During the crunch of holiday travel, do yourself a favor and read Seth Stevenson’s great op-ed piece from the NY Times/IHT a few days ago: Hell on Wheels.
It’s a very a propos message. A traveling companion, on my recent travels to Central America asked if bringing a wheeled bag was in order. I said absolutely not (and you’ll know why if you’ve read my recent posts from Costa Rica and Panama).
Mr. Stevenson points out, in a very entertaining piece (written from aboard a ship in the Pacific), that the advent of wheeled bags have enabled and encouraged us to pack much more than we can carry and much more than we need. He points out that they are frequently useless for real traveling, outside of “the taxi-airport-taxi-hotel-shuttle-bus-convention center” trip.
So, avoid the massive steamer trunks (a la Joe vs. the Volcano), minimalize, and experience life…outside the suitcase.