The 15 Best Travel Purses of 2023, Tested and Reviewed

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These are our absolute favorite purses, belt bags, and totes for travel

<p>People / Marcus Millan</p>

People / Marcus Millan

Whether you’re off to the beach, Europe, or headed out on business and want to put your most professional foot forward, a good travel purse can make your next travel experience easier. What do we mean by a travel purse? Any easy-to-carry purse, belt bag, tote, backpack, or sling bag that's small enough to count as your "personal item" on an airplane. With a seemingly endless collection of different styles, sizes, and materials on the market, finding the right travel purse, tote, or backpack to take on your trip can be an overwhelming task, to say the least.

We tested popular travel bags on planes, trains, and, yes, automobile rides, and asked our team members to share their favorites. After reviewing 30 different travel purses on their capacity, portability, ease of use, and value, we put together this list of top travel bags.

Best Overall: CHERUTY Women's Backpack Purse

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  • It has a large main pouch with a wide zipper flap for easy access.

  • The opening is on the back (next to your body) to keep your items safe.

  • There are two sizes and 15 colors available, so you can get exactly what you’re looking for.


  • There isn’t an easy way to make it stay on top of your rolling luggage.

Earning perfect scores across the board, this elegant travel backpack from Cheruty was our favorite. Featuring water bottle pouches, small interior and exterior pockets for passports and small devices, and soft, adjustable straps, this travel backpack has it all. Our favorite part, though, features a cavernous main pouch (with access only from the back, keeping your items extremely secure!) with a giant flap zipper opening, allowing you to easily pack your bag with all your items, small or large. Plus, it’s made with vegan leather that’s been coated with polyurethane, making it water-resistant. It also comes in two sizes and 15 colors.

It doesn’t include a sleeve to keep it on top of rolling carry-on luggage, but you can keep it strapped on your back while you maneuver your luggage through the airport. While it’s not a name brand, this backpack’s combination of capacity and features for a great price make it a truly fantastic option for a travel bag.

Price at time of publish: from $33.29 (orig. $45)

Size: Medium: 12.6 x 12.6 x 5.9 inches, large: 13.7 x 14.7 x 6.3 inches | Body Material: Vegan polyurethane leather | Available Colors: 15 colors and patterns

Best Overall, Runner Up: Dagne Dover Landon Large Carryall Bag

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  • This bag has a super spacious interior with tons of pockets.

  • It folds up compactly, which makes for easy storage.


  • It doesn’t contain any main interior dividers, so it can be easy to lose your things inside.

This duffel tote from Dagne Dover also earned perfect scores in all of our categories. Featuring a long zipper offering an easily accessible wide top opening, a cavernous interior, and various straps that allow you to carry it or wear it on your shoulder or crossbody, this bag has it all. It’s super lightweight and folds into itself, making for efficient storage.

While it doesn’t have interior dividers in the main section, it has a ton of pockets — including an interior laptop sleeve, four small interior side pockets, an exterior phone pocket, and a luggage handle sleeve — and it comes with a key leash, a small mesh pouch, and a shoe bag. Plus, it cleans super well — it looked as good as new after we washed it! We absolutely loved this well-made, well-designed travel duffel for any and all travel.

Price at time of publish: $215

Size: 16.5 x 11 x 9 inches | Body Material: Neoprene | Available Colors: Neoprene: storm, onyx, heather gray, dune, camel, dark moss, air mesh: onyx, dark moss, warm dust

Featured On: The 12 Best Dagne Dover Bags

Best Belt Bag: lululemon All Night Festival Bag Micro 2L

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  • It’s a durable, high-quality belt bag.

  • It has a versatile design and can be worn in several ways.


  • We wish it included slots to organize credit cards.

This small Lululemon belt bag is the ideal bag for anyone looking to keep their important items accessible and organized without the bag getting in the way. This affordable and high-quality travel purse features a thoughtful design with multiple zip pockets of different shapes and sizes, making it great for many different uses. The front zip pocket is the ideal size for money, a couple of credit cards, and a phone, so you can easily access the things you need in a jiff. (We just wish it had slots to organize the credit cards.) Plus, it’s made of water-repellent nylon (which is super easy to spot clean!) and has held up remarkably well over the year our tester had it.

This bag’s small size makes it a fantastic option if you’re looking to keep your heavy-use items organized and accessible, and it can easily be tossed into a larger bag during travel. It has a versatile design and can be worn as a shoulder bag, crossbody, or fanny pack.

Price at time of publish: $68

Size: 5.5 x 5.1 x 2 inches | Body Material: Nylon | Available Colors: Twilight rose, allspice, black/silver, black/gold, medium forest

Best Crossbody: KAVU Sydney Satchel

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  • It’s a sturdy and well-constructed bag.

  • It comes in fun colors and prints.

  • It has a long, adjustable strap.


  • The style and prints may not be super professional.

This fantastic crossbody satchel from KAVU can accompany you on any trip. With enough capacity to hold even a bulky sweatshirt, this cotton purse is great for any time you want to bring along some belongings without it feeling unwieldy or heavy. It’s super easy to clean and quite sturdy and well-made, so it’s great for trips where you might be doing rough outdoor activities, like hiking or enjoying an amusement park. With a large exterior zip pocket, an interior zip pocket, and two small interior flat pockets, this bag is great for keeping your items organized while remaining easily accessible.

Plus, it has a long, adjustable strap and comes in fun colors and prints, so you can find one right up your alley. The prints are rather bold, so this satchel might not be ideal if you need a more professional-looking bag.

Price at time of publish: $45

Size: 15 x 13 x 1.5 inches | Body Material: Cotton | Available Colors: Beach paint, got dots, winterscape

Best Medium-Sized: Baggu Medium Nylon Crescent Bag

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  • This bag is the ideal size to hold everything you might want without becoming cumbersome to carry or stay organized.

  • It’s machine-washable.

  • It comes in a bunch of fun colors!


  • It has two pockets but no interior separators.

If you’re looking for a travel purse that’s not too big or too small, is easy to clean, and is super durable, the Medium Nylon Crescent Bag from Baggu may be the ideal fit. Made of durable heavyweight nylon (which is machine-washable and super easy to spot clean), this stylish bag featuring a variety of funky colors will hold all of your important items, and you can keep the most essential ones like keys and credit cards out of the fray in the interior zippered pouch. It doesn’t have any interior separators, but the pockets can keep most things organized.

Plus, it isn’t too big, so your items won’t be getting all mixed up and lost in a dark corner, either. It also has an adjustable strap, allowing you to hold it close to your body, and it zips shut and has no exterior pockets, so you can rest assured your items will be safe while you wander the airport, the beach, or the streets of Europe. And, if you’re looking for something a bit bigger, Baggu has released a large version as well.

Price at time of publish: $52

Size: 13.75 x 8 x 4 inches | Body Material: Recycled heavyweight nylon | Available Colors: 11

Best with Multiple Pockets: MultiSac Lorraine Women's Crossbody Bag

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  • It’s a great price for such a well-designed vegan leather purse.

  • It comes in a variety of fun colors.

  • It’s the ideal size: not too large, not too small.


  • The narrow top opening can make it hard to find your belongings quickly.

This well-designed vegan leather travel purse from MultiSac is the ideal option if you’re looking to keep many different items organized throughout your travels. It features four exterior pockets — three on the front (two flat, one gusseted) and one on the back (which is extremely secure and can even be a bit difficult to access oneself) — as well as three interior pockets (two small gusseted ones, and one big enough for a small device like a tablet). With this variety of pocket shapes and sizes, you’ll definitely be able to keep all of your important documents organized and accessible.

Plus, it comes in a variety of fun colors and prints, and the adjustable strap allows you to wear the purse crossbody or on your shoulder. This affordable purse is the ideal size for traveling — it’s not too large or too small. One small drawback: The narrow top opening of the purse can make it challenging to find and access your belongings quickly.

Price at time of publish: from $39.99

Size: 11 x 12 x 2.5 inches | Body Material: Vegan leather | Available Colors: Beach glass flowers, black (heirloom), gingham/hazelnut, margate floral, Tropicana floral

Best Foldable: Away The Packable Carryall

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  • It has a large capacity and is super lightweight.

  • The bag includes storage pouch which features a loop so you can clip it wherever you need!


  • It doesn’t contain any interior organizing compartments.

If you’re looking for a bag that will hold a lot but can be easily stored throughout your trip or while you’re home (or is a great “just in case” bag), you can’t do better than this foldable carryall from Away. Made of water-resistant nylon, this bag folds up into a tiny 6 by 4-inch storage pouch with a loop that can easily be tossed anywhere. While it doesn’t feature organizing compartments, it has one flat exterior pocket, one zipped interior pocket, and a whole bunch of capacity — ideal for any trip where you want to fit it all in one bag. It also features a luggage handle strap for easy transport in the airport, and it comes in a variety of beautiful, fun colors.

Price at time of publish: $75

Size: 19.7 x 15 x 9 inches | Body Material: Recycled nylon | Available Colors: Black, navy, teal, cayenne

Related: Jetset in Style with the Best Away Travel Luggage of 2023

Best with Shoe Compartment: MINKARS Weekender Bag with Shoe Compartment

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  • It’s a phenomenal value for a bag that is so big, functional, well-made, and well-designed.

  • It features a luggage handle sleeve for easy transport and a USB charging port to use with a portable charger.


  • There are not a ton of color options.

With a spacious and easily accessible shoe compartment at the bottom, this travel tote by Minikars is great for any weekend trip. It looks a lot like a piece of Béis luggage, but at half price. It has a super wide opening and a sturdy design that holds its shape while you fill it, so you’ll have an easy time packing, unpacking, and accessing items in this bag. Plus, the shoe compartment is super spacious, and easy to access (unlike those dark, tunnel-like, cavernous ones where you have to hope for the best when reaching in to get something out). Plus, this bag comes with a matching toiletry case and a detachable crossbody strap, so you can carry it however works best for you. This thoughtfully designed bag also has a luggage handle sleeve for hands-free rolling through the airport, and a USB charging port that’s available when you need it. This bag is a great value with leather detailing, a thoughtful design, and three elegant color options.

Our team member who has this bag absolutely loves it. She shared, “It truly holds a lot, and it has the quality of more expensive bags that it's a dupe of (specifically the Beis Weekender one). The leather details make it feel more expensive than it actually is. I spent a lot of time scrolling through Amazon and Béis's website trying to compare bags, and I found this one seemed to look the most well-made for the price tag.”

Price at time of publish: from $46.99

Size: 17 x 16 x 8 inches | Body Material: Waterproof | Available Colors: Beige, black, pink

Best Sling Bag: Patagonia Atom Sling Bag

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  • It’s made of durable, easy-to-clean, water-repellent material.

  • It’s ideal if you want to keep your items close to your body.

  • This bag features several pockets and pouches to keep your belongings organized and accessible.


  • It’s a casual bag, so it doesn’t have a professional look.

Another travel bag that earned top scores, this crossbody sling bag from Patagonia is excellent for anyone looking to comfortably free up their hands without sacrificing capacity. The bag itself rides on the wearer's back (close to your body), keeping your items safely out of the way without swinging everywhere and becoming a nuisance. Plus, the adjustable strap is padded and designed for comfort — and our favorite part: It features a small zipper pouch on the front for important or heavy-use items like a phone or keys.

We love how spacious this bag is and the fact that it’s water-repellent and easy to clean. The pockets and pouches in this bag are thoughtfully designed. In addition to the strap pouch, the bag features an exterior zip pouch along with the main zip pouch (and inside, there is a separator to keep your items organized), plus straps for carrying something bulkier like a yoga mat. This bag is casual, so it may not be the first choice if you’re looking for something more professional.

Price at time of publish: $65

Size: 13.5 x 9 x 3 inches | Body Material: Water-repellent recycled polyester | Available Colors: 7

Best Lightweight: Longchamp Le Pliage Filet L Mesh Bag

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  • This bag can be scrunched up into a really small bundle — or folded up, which makes it easy to travel with and store.

  • It has more capacity than it may seem!


  • The contents of the bag are always visible.

If you’re looking for something unique, versatile, and stylish, this mesh bag from Longchamp (in collaboration with FILT) is the ideal option. With a surprisingly high capacity (think towel, sweater, book, sunglasses, water bottle, and more), this scrunch-upable purse is great for any time you may need an impromptu bag — especially at the beach; no sand getting stuck in the bottom here! And don’t be concerned about your items falling out — we had no issue with this throughout our use. Keep in mind that everything is visible with this bag. It also has both the iconic Le Pliage flap and snap closure and handle as well as a longer set of straps, so you can wear it however works best for you.

Price at time of publish: $110

Size: 15 x 12.2 inches | Body Material: Cotton | Available Colors: Ecru, tobacco, black, pink, green, lilac

Best Versatility: Longchamp Le Pliage Expandable Travel Bag

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  • This bag features a zipper expander, so you can easily switch between a medium and large size tote.

  • It features Longchamp’s signature Le Pliage foldover closure that allows you to fold your bag up into a small rectangle for easy storage and transport.

  • The polyamide canvas material is super easy to clean.


  • There are no interior organizational compartments.

Another one of the travel bags on our list that earned high ratings, Longchamp’s expandable travel duffel is great for so many uses. Even without opening the expansion, this bag already has quite the capacity, but if you’d like some extra space, just zip open the expansion and you’re good to go. Plus, this bag comes with both Longchamp’s iconic leather flap and snap closure and handle, as well as a detachable strap for on-the-shoulder wear. And, like most of Longchamp’s Le Pliage bags, this tote is designed to be folded up into a compact little rectangle, making this the ideal bag for tossing into your suitcase “just in case,” or hiding away in your checked luggage when not in use. It doesn’t feature interior organizational pockets, which would be helpful.

One of our testers shared that she considers this Longchamp “the everything bag.” She uses it as her daily purse and fills it with her wallet, keys, phone, and water bottle, but she also uses it for weekend trips. “I can use it as my laptop carrier on my way to work or on the airplane, and the material makes it so easy to clean up if I spill water, coffee, or food inside."

Price at time of publish: $265

Size: 17.7 x 13.8 x 9.1 inches | Body Material: Recycled polyamide canvas | Available Colors: Black, navy, red

Best Tote: Portland Leather Leather Tote Bag

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  • This bag comes in a wide array of beautiful and sophisticated colors.

  • It’s also available in four sizes, each with an open-top and zipper-top option, so you can get exactly the bag you need.


  • It doesn’t have interior organizational compartments aside from one small flat pocket.

Tote bag lovers, rejoice: This beautiful leather tote from Portland is a wonderful option for those seeking a travel bag that’s easily accessible while also looking professional and sophisticated. Although it has minimal interior organization, with a deep, wide interior, you can fit so much into this bag (we tested the large size).

We were easily able to fit a laptop, a wallet, a book, a Kindle, and keys (especially easy thanks to the snap-open key loop), and had room for more. Plus, each size and color also comes in open-top and zipper-top options, so you can achieve the level of ease or security you desire. Our favorite part, though: The thick, sturdy, genuine leather doesn’t slouch and has shown no signs of wear in over two years of use, even on the straps and rivets.

Price at time of publish: from $144 (orig. $249) 

Size: Small: 13 x 11 x 4.5 inches, medium: 15 x 12 x 5.5 inches, large: 18 x 12 x 6 inches, oversized: 13.5-21 x 13 x 6 inches | Body Material: Leather (or suede) | Available Colors: Nutmeg, coldbrew, honey, cognac, pebbled black, black, grizzly, Dakota, storm-tan

Best Backpack: Longchamp Le Pliage Original Backpack

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  • It’s super secure with zippers that close tightly and Longchamp’s signature flap and snap.

  • It folds down to a portable size for easy storage or traveling.


  • It doesn’t have organizational pockets or compartments.

Another one of our bags that earned high ratings, this elegant Longchamp is great for anyone who prefers a backpack for traveling — and wants to know their belongings are safe. With a zipper closure as well as Longchamp’s famed Le Pliage foldover snap closure, you can rest assured your items will be secure. It also folds down to a portable size that’s easy for storage and traveling. While it doesn’t include organizational pockets or compartments, we were impressed by how much capacity this backpack has — we’ve fit a laptop, makeup, a sweater, a couple of water bottles, and snacks with no issue. Plus, it comes in several bright, fun colors. This Longchamp is a sophisticated way to wear a backpack, wherever you’re headed.

Price at time of publish: $140

Size: 10.2 x 11 x 3.9 inches | Body Material: Recycled polyamide canvas | Available Colors: 7

Best Leather: Portland Leather The Toaster Bag

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  • This bag comes in a variety of fun colors in pebbled and smooth scales.

  • Given this bag’s compact size, it holds a lot of stuff.


  • It only has one interior and one exterior pocket.

Those of you looking for a small bag that’s both sophisticated and stylish, look no further. This beautiful leather crossbody is super spacious for its size, has one interior and one exterior pocket, and will hold all of your essential belongings without becoming a nuisance. With a squared-off design that’s made to hold its form and a zipper that extends an inch or two down the sides, you can fill this belt bag up and still be able to access your items with ease.

It’s available in a variety of colors and finishes, including pebbled and smooth scales. Plus, with an adjustable strap, you can wear it as a crossbody or a shoulder bag — whichever you prefer. This elegant bag is a quality product with a timeless design and is a great choice.

Price at time of publish: $118 (orig. $240)

Size: 9.25 x 6 x 2.5 inches | Body Material: Leather | Available Colors: 11

Best Investment: Lo & Sons O.G. 2

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  • It has super spacious and well-thought-out pockets that allow (encourage!) you to keep your items organized.

  • There are different strap options, so you can wear it whichever way works best for you.

  • It comes in several sophisticated but fun color options — all of which come with gold or silver accents.


  • We couldn’t find any!

Another product with high scores, this sophisticated, functional, and versatile tote from Lo & Sons is ideal for any trip. With more pouches, pockets, and padding than we could imagine, this overnight bag can hold so much — and keep it organized. “Having a way to secure your travel bag on top of your roller luggage is a game changer, along with having secure but easy-to-access pockets for your passport and important items,” Jan Lo, cofounder and CEO of Lo & Sons shares.

This particular bag features a laptop sleeve, a flat exterior pouch, a shoe compartment, interior water bottle holders, small interior flat pouches, and a suitcase handle sleeve, plus a key leash and a detachable crossbody strap, allowing you to carry or wear it however you like. We also love that the nylon material makes it super easy to clean and that the bag has barely shown any signs of wear after over 4 years of use (just some slight fraying along the strap). Even better, it comes in a wide array of colors.

Price at time of publish: $226+

Size: Medium: 16.5 x 13.75  x 6.75 inches, large: 16.5 x 14.75 x 6.75 inches | Body Material: Nylon | Available Colors: Black, deep navy, grey (with grey, lavender, camel, and azure as interior options)

Our Verdict

After considering all of our surveyed results of avid travelers, the Cheruty Travel Backpack is our favorite, thanks to its low price tag, durable material, and clever design.

Things to Consider Before Buying a Travel Purse


“Look for a bag that maximizes the space inside of the bag while not getting too big for the under-seat compartment," says Lo. Also, take into account what you may be using it for, as different types of trips may require different sizes of bags.

For example, if you travel by plane often, you'll want to take note of your favorite airline's specific size constraints, whereas weeklong road trips allow for a little more flexibility.


With many different kinds of travel purses out there, what style will work best for you is worth considering before hitting the stores (online or in person). Our favorites? Backpacks, totes, and small purses, each of which offer different benefits. Backpacks, like the Longchamp Le Pliage Original Backpack and the CHERUTY Women Backpack Purse, are best for keeping your items out of your way and can be great for staying organized as they often have many pouches and pockets of different shapes and sizes.

Totes are best for holding a lot of items and are a great option, especially if you’re trying to get away with just one big bag for your whole trip or just a tote and a rollaboard. We especially loved the Away The Packable Carryall and the Dagne Dover Landon Camel Large Carryall Bag because they can hold a lot but are super easy to store (both at home or during your trip!).

And finally, small purses, like the Lululemon All Night Festival Bag Micro 2L,are great if you have just a few important/heavy-use items that you want to keep easily accessible (like your phone, wallet, keys, passport, maybe a book or a sweater, etc.) — or if you’re living the high life checking your bags but need to keep some important items with you. Smaller crossbody bags, like the Uniqlo Round Mini Shoulder Bag, are also great for trips where you may be hiking or going to amusement parks.


Heavily impacting both a travel bag’s style and its functionality is the material the bag is made of. Leather is going to look professional but be hard to clean. Cotton is going to be durable and easy to clean. Nylon is both professional and easy to clean. There are tons of different options out there, and we hope that with our help, you can find just what you’re looking for. In terms of durability, stylist Lindsay Albanese tells us her favorites are leather (we like the Portland Leather Tote Bag), nylon, or even patent leather, adding that she loves a good print to hide stains or dirt.


Travel purses can run the gamut when it comes to price: For this article, we tested bags at every price point, ranging from as low as $14.90 to as high as $396. It’s important to take your budget into account when shopping and try to find a well-made travel bag without being unduly pricey. We believe all of the options on our list of 16 are great choices when it comes to value.

How We Tested

To help find the best travel purses, we surveyed our team on their favorite travel bags, asking them all about their experience traveling with different products. We then had them rate their favorite bag on capacity, portability, ease of use, and value.

With over 30 products to consider, we narrowed our list down to the best 15 based on value, durability, ease of use, and design features.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it better to travel with a backpack or purse?

This truly depends on what you hope to carry: backpacks are great for keeping many different items organized and out of the way, whereas purses are best for carrying just a few things like your important documents, wallet, and keys.

While this really comes down to personal preference, both Lo and Albanese shared that they prefer to travel with backpacks. Lo shared that, with more compartments, backpacks can hold more contents and are more comfortable and convenient. Albanese said she prefers backpacks for traveling because they’re the most functional kind of travel bag, with many different pouches to keep your items separated and organized.

What is the safest kind of bag to travel with?

The best way to keep your valuables safe while traveling is to make sure your bag is fully enclosed and wear it close to your front. Lo suggests a crossbody bag (we like the MultiSac Lorraine Women's Crossbody Bag and the Baggu Medium Nylon Crescent Bag) to achieve both of these. Lo says that if you need something bigger, choose a fully enclosing tote (which you can keep to your front in crowds) instead of a backpack. (In fact, the reason Lo & Sons originally designed the brand’s Waverley 2 was because their mom’s wallet had been stolen from a backpack while traveling.)

Does your purse count as a carry-on?

Carry-ons are what go in the overhead compartment (and are usually rollaboards), whereas personal items must fit under the seat in front of you. If your purse is small enough to fit under the seat, it will not count as a carry-on, and you can bring a rollaboard as well. The personal item dimension limits are generally around 16 x 13 x 7 inches, but be sure to check your air carrier’s specific rules.

Larger bags like the Lo & Sons O.G. 2 and the CHERUTY Women Backpack Purse count as personal items (not carry-ons) and are a great choice if you’re hoping to use your travel bag to carry a lot of your stuff.

In addition, you can also bring a smaller purse, like the Baggu Medium Nylon Crescent Bag, Lululemon All Night Festival Bag Micro 2L, or KAVU Sydney Satchel, to carry important items and documents, which you can easily throw into a larger bag to get around bag number limits — which is one of Albanese’s favorite travel hacks.

Why Trust PEOPLE?

Elizabeth Marino is a freelance commerce writer for PEOPLE, focusing on home products. A lover of all things home and family, she is thrilled to help consumers find the best products to fit their domestic needs. In her spare time, you can find her traveling to any and all historic sites and museums — and food spots — throughout the country. She holds a BA in American Studies and History from Columbia University.

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