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What Type of Luggage Should You Use for Your Trip? Let’s Unpack It!

Woman knows which type of luggage to use at the airport
Written by Gabby Teaman

All bags have their downsides: suitcases can be bulky, backpacks can strain your shoulders, and duffel bags can be difficult to carry for long periods of time. But, what makes an efficient packer is knowing which type of luggage will bring you the least amount of stress when you’re on the go. When you’re worried about making it to the airport on time or figuring out how to get to your hotel, the last thing you want to worry about is an overstuffed bag, a broken backpack strap, or worse — realizing you have to carry around way too much with you throughout your trip. Luckily, with a bit of research, you can choose the best luggage for you. But, if you’re having a difficult time deciding between all the different types of luggage, we’re here to break it down for you.

If You’re Going to a Resort…

Snag a Good Ol’ Suitcase

woman picks suitcase as her type of luggage on vacation

If you’re headed to a resort, hotel, or visiting with family and friends, a suitcase is the way to go. Although you may think the standard suitcase is perfect for any type of trip, that couldn’t be further than the case. If you’re going to be traveling around from one city to another, whether you’re hopping the bus, train, or if you found cheap flight deals to complete your dream multi-city trip, a suitcase may end up being more of a burden. You don’t want to have to lug around all of that heavy baggage or have to rifle through your entire suitcase if you quickly need to grab something while you’re on the go. That’s why you should save your suitcase shopping for a more relaxed vacation.

Once you decide to invest in a good suitcase, there are many factors to consider: Wheeled, or not wheeled? Hard case or soft case? That will depend on your preferences and, of course, the destination you’re headed to. A hard shell suitcase is good if you’re going to a snowy or rainy destination (London, anyone?), but is way more likely to crack, whereas, a soft shell case is more durable, but can become moldy and smelly if exposed to harsher climates. You’ll also want to decide between spinner luggage and roller luggage. Spinner wheels cause the suitcase to stand upright and are generally easier to push around, and its wheels can turn in every direction, but they aren’t really meant for tough terrain. Roller luggage, on the other hand, has wheels that only move one way but are much more reliable in rougher environments.

If You’re Spending a Lot of Time Outdoors…

Bring a Heavy-Duty Backpack

hiker using adventurous type of luggage

You may already associate backpacks with camping trips or other adventurous getaways. After all, they don’t call it “backpacking in Europe” for nothing! Whether you’re jet-setting to multiple destinations, adventurous excursions, or camping out in the great outdoors, backpacks may not be the fanciest piece of luggage, but they’re definitely useful. When we say a backpack, we’re not talking about a cute, trendy bag from any old store, but a super durable, highly-functional backpack that will both organize your belongings and keep them intact.

Even if you’re not using a backpack as your main piece of luggage, it may be a good idea to bring one along with you if you can for a busy day of sightseeing. Those small compartments and water bottle holders will definitely come in handy, especially if you’ve got a lot of stuff on you, or want to shop for souvenirs but don’t feel like holding them while you walk around. It’s not recommended to bring a backpack if you have any delicate, heavy, or oddly-shaped items with you. Keep in mind that while some of the more professional hiking backpacks can be quite durable, you don’t want to overstuff it and cause the straps to break while you’re on the go.

Related: How to Choose the Perfect Carry-On Luggage for Travel

If You’re Working Abroad…

Lug Around a Lighter Laptop Backpack

Perfect for a business trip, remote working, or an impromptu weekend getaway, a laptop backpack is a lighter, less intense version of the traditional hiking backpack. Use discretion when deciding between backpacks. Laptop bags are super versatile and come in many shapes, sizes, and designs. Its straps will help to keep your back from straining under the weight of your heavy laptop and charger. You’ll have plenty of pockets for any pens, notepads, tablets, or other miscellaneous items you may need. If you’re going on a longer trip, chances are you’ll need your laptop bag as a carry-on in addition to a suitcase or duffel. But, it will definitely help make some room and make getting around that much easier.

Before you shop, you may want to consider which type of laptop holder is best suited for your trip. The classic laptop bag is usually around 10-17 inches and sometimes includes handles. Or, you can opt for a laptop backpack if you’re going to be walking around a lot. Perhaps, if it’s a shorter trip, you can simply carry your laptop in a sleeve.

If You’re Bringing Some Heavy Stuff…

Drag a Durable Duffel Bag With You

man using duffel type of luggage for business trip

If you consider yourself to be an over-packer (relatable), you might want to consider investing in a good duffel bag. Duffel bags are also best if you need to bring any special equipment or gear with you when you go. Maybe if you’re planning on playing a game of tennis, or you need to carry a smaller instrument for your band. But, it’s a good idea to get a duffel with wheels. That way, no matter how heavy your bag ends up weighing, you’ll be able to glide through the airport a bit more easily.

Additionally, if you get a wheeled duffel, it can normally be used over any kind of surface without breaking. A duffel is built to last for a while, so investing in a high-quality one is worth it. Certain duffel bags can make great luggage for camping or anything else outdoorsy. They typically have strong zippers, handy front and side handles, and even clips that you can attach smaller bags to if needed. For most trips, you can’t really go wrong with a good duffel bag, but make sure you utilize your space when you fly. Shorter trips may not be the best fit for one of these, so keep that in mind.

So, what type of luggage are you planning on bringing for your next trip? Tell us below!

About the author

Gabby Teaman

Gabby Teaman is a content writer who loves writing (of course!), editing, food, and the Oxford comma. When she’s not writing for Fareportal, she can be found Snapchatting videos of her puppy, blasting show tunes, or watching Netflix, all while trying to read everything in sight.

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