Five Types of Suitcases You Absolutely Must Have

Different trips call for different luggage. Here are a few suitcases I own that I adore and how I decide which I will use:

  1. Duffel bag. An overnight bag is like a little black dress for travelers. Everyone should have at least one. I like to use a duffel bag for this, I have three different ones. The key is to find one that has enough storage space as well as pockets on the inside and out to fit everything you need and keep it organized. In addition you can also use a large back pack or oversized purse.
  2. 15″ rolling under the seat luggage. For longer weekend trips, whether you are driving somewhere nearby, or flying out on business, a small rolling suitcase that can fit under an airplane seat is my favorite thing in the world. It is slightly smaller than carry on bags and fits under all airplane seats. Brandon and I both have one for short trips back to NJ to visit our families. The suitcase is roomy enough to fit everything we need yet compact enough to fit on smaller commercial airlines.
  3. Standard carry-on rolling bag. If you are like me and need to bring 3 pairs of shoes on every trip longer than 24 hours, the standard sized rolling bag is a great addition to your luggage collection. One reason I love this is because a standard sized commercial aircraft has room above your seat to store these. Modern technology has made me so lazy. I only fly on airlines I can check in from my phone so I can skip the lines at the gate. Very rarely do I ever check a bag. I hate standing in lines with people who don’t know how to navigate an airport or hardly ever fly. I am inpatient and love being able to get out of my car and walk directly to security so I can grab my Starbucks and relax once I get to the gate.  I hate standing in baggage claim waiting for airport employees to unload the plane and get me my luggage. I’ve also seen one too many suitcases lost or contents stolen in airports. If I can keep my possessions with me at all times I am a happy gal.
  4. Large sized luggage. Buy a nice large luggage bag with a good lock, and don’t skip out on the toiletry bag. When I am going on longer vacations like when we were in Hawaii for 2 weeks, I like to bring a large enough suitcase that I have everything I would need for one week including shoes. You’ll have to check your bag, unless you are lucky enough to live near an airport with curbside check in. In addition, you will need to stand around and wait for your luggage to get off the plane and you’ll run the risk of items being stolen. As long as you are careful, have a good lock on your bag, and pack smart you should be alright. Finger crossed and let’s hope that everything makes it home with you! Luggage sets are nice because they are usually roomy are made well, and come in a matching set which makes it easier to spot on the conveyer belt.
  5. Laptop bag. If you’re like me you’ll want to bring your laptop on the flight with you. I have a laptop bag in the form of a backpack which I found on Amazon. There is a ton of cushion so your laptop doesn’t get damaged and they are really nice and well made. I own the HFSX Vintage Laptop Backpack. You can buy ones with built in phone chargers and a place to store your phone, keys, wallet, and passport. Plus, it will fit under your seat. is my favorite place to shop for luggage. They have great luggage that makes travel easy and organizing natural. Their hard side carryon is amazing. You can also find packing tips and lots of travel related gear other than luggage. You can all of the above INCLUDING universal travel adapters which work in 150 different countries. Another great thing to do if you can invest is to buy a luggage set that includes all of the pieces above. You will save money in the long run and everything will match (if you have OCD like me than that’s really important). Don’t forget to comment below with links to your favorite pieces of luggage and why.


Happy travels!

The Cone Heard Around the World


In the fall of 2013 my dad convinced my mom to join us on a cross country road trip from New Jersey to Los Angeles in a C3 camper. I was stoked to be able to explore so much of the country that I have never seen. We were going to go to all of the big state parks in the north west like Yellowstone, Yosemite, the Badlands, Mount Rushmore, the Redwood national forest, and more. I could not wait to get out and see everything I had read about in social studies classes all through elementary school.

My dreams were crushed when two days into our trip. I was staying with my sorority sister from Ohio State on my parent’s anniversary and I got a news alert that the government had shut down. I was devastated. Not only were we not allowed in the parks now, but what was the point of driving all this way for nothing? We had only made it to Ohio so far and we were at least a day or two out from South Dakota depending on where we would stop to sleep. My parents picked me up the next morning, I was hung over, wearing the same clothes as the night before, and I probably smelled.

I went into the camper bathroom and tried to puke but couldn’t so I put my head phones in, sat in the passenger seat next to my dad and giggled to myself as I listened to “Iowa Stubborn” from the Music Man while we drove across Iowa (Don’t worry you can click the link to see what song I am talking about so you can laugh too). As beautiful as fly over states are, there is a reason when you are trying to get from point A to point B you fly. Highways in flyover states are seriously a drag. Although the first hour and a half was pretty entertaining, that shit gets old quick and you can only make so many “corny” jokes.


We stopped briefly at the Corn Palace just to say that we did it and then made our way to the Badlands National Park… even though it was closed. Here is where things got a bit interesting. My dad slowed down when we came up to the entrance and realized there was not a single person around. With the rangers all off work we decided to take our chances and my dad drove over the cones and into the park. We hadn’t come all this way for nothing.

We pulled off at a parking lot that was coned off and my dad and I started snapping a few pictures. I snapped a photo of myself giving a thumbs up next to the “this national park service is closed” sign and said it would be funny if my dad threw a cone and mom took a photograph. My dad started laughing and we took a few action shots of him throwing the cone until we got the perfect picture with the cone in the air above his head.


My mom and I posted a photo on Facebook and I captioned it “‘This national park service is closed. Oh yeah? You and what government workers are going to stop me?'”. A family joke meant to be shared between us and friends would soon be plastered all over Facebook and we had no idea.

First, someone made a meme out of my caption and the photograph. Then, the meme was posted on twitter and Fox News was tagged in the photo. By the time we reached California someone from Fox News had tweeted it, put it on Facebook, and wrote a blog post about it. Over 100,000 likes and shares later, my mom’s phone had imploded from constant messages, likes, and shares. The entire time we were in Los Angeles my dad kept talking about ‘getting an agent’ and saying he was being ‘recognized’ everywhere to make my mom and I laugh.

I am not even joking with you when I say how serious it is that you pay attention to what you put on the internet because one embarrassing photograph could very well be EVERYWHERE within 24 hours. One thing most people don’t even consider when they think about people in the spot light, is that you receive a massive amount of hate mail. People who have never met you have serious personal opinions about you. If this should ever happen to you, the best thing to do is to not read any of it. The negativity seriously isn’t worth any of your time at all. Don’t waste your energy and give in to angry people sitting behind a computer.

If you think I was joking about any or all of this story I am not because here is a direct link to the twitchy site written by a Fox News journalist who shared everything on her Facebook page.

Quirky Places to Stop on a Cross Country Road Trip

Quirky places to see in the u.s.

When you are driving across the country you spend a lot of time in the car rather than outside. It can get extremely monotonous. One of the best things you will experience are road side attractions. Some of the places you stop at briefly will provide the best memories when looking back. For me, my favorite memory of the cross country trip I took with my parents is simple. We stopped in Rapid City, SD for lunch before we went to see Mount Rushmore. We stopped in town at this small restaurant that made AMAZING bison burgers. For a year and a half leading up to this point I avoided red meat completely. I’m not sure if it was the fact that I had been deprived of red meat for so long or that the burger was really magnificent, but that was the best burger I ever had in my life. Whatever you do, make sure you stop at as many unique places along the way as you can.

wall drug

Unique PlacesUnique Places

You literally can not miss the exit for this attraction. When you are driving down the highway there is nothing around but hundreds if not thousands of signs for miles on I90. There is a Wall Drug gift shop, a saloon, an Inn, and the Wounded Knee Museum on main street. It actually sits on the edge of the Badlands national park and is quite close to the entrance. The little town is full of charm and looks like something out of an old western. You won’t want to miss this famous stop. There is even a large covered wagon with plaster horses for a photo op, and they have a “traveler’s chapel”.  Check it out, you won’t want to miss it.

the corn palace

Unique PlacesUnique Places

Located in Mitchell, South Dakota off of I90 is one of my favorite quirky places. The facility is a few stories tall and located off the highway. The entire outside of the building is made of corn. Yes, that is correct. Every year murals are constructed on the sides of the palace and they are completely made of corn. Inside is a gift shop and an arena where rodeos are held. You can buy basically anything in the shape of corn at this place.

south of the border

Quirky Places

This place is a lot like Wall Drug except less western and more Mexican. South of the border has signs every mile or so leading up to the exit. As a kid we would drive to Florida from South Jersey and South of the Border was our halfway mark. South of the Border is well known for the large sombrero tower visible from the highway and the entrance is a large billboard in the shape of a man with a mustache and a sombrero named Pedro. Drive through Pedro’s legs to find a parking spot and grab something to eat at one of the many cafes/restaurants or take a ride up to the top of the sombrero in a glass elevator. Tired from a long drive? Spend the night in a hotel room here or it’s RV campground.

calico silver mines

Unique PlacesUnique Places

Check out this ghost town off of veterans memorial highway (I15) in California. This little old silver mining town is full of really cool stuff. Check out the ghost tours once the sun goes down. You can even take a look in the old school house, get locked up, and check out some of the town buildings. There are tons of quaint little stores to shop in as well with really great soaps and incense.  The old mines are still there although they are not open to the public due to safety. If you need to stay the night near by there are a few camp grounds off I15 as well as the ghost town campground on ghost town road. You can always drive a little bit further towards the California coast and stay in Los Angeles or Rancho.