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Choosing The Right Luggage For Your Next Trip

Almost all travelers have at least one nightmare luggage story to share. Maybe you spent a lot of money on a fancy brand-name bag that broke on the first leg of the trip. Or you skimped a bit and unfortunately got exactly what you paid for. Or the bag that you thought would be comfortable and versatile turned out to be neither as you dragged it all over the cobblestones of Florence or carried it on an aching back through the crowded, narrow streets in Athens.

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Choosing the wrong luggage can waste precious travel time and energy and can cause a lot of aches and pains. Choosing the right luggage will free you up to enjoy your trip without any unnecessary aggravation.

To help you pick the best possible bag for your next adventure — here are five simple questions you can ask yourself to help you decide which type of bag is the right bag for you.

1. What are the baggage restrictions and limits of all the airlines I will be traveling with? Some countries have more restrictive guidelines that are more stringently enforced. Smaller airlines in Europe, for example, require smaller and lighter bags than in the US. Make sure you know what the requirements will be so you don’t get stuck having to pay hefty fines or finding new luggage at the last minute.

2. Am I an over-packer and/or a shopper? If you know that you tend to bring more than you need and/or buy a fair amount when you get there, opt for an expandable bag as your carry-on, and slip in an empty, durable nylon bag to bring back new things with you. (Note: be prepared to pay any additional fees that might apply for additional bags, or if your bag becomes too large/heavy as a result of over-packing!)

3. How much attention do I want my luggage to get? Yes, sometimes it’s tempting to get the stand-out, fashion-forward luggage in a bright color like fuchsia — but if you’re heading to a destination that’s known for theft, sometimes the better option is to pick a suitcase that blends in with the crowd. There are always things you can still do to help with identification — a colorful ribbon, a sticker, a unique tag — but if you don’t want your luggage to be a target for opportunistic thieves, just opt to keep it simple.

4. How much transferring will I be doing on this trip? Are you heading to one main location that will be your “home base” for day trips? Or will you be constantly on the move from city to city, hopping trains, getting taxis, taking buses? Will someone be available to help you lift your bags if you need assistance, or will you be the only one fully responsible for handling your luggage at all times? The more you’ll be moving around, the more you should aim for simple, lightweight, durable, and versatile. Pack only the essentials, and look for bags that offer more than one mode of transport — for example, a carry-on with hidden pull-out straps that can be transformed into a comfy backpack for hands-free movement.

5. Does my luggage match the type and terrain of the trip I’m taking? Wheeled suitcases are great — if you have lots of flat floors and smooth sidewalks along which to roll them. But after two days of lugging a heavy suitcase through bumpy streets, broken sidewalks, dirt paths, or up endless flights of stairs, you’ll be praying to the luggage gods for a simple backpack with padded shoulder straps.

Trust me, the last thing you want to be focused on while you’re on the trip of a lifetime is some annoying, avoidable luggage irritations. With a little investigating and preparation before you pack up and head out, you can make sure your luggage fits seamlessly into your travel plans!


CLICK HERE to schedule your complimentary vacation planning session!

Jodi Schlichting

Travel Advisor


EverAfter Travel

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