Totes, an Obsession


If you have an obsession, you’re totally fixated on something and unhealthily devoted to it. Some common obsessions include fantasy football leagues, celebrity gossip, and Elvis memorabilia. -taken from

Well, I’m certainly no fan of fantasy football or Elvis memorabilia (although my husband and I did renew our vows in front of Elvis for our 10 year anniversary…hum?!) but I am  obsessed with the totes!


I think about tote bags a lot. Especially at night, right around 2AM when I can’t sleep. I log into my account and I take a look. Then, if I’m still awake I move to and maybe even When I’m feeling really sassy, I get onto those forums!

I have so many questions so I dive into the many detailed reviews. How much can I really cram into this bag? What are the pockets like? Are there padded pockets specifically for electronics? Is there a spot for my water bottle? Is there a pocket or a strap to attach the tote to the handle of my carryon? What are the exact dimensions? How much does it weigh? What is it made out of? Is it easy to clean? Will it fit under the airplane seat?

My heart is racing just thinking about…

Wait a second! I’m going to review the bags I already have. I don’t need anymore (for now!).

First up, the Longchamp le pliage tote-size large.  It seems like everyone has this bag. OK, maybe not everyone but lots of women have this bag. It’s super lightweight, easy to clean (A bird pooped on my bag in Greece and the poop wiped right off with a wet wipe!) and it folds up nice and small. It also comes in lots of exciting colors. I have both Black and Gunmetal. (not that exciting) The downside- there is only one dumb and pretty much useless pocket inside. (but this is why it folds up small!). This bag has traveled with me a lot and it gets the job done but I wonder…is there something better!


Next, the Longchamp le pliage expandable tote. This bag is really, really, really big. I have not attempted to use this as my “personal item” although I have read some reviews from women who did use it as their personal item and they said they totally stuffed it under the airplane seat. Of course, they are talking about when the bag was NOT expanded. The cool thing about this bag is that you can buy lots of stuff and then carry it on and store it in the overhead bin. I checked this bag once after a trip to NY and it held up well. This is also a great bag for road trips! (In this image, it’s fully expanded)


Next up is the Baggallini Avenue Tote. This is a nice size bag and someone clearly thought a lot about how it was going to get used. It has a padded inside pocket and a fantastic outside pocket that unzips to slide over your luggage handle. It is easy to carry, even when packed. It comes in many colors and has contrasting colored lining inside. This bag is a great choice for airline travel. I wish it came in a size just slightly bigger for my around the world adventure though. That’s why I had to order a few other bags!


This Briggs & Riley Baseline Large Shopping Tote is the bag that I will travel around the world with. (I’ve been very happy with the Longchamp tote on past trips but since I downsized my roller bag a bit for this adventure, I wanted to increase my tote bag size.) With the exception of the Longchamp Expandable, this is the biggest tote bag of the bunch. You can fit an absolute ton of stuff in here…water bottle, hairbrush, jewelry and hair accessories, makeup bag, toiletries bag, liquids bag, iPad, small purse, a few travel books, travel journal, passport holder, scarf, light sweater, slippers, snacks, wet wipes and a bag of cords and chargers. I could actually cram in a bit more too! I love the amount of interior pockets plus it as a little detachable pouch that I use for my jewelry.  It has nice exterior pockets as well as an ID tag. The best part is how it easily slides over my luggage handle.


The Sole Society Mason Weekend Bag.This is a cool bag and it’s different from most of my other totes. It is “fake” leather, which is great for animal lovers. What I absolutely loved about this bag was the clever zippered shoe compartment on the bottom of the bag. I packed that spot with shoes, a raincoat, travel book and a small umbrella when we traveled to Amsterdam and Paris in the fall. I did not like that the bag got a bit heavy when fully loaded and I really didn’t like that it was missing a sleeve to fit it over my luggage handle. The handles did begin to fray after a couple of trips. This is a fun bag for short domestic travel or road trips!


Last up is the Baggallini Gold International Laptop Tote. This bag is very similar to the Baggallini Avenue Tote bag. It is a bit shorter in height though. I do really like the gold accents on bag but it isn’t quite big enough for me and I like the Avenue better for my travel tote so it was returned. I do have the matching purse though, just in case you were wondering, and that little purse is traveling around the world with me in my Briggs & Riley tote!

norway 1baggallini-gold-international-provence-crossbody-basket-weave

Next up…what’s involved with planning a trip around the world?




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