If you're embarking on your first big trip to Southeast Asia or Europe, but all you have is your high school backpack and your college suitcase you used to move your clothing from your parent's home to your dorm room, it's not going cut it. You're a big girl now, with big girl adventures. You need a big girl backpacks and luggage to go with it.
Where to buy your next bag
eBags is a website totally dedicated to selling bags. I have purchased some of the BEST bags from this website. They also have a line of eBag branded bags and accessories that I SWEAR by. My personal favorite includes packing cubes, the eBag backpack, eBag Mother Load wheel duffel, eBag pack it flat, and eBag laptop bag. All of the above items have gone around the globe with me. I'm not only a fan of their name brand items, but I am in love with the other brands that they carry, such as Baggli. They also have super sales often, and great discounts.
The base, your bag
The inside, organization
I use packing cubes to keep the inside of my suitcase or backpack organized. These little suckers are amazing. They have traveled around the world with me. They are little "cubes" of varying shapes and sizes that help you compartmentalize your clothing. How I like to organize it is by clothing type, for example, pants in one cube and shirts in another. What makes these so stellar is that once you arrive at your hotel, you open your suitcase, throw them in the drawer, and you've unpacked. You can color code it and easily see what you have. If you're on a multi-city itinerary, these are a life saver, because it makes packing/unpacking easy.
The method, roll AND fold!
There's a great debate among travelers whether to roll or fold. Well, I say BOTH, because it depends on the item in question. I roll my light and smaller clothing items into my cubes, such as lightweight tops and dresses. I'll roll and stuff them into my slim/tube cubes so I can see from a glace exactly what I have. For bulky items, such as thicker pants or jackets, I'll fold it and put it into a quarter cube.
The toiletries, hang it up
Get a eBag pack it flat toiletries bag so you can hang your items on the towel rack or hook. I have found this to be the easiest and most efficient way to pack and unpack my toiletries. This is especially great if there's very little shelf space.
The bulkiest, shoes
Be reasonable with what shoes you bring, because these are the heaviest, bulkiest items you'll be packing. My essentials are