Is there anything more crushing than hitting the airport with your busted suitcase only to stand in line beside another traveler with a pristine set of Louis Vuitton luggage? It’s common knowledge that jet-setters should dress the part if they hope to upgrade to business or—dare I dream—first class. So here are several pieces that suggest frequent flier without the outrageous cost.
Beautiful Baggage on a Budget
Parson Gray Cavalry Duffel (on sale for $59.98) at Nordstrom
Adventurers are usually easy to spot thanks to their multiple backpacks, well-worn sleeping bags and rugged hiking boots. Leave them guessing where you’re headed with a one-duffle-fits-all that’s more chic than campground.
Rockland Luggage 2-Piece Set ($79.99) at Kohl’s
Traveling with a few kiddos? Busy moms know that the key to keeping your sanity is downsizing. Kohl’s two-piece set manages to simultaneously look fun and put-together.
Writer Amber Elliott traveling in style with the Rockland Luggage 2-Piece Set
Herschel Supply Co. Duffel ($64.99) at Zappos
Remember those flowery, quilted duffels beloved by college girls circa 2004? Herschel’s version is just as playful, albeit a little less dated.
Masen Duffel ($79) at The North Face
One of my worst fears is that someone else will accidentally take my luggage at baggage claim. Fortunately, The North Face’s bright-red duffel is unique and easy to spot from a mile away.
American Tourister 4-Piece Luggage Set ($68.99) at Walmart
Simplicity and clean lines are synonymous with luxury. It’s hard to believe this four-piece set is just $69—it looks like a million bucks.
Traveler’s Choice 2-Piece Luxembourg Set ($91.99) at eBags
Take a cue from those sleek business class travelers and invest in a hard-case set. eBags stocks several affordable options, but something about this understated gray suggests “priority boarding.”
Bonus Buys for the Sky
Sea to Summit Zip-Top Pouch ($19.95) at L.L. Bean
The secret to looking like a seasoned pro is organization. Whiz through security like a Kardashian with these leakproof bottles in a TSA-approved clear bag.
Ever Moda Chevron Collection Garment Bag ($35.99) at Amazon
Headed to a wedding or a fancy event that requires wrinkle-free attire? Allow me to introduce you to the hanging garment bag. Editor’s note: For those who despise unpacking (just like moi), there’s no simpler way to transport clothes to closet in one-easy step.
Travel Smart Polarized Plug ($3.99) at Target
I once fried—yes, there was smoke—my favorite curling iron in a friend’s Parisian flat because I was too stubborn to use the correct plug. Don’t make the same mistake, and pack Target’s no-brainer of a converter.
Victorinox Flap-Over Drawstring Laptop Backpack ($99.99) at Lord & Taylor
If the man in your life insists on traveling with a backpack, as many men do, make sure he has a mature one so that no one confuses you for his chaperone.
Nordstrom: Get free shipping and free returns all the time.
Kohl’s: Through December 31, 2015, get 15% off $100 or more plus free shipping.
The North Face: Get free shipping on all orders.
eBags: Get up to 65% off luggage through April 30.
L.L. Bean: Through April 19, get a $10 gift certificate with a purchase of $50 or more.
Lord & Taylor: Through March 24, get 20% off regular and sale items storewide.