Thursday, September 08, 2011

Traveling in Style

It's hard to believe that summer is over!  I've been told Minnesota has a law that school can't begin until after Labor Day so everyone can enjoy the summer as much as possible.  (Tourism is a big thing around here so I'm sure that has something to do with it).  I've loved the weather this summer and we've definitely been outside as much as possible.  We decided to take one last trip before the cold front comes in.

I think we have this traveling thing down to a science after this year.  A couple things I've learned:

  1. Pack light.  You never need as much as you think.

  2. Keep easy-going babies easy-going.  We make do without all the baby food and cereal and use what's around (i.e. bananas or oatmeal).

As luck would have it, right before we left for our trip, I received an email asking if I would mind shopping for a new piece of luggage.  Are you kidding me?  Um.... I think I can handle that. To top it off, I wasn't asked to shop for just any piece of luggage, but a piece from the Briggs & Riley BRX line.  So shopping I went.

I found a couple retailers in the area and decided to go to Luggage Pros because they were stated to have the best selection in the area.  I walked in and found the BRX line at the back of the store and was in heaven.  The luggage was sleek, cozy and offered in colors both me and my husband would approve.

Then I looked at the price.  And I about fell over.  $290 is a lot to pay for a piece of carry-on luggage.  We've been through our fair share of luggage in our 10 years of marriage and have sucombed to the "buy-it-at-TJ-Maxx" philosophy because we know the luggage will be trashed in 5 years anyway.  I can tell you countless stories (and I'm sure you can too) about how a certain airline broke the handle or busted some part of your well-loved luggage.

I think the salesperson could sense my sticker shock and reassured me it was well worth the money.  Briggs & Riley doesn't call this "adventure travel gear" for nothing!  They have a lifetime performance guarantee.  It even covers airline damages.  As the salesperson is telling me this, I'm calculating how many $75 carry-ons I have purchased in the last ten years and it's been at least 4. Which equals at least $300 I've spent on luggage in 10 years.

That $290 price tag isn't looking so bad now.  I go ahead and choose the Explore 20 Wide Body Upright in Slate and take it home.  Since I'm a total geek, when packing, I want to see how big the suitcase is and put this bag to the ultimate test.  I compare it with my $75 Nautica carry-on that I purchased at Home Goods in the spring.  It's the exact same size as the BRX Explore I just purchased.

I packed the Nautica luggage first. 

Uh, yeah.  This isn't going to shut (even with my booty sitting on top of it).  Let's see if I can fit all this into the BRX Explore.

Don't believe me?  Check this.

I have no idea how it all fit.  I have to admit I was really surprised.  I think it must have something to do with the expanding material on the top of the BRX Explore.  The Nautica luggage has much less give in the fabric.  Did you notice my unmentionables in Nautica bag?  But how about the BRX Explore?  It's hidden behind that full zip pocket above my workout shoes and hairdryer.  It's almost my favorite thing about the luggage.  (It would be if they put the zipper going the other direction).

Now, let me show some of the other features I love.  Keep in mind this is a carry-on piece.  This pocket is on the outside of the luggage so you can easily pack all your go to accessories when you're waiting to board.

I also love the attached personal information pocket.  If you look at the first picture in this post, this pocket is attached to the tab behind the Briggs & Riley logo.  Have you ever lost your luggage?  I have and it's a nightmare. I love knowing that my luggage will always find it's way back to me.

I was really terrible about taking pictures in Nebraska.  But I did get this one.

This was about an hour after we arrived in Nebraska.  Bailey is my sister's dog and he got skunked.  The boys are giving him a special bath to get rid of the smell.  This sure kept us rolling all weekend long.

What travel tips do you have to share?  Is there a luggage piece you couldn't live without?

This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias.

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