The modern way of travelling began in the 17th century when it became the status of young noblemen to acquire education by visiting classic destinations around Europe. The suitcase was a status symbol and a large suitcase meant that the owner could afford not only a considerable collection of noble costumes but also servants to carry the luggage.
The suitcases would have a neat and lavish interior with hangers and drawers in wood and were often large as a normal-sized, contemporary wardrobe. After centuries of kinking, an American traveller got a brilliant idea during a holiday trip in 1970 and applied for a patent on a suitcase with wheels. In the beginning, the customers were sceptical, but when the flight entered the travel industry, the roller bag became a success.
Today, we are presented with numerous possibilities when choosing the best suitcase for our needs. Maybe you don’t even need a big type of suitcase. Smaller types can be a perfect use for travelling with your buddies on weekend bachelor party in Bucharest or somewhat large model that needs to carry dozen of things for a ten-day vacation in Valencia. Whatever your needs may be, in this article, we will try to answer what creates the perfect travel suitcase and how to choose the one according to your travelling preferences.
Suitcases for the Modern Traveler
Today you can buy your suitcases at, at prices that the 17th-century traveller could only dream of. The development of materials and functions has progressed rapidly in recent years and today’s suitcases are considerably smoother. Just as you start browsing through GotBriefcases and other successful online retailers you will find a carefully selected assortment of suitcases in a variety of models – soft, hard, with 2-wheels, 4-wheels and in many sizes.
The bags are very durable and robust without being heavy and bulky, all in order for you to travel as smoothly as possible. But there are many details to compare and keep track of before you make a decision for one model that will suit you and your way of travelling. Here are some of the best tips to know before buying a new suitcase:
Design – Unique and Exclusive or Smooth and Discreet?
Nowadays there are suitcases for all tastes, in every possible color and pattern. Do you want a discreet suitcase similar to most others, or do you want to stand out with an exclusive or colorful item?
A discreetly designed suitcase is easier to find and the risk that you will go wrong with a bad looking model is minimal. But, the big drawback of an expensive and unusual looking bag is the risk of theft in unfamiliar palaces.
The Shape Is Important
In order for the suitcase to handle luggage at the airport, it should be as smooth as possible on the outside. Make sure that the telescopic handle can be pushed into the bag, and that nothing sticks out that can catch on things.
A backpack, for example, with all its straps and compartments, works great in luggage handling. So, think about the advantages of its mobility next time you need to pack in a rush all your sports gear that otherwise don’t fit everywhere so well.
Two Wheels or Four?
The suitcase should, of course, have wheels, it is much easier to roll a bag than to carry it. Most suitcases today have four wheels that can rotate, such bags are called spinners. The advantage of four wheels is that you can both lean the bag behind you as you walk, as with a two-wheeled bag, or pull it upright beside you.
It is easier to go fast when the bag is tilted behind you, but in the congestion, the bag takes up less space upright. The disadvantages are that the bag with four wheels is not braked when you put it away from you and that the rotating wheels do not last as long as fixed wheels.
Luggage Belt – a Cheap Insurance
A luggage compartment is an additional insurance that prevents your personal belongings from spreading over the luggage belt if the zipper or lock on the bag breaks. The luggage strap is also a way to mark the bag – use a colourful baggage belt or a regular belt so that you can recognize your suitcase in the far distance. It also becomes a little more complicated to open to the one who is curious about your stuff.
Lock-on Your Stuff
Most suitcases today have code locks. If you have plans to go to the USA, for example, it may be good to buy a bag with TSA locks. A TSA lock is approved by the US Transportation Security Administration, which the US Customs can open without having to break up the bag. TSA locks can also be purchased separately.
Checked-in luggage that is locked in another way risks getting back with broken locks if the security staff wants to check the contents of your bag. With a TSA lock, you don’t have to worry about it. Just make sure there is somewhere to attach the lock to the bag.
A bag with a low weight is much easier and more fun to carry around. And if your packing is on the border with the airlines’ excess weight, you do not want the kilos to sit in the bag itself.
How Big Should Suitcase Be?
So to the trickiest question – size. How big should the suitcase be? Yes, it depends. Where are you travelling to? How to travel? How much packing do you want with you? What are you going to do on the trip?
A ski trip requires more packing than the bath holiday, and air travel requires more well-planned packing than the train journey or the car journey. But if we talk generally, here are some practical guidelines:
For the short weekend trip, a fairly small bag of 25–59 litres can usually be more than enough. Then it may be a good thing to choose a soft bag with approved cabin dimensions, so you can choose whether you want to check in the luggage or not. Soft bags often have practical compartments on the outside for passports, tickets and other smaller sized stuff.
For week-long trips, a bag of 60-89 litres is usually suitable, but you can also choose to combine the smaller suitcase with equally large hand luggage. For trips of two to three weeks, a size of 90–119 litres is recommended, but for longer trips, 120-150 litres are recommended.
Just keep in mind that you will probably have to carry this giant suitcase yourself on the trip, so there is every reason to pack easily. If you want to travel smoothly and you know that there can be long walks with the packing, you can advantageously combine a smaller suitcase with a backpack as hand luggage.
Anyone who has his passport filled with numerous stamps knows how important the right type of suitcase actually is. Before making such expensive purchase think twice what your needs actually are and try to imagine that suitcase filled to the top with all kinds of stuff to get the idea about how hard will it be to carry it for the longer period.
If the idea that you got is unacceptable, then feel free to enjoy suitcase with wheels and bulk size that will never let you down no matter where you are and what you are carrying.