New Luggage + My Travel Bucket List

Bows & Sequins wearing an all white outfit with a pink hard shell carry on suitcase.

There are two parts to today’s post, my friends… 1. My new pink suitcase (that’s a collaboration with my favorite photographer, Gray Malin!) and 2. My Travel Bucket List! We’re always talking about places that I’ve been and my recommendations here on the blog, but I thought it could be fun to switch it up and talk about the places that I’m still dying to go and maybe get some of your recommendations, too. Let’s get to it, shall we?!

Travel writer Bows & Sequins sharing packing tips for a carry on suitcase.

First, let’s chat about this Away suitcase! I’ve been lusting over the Away suitcases ever since they took social media by storm a year or two ago. I’ve popped into their gorgeous store in Soho in New York City and I’ve had a piece of their hard-sided charing luggage on my wish list ever since! I have a few friends, both girls and guys, that swear by them, too. But since I splurged on an expensive suitcase set a few years ago, I was holding off until I actually needed a new one.

So I’m sure you can imagine how giddy I was a few weeks ago when Away reached out and shared a little sneak peak at their newest collaboration with Gray Malin! I’ve been obsessed with Gray’s work for years and equally as obsessed with him and his husband after meeting them both in Montauk last summer. (Remember how it took me, like, two years to decide on which print of his I wanted to hang above my couch?!)

Bows & Sequins wearing an all white outfit with a pink Away x Gray Malin suitcase.

This suitcase came like clockwork! I had just gotten back from London a day and a half later than expected and both of existing bags were fully packed. I decided to still go to Austin at the last minute and this suitcase was delivered while I was gone… Couldn’t have planned it better if I tried. It was the perfect time to test it out!

Bows & Sequins reviewing the Away x Gray Malin collaboration suitcase.

The coolest part about the Away Carry-Ons are the built-in charging ports. I didn’t realize it until I was playing around with it, but the charging pack is actually removable, too! (Oh, and FYI: it comes almost fully charged! I didn’t have time to charge it before I left and I was so pleasantly surprised at the airport when I realized it had some juice in it.)

Bows & Sequins reviewing the Away portable battery.

But you guys, the inside! The luggage lining is printed with Gray’s aerial photography and it’s so, so good.

The Away x Gray Malin collection is available in three colors, in all four sizes! I have the Coral color and it’s lined with sunbathers at Bondi Beach. Ocean is a soft blue featuring paddleboarders on the coast of Rio de Janeiro and Alpine is a crisp white with skiers on the slopes of Whistler.

It took me forever to decide which color combination I liked best (I’m decisive, I swear!), but I ultimately settled on this bright, warm pink color. Could it be any cuter?!

Bows & Sequins reviewing an Away hard shell suitcase.

Bows & Sequins wearing a white outfit for the airport with a pink Away x Gray Malin suitcase.

As we all know, I travel a lot! And I’m pretty particular about (most things) but especially so when it comes to packing and luggage. I really can’t get over how good this suitcase is, especially for the price! (A fraction of what my other ones cost… Kicking myself for that.) Expensive doesn’t always mean better… The quality of this suitcase blows my other suitcases out of the water. Honestly!

The first thing I noticed when I picked up the box from my doorman was how light it was. I knew a suitcase was inside from the label, but it really didn’t feel like it. It’s *super* lightweight! And I don’t know how to describe it, but it wheels/glides so well. I never realized that my other suitcases weren’t that smooth until I used this one! It’s kind of crazy.

In addition to the removable charging port (only comes in the carry-on sizes, FYI), the Away suitcases come with a nylon laundry bag that folds right into the lining when you aren’t using it. (And yes, mine is Gray Malin printed to match the lining. #ChicAF)

The website describes and demonstrates the interior features better than I can, but I will say, it’s a *very* thoughtfully laid out design, that’s on par with how I pack. (Clothing on one side, accessories and toiletries on the other.) The compression strap on the clothes side really does work! Like I mentioned before, I had about 30 minutes to pack for Austin and I basically just threw all of my summer clothing into the suitcase and buckled that baby down.

PS: Away has a 100 day free trial and they’ll fix your suitcase for life if it cracks or if the wheels, handle, or zippers break!

Travel and lifestyle blogger Bows & Sequins using a pink hard shell Away x Gray Malin suitcase.

Bows & Sequins sharing packing tips for a carry on suitcase.

Get the Look…

Away x Gray Malin Luggage (I have The Bigger Carry-On in Coral!)
Packed Party Confetti Luggage Tag
Minnie & Emma Monogrammed iPhone Case
Old Navy Open-Front Sweater
Old Navy Tee
Old Navy Rockstar Jeans
Adidias Originals Stan Smith Sneakers
Lancel Pia Bag
Gucci Aviators

Bows & Sequins wearing an all white outfit with a pink Away x Gray Malin suitcase.

And now for my travel bucket list! I feel like the list of places I want to go is never-ending… At times, it even feels overwhelming. So much to see, so little time! And sometimes I fall into the trap of just wanting to go somewhere that’s familiar. (Which is usually Paris, let’s be honest!)

But in an effort to turn some ideas into plans, I thought it would be kind of fun to put together a list of my top trips that I want to take!

Bows & Sequins packing a pink hard shell suitcase.

  1. Japan in the Springtime  |  I don’t know if it’s the fact that I’ve been reminiscing on my trip to Japan last November, but I can’t get Japan out of my head lately. (I’ve been working on sifting through all of my Japan content to finally post on the blog, so stay tuned for that in the coming weeks!) I went during the peak fall time… the foliage was out of this world! But I’m dying to go back during the spring and see all of the cherry blossoms in bloom. I’ll touch on this more in the future, but I was blown away by how much I fell in love with Japan. I cannot wait to go back!
  2. Australia  |  I have a few good friends that are Australian and I can’t wait to see the place they call home! From Melbourne to Sydney, it’s going to be a long trip when I do make it there. Hallie and I have been tossing around the idea of going in February… We’ll see if it pans out! If not in 2018, hopefully 2019. (Melbourne’s weather is similar to London’s and since they’re in the southern hemisphere, this is supposed to be the best time to go!)
  3. Ibiza  |  I haven’t been to Spain, but Ibiza has been calling my name for the past few years! I’d love to visit Barcelona, Madrid, Seville, and Majorca while I’m there, too. Maybe this coming summer?!
  4. Greece  |  I’m dying to go to Mykonos, but similarly to Croatia, I want to explore quite a few of the islands to get a taste of how they have their own personality. Santorini and Athens are obviously at the top of my list… But any other islands you’d recommend?!
  5. South of France  |  Well this is just the DREAM TRIP. I’d love to spend some time in Provence (#RoséAllDay) and along the coast, too… Saint Tropez, Nice, Antibes, Cannes, Eze, Monaco, etc. (Check out this guide and this guide, Lauren just did a similar trip!)
  6. Italy  |  I’ve been to the Amalfi Coast, Rome, and Florence, but there are so many more places I’m lusting over visiting. Lake Como, Capri, Bologna, Venice, Milan… The list goes on and on.
  7. Charleston  |  You guys, I can’t believe I’ve never been to Charleston. It needs to happen, I have no excuse! This winter when I need a little escape from the bitter cold?!

I could go on and on… The UK and English countryside, Scotland, Ireland, Portugal, Maldives, Morocco, South Africa, Germany, more places in Switzerland, Thailand, Philippines, Cambodia, South America, Alaska in the summertime, Copenhagen, Austria, Vermont, Maine, Tulum, Quebec, Bali, Montreal, Seoul, Dubai, all over the Caribbean… The list truly never ends!

Bows & Sequins wearing an all white outfit with a pink hard shell carry on suitcase.

Have you been to any of these places? I’d love to hear your recommendations and tips you might have!

I’d also love to hear what your travel bucket list looks like! Where are you dying to go to next?!

Bows & Sequins wearing a white outfit for the airport with a pink Away x Gray Malin suitcase.

Bows & Sequins sharing packing tips for a carry on suitcase.

Bows & Sequins wearing an all white outfit with a pink hard shell carry on suitcase.

Bows & Sequins wearing a white outfit for the airport with a pink Away x Gray Malin suitcase.

Travel and lifestyle blogger Bows & Sequins packing a pink hard shell suitcase.

Please note that I graciously accepted this suitcase as a gift from Away, but I am not being compensated to post about it! I’m just passionate about making travel easier and love to share a good thing when I find it. xx

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28 Comments

  1. 10.26.17
    Natali commented:

    Japan in Spring time and Italy before or just at the end of Summer are def. trips I can guarantee you’d love 100%! I love your travel bag, looks like a perfect one for a frequent traveller.

    http://lartoffashion.com

    • 10.26.17
      Jessica commented:

      There’s really not much that beats summertime in Italy! <3

  2. 10.26.17
    Melanie commented:

    I spent 5 months in Barcelona and then a month in the South of France. GO! I am actually going back to Barcelona next month because I adore it so so much. The South of France is also a must. Truly one of the best months of my life! If you go to either I am happy to supply a million recommendations!!

    • 10.26.17
      Jessica commented:

      Ahhhhh, I can’t wait to finally go! Hopefully next summer!! I’ll be hitting you up for those recos when I do! xx

  3. 10.26.17
    Rena commented:

    I think now you have the perfect luggage!
    xx from Bavaria/Germany, Rena
    http://www.dressedwithsoul.com

    • 10.26.17
      Jessica commented:

      Couldn’t agree more! I’ve got the full set on my wish list next…

  4. 10.26.17
    Jane commented:

    I just got back from a tour of Prague Budapest and Vienna and it was fantastic. Both Prague and Budapest were amazing. I want to tour more of Germany, Portugal and Poland! So many on my list. The UK too 🙂

  5. 10.26.17
    Mindy commented:

    Croatia is on the top of my list!!! Are you going to do a post about your trip to Croatia? Argentina, Alaskan cruise, and Santa Barbara are also on the top of the list.

    • 10.26.17
      Jessica commented:

      Yes, yes, yes! It takes a few weeks for me to put together a travel guide (sorting through thousands of photos, editing, going through all of my notes, organizing the post, all of the links, writing, etc) and I’ve been traveling non-stop since I got back from Croatia. I promise I’ll have it up within the next month!

    • 10.26.17
      Jessica commented:

      And also, Santa Barbara is THE BEST!! I can’t wait to hear what you think. xx

  6. 10.26.17
    Amanda commented:

    I’ve been toying with the idea of purchasing Away luggage for MONTHS and seeing this post with the adorable special edition pushed me over the edge. Just placed my order for the Ocean carry-on. I have a ton of travel coming up and I can’t wait to use it!

  7. 10.26.17
    Sonya commented:

    You have a good list going there. I’ve been to almost all of the European countries on your bucket list and I absolutely loved Copenhagen, so much. I found the city so charming, the people wonderful, and just felt at home there, or like it could be home. I am headed to Montreal in 3 weeks for a solo long weekend and to Tulum in February with a friend, and Chile and Argentina later in 2018 with another friend, and rounding out the year with a trip to Africa. Of all the places you listed, I agree that the South of France would be an incredible dream trip. You picked such a cute suitcase! I love all the prints but I like the one you selected the most.

  8. 10.26.17
    Theodora commented:

    I used to be in a book club with Jen, one of the Away founders!

    Travel: I’m going to Ireland in a few weeks, and went to Australia at the beginning of this year and it’s every bit as epic as you’d expect. I went to Sydney, cruised the Whitsundays, and then went to NZ! This NYE, going to Rio!

  9. 10.27.17
    Fortune Dushey commented:

    This Away bag is everything! I own a classic black Away carry on but this pink one is amazing and the print is so fun and playful! I wold love to visit Santa Fe, Austin, Kyoto, Ireland (their accent kills me, its so good) Hawaii and so much more!

  10. 10.27.17
    Anna commented:

    Curious what do you do with all the suitcases you own? lol Do you gift them to friends? OMG I need that confetti luggage tag. Can’t wait to see your Japan post!

  11. 10.27.17
    MONICA commented:

    HEY JESS,

    QUESTION, HOW DO YOU USE YOUR CELLPHONE OVERSEAS DURING YOUR TRAVEL? DO YOU HAVE AN UNLOCKED PHONE AND JUST BUY SIM CARDS OR DO YOU HAVE A INTERNATIONAL DATA PLAN?

    THANKS,
    MONICA

  12. 10.27.17
    Justine commented:

    Okay….I’m dying over that coral carryon – I need it! Thanks so much for sharing the collaboration, I’ve been following on social media but it’s so nice seeing it in real life!

    Your travel bucket list is perfect! When you go to Greece, I’d also recommend Zakinthos and Kefalonia as well! Smaller but still beautiful. Also – Charleston is A MUST! Everyone there is insanely nice and the shopping/sightseeing is awesome! They even have a really awesome candle making class.

    Xx Justine

  13. 10.27.17
    Jill commented:

    I went to Madrid earlier this year. I LOVED it! Everything about it was perfect and the shopping was amazing! I want to hit more places in Spain. Just beautiful

  14. 10.28.17
    Em commented:

    Melbourne is way hotter than London! You’ll be boiling hot in February. But the thing about Melbs is that you can have four seasons in one day. There’s never a “best” time to visit in that it’s always a great time to go!

  15. 10.31.17
    Becca commented:

    Just did Portugal (Porto, Lisbon, Lagos) for a week and a half earlier this summer! Absolutely beautiful, affordable, and the sun is always shining. Tiles everywhere, beautiful beaches, and lots of hills (your calves will burn, hahah) I couldn’t recommend it more!

  16. 11.12.17
    Elle commented:

    Northern Italy is a must! I studied abroad in Rome and it’s like my second home, but I was so surprised by how much I loved all the northern Italy cities…Bologna, Venice, Padua, etc. They are all so different and I recommend trying the local cuisine in each city!
    My travel bucket list is quite similar t yours actually…Australia is at the top, but I’m dying to get to Ireland and more of Great Britain, as well as Germany and Austria, British Columbia, Maine, and Charleston, SC!

  17. 11.19.17
    Katie commented:

    You should go to New Zealand! It’s the most beautiful place on earth. I went last February and it was truly magical. You should take a two month trip to Australia and New Zealand this Winter! A month in each country. You won’t regret it.