By Aileen Cuaresma
Often the most overlooked aspect of the planning for a vacation is the selection of the luggage that will be used to carry things. Sometimes people are so eager about the vacation itself that they leave packing until a few hours before the trip and don’t think ahead about the best type of luggage to use. They are left with no choice but to take something that they already have under the stairs or in the back of a cupboard, even though that may not be the best choice of luggage for the trip.
Every trip differs from each other – that’s why each trip will have a more appropriate choice of luggage than others. If you don’t have the type of luggage that is best for a particular trip, then it’s best to buy something new rather than take old luggage that doesn’t suit the particular trip.
There are various types of luggage on the market today, but the most popular choices are suitcases, backpacks and duffel bags. You can buy these in any local travel specialist shop, or if you prefer a more convenient way of shopping you can check out the wide range of travel luggage selections available through online retailers like Luggage Direct who will deliver direct to your home.
In order to determine which type of luggage to buy, you must consider these three key questions amongst other things:
- Whether the place you will be staying has elevators or stairs.
- Whether you will be moving frequently between different lodgings.
- Whether you are going to be using public transport or private transportation to get about (and whether or not you will be hiking or trekking with your bags)?
The most commonly used kind of luggage by regular travelers is the suitcase. Known once upon a time as a portmanteau or valise (terms you will still occasionally hear in some countries), a suitcase refers to a hard-sided or soft-sided bag with a rectangular shape with square or rounded corners. They can be made from different materials including metal, leather, plastic or cloth. All suitcases comes with a handle with mechanisms which open on hinges to easily access your things. Most suitcases these days have wheels to make them easy to transport through airports and train stations.
When to Use Suitcases
A suitcase is convenient because of its shape, which makes it easy to store and arrange your stuff. But the biggest advantage that suitcases with wheels have over other types of luggage is that they are the easiest to transport in locations where there are concrete or tiled floors. That includes most types of transportation terminals, so are the most popular choice among travelers for that one reason alone. In addition, it is the perfect choice for a vacation where there will be no moving around between different hotels. A suitcase can be bulky so walking around with it will be uncomfortable if you can’t wheel it on a solid surface, so if your excursion will involve using public transport or walking distances with it, then you might want to opt for a better alternative.
Suitcases are perfect for these types of trips:
- Visiting your family or friends
- Trips to urban locations or resorts where you won’t be changing hotels very often
- For business trips where traveling with a backpack or duffle doesn’t look very professional
There are more popular among young travelers whose itineraries involve visiting many different destinations. Backpacks normally come with one big compartment and some small compartments where you can place your electrical items or cosmetics. It features a couple of sturdy and padded straps making it easy to carry on the back. A backpack uses zippers for almost all of the compartments. Accessing your belongings at your destination is not as easy with a backpack as it is with a suitcase, but they are easiest type of luggage to cart from one place to another.
When to Use Backpacks
Backpacks are best used when you plan on visiting several places for a short period of time since they are more comfortable when you’re getting around the cities. Also, backpacks are the only practical option for traveling to destinations where you will be doing any hiking or trekking.
Here are some kinds of travel where backpacks will work best:
- Camping, hiking or trekking
- Other types of outdoor adventure trips
- Traveling to multi-destinations
3. Duffel Bags
Duffels are usually light in weight and come with a large opening. They are mostly made from a thick canvas type cloth and you can easily store them since they do not come with any hard components. Most duffel bags come with a couple of handle straps and a long shoulder strap making them easier to carry. They are the perfect choice for some because they are cheaper compared to most backpacks and suitcases but offer almost the same capacity when it comes to packing.
When to Use Duffel Bags
The duffel bag is an ideal choice if your budget is limited. Also, the smaller types of duffel are easier to carry onto planes, trains and buses because they can be squeezed under the seat. However, duffel bags are not as well-organized as suitcases when it comes to accessing your things, and not as easy to carry as backpacks. Duffel bags can also be used as an additional luggage item as you can fold and store them easily until the time you need may additional space to carry your things.
They are an ideal choice for the following:
- Travelers on a budget
- Weekend or short trips
- An additional bag if you’re expecting to bring many souvenirs back from a trip