22 Feb 2020

The Backpack: Deliberated And Decided


I have been deliberating for about 12 months.

Do I want or need a backpack?

Correction: I need nothing but would a backpack be a practical addition to my travel life?

I am off on a long haul trip next week and with all the extra vigilance required I have more to carry than I normally would. It probably will prove redundant but I prefer to be prepared. A backpack seems like a great idea right about now. The idea is it can be more accommodating than a handbag and less cumbersome than a wheelie cabin bag. I have my European travel down pat and carry very little but this trip to Australia means substantial baggage.

I was once the queen of the backpack.

Remember when Prada made the nylon accessory the handbag go-to? I never left home without mine and found it very practical, especially as I had little children to manage. My hands were free, my shoulders straight and everything I possibly needed was inside.

Fast-forward 20 years and I am back reunited with the backpack; we have made up and are about to take a turn together. I hope it is a good solution – I will be checking a big suitcase so I need provisions for the journey but not a cabin bag. It’s all sounding complicated which is the last thing I want; I believe in making travel easy and that starts with making it lightweight.

Carrying weight – the kind I can’t avoid – makes me tired. That’s part of my two-fold “make traveling easier” theory – “weight” and “legs”. By legs I mean it is the number of changes a journey requires that makes us tired not the time spent on each one. A direct flight, even if it is 10 or 12 hours long is so much less tiring than two flights with a stopover or a plane, trains and automobile trek. What we carry has a huge impact on our tiredness because travel involves lots of waiting, standing, holding and walking long distances. It’s so easy to rack up 10k steps in some of these international terminals.

Hence, my new backpack.

I’ve chosen practical and lightweight fabric not only for ease of travel but also so I can wash it easily.

I will be standing tall with only a small crossbody to hold my phone, passport, cc and antiseptic everything. I imagine the airports will be quiet because who would travel if they didn’t need to? xv

Deliberated and Decided  ✔️

** knomo backpack  ||  herschel backpack  ||  metro quilted backpack  ||  kate spade backpack   ||  marc jacobs backpack  ||  the original


this feature contains affiliate links

images, prada s/s 2018 campaign, willy vanderperre

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Good morning Vicki! With a tailored fit, a backpack is the perfect look for a sporty yet elegant look. Now you’ve got me thinking again!


Tumi makes a gorgeous backpack. The metal details, including zipper, are gold tone. I have used mine nearly every single day since I purchased it three years ago. It is easy to clean snd looks nike new.


Hi Vicki, funny I just pulled out my Sarah Pacini back pack I haven’t used in 15 years for this trip to California…leather and nylon…lightweight and durable…only downside so far…I find a tote easier to get into and find things…I’ll manage…it does make things hand free however, and make you stand tall, taller!

Jessica Wallrapp

I have a Longchamp backpack that I bought on a whim at duty free. Now- I can’t live without it. It goes on every trip with me. I live in a city with public transportation and use it every time I’m out for the day using the train. I have the dark gray and if I only take one bag on a trip- this is it. My wish list includes a new one with custom colors. I’m holding off only because I can’t figure out which colors to choose.

Helen Meo

I have an absolute aversion to back packs except for hiking!
Elegant … not from my perspective, but they seem to have become de rigueur for many badly dressed office workers tramping through the streets and worn along with worn sneakers. 😟
Practical for travel? I guess so, but not for me, not ever!


Well I hope I won’t look too bad, Helen ;) I’ll do my best to ‘backpack’ in style :) ):)


I recently purchased a Horizn Studios Gion backpack in Amsterdam; it’s available online. The medium size worked perfectly for me (I’m 5’3). I haven’t used one in so long, but it worked great and has a lot of security features. Why have I waited so long for this? It counted as my purse on the plane, so gave me lots of extra room.


This post has got me thinking too. I was intending to use a large handbag to take on board but do like the idea of a backpack and a crossbody bag for the passport and personal possessions. I quite like the Longchamp backpack and and very much a lover of all their bags! But open to your suggestions Vicki.
Whichever backpack you eventually choose, do have a lovely trip.


Our dil tool a backpack a few years on her first trip with the family to Europe. I warned her about the risks beforehand but she thought it would be more practical. However, my warning came true unfortunately. While they were at a major crowded train station in Western Europe, someone stole her laptop from out of her backpack, on her back at the time. She felt nothing and it wasn’t until hours later she realised it was missing. It was quite a disaster as she had stored important information for their trip on it, not backed up elsewhere. In Paris you often see young girls walking around wearing their backpacks on their chests so they can see what’s going on with them. Particularly in the big museums/galleries where until security was tightened following the terrorist attacks sneak thieves regularly mixed in with the crowds to hunt the tourists. They were a huge problem and sometimes the security staff inside went on strike because they could pick them out in the crowd but if they tried to warn people or to ask the sneak thieves to leave they were being attacked themselves. Thefts that occurred were particularly from backpacks but also wallets from men. When travelling I always take a smallish roll-along cabin bag (will fit even in shallow overhead lockers), and maybe sit a small zip up bag like a nylon Longchamps pliage on top. Very easy to wheel along but not easy to steal from as long as you keep it with you.
Best wishes, Pamela


I want it for ease of movement through airports and won’t hold “valuables” for your very reason… sorry for your daughter-in-law, Pamela.. that’s awful


PacSafe makes stylish backpacks and they have wonderful security features making it too much work for the street thieves. As an added bonus they have included RFID blocking technology too.

Michelle à Détroit

Good idea to reserve a small crossbody to quickly access essentials, Vicki. I tend not to use mine (a vintage Gucci black leather bamboo handled number, circa 1990 or so). I hate having to take it off, open and close it frequently. I think I’ll dust it off and take it on our upcoming road trip.

Deborah Clinton-Baker

I think you are right about the backpack/crossbody bag combo! Those airport walks can be very long and although I love my Longchamp tote it can feel very heavy. My very stylish daughter loves the washable Kanken range for some Scandi chic, lots of gorgeous colours. Safe travels Vicki!❤️


How about Rebecca Minkoff’s Julien? Comes in a range of colours, and a range of fabrics from leather to ultra-light-weight nylon … Lots of pockets, both inside and out, and can be fastened ‘up’ for added security. When you have other cases and/or people to wrangle, hands-free is a must. Love my Juliens; never travel without one of them.


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