The Bag Dilemma

Prior to leaving for Chicago this week, I spent two days packing for three people – me, Princess, and Pixie. (Hubster is on his own with this chore.) We’ve taken enough family trips that I’ve gotten pretty good at getting the three of us stuffed into one suitcase. I know exactly how many sets of underpants, socks, shorts, jeans, etc., to bring. What I don’t know, what I can never figure out, is what purse to bring.

Well, purse isn’t exactly the right word for it. I don’t like to carry makeup with me, and I usually prefer to keep my wallet safely zipped in a pants pocket, so I don’t do the girly girl thing and carry a purse. What I do like to carry is: a drawing pad; a mechanical pencil; an art eraser; a set of drawing pens; maybe some drafting tools; also a composition notebook and ballpoint pen for writing down any story ideas I get. If I’m thinking clearly, I’ll also toss in a travel-sized bottle of hand sanitizer, my cell phone, and coupons for whatever bookstore I’m headed out to that day. So it’s more of an art/writing bag, and I’ve got bags of various sizes set up with exactly this sort of kit. I’ve got a tiny one with the world’s smallest drawing pad and notebook for quick trips out, a larger bag with Jack Skellington on it for when I want to look truly goth, and a sturdy red bag with water bottle pockets that’s handy for a long day’s adventure.

Unfortunately, these bags all work best for when I’m running around my home town. When I’m about to get on an airplane for a long trip, not so much. The problem is, these bags will only hold what I’ve already listed, but they will not hold my beloved netbook. My little Asus EEE is too big for even the largest of those three bags. I do have a messenger bag big enough to hold the Asus and all the other stuff, but that bag is too big to lug around on a sight seeing trip and it’s covered in pins and metallic goo-gaws so it’s no good for airport security.

What I’d like to get is one more bag, something in between the size of the red art bag and the big messenger bag, something I wouldn’t cover in pins and something that would still hold a water bottle in case the kids and I get thirsty when we spend a day sightseeing. I haven’t found that bag yet. This bag is the closest I’ve come so far, but as you can see, no pockets for water bottles.

I suppose I could go with a backpack; I do have a couple of those. But the backpacks I have are too big and heavy for toting around all day and I always worry about somebody sneaking up behind me and stealing something out of the bag when I’m not paying attention (paranoid, I know). So, I’ll keep looking. For Chicago, I am taking a backpack, but I’m stuffing my sturdy red bag into it along with the netbook. That way I can leave the backpack and netbook in the hotel and travel carefree with the smaller bag during the day.

If you know of a bag that would solve my problem, send me a link so I can check it out! I really do need to solve this whole bag dilemma.

About Cynical Woman

Cartoonist, Artist, Geek, Evil Crafter, Girl Scout Troop Leader and Writer. Also, a zombie. I haven't slept in I don't know how long.
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  1. This bag:
    is my everyday outing bag. Mine (non-leather)I found at the REI this company has fantastic bags, though can be expensive. I can stuff an amazing amount of junk in it and the 2 side pockets under the straps hold water bottles & umbrellas quite well. On the back there is a large pocket which is great for small books or sketch pads.

  2. Yvonne,

    I've actually got that bag, or a variation of it, and it's what I took to Chicago. The only problem was it wasn't quite big enough to hold my net book, though it did hold my wallet, pens, drawing pad, writing notebook, and water bottles just fine!

    I may have to make my own bag to get exactly what I want. Will look into that once the kids are in school.

    But that overland bag is pretty dang cool, isn't it? 😉

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