When planning your next vacation, you’re probably thinking of how to find the cheapest airline tickets and get the best deals on accommodation. But as the day of departure approaches, you have to start packing, which means you’ll need a travel bag.
There’s a science to choosing the perfect travel bag. If it’s too big and you might have trouble getting it on the plane plus you’ll have too much weight you need to carry around. If it’s too small, you’ll never be able to fit everything you need. There’s also the risk of getting the wrong material, and your stuff will get soaked on a rainy day. You could easily spend several hours doing research, but you don’t have to. We’ve made a list of 11 simple tips for buying the perfect travel bag.
Quality over Pricing
A poor-quality travel bag can cause a lot of hassle and put a damper on your long-awaited vacation. Price is an important factor, but don’t go for the cheapest one. Think in terms of value for money. If you want to save, a better approach is to look for coupons, sales, and special offers such as Dooney & Bourke exclusive offers. You won’t be using your travel bag on a daily basis, but you want to rely on it when you’re trying to forget about your troubles for a few days or a couple of weeks. Pick the right one, and you’ll be using it for years to come.
Who likes to pay for extra baggage at the airport? If you get a bag that’s too heavy when empty, it means you’ll have to pack fewer things. And what do you need more, the stuff inside the bag or the bag itself? You’ll want to look for travel bags that don’t weigh more than 7 pounds (or about 3 kg).
Of course, this also depends on what you put inside. If you’re packing fragile items, it’s better to get a hard case suitcase. If you’re packing clothes, you can get a soft-shell bag that also has outside pockets.
Then there’s the issue of volume. You want your travel bag to be practical. It has to fit in the airplane’s cabin, in the car, and the hotel room. Keep in mind that you still have to carry it around, so it has to be proportionate to your body. If your travel bag is half your size, you will struggle.
Wheels and Telescope Handle
Why would you want to strain your back carrying a travel bag when you can get with that gives you the option of pulling it around? As you’re walking around the airport, you’ll thank yourself for getting a bag with wheels and handle. Just make sure the handle is comfortable and can be adjusted to your height.
Easy to Spot
We probably don’t need to tell you how hard it is to spot a generic black suitcase on the baggage carousel. If you want to avoid this, you have two options. The first is to get a travel bag with a unique design. Something funky and colorful. If that option doesn’t suit you, you can get one in tamer colors but add something to make it stand out. It can be a sticker or simply a ribbon tied around the handle.
This might now seem like a big deal, but when you’re traveling, you want to be extra careful with your luggage. This isn’t just to avoid having someone rummaging through your belonging, but mostly you want to make it difficult for someone to slip anything in your bag. We strongly recommend you look for this feature in your travel bags.
Having both top and side handles makes it much easier to maneuver your travel bag. You’ll also want to make sure that the handles are sturdy enough to support the weight of your belonging without breaking. This is especially common in cheaper suitcases. They look nice, and everything seems ok, but once it’s full and you try to lift it, the handle breaks on one side.
As we mentioned before, hard case suitcases are better for fragile items, but they don’t have outside pockets. Generally, when you’re traveling, you want your bags to have a lot of compartments. If you have to shove all your things in just one compartment, it makes it very hard to find them quickly. Plus, unless you can do laundry while on vacation, you’ll want to separate your clean clothes from the dirty ones you’ll be bringing back home. Then there are also smaller items you want easy access to. The perfect travel bag should have built-in separators to accommodate your needs. It saves a lot of time and hassle.
You can’t control the weather, so you want to be prepared. If you’re unfortunate enough to get caught in a downpour, you don’t want your belongings getting soaked. Hard-case suitcases are not the only water-resistant option. You’ll have to check the label to see if it’s made from water-resistant materials, and it has been treated with moisture-resistant sealant on the inside. To be extra safe, you can get a rain cover.
If you’re the kind of person that tends to buy a lot of souvenirs, so you have trouble fitting them in your suitcase when it’s time to go back home, you’ll want an expanding travel bag. We should warn you that this might not be the best solution for carry-on luggage because it might no longer fit in the overhead bin. Also, you still have to consider the maximum weight limit.
Padding is particularly important for backpacks. You can’t expect to carry a backpack without adequate padding and not feel miserable. Considering you may be walking with it for several kilometers per day, comfort is everything.
First, you’ll want to check the shoulder pads. Those are the ones you’re going to struggle with the most. Then there’s the back of the backpack. It should be contoured in such a way that it supports the natural arch of your back. There should also be a little bit of space between the bag and your back, so air can circulate. Last but not least, check the padded hip belt. The hip belt is very important because it helps distribute the weight, so it doesn’t cause too much strain on your back and hips.
To read more on topics like this, check out the Travel category