My Go To Travel Bags That Keep Me Organized

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Packing for your travels can be a bit daunting. Everyone does it a bit different. Some people can just throw things in and hope they packed it all. Others create a list and plan every outfit and item that will go in their suitcase meticulously. I’m a little bit in the middle. I am a ‘I want to bring everything’ kind of person / packer but, one of the things that I’m really particular about is making sure everything is organized, folded and fits like a perfectly played game of Tetris from back in the day. Since I have started traveling a lot more over the past two years, my travel organization game has become pretty strong and experience has taught me that this makes your trip run all the more smoothly!

When I am on a trip, I get a lot of questions about what I pack in my carry-on, how I stay so organize and how I manage to stay cool on my travel days. The truth is, I refuse to let travel stress me out …let’s go with 80% of the time. Obviously, we can’t plan for everything. Flight times change. The weather can cause flight cancellations. Mechanical issues can cause a plane to go back to the gate after taxi-ing out. Airlines lose our luggage. But, traveling is FUN. Being in a new place and getting to enjoy yourself in whatever you way you find suits you best … whether that’s hiking the Grand Canyon or relaxing on the beaches in Mallorca … is such a blessing and a joy. So, I take strides to keep myself as organized as possible in order to not let the process of getting there change that!

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I have found that the best way to stay organized during your travels is to make sure you’re selecting the right ‘bags’ to carry your belongings, whether that is small pouches or cosmetic cases. It is truly a travel game changer! So, today, I’m excited to share the bags that have really elevated my travel organization game and minimized, if not eliminated, my stress level on those long days hopping from airport to airport!

As I was packing for a trip in years’ past, I’d always be the most perplexed about how to organize my jewelry without feeling like they could potentially get lost in the depths of a zip pocket of a tote or, worse, broken. I started using jewelry cases of varying sizes to make it much easier to not only keep them safe but to also make it much easier to find your jewelry when you’re trying to get ready. I typically use one of the following three depending on how long my trip is and what I’m wanting to bring.

In the Winter, I don’t usually bring too many pieces of jewelry as I typically dress up my outfit with a pretty scarf or over the knee pair of boots, so I’ll typically opt for the smallest one. But, when I’m on one of my longer trips, I’ll opt for the biggest one. Then, if I’m just going away for a long beach weekend with friends in the Summer, I’ll opt for the medium size one because I’ll be spending a lot of time at the beach and will only be getting dressed up in the evenings so, I’ll need a few options but not a lot. This little round one is adorable and won’t take up barely any space. It’d be perfect for the minimalist ladies out there! 🙂

I’ve also just started using these little bags that can easily fit into any of these jewelry cases for the purpose of storage all of the dainty necklaces I’ve been purchasing over the last year. Isn’t it the worst trying to untangle them when you’re trying to get ready for a night out when you’re on vacation? These ensure that you keep them all separated from each other. They might be a tiny bit tangle within itself but it’s less likely when it’s in a bag by itself and, even still, untangling one necklace is much easier then a bunch all together.

ESTELLA BARTLETT MINI JEWELRY BOX – This is the smallest one I spoke of. As I said, if you need a smaller one than this, I’d recommend this little round one that is stylistically very similar.

WOLF ‘CAROLINE’ TRAVEL JEWELRY CASE – This is the medium sized jewelry case. It’s really not that much wider than the one above but it is deeper and it has two compartments. It definitely allows you to store more items in it for that reason.

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WOLF ‘CAROLINE’ QUILTED JEWELRY PORTFOLIO – This is my large jewelry zip-around case. You definitely have to be careful if you’re a statement jewelry lover like me. You won’t be able to fit everything, especially if you have a lot of statement necklaces, so definitely pick and choose wisely in order to not cram too many items into it and have to force the zipper closed. It does fit a lot of products, though, so don’t let that mislead you. It just needs to be a good variety of items and be very mindful of the thickness of each item.

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Be sure to share your tricks on keeping jewelry orderly in the comments section below!

Pouches are my secret weapon to travel organization. I have a pouch for almost everything you could need and it’s because it prevents clutter in my carry-on tote bag and anxiety from welling up in my soul.

WHITE POMPOM POUCH, OLD [SIMILAR HERE AND HERE] –  This pouch, pictured above, is unfortunately no longer available but I wanted to still feature it to give you an idea as to the size of my ‘main’ pouch. When I’m traveling, I keep my passport in it, a contact case, a small bottle of contact solution, a pen for filling out my custom’s form [if needed], a pack of gum, a moisturizing lip balm and a small coin case for local currency of wherever my end destination is. Truly, the whole point of the main pouch is to be the ‘home’ to all of the items that you’re always digging for and are typically at the very bottom of the abyss known as your tote bag. The pouch allows you to house all of those items in one place so that you don’t have to go on a treasure hunt to find what you’re looking for when needed.

I found two pouches that are somewhat similar but will also link a multitude of other pouch options below:

The above is an example of what can fit in a pouch like this but, as I mentioned before, I also try and fit my hard drive in it as well as a small bottle of contact solution. The little cloud coin case is linked HERE.

ASPINAL OF LONDON TRAVEL WALLET – This is one of my favorite purchases from 2016 when I was living in London. I have this travel wallet in a cognac color and it has truly been everywhere with me ever since. You have a place for everything. I try not to keep a lot of coins in it because it weighs it down and I also don’t keep my passport in it just-in-case but it allows you to stow receipts from your trip, tickets to any experiences you may have planned, boarding passes for other flights you may have booked on this trip [usually you have to print them out in advance if you’re flying Ryanair, or something similar]. It really helps me stay organized not only during my trip but after. As long as I keep all of my receipts in this travel wallet, all I have to do when I get home is stick them in my monthly expenses folder in the office. This thing is a must-have! You do have to purchase it from England so the shipping is a little steep but I promise … it’s worth it! It’s made of genuine leather and will last a long time!

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ROYA ‘POWER TRIP’ TECH POUCH – Okay, so I travel with a bajillion power cords. Well, that’s how it feels when there isn’t ONE spot for them all to live. So, this ‘Power Trip’ Tech Pouch has been a God send! I typically bring one extra-long USB cord, one short cord that attaches to my external hard drive and a small USB cord that connects to my WiFi hotspot [when I’m traveling commercially]. If I’m traveling internationally, I will typically bring one extra USB cord with me instead of the hotpot connector, as that one is a special one that I don’t need for anything else. I think this is a great product but not many plugs can comfortably fit in the pouch. Just a head’s up! I’ve gotten two to fit but not three.

ANTHROPOLOGIE BITS AND BOBS MINI POUCH – I’m obsessed with this little pouch because it’s one of the most endearing phrases that I hear my English friends say all of the time and y’all know anything that reminds me of London makes my heart pitter-patter, ha! I typically carry two pairs of headphones in here as well as a compact tampon! We always have to be prepared, don’t we, ladies? 😉

ANTHROPOLOGIE MAKE IT HAPPEN PENCIL POUCH – If you can never find a pen, try grabbing this little guy to help keep you organized. I am planning on gifting it to a friend when the opportunity arises, as I normally keep a pen in my main white pouch. This could be a great way to keep track of one for someone else, though! 🙂

Makeup and toiletries can definitely weigh your bag down. With makeup, I’ve learned that it’s important to only bring the essentials and, with toiletries, I try to team up with whoever I’m traveling with to split products we’ll likely both be using like makeup wipes, face wash, lotion, etc. Of course I understand that’s not a tactic you can implement every time but, regardless, I have found a few bags that have helped me organize the plethora of products.

PETUNIA PICKLE BOTTOM TRAVEL TRAIN CASE – So, this is my newest travel bag purchase. I’ll be using this for all of my toiletries and I’m finding that it’s a perfect size for everything and gives me room to purchase a few more items while I’m abroad. A lot of times, especially if I’m going abroad for a few weeks at a time, I will leave hair spray, dry shampoo, sunscreen and tanning lotion at home and I’ll buy it when I get to London to cut back on luggage weight. So, if that seems like it’d be feasible for you then I’d suggest that. The case all zipped up is pictured above, and here you can see how much room you have inside.

I also like the zip pocket at the top. I’ll either be using that for lip glosses or makeup brushes.

LILLIAN FARAG FLORAL POUCH – I usually always carry a long skinny pencil-case type of pouch with me, as well. This one can easily fit on top of everything in the toiletry case above so it won’t take up additional space. I either put makeup brushes in it or lip glosses.

KATE SPADE ‘CLASSIC NYLON COSMETIC CASE‘ – This is my ride or die cosmetic case. It has room for everything and challenges me to keep it ONLY to what I typically wear to feel like I look alive and well. I only bring one small eyeshadow palette, like this one, or whichever one suits my fancy at the time of selection. I didn’t take photos of it for this blog post for some reason but I promise, it’s amazing! It has a hook on the inside, too, so you can hang it in the bathroom, which I like. It makes it easy to get in and out when I’m doing my makeup in the morning.

KATE SPADE ‘SMALL ABALENE’ LEATHER COSMETICS CASE – I carry this little cosmetic case in my carry-on with all of my skin care essentials. It’s the perfect size for my face wash, a small travel size supply of my makeup wipes, contact solution, travel toothbrush and toothpaste, and moisturizer.

cosmetic case

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Okay, so aside from little bags, we also need large bags to get through our trip, as well. I always recommend bags with zippers on them when you’re traveling to prevent pick-pocketers from easily reaching in and taking their pick at your items. A couple of these items are new to my travel bag arsenal but I’ve tried them out around town since I’ve purchased them and I know they’re going to be an amazing on-the-go bag, as well!

SENREVE ‘MAESTRA’ CONVERTIBLE BACKPACK AND SATCHEL – I saw this bag last year quite a bit thanks to some of my fellow blogger gal pals, like Katey McFarlan. She told me I absolutely had to get these bag for my travels because you can wear it so many ways and its functionality. I trust Katey so I decided to take her word for it and … needless to say, I’m obsessed. I haven’t really shared it on social media much since I got it because I wanted to test it out for myself and save it for this post. I truly love it and I think it’s going to be so perfect when I perusing around a new city with my camera in my hands and this little guy on my back. It has a top flap as well as a zipper closure so, even if someone wanted to try and get into it, they can’t. I also absolutely love the soft pink color. I think it’ll be an amazing compliment to so many of my Spring and Summer outfits.

Here’s a few other photos of it for you guys:

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KATE SPADE ‘UNI SLIM’ LAPTOP COMMUTER CASE – I sweat by this laptop case! It is so perfect. Last Fall, they had a leopard version that I purchased and I have brought it on every trip since. In addition to having a safe spot to secure your laptop, it also has multiple compartments for books, external hard drives, cords, etc. I can’t recommend it enough! If they ever come out with other fun prints in this style, I’ll let you know! Right now, all I could find is this black one:

REBECCA MINKOFF WASHED NYLON TOTE – I’ve worn this a few times on Instagram since I purchased it in January. Y’all … I can’t really describe my level of obsession for this tote. I am obsessed with the color, although it comes in four other ones if mauve isn’t your style. I am obsessed with the nylon fabric. It’s doesn’t seem like it would be very sturdy but it’s held up pretty well considering I pack my tote pretty full. I love that it fits SO much stuff. It has two sewn in pockets on the inside of one side and the other side has a zip close pocket, leaving you plenty of room to stay even more organized. I usually will put my laptop case in my travel tote bag and then put all of the little pouches that I need for the day or for the flight in the empty space. I always put my card case in the zip pocket and the zip pocket is ALWAYS closed when I travel unless I’m purchasing something. It’s really important to keep your passport and your ID and credit cards separate from each other when you travel just so if someone happens to be able to quickly find one, at least you have the other for identification purposes. More on how to stay secure in THIS post.

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And that about does it, my friends! I hope this post has helped you prepare a little bit for the upcoming Spring and Summer travel season. I know I’m really excited about getting back out there. In exactly one month, I will be back in one of my favorite countries to explore a place I’ve been very briefly to explore it even more!

I apologize for the delay in the giveaway winner! Scroll down to see if you won!

Thanks for stopping by today, friends!

What travels do you have in store for this year?! Would love to hear! xo.

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thoughts?

20 Comments

  1. La Bijoux Bella | by mia wrote:

    Love 💗 the jewelry cases, they are so essential to have for traveling. Great post!

    🌸🍃LA BIJOUX BELLA 🌸🍃| By Mia | A Creative Lifestyle Blog

    Published 3.29.18 · Reply
  2. NataliNataliNataNaNNatali wrote:

    This is a great and very useful post! I got lots of good ideas of what I’m missing and what I can utilise better when I’m packing everything for my next trip.

    https://lartoffashion.com/how-to-style-mom-jeans/

    Published 3.29.18 · Reply
  3. Carly wrote:

    I love my Petunia Pickle Bottom Travel Train Case! I actually use it year-round on my counter top to help keep my makeup contained (and to a minimum!). When I travel, I toss some trial sized items in there and pack it in my suitcase. I love how well it transitions from everyday to travel. The whole brand is great! I have their weekender suitcase, a crossbody purse, and a giant leather one that I use for everyday. Everything is such great quality.

    Published 3.29.18 · Reply
  4. Jennifer wrote:

    I need to get some more jewelry cases! I have one kinda like your Wolf one but it doesn’t have that little zipper pouch!! I think I might have to do some online shopping!!

    Jennifer
    Effortlessly Sophisticated

    Published 3.29.18 · Reply
  5. Lizbeth de la Torre wrote:

    My favorite is the light pink backpack. Lately I’ve opted for backpacks when I travel. I notice the bigger the makeup bag, the more makeup I carry with me which is not always necessary. It’s so much easier to bring essentials and not have so many options because I get things done quicker. Love your options

    Published 3.29.18 · Reply
  6. Jillian R wrote:

    I definitely need to pick up a travel jewelry case. I’m thinking the pink Wolf one will be perfect!

    Published 3.29.18 · Reply
  7. Glee wrote:

    One trick that helps with jewelry (necklaces and some bracelets) is to string them through a straw and then close the clasp. They never tangle this way, and you can cut one straw into two or three tubes.

    Published 3.29.18 · Reply
  8. Tamara James wrote:

    Loved this post! You’re so right too – being organized makes traveling that much more enjoyable. I’m crushing hard on that pink travel wallet…so nifty! I also love the little bits and bobs pouch. Cute cute!

    Published 3.29.18 · Reply
  9. Ana from The Travel Book Co. wrote:

    Im a travel bags’ fan, so I have way too many… but that wolf’s pink jewelry case? Im in love!!! I wont be able to use mine anymore, haha.
    Thanks for sharing this… Since I was in the search of a few new items for an upcoming trip.

    Published 4.3.18 · Reply
  10. Anne wrote:

    Do you also happen to have a clear travel bag you use for your liquids through security? I have been looking into Truffle’s Small Clarity Pouch, but am not sure it will work internationally (I am going to Italy next month and will be carrying on for the flight back, so TSA approved doesn’t help much).

    I seriously can’t get enough of travel advice. Thank you so much!

    Published 4.8.18 · Reply
  11. Brooke M. wrote:

    Thank you!! I will now need that RM nylon tote for this summer. Spending June in Ireland and maybe an excursion nearby. Can’t wait to hear where you are heading! =)

    Published 4.8.18 · Reply
    • AlysonHaley wrote:

      That sounds lovely! The nylon tote is one of my favorites in this post! xo.

      Published 4.8.18 ·
  12. Danielle L LeBeau wrote:

    Is your Senreve Maestra bag the mini size? I fell in love with it and can’t tell which one it is, trying to figure out which size I want. Thanks so much! love this post

    Published 4.15.18 · Reply
    • AlysonHaley wrote:

      Hiii! Yes! Mine is the Mini. The regular size is quite large!

      Published 4.15.18 ·
    • Danielle LeBeau wrote:

      I thought the same thing. The pictures were super helpful, anything larger would be too much. Thanks for answering!!

      Published 4.17.18 ·
  13. Cary wrote:

    What brand is your little white pom pom (discontinued) pouch, in case I run across it on eBay? So cute.

    Published 4.23.18 · Reply
  14. Sara wrote:

    I’d never thought of using so many pouches but it makes sense! Thanks for giving me so many ideas. 🙂

    Published 4.24.18 · Reply
    • AlysonHaley wrote:

      You’re welcome! I would be a crazy person without pouches when I travel! xo.

      Published 4.24.18 ·
  15. Amy Cann wrote:

    Is the Jergens lotion in your train bag full size or travel size? Trying to judge what this will hold based on that. Thanks!

    Published 6.27.18 · Reply
    • AlysonHaley wrote:

      It’s a travel size. You can’t go through security with a full-size lotion in your bag! Hope that helps! xo.

      Published 6.28.18 ·