Feel like a million bucks when you travel (despite the bags under your eyes, broken-out skin from recirculated air and wrinkles that formed the minute you sat down on the plane). What’s the secret? The Weekender Expandable Mobile Traveler by Hartmann.
This fabulously sophisticated carry-on suitcase with luxurious leather handles and antique brass hardware is as easy to maneuver (thanks to sturdy construction and wheels that actually listen when you tell them where to go) as it is stylish. We took it to a few upscale hotels and fit right in with the super-luxe crowd. Besides walking a few notches taller knowing that our standout taste in luggage was clear, we flipped for the bag’s extras: a garment sleeve with collapsible hangers, hefty laundry bag, zip pouch and combination padlock. This fashionista favorite comes in a variety of designs, but we especially like the textured, tweed material. Oh, and did we mention that it’s expandable, yet still rolls easily through an airplane aisle? We’ll invite this travel companion on board anytime. ($525 at www.hartmann.com)
But when you’re not flying solo, you’ll need a sturdy bag that can handle a bigger, less gentle, load. We found a family favorite: the AT3 Sierra Light Drop-bottom Wheeled Duffel by High Sierra ($139.99 at www.highsierrasport.com). This wheeled duffle made with lightweight, water-resistant Duralite fits just about everything you need for a long vacation and has a detachable backpack for daily outings. We took it on the road with the whole family, tossed it in and out of the car, let the little ones bounce on it a couple of times, and it stood tough. Its wheeled design, padded handles and easy button release make it a no-brainer for shlepping some serious stuff.
Avoid frantic searches among a sea of black bags at the baggage claim carousel with Bag Tags by Stuck on You ($3.50 at www.stuckonyou.biz). Snap on a whimsical bag tag and you’ll spot your black beauty from a mile away. (Tip: Give your kids the frog or mermaid design for their own bags and they’ll spot ’em quicker than they can say “Are we there yet?”