Laney & Maddie, the faces behind 'Baggage Girls' explored Guatemala and took us along for the ride. When it comes to travel, this sister duo do it as mindfully, slowly and responsibly as possible (an ethos we are onboard with!). We couldn't wait to sit down with them to catch up on their latest Guatemalan adventure.
Can it get much better than tacos, volcanoes and working remote? We only had to take a small glimpse into the lives of these two adventurous girls to realise they've got the rythym of life pretty figured out. With a dream to break up with toxic travel and connect us to the most authentic experiences abroad, Baggage Girls are an inspiration to those conscious of travelling in a more ethical way.
If you could travel back to Guatemala, what's the first stop you'd make when you get there?
We’d head straight to Earth Lodge, an amazing eco hotel located in the tropical mountains above the city of Antigua. We’re all about sustainable travel, and this hotel operates with the planet in mind. It’s hard to pinpoint what we loved most about our stay here, from our own tree house accommodation, to the daily yoga practice, to the onsite farm to table restaurant. But if we had to pick, it was watching the volcanoes erupt in the distance every day during our stay that made this place feel like such a bucket list destination.
What advice would you give to someone about to travel to Guatemala?
Our best piece of advice is to travel sustainably in Guatemala – find ways to support the local communities you visit and stay in eco friendly accommodations. We have plenty of tips for how best to do this on our Baggage blog. Doing your research before you travel to ensure that your tourism dollars are going to benefit the place you are visiting is so important. Guatemala is not one of the most popular travel destinations in Central America, which means that it’s easier to immerse yourself in the authentic culture of the country. We knew very little about Guatemala going into our trip, and we were so pleasantly surprised by the friendliness of locals, the unique geography, and the amazing volcano views across the country.
What's your favourite Duffle&Co piece for travelling with?
Our favorite Duffle&Co piece to travel with has to be the Beeby Bumbag. This hands free, crossbody bag stores all of our valuables and comes with us everywhere we go when we travel. We feel so much safer wearing this bag across the front of our bodies, and the black leather matches everything. This is ideal because we often travel light and only have room for one bag. We have yet to find a travel destination where the Beeby doesn’t fit right in as the perfect bag to bring along, whether we’re exploring the colorful streets of Antigua or taking a boat ride on Lake Atitlan.
Was there a feature about our Duffle&Co pieces that surprised you?
Our personalized Bradley was the most special surprise. Now we want to gift personalized bags to all of our loved ones. Our Bradley Backpack has our brand name 'Baggage' on it and it truly does make the bag feel so personal to us. To see our brand, which we dreamed up as two young girls at 22 and 23, engraved on a bag that travels everywhere with us, is such a special feeling. It also makes it that much more meaningful that we know exactly how this bag was made, who made it, and what it’s made from. We’re all about telling the story behind the things we buy, and we love that Duffle&Co operates with the planet in mind.
When you're travelling abroad, what's the home comfort you miss the most?
The two things we miss most when traveling abroad are consistency and community. For example, we love going to the gym when we’re home and miss having that routine when we travel. Thankfully, we’ve gotten quite good at finding ways to be active no matter where we are. Of course, we also miss our friends and family when we’re gone, which is why we love to travel with others whenever possible! We enjoy hosting dinner parties at our house and spending time with the people we love. We always say that travel makes us appreciate coming home so much more.
Where in the world can we expect to see you travelling next?
Our next trip is to Cape Town, South Africa where we will be spending a month working with sustainable travel brands and exploring the city and surrounding areas. We’ve never been to Africa, so we are so excited to visit and focus on slow travel. During our time there, we’ll embark on a sustainable safari experience to learn more about conservation in South Africa.