A long time ago I bought a green jacquard 4-piece luggage set from JC Penney. I remember taking it on a cruise in early 2000 so I am thinking it was at least 20 years ago. I like the colors, felt it was unique for spotting at the airport and it included a good variety of pieces. The luggage had a big 28″ suitcase, a nice carry-on, a large weekender bag, and a little bag I never figured out a purpose for.
This luggage has been on 2 cruises, 2 trips through Europe, as well as countless other vacations. About a year ago I began to notice it was showing some signs of wear. The corners were banged up, the zippers were pulling away from the fabric (probably from years of over-stuffing the weekender bag, lol) and so on. I have no real style so the fact that this luggage looked a little dated didn’t bother me in the least, but I had no intention of replacing it as long as it remained functional.
I started looking around at what luggage was out there in the marketplace. Because I don’t replace things often, I wanted something durable, and functional, with a somewhat timeless style. I follow Samantha Brown on social media and noticed that she has her own line of luggage. I watched a couple of videos on her products and discovered that her luggage seemed to have all those features. Additionally, I found that since Samantha is a professional traveler, she has used her experience to determine where to add lots of extra handy pockets and pouches. The hold up for me was that it is only available on HSN and the price was a bit more than I expected to pay. So I was still on the fence.
I had never voluntarily sat through a presentation on QVC, HSN or any other home shopping channel. Just not my thing. I like to think of myself as a reconnaissance shopper. I need something, I seek it out and buy it. Done. It is very rare that I just go mill about looking at things willy nilly. Investigating her line of luggage meant that I ended up watching HSN videos to research the product.
In May, my daughter and I took our annual Girls’ Getaway trip to Portland. When my husband was loading the suitcases in the car for us to go to the airport, he came back in with a piece of the wheel housing off my big suitcase. He assured me that it still rolled. Since we were literally on our way to the airport, I went with it and had no issues from DTW to PDX. Somewhere along that trip, it got worse and it wasn’t so great getting through the last airport coming home.
Alas, I knew that I now had to replace my luggage sooner than later. Especially with a big trip to Hawaii coming up in October. The pressure was on! I looked at suitcases in several stores and just couldn’t get enthused. I also noticed that despite my original thinking, the Samantha Brown luggage prices were actually competitive compared to what was available in stores…even with sales and/or coupons. I knew that meant I had to watch for a pop up sale on her luggage on HSN.
My other problem was that there were 2 sets that I liked. 1 came with a 28″ suitcase, a 21″ suitcase, a good-sized carry-on tote, and several packing cubes. I liked the pieces, but it was kind of plain and I wasn’t crazy about the colors. The other had a band of reptile print trim on it which gave it a style boost and there were 3 colors that I liked. It had similar pieces, just no packing cubes, and was about the same price. Eventually, I decided to go for the stylish piece with the better color selection. I still had to decide between navy or black.
The set popped up on a one-day price drop from $249 down to $199. It was just enough of a savings to seal the deal for me. I started my order from Ebates (Rakuten) even though the rebate is never more than 1-2%. Since I had never purchased from HSN before, I took advantage of signing up on their e-mail list in exchange for an extra 15% discount. That discount ended up being enough to cover the taxes and shipping costs. I ended up with 3 quality pieces for under $200.
I was super excited yesterday when my package arrived. I quickly slit open the cardboard box and dragged out the contents all while yelling for my husband to come see what I had (as if he would be excited about my new luggage). This was a big deal for me.
Unpacking it reminded me of those Russian nesting dolls. You open one piece up and another is snuggled inside. I think it took me 10 minutes tearing through plastic and pulling apart the layers.
When everything was unwrapped and I could see the pieces clearly, I was very happy with my choice. I ended up ordering the navy because I see a lot of black luggage on the carousels at the airport. My husband started spinning it around in every direction just like Samantha Brown does on her HSN presentations. They go back and forth as well as sideways and you can spin them in a full circle….my old suitcase wheels only went one direction. The Tote bag sleeve slides onto the pop up handle of either suitcase to help free up your hands in the airport. And I can’t even tell you how many pockets and other handy features it has. Love at first sight.
It kind of felt like Christmas! As much as we travel, I feel like good luggage is a necessity. I also think that with over 20 years of use, I had gotten my money’s worth out of the old set. This set has a 5 year warranty, but I know I will have it way longer than that. Now I am super excited to use my new suitcases, but probably won’t get the chance until September. I actually can’t wait to pack!
Dream, Plan, Save, Adventure……And splurge every once in a While!