Underseat Carry On

Greetings from Santorini! Okay, not really, because I'm actually typing this from the comfort of my own bed, a few days before my departure date. But, as you read this, I will be in Greece (unless something goes horribly wrong; touch wood).

I'm actually pretty excited to write this post because I am obsessed with my new underseat carry on. The quest for this bag actually started just a month ago. I had decided to take one of my weekender totes as my main bag for this UK-Greece trip. However, I realized that on the past couple of trips, I basically ruined my shoulders by carrying tote bags. Florida was an especially fragile example because I'd gotten a bit sunburned the day before we were leaving so my shoulders were already raw.

I didn't want to pack my 21" carry on spinner for this trip because it was too big. My sister and I - for the first time in a while - decided not to share luggage on this trip mostly because the 21" spinner was too big even for us to share (which is what we usually do). So, I started looking for smaller rolling bags and ended up falling for a Nicole Miller underseat carry on bag. I had a $10 Amazon credit anyway, so I bought the 'Taylor Collection' model in tan and I am stoked.
Obviously, the trip I'm currently on will be the first true test and I will report back with any updates, but so far, I am smitten. Also, I don't actually plan on shoving this under the seat in front of me. Instead, I will have a little tote with my iPad and toothbrush and other items that I like to have handy and I'll pop this bag into the overhead bin. However, it's nice to know that it's small enough to tuck under the seat if the bins get full (so that I don't have to check my bag planeside). Plus, we're flying with some budget airlines once we're in Europe and they only allow one bag so it'll be nice to be able to squish everything into this little guy and not have to bother checking bags. I did pay the ‎€10 for a checked bag, just in case (because it's something ridiculous like €25 if you decide you need it at the airport) but I'm glad I won't need it.

The dimensions are about 15" x 15" x 8.5"; it's nice and compact, but that doesn't mean it isn't really spacious. This bag has so many little pockets, which makes it the perfect piece for someone with a neurotic, organization-obsessed personality like me. It's also got wheels and an extendable handle so I can roll it through the airport and through the streets with ease but it has straps so I can perch it onto my arm when needed. It feels pretty sturdy and there's a 2-year warranty, which is comforting. I imagine that this bag could potentially get pretty beat up with daily usage, but since I have a full-time job and I have maybe three or four trips a year, I think it'll hold up v. well for years to come.

Also, apparently the MSRP is $240 so buying this on Amazon for $40 was quite a steal. By the way, I bought this bag for $50 but I had a $10 credit. Since purchasing the bag, the price has gone up to $70 which sucks but I would still recommend it at that price. It's a great bag. And there are also several different styles available at different prices. I actually picked this specific style because it was the cheapest, not for aesthetic reasons. So, I say shop around and buy the cheapest version you can find.
The side pockets are equipped with mesh to keep items secure; for example, if you wanted to stock up the sides with socks, you could stuff the socks into the mesh to keep them from tumbling out every time you open up the pocket.
The opening to the main body of the suitcase is a flap that is equipped with pockets, which are perfect for storing makeup and toiletries because they're plastic which will prevent shampoo explosions from ruining your clothes. These plastic pockets would also be amazing for shoes; they'd keep the dirt off your more precious items.
The main body of the suitcase itself is quite roomy. It will fit several packing cubes - I'm pretty sure I can stack three large packing cubes into this little guy, no problem, and still have room for more - and because it's so square, it's like it was made for packing cubes.
The photos included above for a 10-day summer holiday (and includes 10 different outfits) but I can easily imagine myself packing for a winter trip. I v. keenly anticipate using this bag for my trip to Iceland in November, at which time we can see how it fares against bulky sweaters and thick thermal leggings. I also squeezed in a beach towel, flip flops, a pair of slip on plimsolls, toiletries bag, camera bag, travel journal, and a tote bag. It's a really awesome bag and I can't wait to see how it performs.
See you when I get back!