Let’s be honest. Traveling is fun, but choosing the right travel luggage can make travel that much better. The problem is that there is a lot to consider when choosing the right travel luggage. We want a suitcase that makes packing, carrying, unpacking and repacking easy. There are features to consider the can be unique to each traveler, yet easy to spot luggage at an airport is something most travelers agree is important. Knowing what to look for in luggage goes deeper than just the looks of both the inside and outside of your luggage.
Choosing the Right Travel Luggage
Traveling is something we love to do, whether it’s a weekend trip to the Disneyland Resort or most recently, our two-week trip to the Hawaii. During our trip to Hawaii, we unfortunately lost our staple piece of luggage. We all know it – that one piece that seems to fit everything, somehow stay under weight limits, and just keeps on going. Over the years, we have learned that the best tip for packing for a trip is to start with luggage that makes it easy so we were very careful in choosing our next piece and knew we could not be the only ones looking at tips for choosing the right travel luggage.
Knowing what to look for in luggage is important but it’s only half the battle because we like to also find luggage that meets our personal style. When shopping, we started by looking at the best brands in travel luggage because those brands do well at pulling together as many of the important features to look for in luggage as possible. The brands we narrowed our selection down to were Ricardo, Travelpro, Samsonite, and American Tourister.
Ask Questions Before Buying Luggage
Before buying any product, we always consider why we need it and how we will use it the most. We asked ourselves if we would be doing more air travel, driving or even taking cruises with it. After this, we asked ourselves what the most important features were for our family. We knew we would be using it for long trips for our family of four with air travel being the most common usage. When it came to prioritizing features, the following were priority for us: size, ease of maneuvering, durability, easy to spot, and comfortable handles.
Choosing the Right Carry On Luggage
When looking for the best carry-on luggage, size and maneuverability matter most for us, and the rest we could be a bit flexible on. We didn’t care as much about carry-on size restrictions, in fact the bigger the better. We were replacing a piece of luggage we nicknamed, The Coffin. It carried our clothes, toiletries, shoes, and even snorkels, and mini boogie boards.
Our Coffin was a Samsonsite so we naturally looked at that brand again, but knew weight had been our major struggle with our prior piece so focused on looking at all features across our top brands. We have some American Tourister pieces as well, which have always held up well and offer good organization. It’s easy to find spinning wheels on travel luggage these days, so finding well constructed durable wheels to handle the trials of travel was key.
If carry-on size is important, be sure to head to the website for the airline you are traveling with to check on the size specifications for carry-on luggage. Use that information as a guideline when shopping for carry-ons.
Durability is Key When Choosing the Right Travel Luggage
Referring to air travel, checked luggage has quite a journey. We’ve all seen the videos of baggage handlers throwing luggage into the plane. Acts like that make durability an absolute necessity. While soft shell bags are nice, we opted for a hard shell which many brands offer. Our son loves traveling with his Ricardo Elite Roxbury 2.0 from Ricardo Beverly Hills because of the hard shell so we knew that was a well tested feature that is well worth it.
Finding a hard shell piece of luggage that is also lightweight can be easier said than done. The 29 inch Maxlite Pro 4 by Travelpro became a top contender for us with the generous size, hard sides and a weight of 10.2 pounds.
Traveling Mom Tip: Use packing cubes to help organize the inside of your luggage when packing. Especially if you’re packing up your entire family for the journey.
Additional Features of the Right Travel Luggage
A great piece of luggage, whether carry on or over-sized, requires a lot of features to make the cut for perfect luggage. We also wanted a piece of luggage with comfortable handles at a natural height because, well, that’s what my husband said he needed. He is the primary lifter, stacker, and roller of our largest luggage when we travel so that was an important consideration.
Being easy to spot on the conveyor belt was also essential. This is actually where we let our personal style come into play when choosing the right travel luggage. There were hundreds of colors to choose from when shopping, but something about the iridescent hard side of the Travelpro Maxlite Pro line called to us. Since it had all of the features we were looking for and it fit our personal style, our search for the right travel luggage was over (this time). Finding luggage that works for our style allows us to worry less and focus more on enjoying our time away from home and everything our travel destination offers.