Monday, February 1, 2010

2 Travel Tip Tuesday: The Fabulous Foldable Bag

Channeling Oprah's annual "favorite things" episode, today is the first in what will possibly be a series of doting posts about my most beloved travel items. At the very tip top of that list is an item that became so indispensable I can't imagine our trip without it: the fabulous foldable bag.
You've seen them at the grocery store, when the environmentally conscious shopper ahead of you rejects paper AND plastic and loads their fruit and veggies into a reusable bag. Before the trip I tried to remember to bring tote bags on my trips to Shaw's, but shamefully forgot them at home more often than not. When we opened our wedding gifts the morning after the reception, hours before our international departure, I was surprised to open a gift from our friend Betsy to find not a blender or serving platter but two little folded and snapped bags with a note about how those Europeans charge for shopping bags nowadays and she hoped we'd find these handy.

Boy did we ever. The folded nylon opens up to a sizeable tote that turned out to be a pandora's box of possibilities. Picking up a baguette and a bottle of vin for a picnic in Luxembourg Gardens? Just pull the bag out of your pocket and fill 'er up! We started to use the bag on a regular basis for carrying water bottles, snacks, and other items; once used and consumed, we could make the bag essentially disappear. For flights we'd avoid checking luggage with our backpacks as the single permitted carry on each, and after security we'd pull out the tote and pack an "airplane bag" of books, earphones, and the laptop to keep easily accessible during the journey.

We saw a lot of other travelers carry around a smallish backpack for their sightseeing days out. There is of course nothing wrong with this option, but it's nice to have more flexibility, a lighter load, and overall to stick out just a little bit less as a tourist. And every time we saw people on planes, trains, and buses pulling the "double backpack"--with a big one on back and a small one strapped on front like a Baby Bjorn--we gave a mental shoutout to Betsy and her amazing forethought.

I've gotten so accustomed to using these wonderful little bags that now back in Boston, they live in my purse just waiting to be unfolded and brought to life. Look who's rejecting paper and plastic now!

On a side note, thanks to Lonely Planet for featuring us on their home page yesterday! You made two amateur bloggers very happy.


  1. Just left you a little something on my blog!

  2. Great blog! =) It's great how you travel around the world for your honeymoon. Wish I can travel around the world too! But for now, I shall make do with small trips.


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