The same travel suitcase isn’t going to work well for every traveler. To get the best luggage for you, you’ll need to consider how you travel and what you like to take along, and find luggage that caters to your unique needs and style.
Here are a few things to think about when buying your next luggage set.
1. Choose the brand you can trust
Be careful about buying expensive designer luggage, unless it’s a brand that has proven durable and comes with a comprehensive warranty.
Durability is vital and a warranty is a plus, but if you don’t want to pay as much for luggage as you do for the trip, consider some of the three piece sets available on Amazon. Expect to see some wear and tear, especially if you travel extensively, but even inexpensive luggage can potentially last through years of travel.
With that in mind, there are a few brands that are known for durability, some of which come with lifetime warranties, so be sure to keep your receipt.
Samsonite’s warranties are limited to manufacturer defects, but the travel suitcase of this brand is known for reliability and durability.
Their hard-side luggage is ideal if you typically take your camera or other fragile or breakable items. Samsonite even has a hard-sided suitcase with an expandable zipper, which isn’t often seen in hard-sided luggage, but gives you a bit of extra space when packing.
American Tourister is one of the oldest luggage brands founded in 1933 in USA. American Tourister is famous for their products, which include suitcases, backpacks and wallets, to be durable, stylish, and at the same time affordable to travelers. Currently American Tourister brand is owned by Samsonite.
If your travels frequently take you to places without smooth walkways, North Face’s rolling duffels double as backpacks with straps, giving you the flexibility to roll it through the airport or carry it on the hiking trail.
LL Bean has some wonderfully efficient travel backpacks and personal organizers that are perfect for carry-on bags. They also come with a lifetime warranty.
Osprey is a popular backpack brand, especially among women travelers. With backpacks specifically designed for women’s bodies and in colors like teal and purple, they stand out on the luggage carousel, making them easy to identify from a distance.
Osprey also makes convertible luggage that can be easily taken along on the hiking trail.
2. Choose the casing: hard or soft
Choosing between hard and soft travel suitcase is going to depend greatly on how you travel and how you pack. Are your travels mostly for business or adventure? Do you travel with a lot of camera equipment and electronics, or do you need to have clothes for any situation?
Hard-sided luggage can help protect your expensive equipment and breakables, while soft luggage can be easily crammed into overhead compartments or under your seat.
Another thing about soft-sided luggage worth to remember is that it’s easily expanded for those who tend to overpack or want to bring back souvenirs. Soft-sided luggage is also easier to keep organized.
3. Choose the size
Bigger isn’t necessarily better, especially when you’re flying. Be aware of airline restrictions, especially in terms of your carry-on. You don’t want to find yourself having to check your carry-on because it’s just a bit too big.
A rule of thumb: keep your carry-on to no larger than 21x13x9 and keep it to 15-20 pounds. This should be small enough to get you on most flights.
Two smaller suitcases is usually better than one large one. You may end up paying to check the extra suitcase, but it’s usually cheaper to check an extra suitcase than to end up oversized and overweight.
4. Choose the color
It doesn’t seem like color is all that important, and it really isn’t, until you are trying to find your travel suitcase in a sea of nearly identical black suitcases. You’ll want your checked bag to be easy to spot to help prevent mixups or theft (both scenarios happen, unfortunately).
If you do end up with black, or if you just want to be absolutely sure you’ll be able to see your suitcase right away, stick some large, bright stickers on your luggage, wrap a bright ribbon or scarf to the handle, or get a colorful luggage tag. For added security, look for a TSA approved lock or zippered cable ties. Some luggage comes with an approved lock built in.
5. How to choose carry-on pieces
Some bags are marketed as under seat bags, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it has to go under the seat, many of them are small enough to be classified as personal items, which means you can carry an additional carry-on bag.
Many smaller and budget airlines are short on space and your under seat bag may not fit under the seat. If you’re traveling business or first class, you’ll have a little extra space, and even larger under seat bags may be a good way to take an extra carry on.
6. How to pack your travel suitcase
Try to limit packing your bags to only about ⅔ full. This will ensure you have plenty of space to bring back souvenirs and other items you pick up along the way.
Rolling your clothes instead of folding them is a good way to accomplish this. Packing your clothes in airtight bags can also help you save space.
So that’s our top 6 tips for choosing the best luggage for your travels. Go through them step by step and this will help you find the most durable and affordable luggage to last years, not just a couple of trips.