5 Tips for Picking the Perfect Luggage

Image: Victor Habbick / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
As affluence grows and technology advances, not only has the mode of travel become more affordable, the choices for luggage (e.g. material, size, and designs) have also increased. Traveling has become common for the average person (not including business trips) wanting to just relax, get away from the usual hustle and bustle of life, or simply to experience something different. The start of stress-free travel would be to have to right luggage for the occasion, to avoid the minor tragedies like a broken or torn luggage/duffel bag.

Unlike before, there a plenty of options for your luggage these days, and they are not limited to suitcases. Even what used to be your ordinary backpack now comes with retractable handles, wheels and/or straps. You can now find luggage of almost every color and various designs. So which luggage is suitable for you?

1. Soft-case vs Hard-case luggage 
Depending on your budget and needs, you might go for the soft-case luggage which is usually made out of nylon, polyester or fabric. This type of luggage is usually more expandable that hard-case luggage, are lighter than hard-case luggage and may be cheaper than hard-case luggage. While hard-case luggage are more durable, able to protect any fragile items you might put in, and less susceptible to getting broken (torn) like soft-case luggage. The only downside to hard-case luggage is that they tend to be heavier than soft-case luggage due to the materials they are made of to make them more durable. 

2. Luggage size
Choosing the luggage with size relative to your length of stay and mode of transport helps you to cut down on unnecessary weight and hassle. For example, traveling on an airplane grants you more luggage space so you can afford a bigger luggage, while if you were to travel by land (e.g. bus or train) a big (and heavy) luggage might not be too ideal for mobility. In general:
  • Duffle bag: overnight trip 
  • 55 - 66cm luggage: short trip of 3 – 4 days 
  • 70 - 82cm luggage: longer stay of 7 days or more
3. Type of wheels: Upright or a Spinner?
Uprights are the most basic form of luggage, are easier to drag on uneven surfaces and available in all kinds of sizes . They are also great to use when the luggage is not filled with heavy items.

Spinners, on the other hand, are four wheels mounted on castors that can turn in any direction. Spinners are more suited for dragging around on plain surfaces, offer greater maneuverability (no matter the weight) and move with ease when even you have multiple bags, such as handbags, and laptop bags, to carry.

4. Prices 
Depending on your budget, you might consider a cheaper luggage. However, also consider the long term value of the luggage as a cheaper one may not be as lasting if it does not come from a reputable brand. Getting your luggage from a reputable brand assures you of high quality standards and usually comes with a warranty which may vary from 1 -3 years or more.

5. Choosing the right color/design (Personalization)
With all the available bright colors available, a brighter color does make it easier to pick out your luggage as it comes out for collection. But then again, you wouldn’t be the only one to have such a thought. So it may be more useful to choose a color that people are least likely to choose as well, or you could always try to personalize your luggage to differentiate it from the rest by:
  • Tying a ribbon or patterned cloth to your luggage. As this is a commonly used trick, it would help if you pick a unique pattern or color to minimize possibility being similar with another person.
  • Always have your contact information clearly labeled on both the exterior and interior of your luggage - more identification information on your luggage lowers the  chances of someone else picking it up.
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  1. Lots of wise words here but the one thing that stands out about my luggage is that it doesn't look expensive and therefore is less likely to be stolen or opened in the baggage room, because it doesn't look as though it would contain valuable items!

    1. That's a good point. I sometimes think nice cases are thrown around just a little more than cheaper ones too!

      I will definitely buy a spinning wheel type next time,as they seem to be much easier to handle than pull alongs. I don't understand how people managed before cases had wheels of any kind!

  2. I have a great set that I picked up at Sears, of all places. It has six pieces and the best part is that they attach to each other to make two parcels on wheels. Both of the largest two cases have handles and wheels. The others attached via straps/buckles and then you can pull all six along very easily.