The perfect bag makes all the difference when you’re on-tour. You don’t want to lug a bulky and awkward suitcase through crowded airports. You want to feel proud of your choice in baggage when it rolls around on the luggage carousal. Whether you’re looking for the best suitcase for international travel or a lightweight backpack for shorter trips, we’ve put together this article to point you in the right direction.
To begin, ask yourself, can I travel with only a carry-on bag? If it is possible, you’ll enjoy the freedom of not having to pay baggage fees and wonder if your checked baggage has made it to the other side. Once you know how many bags you require and which types, it’s time to assess the different options. Here’s a breakdown of various baggage options and their unique benefits:
If you have a lot of belongings to carry, you will most likely need a rolling suitcase. The big decision to make is choosing between a soft shell suitcase and a hard shell suitcase. Typically, a soft shell suitcase is more durable, flexible and has more compartments allowing for more organised packing. A hard shell on the other hand, is water resistant, lightweight, more secure and often easier to manoeuvre. Another option is to choose a large and sturdy backpack which also has wheels, for the added convenience of portability.
You don’t want to be someone holding others up on the plane as you shove your oversized bag into the overhead locker. Choose a compact carry-on bag with a number of secure compartments to store your important travel documents, valuables and carry-on essentials. Also remember that you’re usually allowed one personal item, which can be a camera bag or a laptop bag.
On most educational travel programs you’ll be doing plenty of daytime adventures. A lightweight day-pack with a fair few pockets will help you carry everything you need to venture into new places.
Other factors to consider when choosing baggage
Type of travel – will you be staying in luxurious hotels or leaving your comfort zone and living like a local?
Transportation – does your trip have a lot of internal transportation between various destinations? Would you prefer 4 wheeled suitcases which are usually easier to navigate busy areas, or will 2 wheels suffice?
Detectability – Do you want a bright and obvious suitcase colour or a colourful sash tied to your suitcase so that it’s easy to spot on the luggage carousel?
Security – Will you be locking your luggage and do you want a suitcase or bag that is built with a locking system, or are you comfortable using your own lock?
A good quality bag which meets your needs is an important investment and should last you many years. Once you have an idea of how the bag will be used, you can approach the decision from all angles and make the right choice.
For more travel insights from the experts, check out all of our travel advice articles here.