On the Road Again

I feel like I’ve been living on airplanes this month! First a trip to the Reward Style conference in Dallas, then a quick trip to Houston for a brand and now I’m in Canada having quality time with my daughter. I haven’t seen her since Christmas so we have lots of catching up to do.

Here’s how I traveled to Vancouver on Friday. I had a fun surprise when one of my readers recognized me and said hello in the terminal:)

traveling with hartmann luggage

A commenter on Instagram complained that I was the reason it took so long to board flights these days. She was annoyed that I only travel using carry-on bags. I assured her I don’t slow anyone down. These are narrow enough to roll down the aisle and I can quickly lift the rolling one into the overhead compartment. Maybe she has never had a bag misdirected by an airline, but once was enough for me.

on the road again

The truth is because I’m short my bags look large by comparison. They’re not. The suitcase is a very old 19″ Hartmann roller that fits every carry-on regulation, other than prop planes.

The top bag contains my purse, shoes, laptop etc so is considered my one personal bag. It fits under every seat, even on the aisles which are always narrower.

Tales from the Back Row
This book is a very funny look at NY Fashion week and the street style that surrounds it.

My waist pack contains my passport or license, a credit card, lipstick, hand sanitizer and phone. This keeps everything easy to reach and speeds my time through security. I can also remove the waist strap and carry it as a small clutch in the evening.

enjoying a glass of wine after a long day flying
You can tell by the smile on my face, how happy I am to be with my daughter and her cute little pug.

In fun news, our group of over 40 bloggers was featured in the Reward Style blog which I see as a positive sign. With the thousands of images they could have chosen from the conference, it’s important that they recognized us! Style for women over 40, 50, 60 and beyond is relevant and we’re not invisible!

Do you check luggage?

Have you ever had a holiday ruined because an airline lost your luggage?

Thanks for reading and have a great day.


This post contains affiliate links which generate income for AWSL. Please see my complete disclosure statement here.


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  1. Uh, sorry, but I have to agree with the Instagram commenter. It does slow things down and not everyone can have carry on luggage, there just isn’t the space. I tend to see people who only use carry-on as selfish and feeling they are more important. Sorry to offend, but that’s how it seems. If there isn’t space for everyone’s carry-on, why do you think you should be entitled?

    1. We are all entitled to one small carry on and a personal bag. Many peoples carry on bags are huge and take more than their fair share of the overhead storage. Mine don’t and that’s the point. They’re small, compact and only use the space allotted for me.

  2. You look great and beautiful, Jennifer! Hmmm, wish I can have a chance to travel…happy holiday to you! ????

  3. Jennifer,

    Have you heard of custom made bags in Vancouver by Vesper Faering? I am thinking of ordering one when I visit my daughter next weekend.

    Ever eaten Thai at Bob says in West Van?

    1. Hi Joan! I have not but will Google and check them out. We love Thai food but haven’t eaten there. Is it fabulous!

  4. Can you tell me the brand of your luggage and waist clutch? I would love to have bags that easily fit down the plane aisles!

    1. The luggage is by Hartmann but I don’t think they make a 19″ one anymore. Someone must thought so Google might help locate one. The waist pack is from
      Louis Vuitton, over 25 years old.

  5. I never check my bags after the airline sent my husbands suit to another state! He needed it for a job interview the next day. We had 20 minutes to buy him a new suit before the mall closed! We are carry on only now.

    1. What a disaster, Tracey! Those kind of things are great motivators to just use carry-on.

  6. Robyn Boyd says:

    Hi Jennifer
    I’m a newbie to your site from Sydney Australia. So thrilled to follow your travels, ideas and fabulous dress style!
    From now on I’m a ‘on board luggage girl’ too and I’ve just printed off your travel wardrobe organiser for my next work conference!
    Having just turned 60 – I’ve chosen the motto….its just a number.

    Best wishes

    1. Welcome, Robyn! I’m so glad you’re here. I love that chart, it makes things so simple. It is just a number and needn’t limit us.

  7. Kathy McLaughli says:

    I would like to know how you manage to carry all your necessary toiletries and cosmetics using only carry on bags. How are you able to fit everything into a quart-sized bag? Would you mind sharing what you carry and how you do it?

    1. I use sample sizes of liquids when I can and purchase additional if need be on the road. I buy moisturizer in small tubes and sample size shampoo etc. When I go on holiday, I stick half in a zip lock in my husbands bag too 🙂

  8. Carry on only. We did a month in Europe, two weeks of which were on a river cruise. I didn’t feel underdressed or lacking in variety.

    Packing efficiently means I’m not stressing about what to wear everyday.

    Our latest vacation was two and a half weeks with a secondary city in between. Never having flown South West and drawing a late code, we decided to check our luggage. We also had larger bottles of liquids since we buy full size toothpaste, mouthwash, etc once we arrive. Our little luggage was the last off the carousel and the frame was bent on my husband’s bag. Our return flight was carry on, no issues.

    I’m not sure I could do a cruise with just carry on. Maybe.

    1. Liquids are an issue so I purchase extra at my destination if I must. I’ve done cruises using a carry-on, it’s doable. Sorry to hear about his bag:(

  9. Over the years, I have had several mishaps with luggage but I still check it. The worst was a two week trip to Australia and one of my two bags went to London for seven days! So, for one week I was wearing K-Mart Australia t-shirts and jeans. I did not expect it to take an entire week to be reunited with my clothing! On its return, the bag got held up in customs in Sydney for a day, then it was flown to Cairns where a courier drove it up to Port Douglas. Fortunately, my swimsuit was not in the missing bag so I didn’t have to buy new to snorkle the Great Barrier Reef! Enjoy your stay with your daughter and her cute little pug!

    1. That’s a scary story, Terry and one that strikes terror into this traveler’s heart. You sound like a great sport about it…I would have flipped out.

  10. Good morning!
    After such a cold and soggy day yesterday, I’m so glad that you and your daughter woke up to sunshine today! Vancouver is such a beautiful city city for wandering, but especially so in the sun.
    Have a great visit????????????
    Cheers, Marjorie

    1. It is stunning this morning and we are heading out for the day:) Thanks, Marjorie.

  11. jenniferanne says:

    Like you we only travel carry-on even to Europe. BTW love your outfit. Please tell us a little more about your jacket (love the color of yours) also your comfy but stylish shoes. I live near Vancouver but have never heard of that brand before, thanks.

    1. The jacket is Comfy brand and several years old. I really liked the unique color combo of the leopard too. The shoes are a microfiber material and perfect for flying with potentially swelling feet:) I bought them in SF many years ago.

  12. I do check luggage on a long trip but always have a change of clothing in my carry-on just in case.

    1. That’s a smart safeguard, Jill!

  13. Yes, I did hold up the line with the carry on! I could not get the bag in the overhead compartment because someone had filled the space over my seat. I could not reach my bag high enough because I’m 5′ tall (short). No one offered to help me push the bag into an empty spot so I finally stepped out of the aisle and into the seat space, let the others pass and a flight attendant found a space far, far away from my seat. I waited until nearly everyone was off the plane before I reversed the action.
    You did look great in your travel outfit. Very classy!

    1. It’s shame no one offered to help you put your bag up. It’s too bad they don’t require people to only stow about their own seats!

  14. Donna sands says:

    Looks interesting

  15. My husband and I only do carry on bags for all our trips. Even on travels to Australia and Europe. We get on the plane as soon as we can and are very efficient at getting bags into overhead bins and underneath our seats. There has never been a time we are holding up passengers.

    1. Very smart! I’ve never held them up either:)

  16. You always give the best styling advice. Thanks. I am curious about your waist pack. Does the airline count it as your purse? Do you put it away in other bag before you board?

    1. They do not count is as a purse. I spin it to the side of my waist when I board the plane and they don’t even see it.

  17. You look cute and comfortable!

    1. Thanks, Harriet. It’s a very comfy travel outfit.

  18. Linda Henderson says:

    Hi, Jennifer. I am happy to have discovered your fashion blog and I am enjoying it. And yes, I have had airline baggage trouble but I sill check bags. I mostly fly Southwest Airlines and they are the best.

    1. Welcome, Linda! I adore Southwest for their efficiency and service.

  19. You will never get pushback from me re: carry-on only. Like you, one lost luggage adventure was enough. We even did France for 10 days with carry on. DH insisted and I resisted, but it was genius and now I can go anywhere with a carry on. There will always be nay sayers, but your luggage is clearly within the regs. No worries.

    That sweater/coat is gorgeous! You look smashing for all the recent travel.

    1. Thanks! The right formula of what to bring makes it all possible, Laurel and you sound like you’ve cracked that code. There will always be naysayers about everything on the web. It’s the nature of the beast and I ignore it best I can.

  20. We carry and don’t feel bad about it in the least. When airlines started charging we started carry on.

    1. I agree, Dee. Having to pay to check a bag is a joke! This is not a bus ride.

  21. It’s been a great week for over 50 bloggers! I have always loved this jacket on you…I need to target one for next fall! Safe travels!

    1. Congratulations on being chosen one of the top 100 fashion bloggers, Pam! It has been an awesome week for us.

  22. Well, I check bags because of a shoulder problem. I can’t lift the carry on high enough to get it in the overhead. I did spring for TSA precheck. So far that has been very worth the money. Next is my Nexus card because my son is moving to Canada for two years. Can’t wait to go there!

    1. Your Nexus card will also give you TSA pre which I LOVE!! It speeds the entire process so much. You will love Canada, it is fabulous.

  23. I had not checked luggage for years until a trip to Europe, when taxis (twice!) dumped us out in Spain quite a ways from our hotels. Managing a larger, heavy bag on cobblestones was not fun. Gotta learn to pack less.

    1. Not fun, Jane. Cobblestones are a challenge for my ancient rolling wheels so the lighter my bag the better.

  24. Love your waist pack. Yes I do carry on as I have had bags lost. Nice to see style even when travelling.

    1. It’s an oldy but invaluable to me, Pat. I was surprised to find (one to link here) for sale, gently used. Always hold on to your good stuff:)

  25. Barbara Daley says:

    Years ago the airline took our carry on bag because ” there was no more room” and we didn’t have a chance to take out what we needed because we were boarding. They lost our bag, which contained my husband’s heart medications. Since then, I carry all medications,and anything I don’t want lost, in my personal bag. You’re so right…it only takes once.

    1. That is scary and potentially dangerous, Barbara! I do the same with my important things because you never know.

  26. Dee Armstrong Crabtree says:

    Hi Jennifer,
    Great post. I’ve never had a holiday ruined due to lost luggage because the airlines have always found it within 24 hours. Current tracking systems enable them to find luggage fairly quickly.
    That being said, I always carry a small duffle or tote stuff with two days of clothes and all of my haircare and makeup. If the airline does lose my luggage, I can get by for at least a couple of days until my luggage is found.

    1. Smart, Dee. My smallest carry-on always holds all meds, cosmetics a change of clothes and several accessories in case an airline insists on checking my bag from the gangway. It hasn’t happened in years, but I am always prepared.

  27. Gail Schwartz says:

    I try to go carry-on on most flights nowadays to avoid waiting at baggage carousels. Your outfit reminds me that I have to look good everywhere I go!

    1. I also prefer to exit the fight and get on my way quickly. I still remembering the nervous feeling in the pit of my stomach wondering when/if my bag would drop onto the carousel and have never missed that worry.

  28. We travel as you do with all carry on luggage. We get on the plane at the earliest possible chance given our code. Put our bag over head and sit down. Its the people who decide at that point that they need to take off their coats, pull out their stuff and balance their McDonalds that slow down the boarding process. Others stay standing in the aisle chatting about who will sit where, when others need to get past them, including the stewardess. Just my observations.

    1. I’ve noticed that too, Reaford! The earlier I can board and buckle up the better and then I just watch the fiasco that happens in the aisle.

  29. I haven’t checked a bag in over 10 years! You are right, having one misdirected once is enough. What really cinched it for me is when Delta began charging for checked baggage. Now I always fly Southwest whenever I can and still always carry-on…even for a month in Europe. Blogs like yours have helped me coordinate and streamline my packing so carry-on is very doable and I still feel chic and appropriate.

    1. Smart lady, Tabitha! I love flying Southwest too. Fewer, but well coordinated garments make me a happy traveler:) As a matter fo fact, I don’t own a larger bag so necessitates my being smarter with what I bring.

  30. Arrived in Paris a few years ago, but my luggage did not. But hey, it was PARIS! I carry toiletries, makeup, meds, and a change of clothes in my carry on. After 3 rotator cuff surgeries, I just don’t want to risk swinging a heavy bag overhead. You are following airline regulations, Jennifer, so don’t listen to the naysayers! In my humble opinion, people who won’t put their phones away are what hold things up. Two weeks ago going through customs, I wanted to scream “put your phones down people” because texters were holding the lines up so badly.

    1. You’re so right, Roxanne! It’s as though their phones are an extension of their arms! Paris with lost luggage sounds like an opportunity to me:)