For a long time, travelers really only had two choices when it came to luggage. You could take a backpack or you could take a suitcase.
But now, there are an infinite variety of each, making it quite difficult to determine which method of carrying your stuff is best for you while traveling. Before you begin your search, it is important to think about the type of traveling you plan to do (adventure, camping, resort/hotel stays, etc) as well as how much stuff you plan to bring with you. Once you have a general idea of that, it will become much more obvious as to which type of luggage is most suitable for you:
Duffel Bag – This is the perfect type of luggage for someone who travels with either a lot of bulky items or equipment or who just wants a big open bag to stuff all of their belongings into. Duffel bags are typically light, offer a cavernous amount of space and can fit virtually anywhere because the outer shell is soft and completely flexible.
Wheeled-Duffel Bag -This version of the duffel bag still offers the large packing space of the traditional style above, but with the added convenience of being able to wheel the bag around instead of carrying it in your hands or on your shoulder. The downside is that the bag becomes a little heavier and somewhat less flexible due to the basic frame and wheels, but it certainly isn’t a bad trade-off.
Wheeled-Suitcase – Offering an easy-to-access packing compartment, often with a useful variety of pockets, this type of luggage is ideal for those who do not plan to be on the go much. Such luggage is usually sturdy and easy to wheel around and comes in so many sizes that you’re bound to find one that suits your needs. But if you plan to bounce around from town to town, hopping on and off buses and trains with some degree of frequency, such luggage might not be the easiest to handle.
Backpacks – The idea of using a travel backpack is that you instantly become fully mobile, not having to worry about whether or not your luggage will make it over the sand or how you’re going to drag your stuff up three flights of stairs. Such packs also come in an endless variety of shapes and sizes, with extra pockets galore, and with frame and strap systems that are often specifically designed for certain body types (including women-specific backpacks). If you don’t want to be slowed down by a wheeled-suitcase, a travel backpack is what you need.
Wheeled-Backpacks – You could also have the best of both worlds if you so desire. Backpacks with wheels are becoming increasingly popular as you’ll no longer need to carry everything on your back when you find yourself on terrain that is perfectly suitable for wheels. The major drawback is that the pack becomes heavier and less flexible due to the wheels and handle but for many, that’s a small price to pay.
Before choosing the right luggage for your travels, it is important that you first test each one out yourself. Every piece of luggage, whether it be a duffel bag, suitcase or backpack, has a completely different feel, both when you pull it along, carry it in your hands or place it on your back.
As a result, you should really head to a store that sells what you’re looking for, fill up a piece of luggage with some random stuff and walk around with it for a few minutes. This will help you decide if that piece of luggage is a good match for you. And just because one duffel bag or one backpack doesn’t feel right, that doesn’t mean that they all won’t feel right, so just grab another one off the shelf and keep trying them out until you discover that perfect piece of luggage.
If you have any questions about choosing the right luggage for your travels, please feel free to contact me through my ‘Contact Me’ link above.