Check That Bag! 4 Tips for Buying a Suitcase

February 15, 2013
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Our friend, the World Wide Will at MedjetAssist is an expert on all things travel related. This is the second in a series on making the best buying decision when purchasing luggage.

Whether you’re buying your luggage online or in a local store, there are many options to consider before making a purchase. In fact, there are so many individual considerations that making a buying decision can prove difficult. Do I want two wheels? Four wheels? None? Whatever your travel patterns and personal needs, there are specific criteria you should always consider when purchasing luggage. (For great tips on buying a carry-on, click here).

  • If you’re planning to check your bag, a hard-sided suitcase or roll-on will be sturdiest and withstand the most wear and tear, although a soft-sided bags made of durable material will also travel well.
  • If the bag is soft-sided with a frame, make sure the frame is durable and the material tough enough to be virtually indestructible.
  • Decorative buckles and protruding wheels are generally not a good idea because they can get snagged and damage your bag in the process of loading and unloading.
  • Even though you won’t be carrying it, you need to consider the weight of the bag itself because airlines now impose weight restrictions and additional fees for overweight luggage.
     

When it comes to luggage, basic black is a thing of the past. Bags come in a wide variety of colors and designs, which makes them a lot easier to identify. And you’ll appreciate they distinct colors if you’ve ever inadvertently walked off with another person’s suitcase. You’ll also really appreciate a “personalized” color if you’re the one standing at the carousel when the last bag rolls around and it looks exactly like yours, except that it isn’t. When making your color and design choice, remember that:

  • Darker colors are less likely than light ones to show the frequent abuse your luggage is subjected to when you travel.
  • If you do select a dark suitcase, mark it in a way that will clearly differentiate it from other, similar bags. Suggestions include tying colorful ribbons to both the top and side handles of mine so that I can spot it easily from any angle.