Choosing the wrong luggage for a trip leaves you with a cumbersome problem – you can’t just take it home and switch it! But there are so many types of bags available these days, that making an informed decision can be the most difficult part of your trip!
Whether it’s trying to lug a suitcase through the jungle and beating the crap out of your wheels (been there), or throwing everything into a hiking pack for a stay at a luxury hotel, a travel experience is often about choosing the right kind of bag.
The most important thing to remember is that different types of luggage will be suitable for different types of trips. So in this article we’ve broken down four popular styles of travel, and the type of luggage that is best suited to that trip.
4 Different Styles of Travel, and the Luggage You’ll Need for Each
The Relaxing Two-Week Vacation
Luggage: A Huge Suitcase
Whether you’re staying at a swanky hotel or an Airbnb, a ‘relaxing’ vacation is one where the only place your bag travels is from the airport, to your room, and back again.
This is the type of trip where you can take liberties with your packing – feel free to pack a hard-shell suitcase the height of a ten-year-old child if you’re not going to be lugging it around here there and everywhere!
Packing for these vacations is a complete joy, as the only thing you need worry about is not exceeding your hold luggage weight limit. With a huge suitcase, packing that extra pair of shoes shouldn’t pose a big issue.
For advice on the best brands of luggage, check out guides and reviews from Luggage Guru.
The Gap Year
Luggage: Rucksack / Backpack
Now, here is where packing gets very sticky. Packing for a gap year means you need to keep a range of thing in mind when choosing a bag, including things like the need to carry it on public transport, leave it in hostels, and have room to fit everything you need for a year.
Juggling all of these things can easily add up to a packing nightmare. Realistically, we can discard a carry-on bag as an option, as that’s simply not big enough to hold all the items you’ll need for a year-long trip, unless you are some kind of minimalist earth-child.
Now we’re left with the great Suitcase Vs. Rucksack debate. On the one hand, suitcases have wheels, are easily locked, and take a literal weight off your shoulders. On the other, rucksacks are highly portable, free up your hands, and don’t take up an annoying amount of room on buses and night trains.
All in all, we’ve decided that rucksacks are the way to go, unless you’re embarking on a bougie gap year where you’re staying only in hotels and dodging coaches in favor of flying everywhere. It’s called ‘backpacking’ for a reason!
The Weekend Away
Ah, the leisurely city break. You can take these mini-vacations frequently because they allow you to visit new places and see new sights on a budget; especially if you book accommodation last minute.
A helpful money-saving tip for the weekend traveler is to refuse hold luggage and only take a cabin bag. Yes, it’s a squeeze to fit in your hairdryer and the essential three pairs of shoes, but it saves you vital cash to spend on cocktails in the sun and shopping in street markets.
In this case, your big decision is between a carry-on bag or a wheelie suitcase. Depending on your upper-body strength, choose which is best for your length of travel and how many extra t-shirts you can fit in.
Carefully check the cabin baggage allowance for the specific airline you’re traveling with, as it varies between companies.
The Festival Camping Trip
Luggage: Dependent on the Weather
You’ve got your tent and planned your outfits… now how to carry it all? This problem should always be considered with the weather in mind.
If you’re off to a music festival in the British countryside, a suitcase on wheels is basically a no-go, due to the high probability of rain and mud. Mud-caked wheels = not going anywhere fast.
This is where your trusty rucksack comes in very handy. Put your clothes and supplies on your back, leaving your hands free to carry your tent and camp chair!
The situation differs where mainland – European or American summertime festivals are concerned. If the week looks hot and sunny, whip out your suitcase by all means – dry ground makes the perfect conditions to wheel your things from your car to camp!
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