This Traveling Mom Created a Game-changing 3-in-1 Duffle Bag for Multitaskers

It's got something for everyone, and then some.

Imani Bashir with her Expat Bag, attends the H&M x Buy From A Black Woman "Inspire" Tour on July 08, 2021 in New York City.
Photo: Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images for H&M

Imani Bashir knows exactly how much you should pack for your next trip — and she made a bag perfect for carrying it all.

The travel journalist and globe trotter (and frequent Travel + Leisure contributor) has made her way around the globe and back again for both business and pleasure. But it wasn't until she became a mother — while still on the road — that she realized her luggage simply couldn't keep up. So, in the name of making travel a little easier for everyone, Bashir created and launched The Takeoff Collection, a duffle that does triple duty.

The broken down Expat Bag in brown
Courtesy of Imani Bashir

"Being a mom who birthed abroad and began traveling with my son at six weeks old was truly the inspiration for creating The Takeoff Collection," Bashir told Travel + Leisure.

As a breastfeeding mom, Bashir said she needed her bag to do more, so she created a carry-on size duffle that comes with interior insulation to keep her milk and baby's food fresh, along with plenty of internal compartments to keep it all organized.

The Expat Bag in brown by The Takeoff Collection
Courtesy of Imani Bashir

"I used to travel with so many bags and the function of the end pieces being completely detachable into individual backpacks is because of wanting to just take what I needed and leaving the rest," she said.

However, creating a bag that suits so many traveler needs was no easy task. As Bashir explained, she first had to get the idea for the bag out of her head and onto paper. So, she found a product illustrator on Fiverr to do just that. Next, she said, she "used photos of duffle bags that had a similar aesthetic and then told him all the features my bag required. Once I had the sketches, I began looking for a manufacturer who has a history of manufacturing duffle bags specifically."

After ordering five prototypes, Bashir self-tested the bags to ensure everything not only functioned but looked great while doing it.

"The Expat Bag's uniqueness comes from the multifunctionality of the bag. It's not just a bag you only need when you're going on a trip, but can be taken from the office to the gym, from home to grandma's house, and more," she said, adding one-third of the bag is insulated like a lunchbox to take baby bottles, snacks, or food anywhere you want.

"I wanted to make people's journey's easier and also wanted to provide a unique take of every travel bag that already exists. I wanted to release an entire line of luggage that all serve multifunctions because people like that," Bashir added. "I made this bag for the remote working Millennial, for traveling people with children, and for content creators and influencers. I made it for gym rats and those that care about how they look when they're headed out the door. It's a chic bag for chic people."

As for what's next for the Line, Bashir said fans can expect more pieces and designs that serve that multifunctional niche made out of sustainable materials. But first, Bashir said, she has to take this bag on the road through her journey to Central and South America.

"It's important to recognize that travelers set the tone for what's needed in this global luggage market," she said. "Having someone like me, who has lived and traveled around the world, our tribe can be certain to receive products that had them in mind first and foremost."

Get your hands on The Takeoff Collection here.

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