the ultimate travel tote

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As you might recall, I did a post a May about how I created an awesome system for my travel toiletries. And though it may not work for everyone, it definitely has some great advantages.

In my previous post, I shared this tote and these bags with labeled bottles.



When traveling, I simply tucked the plastic shower and vanity bags in the tote along with other items.


It was a nice system that has worked well on several trips over the past few months.

However, the bag itself was about four years old (from Z Gallerie) and started to go downhill.

On my recent trip to Nashville, the front zipper pull broke for the second time, the main zipper had not worked for months, and even the little plastic pull on the shower bag broke off.

So my once lovely system functioned in a much less lovely way.

But there is a bright side to this story. On a Target trip on Monday I spotted this Sonia Kashuk travel tote on clearance for $25.

To be honest, I had seen the tote before and considered it a possible replacement. But I always passed on it because I wasn’t in love with the pattern (#firstworldproblems). Meanwhile, the rapidly dying travel bag at home really needed a successor. So I bought it anyways and decided to see if it could replace Big Silver.

And you know what? I love it even more than Big Silver. It makes my over-organized heart sing.


To start, it has two main compartments.

One side opens to reveal a large clear area for easy access items like my contact case, night cream, Vaseline, and toothbrush.


On the opposite side of this fold there is another area for my jewelry bag, hair ties, shower cream, first aid baggie, and lady products. I believe the scrunchy pocket is supposed to be for makeup brushes.


Then, in the second zipper compartment on the other side of the bag there is this.


[Cue the angel choir.]

At first I wasn’t sure if the bottles would fit into the bags since they were narrower than my previous plastic bags. But lo and behold, they totally work.

How might these bags be standing upright, you might ask?

Oh, because there is velcro!


Oh. My. Gosh. I hope there are some other neat freaks out there like me that get that happy sense of satisfaction from organization that is so well thought out.

With this much organization perfection, the tote pattern which originally didn’t ‘call my name’ now looks much better. Rather than think about the fact that I don’t looove it, I just tell myself that it kinda looks like Kate Spade and get over it.

And do you know the only thing that could be better (for me at least) than having a glorious toiletries bag like this?

Going on an actual trip so that I can use it.

Which, is happening tomorrow! Mr. Lively is surprising* me with a weekend anniversary trip. On its own, the trip will be fantastic, but now that I have a chance to use my new bag, the trip is just that much sweeter.


* I already guessed where we are going, more on that next week!

This Post Has 18 Comments

  1. Daliene @ Alamo Adventures

    my favorite mini makeup bag is a Sonia Kashuk! I’ll have to keep my eyes open for this one on clearance. 🙂 Have a great trip!

    1. I know! They have the same style in a green floral pattern at the uptown target if you are interested. ; )

  2. I bought that bag before my move to DC last month and LOVE it. And you’re right about the pattern!! I convinced myself to buy this one, rather than a Kate Spade bag that was similar in pattern but cost triple!

  3. Ashley Laabs

    Haha I thought the same thing about the pattern.

    “Where did she get this? Looks kinda like Kate Spade, but I don’t remember that pattern…” If I travelled more I’d totally snag one of these.

  4. Maureen

    Love this idea! I just usually throw things into a ziploc!

    1. If you like being organized and travel a lot, you might want to try something like this! : )

    1. Very nice! I like your column.

      My system isn’t too crazy different than your’s if you don’t count the mini bottles and zipper pouches. : )

  5. I love Sonia Kashuk bags! They are well made, too. I’ve had an SK travel set for YEARS that is still going strong.

    1. That’s great to hear! It looks sturdy, but I’m happy to know that they wear well since I now love this style. : )

  6. Wow, that’s a pretty amazing bag. I’m on the hunt for a new purse, and I always seem to end up with one from Target. Enjoy your trip!

    1. Nice! I hope you find the right purse for you!

      And thanks for the good wishes on the trip. : )

  7. skinny_dip

    I LOVE that bag! The pattern is fun & chic.

    Have a wonderful anniversary trip!!

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