What to Look for in Quality Luggage
So, you’ve made your travel plans for that long-anticipated
vacation. Maybe it’s a once-in-a-lifetime trip. You’re ready,
with maps, an itinerary and research on what to see and do when
you arrive at your destination. All you have to do is pack your
bags and board the train, plane, car or other conveyance.
Everything is planned and handled, right? Well, maybe not…what
about your luggage?
Travel Luggage: An Important Part of Any Trip
Take a minute to look critically at your luggage. Poorly
designed and constructed luggage can be a nightmare when you’re
traveling. Such luggage can be difficult to pack and carry. It
generally lacks the functionality and versatility you need. In
this article, we’ll discuss some of the features of quality
luggage to help you make an informed purchase decision. Your
travel bags should be as carefully chosen as your destination.
Here are some of the topics we’ll cover:
• Number of pieces you’ll need and recommended sizes
• Soft- or hard-sided
• Wheels and Zippers
• Materials used in construction
• Interior features
Style: What Kind of Traveler Are You?
Style might not seem like an important factor when choosing
travel bags, but a bad choice will haunt you throughout your
trip. For example, if you’re fussy about your wardrobe, you
should consider purchasing a garment bag. Garment bags minimize
wrinkling but can be cumbersome to carry. Or maybe you’re a
minimalist whose trip will be totally casual and informal. Then
consider a sturdy duffel bag. Some travelers prefer backpacks
while others like traditional suitcases. Regardless of what
style you choose, make sure the luggage will be durable. More on
this later in the article.
Price: Getting What You Pay For
Inexpensive, poor quality bags can have an unfortunate tendency
to pop open at the most inopportune times. Buy the best luggage
you can afford. Choose luggage from a reliable, well-known
manufacturer or designer. Don’t forget to check discount as well
as dedicated luggage stores. You may find high-end or designer
luggage sets at surprisingly low prices in a “big box” retailer.
Chances are, though, that the best deals will be on line, from
electronic retailers. Since they don’t have the overhead of a
traditional store, these retailers usually offer attractive deep
discounts. If you shop carefully and be sure you know what you
want, a purchase over the Internet can save you a lot of time
Number of Pieces and Sizes You’ll Need: Traveling Light or Not
At the very least, you’ll need a piece of carry on luggage like
a tote bag and one other bag (either carry on or checked). A
22-inch upright rolling case will stow neatly in the overhead
compartment of an airplane and will carry enough for a weekend.
For a week’s sojourn, choose a 24-inch size, either upright or
traditional. For stays up to 2 weeks, a 26-to 27-inch suitcase
is appropriate. If you’re going to be away for two weeks or
longer, you’ll need a 29- to 30- inch piece of luggage, or a
combination a small and medium-sized case. Add on a garment bag
and you easily could need 4 pieces of quality luggage for longer
trips, depending, of course, on your personal preferences.
Soft- or Hard-Sided: Which is Right for You?
Soft-sided luggage and duffel bags are lightweight and
expandable to accommodate all that extra stuff you’ll be
returning with. Soft-sided luggage fits easily into compartments
or racks or stows neatly under a seat. Generally, soft-sided
luggage is less durable and doesn’t do as good a job at
protecting your possessions. Hard-sided luggage is sturdier and
protects your stuff better. However, this type of luggage isn’t
expandable and can be bulky. Hard-sided luggage is also heavier
before it is packed. Regardless of what type you choose, be sure
it has wheels. Rolling luggage is easier to move and handle.