How to Choose a Suitcase
From ShoeBuy Merchandise Manager, Meg Plante
When you’re planning a trip, sometimes the last thing you think about is what you’ll be packing in. The right selections, however, make everything from maneuvering a busy airport to ensuring you have must-haves within reach that much easier. Not to mention they help you feel organized while you’re enjoying your destination. Here are the top five things to consider when you’re purchasing travel gear:
1. Choose Quality Based on Your Needs
Your luggage is likely going to take a beating. From the airport or train station to taxis and through the hotel, you want something durable. If you’re a frequent traveler, it’s definitely worth investing in a top quality brand that can stand up to its share of luggage carousels. However, if you’re an infrequent traveler, you likely don’t need to spend hundreds on a set of luggage; rather, look for solid construction with the key features you must have, or consider pairing a great duffle bag with a sturdy tote to ensure you’ll use the pieces again.
2. Pack in What Works for You
If you hate checking luggage or simply want a compact piece you can count on, go for a carry-on sized item. This could be a small wheeled suitcase, a duffel or a tote. If you prefer to have extra room for the goodies you might travel back with, consider a larger piece that you can check and also free yourself up inside the airport. Remember, if you’re headed someplace where you’d be lost without your checked luggage, be sure you have at least one piece of luggage with you at all times just in case there is a baggage snafu – this should be big enough to hold a few essentials for everyone in your party, just in case. Don’t forget to review an item’s dimensions before you make your purchase so you have a carry on that fits on board, but isn’t so tiny that can’t fit anything in it.
3. Features to Look For:
While some people can carry the world on their shoulders, most of us want lighter loads when it comes to travel. Here are a few key features to consider:
- Weight: A leather suitcase or tote bag can be gorgeous, but you may opt for a nylon bag instead, they’re much lighter.
- Durability: You’ll also want to look for durable materials; while I love suede, it’s not the most practical choice for travel adventures that can have you out and about by the pool or in the rain.
- Wheels: If you’re going to be walking distances, or even maneuvering a train station or airport, be sure your luggage has wheels. These days, many styles offer 360 degree wheels, which really make getting around so much easier.
- Expandability: Sometimes you’re traveling with items you won’t be bringing back, and vice versa. If you’ve got a bag you can expand, you’re set for both legs of the trip.
- Personality: These days, luggage is available in vibrant colors and patterns. Why not pick something that suits your personality and makes it easy to spot from afar? If you have to have a black suitcase, make sure you add a unique tag so you can identify it easily at baggage claim.
4. Compartment and Pockets
Travel is exciting and fun, but having a great trip also means being organized. Whether you’re picking out that one purse that you’ll have with you at all times on vacation, or you’re selecting a set of luggage, don’t overlook the details. A great travel handbag is one that can keep you organized on-the-go, so look for a mix of interior and exterior pockets that zip closed. This is key for your larger travel bags too – if you have compartments or large or mesh pockets, you can pack like things together so they’re right where you want them.
5. Travel Cubes and Organizers
If you’re headed on a longer trip or are packing for multiple people, travel cubes are a trip saver. You can pack all your tops in one for example, or set aside a cube or two per person to keep all of their things together. Plus, I’ve always found that my clothes tend to wrinkle less when I pack with cubes, which is a nice bonus. And travel organizers might be the last thing on your shopping list, you’ll find that having a small case for all of your toiletries for example will really come in handy.
Mom Maven’s Thoughts
I love the Samsonite Aspire! The spinner wheels make it so easy to roll and because it can roll beside you it doesn’t put added strain on your wrist and shoulder. There is plenty of room in this suitcase. As you can see in the picture above I was able to pack 5 pairs of jeans, 5 polo shirts, 5 pairs of socks, 5 pairs of underwear, 1 swimsuit and 1 t-shirt with plenty of room for toiletries and shoes! When we go on our cruise in September, we won’t have to borrow luggage this time!
Do you have some great luggage pieces or are you in need of something new? Checkout ShoeBuy and all that they have to offer!