Choosing the Right Luggage

I’ve always been of the mind that one piece of luggage is NOT as good as the next. In fact, I generally feel that the uglier the piece of luggage, the better. This thinking is based on the following:

  • If it’s ugly, it’s less likely to be stolen.
  • If it’s ugly, it’s easier to spot on the carousel.
  • If it’s ugly, it probably doesn’t matter if it gets dirty or beat up.

Consequently, updating luggage is not a priority to me. (If you don’t believe me, then consider my current bag: 2 of the bag’s 4 wheels are missing, and the stupid thing won’t stand unless it’s propped against a wall. Who’s going to take it?)

However, if you are quite unlike me — and I presume most of you are — here are some things to consider when selecting luggage:

  • What kind of traveling are you most likely to be doing in the coming year(s)? Jet-setting through Europe’s finest hotels will necessarily require different baggage than back country camping.
  • What’s your budget? You could shell out hundreds or even thousands on a suitcase. Me, I bought my last carry-on bag for $10 at a flea market. (Of course, as I mentioned, the wheels recently fell off. Cause and effect? You be the judge.)
  • Size matters. Are you a thrifty packer, or do you bring every pair of shoes you own?
  • Does the bag really have to have black? A non-traditional color will make spotting your bag much easier.
  • Where are the wheels and/or shoulder straps? Although the prefix of luggage is “lug-“, it’s surprisingly un-fun to lug luggage, especially if you have a long distance to walk.

Packing List Advice has some other tips for helping you to choose the right luggage. However, I’m curious as to what tips YOU have.