The Best Luggage, Beach Bags & Totes

This is the first in another new series all about getting you ready for the holiday season. Since it looks likely that we won’t be having great weather here for a while I’ve decided to focus on my upcoming holidays and think about everything I pack or use that will have me heading off feeling fabulous.

If you read my earlier post you will know that the body reshape is already underway! It took a little bit of a rest over the Easter period but is now back on track. So in the coming weeks we will be looking at beauty products to make you beach ready as well as those to take with you. What clothes to pack dependent on your destination and where to buy the best from swimwear to maxi dresses to shorts. And how to pack it all without taking everything but the kitchen sink.

This week we are starting with bags. Specifically travel bags and beach bags or holiday totes.

It’s been some time since my holiday has involved flying, for some years now we have rented houses – mostly in France – and gone by car or ferry. This generally means that you can pack more and you don’t necessarily need a suitcase. However, this year I have 2 holidays booked. The first will again be a car trip to France but the second is an unknown mystery destination! As I have a big birthday this year my husband has booked a surprise holiday for me and our daughters. It makes it a little difficult to determine what to pack but he has said he expects it to be hot and I am assuming (?) we are flying. This means new suitcases.

So after some online window shopping I’ve found a selection of gorgeous cases from Antler. Antler are a great British company that have been making luggage for almost 100 years – a brand that has been around that long must be doing something right!

“We know every day can be a different journey and every journey has different needs so we set out to produce a range of luggage and cases to cover every possible need – be that stylish, value for money, practical, lightweight, sturdy or full of design and innovation.”

In the past I’ve tended towards soft cases thinking that a rigid case would be heavier. But the good news is as design has improved over time travel bags have got lighter. For example the Liquis rangeĀ  is made from strong but super lightweight polycarbonate. In fact lightweight comes as standard in all of the Antler range (good news if you want to add a few more pairs of shoes!)

So here are a few of my favourites and by the way you will notice suitcases certainly don’t have to be boring black anymore!

best cases and travel bags from Antler

From top left Urbanite Double Decker Holdallicon if you prefer a simple more functional style – currently with 20% off too. Size Zero 4 Wheel Medium Suitcaseicon this one comes with “silent glide smooth drive” wheels which I love the sound of, having had a wheeled suitcase that kept falling off it’s wheels and twisting around! Framed Liquis Medium Suitcaseicon now this is the one for me – how elegant and sophisticated is this gorgeous case in gold? Liquis Large Suitcaseicon and here’s a larger version in regal purple.

Bottom row Cyberlite Medium Suitcaseicon this one is expandable for those who may be bringing back lots of souvenirs. Camden B1 Cabin Suitcaseicon for a shorter trip this trendy orange case is cabin size. Duolite GT Medium Suitcaseicon describes as tough but light and soft but hard this one gives you the best of both worlds (also has 20% off at the moment)

You’ll notice I have chosen the medium size in most cases (no pun!) because I will only be going for a week and will of course be packing a carefully selected holiday capsule wardrobe, but should you need a bigger case there are plenty to choose from.

On to your hand luggage and here you have the option of a dual use tote or basket that will also double up for the beach or a more traditional tote if you are spending more time sight seeing.

I love a natural basket and have a couple that I have bought in France and from a company that used to supply my shops with baskets and hats from Madagascar. Here are a wide selection in everything from raffia to leather at both ends of the budget.

best totes & beach bags

From top left Beach bag from Joules, Daniel Pink leather Tote, Basket by The White Company
Middle row Leopard print bag by Marks & Spencericon, Gold raffia tote by Daniel
Bottom row Jute bag by Jigsawicon, House of Fraser, Turquoise drawstring bag by Tory Burch

So hopefully something there to help you start planning your holiday travel and wardrobe. I can see myself jetting off on my mystery holiday with a gold suitcase and if maybe one of the two bags below. But I don’t know if I need a beach bag or something much more sophisticated…

Favourite totes

Michael Kors Jet Set Chain Tote, Cecily corc print tote by Mulberry