Just before Christmas and at the end of January I lost two members of my family.
Happily, I had reset everything in my suitcase after the first funeral so I just picked about half of my previous stuff, dumped it in my bag and went back home for the second funeral. Not having to think really made a huge difference since I was not in a good place at that point.
I did get a new bag to travel with for xmas so I took this with me instead.
The BoardingBlue Personal item meets JetBlue and other US budget airlines personal (free) item as it fits under the seat. It does so easily, moreover it holds quite a bit of stuff. (I was flying Southwest, so the carryon point was moot, but I like to test drive things when I have the opportunity.)
I think it only took up about 3/4 of the window seat under seat area. It has a bunch of nice features: small zip pocket for a small phone battery and a cable (you can see it in the photo above; it has the USB icon embroidered on the flap), a water bottle pocket (VERY IMPORTANT thankyouverymuch), it expands – though it exceeds the personal item size if you do this, and a zip that opens almost fully the length of the bag. You can see below there’s a flap just inside that snaps closed to hold things in while you get your papers, laptop or tablet from the inside pocket.
I packed a few merino shirts, some leggings, socks/undies/jammies, a funeral outfit and some walking clothes so that I could go out to escape the family zoo. I also knew that I would be helping clean out my grandmother’s house, and some things would be coming home with me, so not stuffing it full was good.
I really like this bag. They’ve managed to make it small enough, still have some cool features but not overbuild it so that you can use all the available space inside well. Granted, it wouldn’t work for batcrap crazy small personal item airlines (cough RyanAir cough) but does work for Wow Air, JetBlue, Frontier etc (I made a chart! Have a looksee…) so I’ll probably be using it for my personal item when I can only take a personal item.
<whining>Also if people I know would stop dying from horrible diseases that would be dandy so I can travel for fun and not funerals. </whining>