Review: Away Travel Luggage

Review: Away Travel Luggage

A month before I departed on my trip to New Zealand, I bought two new cases from Away Travel online both in the colour “sand”:

  1. The Carry On
  2. The Medium

I bought these two as they were essential sizes that I needed to replace old bags. I considered buying The Large luggage, but didn’t think I’d need that much space. I spent a few nights measuring the bags against my old ones, making sure they were the perfect size. The lifetime guarantee was another factor that drew me towards Away Travel; I prefer to buy items that will last, rather than buying something that I will need to replace after a few months.

After months of hesitation, I finally bought them! Altogether, these bags cost $625 AUD. The carry on was $295 and the medium was $375. Purchasing the bags in a luggage set, I saved $45. Shipping was free. On to the review!

I’ll score these bags out of 10, based on these 3 criteria:

  1. First impression.
  2. Durability.
  3. Overall function.

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My score: 8/10. 

On my work break, my sister messaged me and sent me a photo that my new luggage arrived! It took about 10 days shipping to Australia. I assume they have a warehouse in one of the major cities which ensured quick delivery. So far, so good!

One of my concerns buying online, was that the bags could get damaged, lost or stolen on its way to me.  However, my bags were encased in hard foam to keep from denting or damage in transit. And the fact that these boxes arrived without getting lost, was a good sign.

Out of the box, these bags felt quite light. The exterior material is grainy but not tacky upon looking at them. However, the feel of the exterior lost marks as it is rough and made it feel cheap despite it’s expensive ‘look’. The colour was one of the many reasons I went with Away Travel Luggage. I got both bags in the colour “sand” and it was just as beautiful in person as they looked online!

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My score: 7/10.

At first, I was really careful when rolling my bags around. After a week or so and especially when I began packing, I used quite a bit of force to open and close the bags. So far, they haven’t cracked or damaged when I’ve turned the bags sideways or sat on them to zip the bags shut!

When picking up The Medium luggage at bag collection, I noticed a few scuff marks. Other than that, the bag held up well throughout the international flight. The two electronic appliances I took were intact.

Despite stuffing my luggage with thick sweaters and making my bag bulge slightly, it closed relatively easily! For some reason, I worried constantly about buying a new luggage bag and then breaking the zipper on the first go. This did not happen!

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My score: 7/10

As you can see in the image above, both The Carry On and The Medium have two compartments: one side with a mesh zip flap and the other with mesh storage and two tightening clips.

Both sides were equally easy to use, fill and re-open when needed. I found the two-clip side really useful for my bulky sweaters and jacket. I could compress the sides down by pulling at the clip tail.

Both bags had a locking system at the top of the bags for security. They also came with luggage tags attached which I only filled out half-way through the trip. Oops.

Both the Carry On and The Medium had four wheels which was essential when purchasing new bags. I didn’t want to worry about having to drag one or both cases with me. Convenience is essential when traveling, especially overseas!

A few things I would note:

  • Overlap: If one side is heavier than the other and you flip it to zip the case up, it can overlap, resulting in a bit of strategic manoeuvring in order to close.
  • Top handles not catching: Both the handles can be temperamental. Particularly, when going through security – especially during peak time – you’ve got to grab your belongings quickly off the scanning belt and continue walking or else you’ll hold up the people behind you. However, the handle of my carry on would not “catch” and I’d end up carrying it out of the way to avoid a hold up. I’ve now learned not to worry about the perfect height of the handle and simply pull it up with some force so it locks in and I can roll away smoothly!
  • The wheels: I found if my carry on was 7-8kg, it would wheel, but sometimes get lost in a different direction than the one I am pulling it. Similarly, at 24kg, my medium luggage bag would wheel but I needed to add force and keep a steady grip so it wouldn’t roll in the wrong direction. This could be because I filled my bags to capacity — I still haven’t completely learned to pack ‘light’! 

All in all, I am so happy with my purchase. These bags got me from A to B AKA Adelaide to New Zealand. Through the road-trips we took, and having to re-pack each time into a small boot space with other luggage, they did exactly what was advertised. My belongings were safe through it all and I wasn’t afraid of anything breaking! Plus, they look stylish AF when rolled together. Totally worth the money spent!

I hope this review gave you an insight to Away Travel carry on and medium luggage bags. Happy travels!

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How to regulate stress when flying alone for the first time.

How to regulate stress when flying alone for the first time.

What is stress?

Stress is defined as a state of mental or emotional strain resulting from adverse or demanding circumstances. Stress in general is a simple emotion that can help us survive in critical situations and can also help us stay productive in our jobs through things like project deadlines and customer demand.

When we do new things for the first time, there is a level of stress that may arise. An interesting thing to note however, is the fact that the brain can’t always distinguish nervousness/stress from excitement. So in hindsight, I was likely excited to begin my vacation, but nervous to fly alone. Interesting, right?

For this years trip, I was flying from Adelaide, Australia to Queenstown, New Zealand with a quick stop over in Sydney. If you’ve never flown alone before, I’ve listed a few things that helped me regulate stress so I could fully enjoy my vacation!

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3-5 days before, I began packing. Usually, I have a list of things I need. In the end, I started with basics and worked my way up – no list needed! First up: underwear, thermals and socks! I then tried on all the outfits I planned in my head and took photos for reference. I put all these items on one side of my bedroom when they were ready to be packed. I then packed toiletries, electronics (charger cables, laptop, hairdryer, straightener) and big jackets.

The night before, I laid out my “airplane outfit” so I could change quickly and get out the door. Packing early ensures we can get up and go, minus any last-minute panic-packing!

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a. Luggage.

I triple checked my luggage to make sure that all my heavy and non-essential items were going to be checked-in. If an item wasn’t going to be used on the flight or in-between flights, it was going into my luggage bag! Once my baggage was checked, I knew that was one less thing I needed to worry about!

b. Carry-on.

Essentials for me, included a book to read, extra layers in case I get cold and my crossbody which would be stored in my carry-on. I dedicated one section of my crossbody to hold my  itinerary and passport. That way, those documents were separate from miscellaneous items like perfume and earphones.

The stop-over in Sydney required a shuttle-bus ride. As soon as I landed, I got my next ticket out and kept it wedged in my passport for ease-of-access, once I got to the gate.

Being organised as much as possible minimises questions of whether or not we have everything we need.

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On my flight to Sydney, I sat next to a lovely lady named Kylee (@kyleeeann) and we got to chatting. It made me feel better knowing I wasn’t the only one flying alone (although rationally, I know many people do). We spoke about our plans, what we do in our daily lives and even shared our social media ventures! I know it can be awkward sitting next to complete strangers if you’re used to travelling with friends or family, but you never know who you may meet and what you might learn through these short encounters!

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Kylee tapped me on the shoulder to look out the window. The sun was rising. It was a beautiful mix of orange, yellow and navy blue. Waking up at 3AM was difficult and as scary as it was to be flying alone, there are always pockets of goodness and beauty if you look for it! So if you’re awake enough, look out the window!

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During my stopover, I only had 1.5 hour between flights (which in hindsight, wasn’t long enough). I rushed to the loo and then ran to the other side of the airport to catch a shuttle bus to the international terminal. Once I got to the bus line, I realised I was very close to missing my connecting flight. Talk about stressed! I fixed my eyes on a spot on the wall and breathed deeply. I slowed my mind down. Yes, I was still focused on the ticking clock but I tried my best to intentionally calm myself and regulate my breathing. I did not have control over how fast the bus would arrive, so there was no point in stressing over it. I learned a lot about myself in terms of “control” and how it feels to let it go.

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I love a good, creamy, non-dairy coffee. However, I opted for water for both flights. Although coffee was satisfying, it would exacerbate my nervousness. For those who know me, know I enjoy a good bite to eat, so I made sure to have breakfast and lunch to keep me fuelled for the day ahead. I listened to my body and that’s something I’m proud of myself for! In the last few months, I’ve found it difficult to distinguish hunger, fullness and dehydration. If you have had moments or days like this too, it is time to listen to your body. It is so important to treat our bodies well.

I hope you found these tips helpful for your next adventure! Stress is normal. If we find ways to regulate it, stress can be beneficial for productivity and organisation.

Signing off from

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Reflections during the Long Weekend

Reflections during the Long Weekend

Today, I want to reflect on the last two years. Particularly, for myself as an individual as well as a committed person in a relationship. I’m always starting conversations with my boyfriend about the future regarding property, financial goals, aspirations and ideas. As nice as it is to imagine what our future could be like in career and as people, it is so important to realise how far we’ve come.

In this world of social media (including this blog you’re reading – although I hope this is a positive one!), it can be difficult not to get swayed by what others post or say. And as advertising on social platforms becomes more rampant, it can be difficult to remember what’s truly important. I catch myself wanting material items that could never bring me true joy, so I’m taking a step back today.

A tendency of mine that I’ve had since a young age, is that I can doubt myself in almost every aspect of life. It’s sad and really frustrating. However, I’m becoming better at noticing small accomplishments and reminding myself of where I am now. Below is a humble-brag to remind myself – and you – that it’s possible to improve our lifestyle and well-being by simply working on it.

financially

  • I’m finally earning more after 10 years of being afraid to commit to a self-accountable role (and of earning minimum/below minimum wage).
  • I’m putting away half my pay-check into savings (some weeks 75%).
  • I’ve been able to save for two holidays, one of which I paid off upfront as a birthday gift for my boyfriend.

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  • I’m getting better at not taking things personally.
  • Setting boundaries but also doing my best to talk about how I really feel.
  • Able to hold space for others really well.

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  • My story is my own to change. I can either: repeat it like a broken record and be miserable and blame others for my mistakes OR I can make amazing lemonade out of lemons.
  • Learning what it takes to never give up.
  • I know my limits are only set by my mindset.
  • If I set myself to a task, to follow through.

physically

  • Trying to move my body 2-3 times a week.
  • Pushing through the tiredness.
  • Knowing there is so much room for improvement and that’s not a bad thing.

I hope you’re enjoying the long weekend! Don’t forget to remember where you’ve come from and the accomplishments you’ve made along the way.

By noticing the good in our life, we notice the good in others 🙂

What have you accomplished this year that you’re proud of?

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