Going on vacation can be an exciting time. You’ve got your flights booked, accommodation sorted and you’ve even gone as far as organizing an itinerary for your stay. But regardless of where you are going, everyone needs good luggage. Luggage is essentially just the storage space in which you keep a limited portfolio of your possessions, but it is so much more than just a bag for your clothes. Choosing the wrong luggage for your trip can be awkward, bulky or just generally unsuitable.
Luggage comes in a variety of different shapes, sizes, styles and weights. That is partly because there are so many different reasons and requirements for those using luggage in the first place. A quick flight across the state will probably require a small bag, for example, whereas a long vacation to Europe probably requires something a bit sturdier. To a certain extent, it depends on the type of trip you are planning and the length of time you will be away. But there are ways to ensure you get uniformly more suitable baggage to make your travel arrangements a bit easier.
[Also see our travel articles on Europe]
The first thing to look for when choosing luggage is the size. As a general rule of thumb, you want to buy something that is large enough to fit all of your clothing and accessories, but something small enough not to contravene airline baggage limits. Many airlines specify the dimensions of the maximum bags allowed to be carried on their flights. You may have the option of paying excess baggage charges but these are frequently very expensive. Try to choose luggage that is of a more portable size, yet still offers a good amount of storage space so you can fit in everything you need.
Similarly, your luggage needs to be lightweight. Visit a luggage store, and when possible try to lift different bags. While most will be relatively light on their own, some will definitely feel bulkier and heavier than others. Heavier bags tend to be more robust and sturdier, but this comes at the price of the convenience of lifting and carrying it around while you are away. It is important for your cases to be robust, but this shouldn’t come at the expense of usability.
Aircraft holds are particularly dangerous places for bags to be. As they get tossed around throughout the trip, they can frequently come into contact with other, heavier bags, freight and even machinery. This can chew through poor quality or flimsy luggage, rendering your case – and perhaps also your possessions – unusable. This makes it all the more important to choose luggage that is solid enough to survive the rigors of international travel.
You also need to think, from a practical perspective, about how easy it is to move your case around. Some cases come with wheels built in to them, and this can be extremely advantageous. Remember that these cases, when full, may well weigh dozens of pounds. If you don’t have wheels on the bottom of your suitcase, you are going to struggle to carry this around with you for the duration of your trip.
There is no point in sacrificing the volume, or types of things, you can bring on vacation, simply to suit your bag. Choose a bag that is solid enough, but also lightweight enough to be portable – preferably with the wheels to make it even easier to transport. These are advantages you only truly appreciate when something goes wrong with your luggage, but prevention is always better than cure.
When it comes to preparing for your trip, the type of luggage, suitcases and bags you use might not rank immediately top of your to-do list. But it should, because it can have a considerable impact on your enjoyment of the holiday. Not just from the point of view of limiting your wardrobe options, the wrong bags can actually cost you more money, and leave you with a burden to carry around on your arrival and departure days. Choosing the right luggage can put an end to all of this before it even becomes a factor, so you don’t have to worry about the implications of taking the wrong luggage with you.