404 Product Reviews

The best customizable luggage tags

A few months ago I showcased some of my favorite handmade family travel wallets from Etsy. I really loved highlighting these talented artists and plan to do it more often when I find a product that works for family travelers. Today, I want to introduce you to some of the best customizable luggage tags.

Why families should use customized luggage tags

My son loves helping us look for our luggage when we’re standing at the carousel. Unfortunately, our suitcase preferences look like 85% of the suitcases out there – black. The defeated look on his face when yet another black bag passed us that was not ours made me thinking of what I could do. Buying new luggage isn’t an option, and besides,  And our poor, helpful son gets his spirits crushed when he points out yet another piece of luggage that isn’t ours.

Then we bought some luggage tags.

From a mom perspective, the luggage tag is like a great scarf or pair of shoes. A little luxury item to dress up the outfit. It can show my personality without overwhelming me (because, in reality, I prefer plain with a touch of wild).

Best of all, it’s the one feature that is easily recognizable to our son, making luggage claim just slightly more enjoyable than it used to be. We will take what we can get.

There’s also the practical aspect – if you’re bags get lost the tags help them get returned to you.

Here are some luggage tags that I just really like:

Please note: I am not affiliated with any of these companies. These are just wallets I saw, I liked, and now I want to share with my readers. I get no compensation for any purchases.




JK sells custom leather accessories made in her shop in California. Her leather luggage tags come in a yellow, dark brown, cherry red, and black. She uses one of my favorite fonts, Century Gothic. The best news is that they are completely customized. Either pick a tag for your address, or a tag for your name, or both!

Prices start at $25.

Go to her shop to look at more options, then contact JK to start customizing your new luggage tag.

Destination Handmade

Jamie is a Houston-based artist making an assortment of travel-related accessories and has sold over 500 luggage tags in her store. Her fabric tags are double layered, reinforced with industrial strength backing, top-stitched, double-stitched, and uses grosgrain ribbon to attach to the suitcase… in a word – it’s strong! Her options include ready to go tags in a variety of colorful patterns, or made-to-order tags that can be customized with names, addresses, or quotes.

Prices start at $7.99 and $8.99.

Visit Jamie’s shop to find your perfect luggage tag (and while you’re at it, get a matching passport cover.



Susan specializes in leather goods in her Alicante, Spain-based shop. Her luggage tags come in over 20 colors and can be customized in wording completely. She hand engraves the words and information on your tags, and can add information on both the front and the back. This gives you the opportunity to have your name, address, and a favorite travel quote on your favorite color – in leather.

Prices start at $14.99 for one luggage tag.

Visit Susan’s shop to get started on your own tag today. 




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My favorite family travel wallets

On a whim one day, I bought a travel wallet. It is now one of my favorite pieces for travel document organization. Being an expat, my passport is generally needed more frequently than it was in the states. Being a family of four, it only makes sense to put them all in one place. Being cheap, I loved only spending 3 EUR. However, I’m really itching for a new travel wallet for all of our passports. My wallet is ok, but it is really only meant for 1 person and it makes it difficult to stuff 4 passports, 4 resident’s cards, 3 resident’s papers (for some reason, my daughter doesn’t need one – weird, eh?), plus our Netherlands annual museum pass, our Sea Life/Lego Land Discovery Center annual passes, our frequent everything cards, and currency for both the US and Europe so we can always have small change available.

On my search for a new wallet, I came across some treasures and wanted to share them here. What I love is that they are handmade. They are unique. They are well crafted. Best of all, they are for families. Take a look.

Please note: I am not affiliated with any of these companies. These are just wallets I saw, I liked, and now I want to share with my readers. I get no compensation for any purchases.

My favorite family travel wallets

Tracey Lipman Collection

Family passport wallet by Tracey Lipman Collection

Family passport wallet by Tracey Lipman Collection

Family passport holder by the tracey lipman collection

Family passport holder by the Tracey Lipman Collection

Tracey makes her passport holders in Israel using a variety of beautiful fabrics. The custom holders can hold up to 12 passports, so you have to have a pretty large family, or have multi-citizened family members, to require two holders. There’s space in the middle for tickets and change. My favorite aspect of this wallet are that it can be zipped shut and used as a wristlet. Seems like the perfect way to hold the passports while at the airport and still be able to hold your toddler’s hand and pulling the carry-on bag.

They are currently priced at $35 each and will take 1-2 weeks to deliver once ordered.

For more of her great designs, visit her shop Tracey Lipman Collection.


Pecan Tree Creations

Family passport wallet by Pecan Tree Creations

Family passport wallet by Pecan Tree Creations

Family passport wallet by Pecan Tree Creations

Family passport wallet by Pecan Tree Creations

Shannon’s design for her family travel wallet is both practical and beautiful. They can each hold up to 4 passports. Because of the way the pockets are positioned, and the use of the elastic band, there is no worry that the passports will fall out. Smaller families can use the extra space for boarding passes and confirmations. Larger families will appreciate being able to keep their passports away from other documents and money while traveling.

These are currently priced at $14, comes in a variety of patterns, and can be customized on request.

For more of her great designs, visit her shop at Pecan Tree Creations.


Blissful Patterns

Family Travel Wallet by Blissful Patterns

Family Travel Wallet by Blissful Patterns

Family Travel Wallet by Blissful Patterns

Family Travel Wallet by Blissful Patterns

Shannon at Blissful Patterns offers two choices for families looking to update their passport wallet. For those with some sewing ability, she sells her Family Passport Travel Holder pattern. You can then use any fabric you like, and update them to the season if you please (or maybe even make them themed to your trip – imagine the possibilities!).

For those like me, with absolutely no ability to sew (not even hem!), she can custom make them to your liking. The pattern above holds up to 4 passports, 3 loyalty cards, boarding passes, plus they have a pocket for change, cash, and a pen or two.

They are also designed so that the passports can’t fall out of their pockets when closed.

The patterns are currently $8.50, with custom wallets priced at $45.

To order one of her patterns, please visit her store Blissful Patterns. If you’d like to order a finished product, you can do so at Blissful Sew. Message her if you are looking for a more custom wallet. She is very quick at responding.

Please note passport sizes are different for different countries. Double check that the wallet you want will fit your passport’s dimensions before ordering.


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Phone Photography Apps

At the end of every traveling day my kids are exhausted and mellow. And when they go to sleep, I have something I rarely have: time to think.

Sometimes I use this time to read, sometimes I use this time to sleep, but often I want to get crafty. Problem? Have you seem how much the average family with two young kids has to pack when they go on vacation? The one time I have time to play with paper and glue, I don’t have space to pack paper and glue. Fortunately, I always have my phone with me: the indispensable tool that also houses my book collection, recipes, travel plans, and camera. (It’s rumored I can dial numbers and talk to other people with it, too, but I wouldn’t know about that!)

When I started using my phone’s camera, I wanted to stay as true to the original photograph as possible. Eventually, I started playing with Instagram’s filters and wanted more. Then, I discovered the phone camera apps.

I was hooked. While Instagram’s native filters are fun for a quick fix, there are other apps that give you more creative freedom. Then you get to tweak the photo as you want.

Here are my favorite Phone Photography Apps:

Photography Planning

Magic Hour

Any decent photography book, course, or resource will tell you how important light is. The best light happens in what is known as the golden hour. It’s the time right around sunrise and right around sunset. As a traveler, we might not always know when that is going to happen when we’re away from home. As a mom, we might not always want to try to figure it out. Enter Magic Hour app. It lets you know when the magic hour will start and end each day depending on the city you are in. You can plan your day accordingly if you need to. Price: FREE

If you read my last post, you’ll know why this is a great app to have. Paul from A Luxury Travel Blogs encourages parents to go outside while the kids are still sleeping to capture the sites. Instead of trying to guess when you should wake up to catch the right light, this app let’s you know. Sleep in until the last possible minute, please!

Screen shots from iTunes store

Photography App

Magic Hour iTunes App


Editing Photos


This is a free and easy app that not only gives you access to some filters, but controls how strongly you can apply the filter. Most of the time any photos only needs a slight tweak, but Instagram’s filters make you commit completely. VSCO Cam lets you change it just a bit if you want, or a lot if you prefer. You can then export the photo to Instagram. I have one gripe. When exporting, VSCO Cam will automatically crop the photo. If it doesn’t crop the way you want it to there’s still a fix. Just save the updated photo to your camera roll and open in Instagram as normal. Price: FREE

Here’s an Instagram I edited with VSCO Cam:

Please note: Unless you’re a professional, don’t over filter your photos! Just enhance them. Practice as much as you want, but only publish the best!

Adding Details

Rhonna Designs

This app has some filters, but what I really like about it are the other things you can add. There are different designs, sayings, and fonts for you to put on top of your image. You can resize them, change the color, turn them on their side. It’s a lot of fun. The best part is that the app includes a ton of images and fonts. Unlike similar apps, you can do a lot with what’s included without having to buy more upgrades. Price: $1.99 with an extra pack available for $0.99

Here’s an image I recently added on Instagram using Rhonna Designs. There are a a whole section of travel related sayings included.

and here’s a more subtle image where I just added the little doodles in the corner.

and here’s a less subtly edited photo that I did when I first got the app. I tend to keep these types of photos on my phone instead of publishing on Instagram, but you can see where it can be fun if you like this type of stuff – which I do!

Printing Them Out


I don’t use this because I’m not in the US, however, I may try it the next time I go. Every month you can select up to 100 photos taken on your phone (not just Instagram photos) and Groovebook will print them out into a little book and ship it to you. The pages are perforated for easy sharing. You can order extras to send to family and friends. Love this idea. Price: FREE to download. The subscription service is $2.99 a month for processing and handling. You can cancel at anytime.

Other Photo Apps

i haven’t tried these, but I wanted to include more options for you:

Halftone It’s all about the kids. Turn your pictures into a comic strip. Enough said. Price: $0.99

InstaFood This is one of the apps I want to try for the wrong reasons. I laugh at the idea that I have enough time to take a photo of my food while I’m at a restaurant. I laugh at the idea of going to a restaurant. Street food is where it’s at for us most of our trips (which is fine since I love street food, so don’t feel bad for me). One day, though, I will go out on a date with my husband while on vacation, take a photo of our food, and use this app to add the restaurant and the meal. Then I will look at that photo later to remind myself that I do enjoy eating out. I feel like I’m going on a tangent. Price: FREE

InstaPlace Puts the location directly on the photo. They can even put the altitude on the photo. Wish I had this when I was in Switzerland earlier this month! Price: FREE

InstaWeather Puts the temperature and place on the photo. If I use this the next time I take a photo in Florida, will it subconsciously help me feel warmer when I’m back in Germany in the winter? I’ll let you know! Price: FREE

Lumie Get the “bookah” effect on your photos. Nice effect for those romantic Paris trips, or looking at holiday lights. Price: $1.99

ShakeIt Photo App Take a photo, watch the photo appear like a polaroid pictures. You can even shake the camera to help the picture develop fast. Yes, you can shake it like a polaroid picture! Price: $1.99

Wood Camera This app was developed by professional photographers who wanted more control over editing their phone photography. Price: $3.99

Whew! That’s a lot. Do you have any favorite camera apps that I should look at the next time I have some down time (which will be September 2 at the earliest 🙂 )

This post is part of the new Instagram Travel Thursday linky hosted by Skimbaco LifestyleDestination UnknownChild ModeHines Sight BlogLive.Do.Grow.House of AnaïsLuxury Travel Mom. Click on any of those links to access all Instagram travel posts.

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