6 Super Cute Carry-On Luggage Options

by Grace Bonney

Back in 2011 when I went across the country for our 30+ city tour, I went through a few pieces of luggage, unexpectedly. The first bag had handles that detached, the second bag got flagged so often for looking like it wasn’t carry-on size (even though it was), and the third ended up looking better than it worked (hint: thin canvas casing gets dirty and rips really quickly). So for this year’s tour I’m not messing around. I’m making sure I have a bag I can easily carry — even while running — between flights or trains. I want it to look good, too, but it’s got to work well above all else.

So after testing and research, these are the 6 awesome carry-on bags I’ve narrowed down for my final search. Hopefully they’ll come in handy if you need to pick something new for fall or holiday travel this year, too! xo, grace

*These are all bags with wheels and handles. I’ve given up on shoulder bags. I just end up running between gates and getting a huge indentation in my shoulder and a sore arm.

(What a name) is pricey at $375, but it's definitely the cutest carry-on sized bag I've found on the market. It looks like a classic fabric trunk, but it's actually leather, so it's much more resistant to scuffs and stains.
($475): This bag is a serious purchase for a serious traveler. People I know who fly a lot for a living seem to always swear by these bags and when I borrowed a friend's recently I was sold. It's tough as nails and no attendant ever flagged it for looking too big. Plus this white version is super sleek.
($289): Another great shoulder-to-roller option for anyone who wants to be able to carry something cute that doubles as a chic backpack.
($49.99): If you want something you can use for short trips that's cute and can go from shoulder to roller in a snap, this fun little polka dot bag is a great option.
($140): I love the two-tone look of this bag and the hard case will make sure it can take being knocked around on the baggage carousel and during a rough flight.
($129.99): I love the color of this tiny powerhouse of a bag. Samsonite makes really solid bags and this one is a safe bet in a great jewel tone.

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  • Hey Grace! This is super helpful info! Thank you! Constantly on the run and I need a good bag. I am a Lady that owns a video production company. :) Super excited to read your new book and wondering if I could ever help with video production. We need more awesome women helping each other out! Check out Starry Eyed Productions when you have a minute please and Thank you!

  • Away bags are also really great, and you can currently get them with a hand painted monogram! I just bought a monogramed one, and am super excited for my next trip.

    • I have to second Away! They are seriously a life saver – and the way they are designed I can fit so much stuff in a small suitcase. The phone charger in the suitcase doesn’t hurt either.

  • Congratulations Grace on your latest book!
    I have the last bag in the exact same color. I bought it in June to take with me on my trip to Copenhagen . I love carry-on so much. I packed 10 days worth of clothing in it with no problem.

  • I have a hardshell Samsonite carry-on, and it’s the best. I travel a lot for work, and it never gets flagged and has taken a bit of a beating on several occasions.

    I’m a huge proponent of odd-coloured luggage (mine is orange) because you never know when your carry-on is going to get unexpectedly gate-checked due to overfull overhead compartments, or when you’re going to have to stow it many seats away from your own. I like to be able to visually ID my stuff quickly. Navy or black luggage would drive me crazy.

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