things in a way to fit without overstuffing.
Beauty-wise, everything fit inside 1 Anya Hindmarch Inflight Case to keep everything compact, 1 MustaeV Bloom Pouch for brushes and pencils, and 1 quart sized ziploc bag for liquids. Some of you may be wondering what happened to my clear pouch that I bought last year for liquids. Even though the description says it’s quart sized and reviews indicate many airports take it, there have been a few instances where security took one look and I had issues getting through. I was still able to get through in the end but since it looks like it carries a lot many suspect that it’s over the quart size limit. I decided to skip it this round.
The beauty pack list:
- Anya Hindmarch Inflight Case in Black (on backorder, also available in pink)
- MustaeV Bloom Pouch
- Anastasia Beverly Hills Eyeshadow Quad #1 with Amber, Glisten, Comfort and Dark Chocolate Shimmer, Quad #2 had Gleam, Birkin, Topaz and Intense Gaze
- Chanel La Palette Sourcils de Chanel
- Glossier Brow Boy in Brown
- Kat Von D Beauty Tattoo Liquid Liner in Trooper Black
- Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Cream Shadow Stick in Golden Pink
- Laura Mercier Caviar Eye Stick in Rosegold
- Chanel Le Volume de Chanel Mascara in Black
- Tom Ford Cream Color for Eyes in Platinum and Opale
- NARS Larger than Life Eyeliner in Via Appia
- MAC Eyelash Curler
- Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Foundation Stick in 123
- NARS Velvet Matte Skin Tint in St. Moritz
- Estee Lauder Double Wear Stay in Place Flawless Concealer in Warm Light Medium
- Charlotte Tilbury Airbrush Flawless Finish Powder #2
- Chanel Les Beiges Healthy Glow Sheer Powder
- NARS All Day Luminous Powder Foundation in Punjab
Cheek and Highlighters:
- NARS Dual Intensity Blush in Sexual Content and Liberation
- NARS Orgasm Blush Large Size Limited-Edition
- Edward Bess All Over Seduction in Sunlight, Paradise and Afterglow
- Tom Ford Small Bronzing Powder in Gold Dust
- Tom Ford Sheer Cheek Duo in Bicoastal
- Edward Bess Lip Liner in Barely and Natural
- Tom Ford Ultra-Rich Lip Color in Revolve Around Me
- Tom Ford Moisturecore Lip Color in Carriacou and Pipa
- Charlotte Tilbury K.I.S.S.I.N.G Lipstick in Bitch Perfect
- Charlotte Tilbury Lip Cheat in Pillow Talk
Liquids and skincare:
- Oribe Supershine Moisturizing Cream (mini gwp)
- Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse (mini gwp)
- La Mer Renewal Oil (mini gwp)
Kate Somerville Detox Daily Cleanser from the Blemish Banisher Kit
- Diptyque Florabellio Perfume (travel size)
- NARS Velvet Matte Skin Tint
- NARS Tinted Moisturizer (travel size, discontinued)
- Kate Somerville Dermal Quench (travel sizes, gwps)
- MAC Prep + Prime Blemish Control Gel
- Glamglow Supercleanse Daily Clearing Cleanser from the Stay Sexy Clearing Set
- Bite Beauty Agave Lip Mask in Smashed
For those wondering how well the luggage will hold up to scratches, I did not check the bag and so it was not exposed to serious contact damage with other bags. I did find one mark light scratch on the surface that happened from another bag sliding in the overhead compartment against mine. It was easy to remove but it was not a deep scratch and there was no indentation in the surface. I used a warm wash cloth and a tiny bit of hand soap to wipe the surface and the mark was almost 100% gone with a couple swipes.
A few final thoughts about packing for a week in New York City for the summer. I could have skipped the hat and my heels. Even for dressier occasions or meetings, my black flats worked just fine. In the streets I saw women mainly wore sandals, flats or short heeled wedges. I saw very few heels although I suspect some may just simply carry them in their totes to change for work or going out – if any New Yorkers want to chime in let me know!
- I could have skipped the hat. I didn’t want it to get squished so I carried it on the plane. I did not end up wearing it at all as I felt it would have just gotten in the way.
- I walked most of New York City in either my Chloe flats or Tory Burch Millers. Yes, sandals were not the best idea, but being a California girl I just have to. My feet did ok – no blisters and they did not get too dirty. Both pairs of shoes survived without any damage from extensive walking.
- I packed more than I needed for a week – but we did intend to be away for 2 weeks instead of 1.
- Next trip to NYC I’m packing super light on the beauty side. All I need can be found at Birchbox Soho or Space NK, not to mention all the Sephora stores around the city.
- I really missed my hair dryer but I survived with the one in the hotel.
- My husband only packed jeans and even after a trip to Banana Republic in the city for some last minute things, he only picked up shorts and polos. Next time I will be packing a nice pair of slacks or khakis for him. There were a few restaurants I wanted to go to that we could not because he only had jeans as he was on “vacay” mode.
- I did bring a pair of my Pumas that I had from last year as my sneaker/walking shoes. My husband informed me I need to invest in a pair of better looking shoes. He gave them that “these should be burned” look when he saw me wearing them. If you have any recommendations please let me know.
- By the end of my trip I had several full sized liquids and other items I bought while in NYC that would not fit inside my carry on or tote. I shipped them back home via FedEx. Quick note on pricing – make sure you double check price quotes online. I shipped everything home for a little over $40, box weight was about 20 pounds. A little over a week later I received an invoice from FedEx stating I owed an additional $120. I called them to ask about it and was informed that prices are just estimates in the store and additional charges may occur for residential deliveries, weekday deliveries, declared value and size etc. They said the best way to get an accurate quote is to use the calculator online or to call them directly. They were very nice and professional on the phone, this obviously was my first time shipping something this large from FedEx and I told them I was just a bit surprised there was such a huge difference from the estimate to the actual cost. They waived the extra $100 without me complaining or asking, which I thought was really nice of them and something they did not have to do at all. If you are a newbie shipper like me – just be aware of the shipping estimates if you ship large boxes or items home. If in doubt just ask about any potential added charges that may be incurred.
I hope you enjoyed this packing post and review of the Away Carry Ons. Right now the only place to buy is direct from their website. You can use this referral link to save $20 off your first suitcase order. Both my husband and I were really impressed with it. It’s practical, priced right, works just the way you want a carry on to work and sturdy. The little touches and features make a huge difference. I was impressed with how much I was able to fit. I am planning to buy one for my brother and brother in law soon as they are both in need of good travel gear.
Do you have any tips or things you do for packing in carry-ons? Or are you the type that always checks luggage?
Press samples featured courtesy for review include the Away Carry Ons, MustaeV Bloom Pouch, NARS Velvet Matte Skin Tint, Edward Bess All Over Seduction. Some minis were from gift with purchases I’ve collected over time.