Fill her up and get set for your holiday experience
When you go on your holiday, you may ask yourself the following question. What type of luggage should I take? Do I want a hard-shell or soft-side piece of luggage on wheels? Do I want baggage with or without wheels? Maybe I don’t need a large suitcase but a large duffle bag, which can act as hand luggage on a plane?
I suppose it also depends on whether you are going away for a couple of weeks, or is it a short weekend break, or maybe just a day trip. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases, here is a list of the different types of luggage and bags on offer.
SUITCASES – TIME TO TAKE YOUR PICK
Rolling Suitcases are usually known as the traditional type of luggage which comes with easy to transport wheels. It can be with two wheels which can be a strain to pull, though a spinner (four-wheel) can be pushed with little effort. Only downside is if you leave it unattended on a slope.Hot on the market is the Samsonite S’Cure – Spinner S Hand Luggage, 55 cm, 34 Litre, Black
Soft shell spinners are durable and popular. They are made from polyester or ballistic nylon. The leather variety can be expensive. The hard shell spinners come in bright colours which are good to have when your suitcase is spinning around on the carousel, waiting for it to be picked up.
Companies who make the hard-side suitcase also offer you a lifetime guarantee. Pushing a spinner over a smooth airport floor is perfect. However, if a pavement is not straight, you need to go over grass or pull it over some stairs, then it is not for you.
EASY TO HANDLE AND WHEELS
Rolling suitcases are easy to handle and come in different sizes and colours. The weight of the wheels may add to your travel cost. British Airways, for example, will charge you excess baggage fees if your suitcase is heavier than 23kg (56cm x 45cm x 25cm) for economy and premium economy passengers. For business and first class passengers it’s 32kg.
If you are going on a long-haul holiday, say flying from London-Heathrow to Vancouver, Canada, like I did a few years back, the large suitcase was my best option. Not only did it give me plenty of storage for clothing, but ample space for souvenirs and duty free on the way home.
I also was able to put my camera and laptop into my suitcase and as I knew that I had a lock and key, felt secure that it wouldn’t be stolen, a major consideration.
BACKPACKS – PROS AND CONS
Backpacks are great because they save you time going through airports. They are easier for you to walk a long distance from say the train
station to the hostel, and force you to pack fewer items, which makes it less heavier to carry and faster to pack and unpack. The disadvantages are if it’s a day trip. You may have to dig deep to find what you are looking for, unpacking everything and then having to put it away again. A backpack can be a bit too big for a day trip.
Some places in the world like old town Dubrovnik in Croatia, where there are lots of stairs and cobbled streets, a backpack is more preferable than a suitcase, especially one with wheels. Carrying something on your back is a lot easier over a longer distance than using your hands. The only problem is not to overload a backpack, as it can strain muscles and joints and lead to back pain.
I remember carrying a backpack up a hill in searing heat in the Croatian countryside, somewhere just outside Zagreb, and it was not a pleasant experience. There were frequent stops. Luckily I managed to thumb a lift from a tractor driver, who let me park myself on his trailer.
DUFFLE BAGS – SPACIOUS BUT LACKING SECURITY
Duffle bags are spacious and sturdy, but they are not everyone’s cup of tea. The advantages are that they are nice and roomy, make for a hassle-free journey and can be a chic and practical accessory to your journey. They are good for bulky gear, and are flexible for squeezing things into tight corners.
The disadvantages are that they lack security since they don’t have locks like suitcases. To protect your gear, you need duffel bags with lockable zips. You may also want it made from good fabric which is not at risk of being a target for a slash-and-grab crime. Duffel bags are great for short distances, but for trekking a backpack is more appropriate. Lastly, however hard you try and keep things organised in a duffel bag, you know that they will get mixed up.
However, if you have packing cubes, then you can keep your clothes folded, with dirty and clean clothes separate. For shoes it would be another compartment, liquids and toiletries in containers, and paperwork such as notebooks, tickets and passports in an easy to access outer pocket.
NO RIGHT OR WRONG DECISION
As you can see, there are plenty of types of best luggage and bags on offer, but you have to make sure you pick what’s good for you. A two-week holiday would need a big suitcase, probably with four wheels, if you have a bad back and can’t swing it around. If you need hand luggage to go with it, then a duffel bag may also come in handy.
For most airlines and flights, that means choosing a duffle bag that is no larger than 9 inches x 14 inches x 22 inches, but be careful not to put any sharp objects in it which may make a hole. Also, if you’re going out to dinner that same evening, you may find that lovely shirt crumpled, unless you have it stored in a packing cube.
One thing is for sure, though, is that whatever luggage you take, you’ll always forget something. I remember being on a train going from Kyiv (Kiev) to Lviv, in the early 1990s, and buying a bottle of wine from a platform seller. Did I have a corkscrew? No. I had to go through each carriage before I stumbled on a captain of a Ukrainian warship, who had just retired. He offered me his corkscrew and I was able to celebrate our honeymoon with him on the train. It was the best glass of wine I ever had. So, there’s a lot to think about and there’s no right or wrong answers.