The One Thing You Should Never Fly Without
I'll admit it, I can't keep my purse organized to save my life. No matter how hard I try to be neat, it seems that the bottom of my bag always becomes a junk pile of loose change, hair ties, gum wrappers, bobby pins, and all kinds of other odds and ends that stand in the way of tidiness. Normally, I can accept fact of the matter, but when I'm traveling I lose all tolerance for a disorderly tote. I need to be able to grab my phone in an instant without even looking—as nowadays it's not only my lifeline to the world, it's my airline ticket, my car service booking tool, and, of course, my GPS. I need to know the exact spot my passport is safely tucked away. At. All. Times. I need to be able to locate a credit card with only one hand so I can pay for a latte while simultaneously keeping my luggage from rolling away with the other. In short, a purse in disarray is simply not an option in the airport—assuming I want to maintain sanity.
It just so happened that a long weekend trip was on the horizon, when the Matt & Nat Raylan Med Bag showed up at the Southern Living office. As I was considering the bag for a story, I wanted to give it a spin. So, like a diligent market editor should, I put the product to the test. First, things first, it's important to note that this bag was, in fact, designed to be a diaper bag. Something I found hard to believe. How could a bag that's so incredibly stylish be meant to carry baby wipes and bottles? I didn't care what it was intended for, only how it could help me get through airport security with ease. And with 9 pockets in a variety of sizes it proved up to par. I stashed my laptop in the interior compartment, which was designed for that specifically. Then packed my ipad in the back outer pocket—perfect fit. Organized my chargers—both computer and phone— in the right front patch pocket, and popped my prescriptions in the left. All easy access in case something was in question at the security line. Tucked my wallet into the large interior pocket opposite my computer, then my phone, pens, and lip balm in the smaller pockets within.
After all the bitsy pieces had been filed away, there was still plenty of room for 2 magazines, a book, my TSA-approved clear zip-top bag, a sweater, and even comfy flip flops. I've never felt so organized in my life. Everything had it's place and because of that it wasn't a challenge to keep it clean from initial departure to returning touchdown. Shortly after I sent the sample back, I got online and purchased one for keeps. It's become almost as handy as TSA pre-check—I just can't go to the airport without it!
Buy It: Raylan Med Bag, $195; amazon.com
We want to hear from you on your travel tips, tricks, and even your woes!
What is it that you wouldn't dare travel without?