After we watch in horror as the Spanish TSA asks us “WTF? ” (or as they say in Spanish, ¿WTF? ) and tells my grandmother that, no, he can’t accept her prohibited items as gifts, we lug our incredibly heavy and misshaped bags to the gate while my grandma curses quietly in the background.
It’s always about the luggage—and the prosciutto, and the bottles of wine, and the cans of olives my grandmother somehow thinks are OK to pack in bulk in her carry-on luggage.
When I was running through the airport on a trip last week, I had the Away weekender sit atop my suitcase while I wheeled it rapidly past dozens of gates—and it didn’t slip once.
And given that they're incredibly important to me (I always pack my favorite pair in my carry-on in case my suitcase gets lost), I really appreciate them having their own special place.
But our luggage ends up overweight anyway, so we stuff items from them into every free pocket and corner of our purses and carry on bags. It’s never pretty. It’s painful.
It fit about four outfits (easily enough for a weekend), my laptop, my makeup case, a pair of shoes, six books that I will never actually read but pack every time, with enough room to spare for whatever tchotchkes I will inevitably decide I need to buy when I’m away.
None of them is ever the right size, and since they never feel like they were made with the actual items I need to pack in mind, I tend to just throw things into them with no plan in place.
Then every single podcast I listen to told me I needed an Away bag more than I needed a vacation, which made me wonder: Luggage had made my life miserable for so many years—would something more thoughtfully designed really change that?
It’s sleek and minimal, which is great since I am incapable of packing just one bag and it has to accompany my very loud, very leopard-print suitcase (like I said my suitcase is from Queens and consequently resembles Fran Drescher).
Sure, it didn’t look like any of my mini bags, but it also didn’t look like any piece of carry-on luggage I’d ever had before.
Speaking of lugging, there is a flap on the weekender that helps secure it to any Away suitcase (but it also worked for mine, which isn’t Away) for a smooth ride.
The main thing I love about this weekender though is that it makes packing not horrible because of all the compartments and pockets.
On my way back from a weekend upstate (my bag's raison d'être), I appropriately packed the Weekender and stopped back home to see my parents and my grandmother.
My family gets to the airport early to avoid causing a scene and yet, against all odds and even with all the necessary precautions taken, we manage to make one every. single. year. on our annual trip to Spain.
The weekender is made of textured cotton canvas with leather accents, which also feels very nice.
She does it without fail every year even though my dad checks her bags the night before (our theory is that she sneaks the items in sometime between the hours of midnight and 6:00 A. M. ).
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