When we all travel, we don’t think about our choice of luggage. Your choice of storage can make a huge difference in your travel experience. This article delves into the convenience or ease added to or taken away from traveling with the right or wrong kind of luggage.
I have a small closet full of bags, suitcases, etc. for different types of occasions. Here’s how I pick my luggage.
I determine whether I’m checking a bag or not. If I decide to check a bag, I also look at how many bags I’m checking.
If I’m going to be hauling a lot of stuff around the airport, I’ll take one big bag with good wheels that will serve as my “trolley” for the smaller bags. I can stack my other bags on top of the first and just handle the “trolley” bag with all the other stuff on top of it.
If I’m going away for a weekend or just a day or two, a small carry-on will suffice. No wheels, just a good comfortable strap.
If I’m going to be constantly on the run between multiple locations, but need to have a suit or pressed-clothes all the time? I bring a suiter with wheels.
I always have a backpack with me. This is where I keep my laptop, chargers, tickets, itineraries, files, reading material, snacks, etc. Look for something with many pockets and a good Laptop sleeve built in. I use the Level 8 bag below:
Yes, the bag’s expensive, but it’s light, very functional, and is definitely better built than my Tumi.
Designer Name Bags: I don’t recommend designer bags: Gucci, Prada, Louis Vuitton (LV), etc. Why? They’re heavy and are prone to breaking. Another thing they do is scream, “Steal me or Mug me”. The big issue behind this is why would you worry about whether or not your bag gets scratched? The bottom line is it will get scratched, nicked, scraped, etc.
That being said, there are a few things I look for in a bag when purchasing:
Wheels: Quality Rubber or Rubber-Like Wheels with great bearings. In other words, give it a spin with your hand. If it stops spinning in 15 seconds or less, I wouldn’t buy it. Too much resistance and bad bearings. A quality wheel will just spin forever. The larger the wheel, the better it’s handling (and usually load bearing characteristic). I personally like bags with Rollerblade wheels on them. Rollerblade wheels and bearings are built to handle abuse. Your luggage will go through far more abuse than the TSA gives the public.
Balance: When searching for a bag that is free standing, make sure it’s not going to be unbalanced. This leads to bags falling over or spilling when going over small bumps, curbs, etc. Especially when you’re looking for a Trolley Bag. My test is to sit on the bag in it’s upright configuration and try to tilt it off balance by swaying in multiple directions. If it passes the 30 degree sway test for me, it’s a keeper.
Material: I never go for leather. Too heavy and prone to damage. Nylon and other lightweight and strong materials are my choice.
Zippers: You don’t think about it, but a quality zipper makes all the difference. Don’t forget to make sure the Zipper has a great “pull” tab.
If you take these things into consideration when you travel and pay just a “bit” of attention with your choice of luggage, I can promise it will improve your experience significantly.