This past week I took my Camille bag with me on my first international trip for work.
I traveled to the Dominican Republic then back to the States for another work trip then home. So that ended up being 5 flights over 4 days all in coach. Fun times. The picture above was all of my carry on and checked luggage. One big suitcase (checked), my laptop bag (carry on) and my Camille (carry on). I was a little nervous about my first travels with my bag being international because I have NEVER flown international before but I figured hey, if this bag can handle this, it can handle anything. So first things first, I loaded it up before I left with goodies.
Now for this trip, I removed all the shelves from my bag. I did this so I could stuff it as full as I could with food. This is one of my favorite things about this bag - that I can change the config at a whim. I usually have one open side and one side with shelves, but I change it up as needed. Inside my bag in the two side cup holders I had an empty water bottle (I filled it up with water inside the airport in the US so I would at least have some water upon landing since Americans are recommended to avoid non bottled water in the Dominican) and a shaker cup.
Now this to me is the MOST important test for the bag. The reason I wanted to bring this style bag is that I wanted to be able to put both of my carry ons under my seat. My old travel bag was a bookbag and by the time I filled it up it was the only thing that fit under my seat. It was too tall to sit straight up and when on it's back it was too wide. The net result was that I ended up not having all I needed for a long flight in handy reach and often ended up not getting food or my computer or whatever out because it was a pain. I am pleased to say this bag fit easily under my seat!
I unfortunately totally forgot to grab a photo until my last flight home, on the smallest plane. But it did fit fine under the seat on every flight, dividers or none, and I was able to get my food out as needed. I absolutely love the easy access to the side pocket because it was easy to just reach over and tilt the bag and grab food out without having to dig like crazy for something, especially a protein bar or something small that easily can drop to the bottom of a bag. Also hello and thank you for no more crushed broken protein crunch bars! When the food was gone on the way home I just used it to put my portable charger and my magnets and stuff I brought back home.
The main con I found during flights was that I noticed that if you had a taller container in the cup holders it was usually too tall and I had to lay it flat. Other than that, my only other complaint has nothing to do with traveling, it's that I wish I could fit at least a small blender bottle standing up inside of the cooled area so I could carry a smoothie to work. Not that I could do that when traveling, but it's just a desire of mine as I used to be able to do that with my Innovator 300 and I miss that.
Oh and one HUGE travel plus - the pockets. Oh all the pockets. I had my passport and boarding passes in one pocket with my kindle. My phone in the back pocket. Medicine easily accessible in another. Lip glosses and cough drops in another. It honestly is the best big bag (meaning when I'm flying with more than just a purse) that I have ever flown with because of those pockets. I'm typically fumbling with where to put my boarding pass and I was absolutely terrified of losing my passport so the easy access to put things away immediately was aces 10.
I absolutely LOVE this style for the actual plane trip. It definitely wont itself more travel. I did find myself wishing I had the Renee (the business lady model of this bag...which people who use business lady probably aren't classy enough to use...) when I was traveling to the supplier just to be more professional. I wished I had the backpack version when I was standing around in customs lines and waiting for cabs. It doesn't ride well on top of a suitcase like a smaller bag would so you do have to carry it around. I guess that just means I should lift more and get stronger so it feels like air.
This is my 3rd 6 pack bag. I had an Innovator 300 (which I totally ruined as I said before by leaving food in it by mistake). I made a dumb decision to get an Innovator 500 as a replacement for that and ended up selling it off because it was just too big for me. I thought I needed it and I didn't and it was so big and bulky that I ended up not using it. I do miss the old ice packs (the old ones were definitely much better, they would keep my bag cold for 12+ hours, these do not). But other than that - these bags are the best. A new one JUST came out and I may or may not have ordered it....I'm addicted. I decided to get the Innovator Mini for a few reasons. One reason was that I wanted another bag to swap out with my Camille bag because I don't need a full bag for work every day. I really only need it on days when I'm traveling, going from campus to campus, or hanging out and want to bring my food to a friends house or something. Some days a lunch box like my Innovator is all I need because I'm just going into the office and then straight home.
So that's my little Camille travel review :) Now I'm going to go hit my meal prep and be ready for the week! I had a GREAT week of travel and hung a little loose on the weekend hanging out at the Renaissance Faire (mead is pretty boss). My next cheat will be this weekend as the hubby and I celebrate our 4th wedding anniversary. Then after that I start BODY BEAST baby!!!!