So as if you couldn’t tell by the complete lack of updating of my blog this past week, school is almost out for the semester, so not only am I in the middle of a handful of crazy finals projects, I am also only a couple of days away from packing my bags to go back to San Diego (for a fabulous 20 hours) before heading out to the Philippines (3/4 of The Motherland) for 3 weeks.
But for me, packing can be tricky. As much as I would love to pack half of my closet to take with me when I travel, certain common sense restrictions induced my frugal choice of transportation to the airport keeps me from doing so.
Let me explain: I’m a student going to a school infamous for high tuition fees, so while (being the fashion-obsessed person that I am) I do allow the occasional smart buy or mini-splurge on a fashion or lifestyle item I just CAN’T live without (I mean, hel-LO red satin platform pumps that I bought last semester, which look like something Dorothy from The Wizard of Oz would wear if she grew up to be a stripper), I otherwise do my best to save money where I can: I stick to a strict monthly budget by, for the most part, suppressing my impulse-buying urges (or if I need retail therapy I head to thrift shops or *gasp* fast fashion stores), rarely eating out, not drinking on the weekends, and replacing $5 coffee drinks (those extra espresso shots and soy milk substitutions curiously add up) with bringing my own from home (I KNEW being a former Starbucks barista would come in handy one day). I also buy the really cheap kind of toilet paper, know which drugstore-brand beauty products actually work just as well as “the real thing,” and, even though MUNI can be frustratingly unreliable, pay my $62 each month for a monthly pass with a smile on my face as I think about how expensive gas costs these days.
Dorothy-gone-stripper chic. Image via my Facebook, circa midterms last fall. I believe I was studying and breaking in my shoes at the same time.
So with that all explained, I guess I don’t have to elaborate on why I would rather take MUNI to Civic Center Station, then pay $8.10 to take BART to SFO (San Francisco International Airport) vs. taking a cab for $45 + tip (the difference equals a maxi dress & accessories at XXI, thank you very much). But, the cheapness of the trip comes with a different type of price: the cost of lugging around luggage (that’s why they call it “lugging,” I guess) through a bustling, crowded public transportation system. And so, after a few trips, I’ve learned to pack light(er)… and I’ve also learned that anything heavy, big, and with wheels SUCKS to take on and off BART when it’s crowded, and also when you’re traveling by yourself.
Thus, I have a newfound appreciation for duffel bags.
While on a search for duffle bags online that looked classy and chic but didn’t scream “FOLLOW ME AND ROB ME BECAUSE I’M TRAVELING SOLO AND OBVIOUSLY HAVE MONEY BECAUSE LOOK AT THE LOGOS PLASTERED ON MY LUGGAGE,” I came across the following finds, which, while definitely not Luxury-Brand prices, aren’t exactly fast fashion prices, either. Because, let’s face it, when it comes to luggage, you really get what you pay for in quality as well as aesthetic:
Elliott Lucca duffel bag, $298, Nordstrom.com
Elliott Lucca, $298 – Leather, snakeprint, with a tassel. This nude bag is anything but ordinary.
Leather, stripes, and everything nice. $300, from clava.com
Leather racing duffle, $300 – This bag reminds me of that one of my boy-who-like-boys-friends has, which he carried around with him on our way to a happy hour because he wanted to “look like they type who worked out.” I laughed for a week when he told me that. Then I laughed for another week when his bag gimmick worked, and he met a handful of new guys that evening, all of whom started off the conversation either by talking about working out, or about the gym. Smh. Oh, and P.S. clava.com also offers personalization/monogram services.
Distressed leather doctor-style duffel, $205 – upstore.com
Distressed leather bag, $205 – One thing I love about distressed leather is that if the baggage handlers — or, more likely, ME — aren’t careful and end up scuffing my bag, it’s not that noticeable because it’s already sort of scuffed. A perfect choice for the accident prone.
Good luck to anyone else going through their last week of the semester!