When it was time for me to start looking for a new bag for my travels, the choices, styles and brands of luggage these days seemed overwhelming to say the least. I trawled online, desperately looking for a bag to fit my every need, and asked everyone I knew for suggestions and recommendations. Through this experience, I’ve gathered a few tips on how to find the ideal bag for your travels.
get your priorities straight
First of all, it’s really important to decide which factors are most important to you. You may want to consider the following:
- Style – Aesthetically, how appealing is the bag? Brand is often very important
- Weight – If you’re planning to haul it around on holiday, on public transport, into overhead lockers, and up and down flights of stairs, will it break your back? It may prove best to invest in a bag with lighter material such as carbon fibre (which is very strong too). In which case, your bag would be made from the same material as the aircraft you’re flying in!
- Durability – Are you an on-the-road veteran? Will the bag need to survive countless hours of dragging, kicking, sliding and bumping without giving up? If the answer’s yes, then material, warranty and brand reputation are very important.
- Size – Are you sick of dragging your great big clunking suitcase everywhere? Especially for budget airline flyers, consider getting a smaller bag for hand-luggage. In a world rife with baggage size restrictions, a smaller case with compartmentalised packing can often be just s efficient as a hulking holdall.
- Mechanism/comfort – Is it a double or single handle? Is it a four-wheel or two-wheel? Is it comfortable to both wheel and carry by the handle? These are all things you must consider in buying new luggage.
Next, pick a brand to reflect your needs. A style conscious traveller may look towards a designer brand, whilst frequent flyers and air-crew may be more inclined towards brands recommended by colleagues, and offering warranties.
What about me?
In my case, I was more interested in the practical aspect of the bag. Does it have a lot of compartments? Is there space for a week-long trip? Recommended brands from friends and colleagues included Travelpro, Tumi and Briggs&Riley, all of which have similar features and attributes favoured by frequent travellers.
Below are my two go-to bags, the Travelpro Crew 10 Rollaboard, and below the Briggs&Riley Pilot Carry-on. As you can probably tell, I am not much of a style connoisseur, though like an executive-looking case, so as not to stand out when travelling in Business Class. The Travelpro, always my first port-of-call, features tablet and laptop compartments, as well as ample room to store clothes, documents and valuables. It also has an RFID-blocking sleeve to store cards and passports.
Knowing exactly what you need in a bag before you plunge into the infinite choice of cases on the market will make the experience of buying a new bag a lot less stressful, and hopefully you’ll reach a decision a lot quicker.
Bonus tip: rolling clothes into individual ‘sausages’ instead of folding them packing them flat will mean you can fit a lot more into a bag.
What bag do you have? Which brand/model would you recommend? What are your most important attributes of luggage?