My husband and I are taking our first real vacation since our honeymoon without any of our three children! I’m in desperate need of some new luggage and I’m wondering if you have any recommendations. Thanks, Rhonda

First, congratulations on your upcoming getaway! I have three kids as well and still remember how special it was to go away without them for the first time. While we’re fans of packing light and using carry-on bags as much as possible, keep in mind all these brands make both larger and smaller pieces. –Christina.

If you’re looking for something really special, I love the carry-on wheeled luggage from Hideo Wakamatsu (shown above) found at the always chic NY travel boutique, Flight 001. The cherry blossom pattern ensures it’ll stand apart from the sea of black luggage (though solid colors are available too) and the lightweight but hard side will keep everything inside from getting squished. I also adore the violet interior.

tumi luggage

If you’re looking for smart, stylish high-end luggage that will last literally a lifetime, CMP editor Liz swears by Tumi. (Some of her bags are going on 20 years and look good as new, she promises.) There’s plenty of eye candy at their own website, or you can look for deals on older Tumi models at sites like Zappos or Luggage Online.

eBags Mother Lode

I personally own one of the Mother Lode wheeled duffels from eBags and love how much it fits in such a compact frame. It’s also very reasonably priced, on sale now for just $152.

Kipling New York Luggage

Kipling bags have been around for a long time, and I like the looks of their colorful New York 22″ Expandable Wheeled Luggage series which meets carry-on regulations. Although you can always expand it and check it on the way home, when you’re overloaded with guilt presents…er, souvenirs for the kids.

toile luggage tags

Whatever you decide, consider jazzing it up with something like these toile luggage tags at Flight 001. It’s a little more stylish than tying a ribbon to the suitcase handle, and still helps you identify your bag quickly on the conveyor belt so you can get to your hotel–or home to your kids–faster.

UPA Project luggage

Finally, if all you plan to pack is a swimsuit, a little black dress and a smile, you’ve gotta check out this sexy little faux leather bag from Etsy’s UPA Project in Portugal. Ooh la la!

Have a great trip!


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