What’s In My Carry On Tote

Today I am sharing  something with you that fits perfectly in my life.  It is pretty new to me and I had no idea how much it was going to become part of my day-to-day comings and goings. From the market, to the beach, to the airport.  I am now the very happy owner of the perfect tote.


Isn’t she pretty?  …a classic.  She is called the Lifetime Leather Large Tote from Duluth Trading Co.   She is made of 100% leather that gets a rich patina as she ages. I added my own style to her by tying a summery scarf to one of her handles.


You can add your style to one, too if you enter for a chance to win 1 of 5  – $100 gift cards to Duluth Trading Co. (More info on giveaway below)

When I started blogging, I never imagined that I would become a frequent flyer and get to go on so many wonderful trips.  A few weeks ago I spent 4 days on Anna Maria Island on the gulf coast of Florida with 5 other bloggers. We had a fabulous time. I will be posting all about it next week.

Travel tote bags

Before we went, Duluth Trading Co sent each of us one of their Lifetime Leather bags of our choice to use on our trip.

With all the travel and trips that I have taken, I have learned that the measure of a good traveler is how light he or she travels.

This tote fits that measurement. I like the ease of  carry on luggage – no waiting at the airport carousels or worrying that your luggage didn’t make it. When you have your 2 allowed carry on bags with you – less hassle and worry. This and the fact that this tote is roomy and can hold quite a bit, but is not cumbersome – are only a few reasons why I wanted it.


The one feature that makes this Large Leather tote the best carry on tote I ever owned, is that it zips closed. No worrying that the contents will spill out when you place it under the seat in front of you on flights.  The end pocket on each side are perfect for easy access to my water bottle. It has fully adjustable carry straps that you can set short enough for a solid grip, or long enough to sling over your shoulder when you are rushing through the airport to make a connection.  Like I said above – the perfect tote – but also the perfect carry on tote.

  Inside-of-Duluth-Trading-Large-tote Not only does the tote zip closed, but it is roomy inside.  A zipped pocket and pouch on one side. Inside-pockets-of-my-tote-bag Another bigger zippered pouch on the other side.

On Tuesday, I am off again on another trip to Indianapolis to spend a few days at the Delta Faucet headquarters.   I am only packing my small wheeled luggage and my new leather tote.

Here is a peek at what I packed in my tote:


  • Healthy Snacks  in case the plane is delayed and I end up sitting at the airport for hours.
  • iPad to try to get my inbox under control while I am waiting at the airport.
  • iPhone  – to keep in touch. It also is the only camera I travel with. I don’t like taking my big camera on trips, it is too bulky.
  • Hand Cream – my hands always feel dry; it probably has something to do with being a DIY’er and the fact that I am always washing paint off of them. I never leave home without it. I like this hand and nail formula from Sally Hansen. It smells like oranges. YUM!
  • Thumb Ease – After sitting on an airplane for hours it feels good to rub over my legs and neck to ease the tension of sitting on an airplane for hours. I bought them a long time ago and can’t find a source for them to share with you.
  • Contacts – Since I am still a newbie at wearing contacts, I keep the case and saline solution with me so I can take them out or adjust if one starts to feel uncomfortable.
  • Tissues  – always come in handy
  • Purification essential oil and cotton balls –  A few drops of this oil blend on cotton balls smells good, but I have heard it helps when flying and breathing in the recirculated air.  I am going to try it out.  I also am going to use the clothespin to attach a few of the cotton balls on the vents of my hotel room to get rid of the stale smell in a room with no open windows.
  • Extra Battery Power for my iPhone – I charge it up before I leave on a trip and when my phone battery dies and I am not near an electrical outlet – I can use this to power up my phone again.
  • Business Cards – you never know when you will make a connection.
  • Jewelry When I travel I always carry my jewelry with me and don’t pack it in my suitcase. They are not the crown jewels, but I am rather fond of a few pieces and would be sad if they got lost or stolen.
  • Elizabeth Arden 8 Hour Sheer Lipstick goes with me everywhere. It is a sheer pink called Blush. It keeps my lips from getting chapped.
  • Notepad and Pen so I can jot down any inspiring idea I see or think of. If I don’t write it down, I won’t remember it.
  • Headphones for my iPhone – I don’t use these very much, but if I am on a flight with a movie – I am glad I have them.
  • Book – (not shown) Right now I am reading Resistant by Michael Palmer


I also packed a scarf so when I start to freeze while in flight, I have something to wrap around me. It takes up a lot less room than a sweater. I recently made the switch to a glass water bottle.  No plastic taste anymore.  I fill it at a water fountain once I pass through TSA. The blow up neck pillow was given to all the attendees of the SNAP conference I went to last year in Utah. I have used it on every trip since.


I am all packed and ready to travel in ease and stress-free style.

Would you like to win a $100 gift card to get your own Lifetime Leather tote or anything you desire from Duluth Trading Co?

Looking for something perfect to give your dad for Father’s Day?

Thanks Duluth for sending me the best all-around tote I have ever owned.

To see more of their awesome products. Check out the many items Duluth Trading carries for both men and women.

This Giveaway is now over.  

a Rafflecopter giveaway


 Duluth Trading Co sent me this bag to review.  All opinions are my own.  




  1. Sharon Eberlin says

    Love the bag you chose. I also loved your tips. I will be traveling in September. Would be a great item to take.

  2. Laural says

    I LUV anything Coach brings off the Creative table. I have lost my Father (POP) a few years back and He is always with me in so many tasks that I do because it was his kindness and patience that taught me.
    I love your site and wish you many blessings. L

  3. sarajane says

    I loved the Lifetime totes when I saw them in the Duluth catalog last year…
    I would get the exact same tote as you!

  4. Heather says

    I just got my hubby a pair of work pants from Duluth and they are amazing! He loves them. This tote is beautiful!

  5. Lily says

    Your blog is the absolute best. The bag looks terrific. I finally decided to add my name in since I visit your website all of the time.

  6. Terry says

    I love this bag not only because it would allow me to carry everything I need but it would age beautifully!

  7. Jennnifer says

    Great giveaway! Would be so excited to give a bag to my hubby who is in school for his doctorate in education!


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