Shopping for luggage can be overwhelming! There are so many options available to fit a variety of travel styles. The key is finding a versatile bag that is sturdy, lightweight and large enough to hold all of your essentials. And of course at an affordable price point!
Choose a size
Travelers tend to overpack when their suitcase is too large. A smaller bag is going to be easier and more lightweight to transport.
Consider the typical duration of your trips. Do you tend to take shorter trips, such as day trips or weekend getaways? A smaller bag is all you need. Or week or longer trips? You may need to upgrade to a larger bag.
Check with your airline first, but most allow a carry-on that is 45 linear (total) inches. A common sized bag for carry-on luggage is 22"x 14"x 9". The most common checked bag limit is 62 linear (total) inches or 27" x 21" x 14" and a weight limit of 50 pounds. Make sure your suitcase can hold everything you need safely and securely and under the size and weight limit for your favorite airline.
Choose hard or soft
If you want your fragile items to be better protected, a hard case suitcase is the way to go. They are also typically waterproof to avoid damage from the rain.
If you want flexibility, softside luggage is your best option. A soft bag is easier to squeeze into the trunk of your car and tight overhead compartments on planes. They are lighter weight and often expandable to fit more when packing - or if you like to go shopping on your trips! ;)
Choose the best color
Choose a color or print that’s easily recognizable on the luggage belt and not mistaken for someone else’s bag. Avoid the color black which everyone has or white which will get dirty quick. If you have a black suitcase that you love, tie a brightly colored ribbon or ID card to the handle so you can easily pick it out of the line up.
Choose two or four wheel
A roller or two wheel suitcase is easier for getting around town as it's better at clearing curbs and rolling on uneven surfaces. But the downside is that they only roll forward and backward.
Four wheel suitcases or spinners are more ergonomic and don’t put as much stress on your shoulders or back They effortlessly glide by your side and are easier to maneuver around tight spaces such as down aisles of planes and in elevators. But keep in mind that the wheels are externally mounted so it's possible they could snap off if you're not careful.
Challenge yourself to pack only a carry-on
When you forgo checking a bag, you can avoid extra fees, lost luggage and time waiting at baggage claim. Plus, you never run the risk of the airline losing your luggage. So if possible, limit yourself to just a carry on.
Warning: Pay attention to your airline’s size restrictions in the fine print of your confirmation ticket. You don’t want to hold up boarding trying to fit your bag in the overhead bin or be charged extra if it’s over the limit.