We travel for all different reasons and hit a variety of spots; there is quite the variety of luggage to choose from, and while you may just be interested in choosing any old thing to store your stuff, there are some important considerations that go into finding the best luggage for your specific travel needs. Here are some tips for choosing the best pieces for your trip.
Weight and Size Considerations
Airlines are strict about weight limitations, and if your baggage does not conform, you can expect to pay some pretty hefty fees. To minimize the problem, you want to start with the type of luggage you are choosing. Luggage designed to be lightweight will typically cost more than standard fare because it contains high-tech materials that lend themselves to producing durable, yet, lightweight products. But, it is a worthy investment—the extra money you pay for this type of luggage may be equivalent to the extra baggage fees incurred on just one round-trip flight. So, if you want to maximize your weight allowance and bring as much as you can, consider this type of baggage to keep you under the limits or from having to pay for additional allowances. You also want to know the size limits on any baggage as oversized luggage can also incur a fee. When choosing an airline, make sure you check the weight and size requirements to make sure you pick luggage that conforms. The type of travel you are doing is also a consideration for the size of luggage you should pick—if you are backpacking through Europe and constantly on the move, you will likely come to regret a big suitcase; on the other hand, if you are planning to move abroad for an extended period of time, you want to make sure you can fit all the stuff that you want to take to your new home.
Hard or Soft Case?
Typically, hard luggage was used primarily for protection while soft luggage was preferred to hold more weight, but with advances in design, both can hold a more diverse array of ‘’stuff.’’ Many hard case pieces are now made from ultra-lightweight materials that make them easy to transport and use for any type of travel; soft cases now have features like internal frames and different type of moldings, which makes the more durable and better equipped to protect more fragile items; though, in general, it is probably better to go with hardsides if you are packing fragile items. Soft luggage may be a good option if you are going somewhere where space is tight or will be stored in irregular spaces since it can conform to the shape.
There are a variety of organizational features in luggage that lend themselves to, well, better organization. Depending on the type of trip you are taking and what types of activities you will be participating in, it is a good idea to consider bags with certain types of features. If you will be doing water activities or partaking in various sorts of adventure travel, a bag that contains a separate compartment to store wet clothing is a good idea; mesh pocket dividers can be a great way to separate different types of clothing and other items you are bringing, and you can easily see everything for quick access. Outside pockets can be helpful if you have certain types of items that you may want easy access to without having to dig through your bag.