Finding the right suitcase can be daunting as you want to be sure you pick a suitcase that is guaranteed to last through all of your adventures. Your suitcase basically is your closest travel companion, it accompanies you on just about every long-distance adventure you take. This is why it is SO important to ensure that your travel BFF is one that will stay with you for ages. Since I recently just purchased a new suitcase after a horrific incident (which I am about to share with you), I will guide you through the best way to pick the perfect suitcase for your needs!
My Horror Story:
First off, let me share with you why I had to purchase new luggage recently. After a short 2 and a half hour flight, this is what greeted me off the plane:
Not trying to put down Alaska Airlines in any way, as I am a loyal customer and continue to call them my go-to airlines for the west coast of the US, but this is a bit ridiculous. Luckily, Alaska’s customer service was fantastic and gave me a loaner suitcase for my trip, $75 more than what I had originally purchased my suitcase for, and $100 off my next flight. Although they were unable to fix my suitcase that I hadn’t even owned for an entire year.
Moral of the story: You don’t know what hardship your luggage is going to go through when you check it, so pick a good suitcase!
Ensure the outside is sturdy
I get it, the hard cases are normally hideous. But to best ensure your belongings make it safely, they are the best route to go, especially if you are traveling often. There are decent looking ones out there, I promise! If you don’t travel quite as often, the softer outsides should be suitable, just be sure to wrap your breakable belongings tightly!
Pick a design that will blend scratches
Your luggage will get scratched. It is inevitable. The way to make it less noticeable is to pick a suitcase with texture. This allows the scratches to blend in, so it won’t look like you’re hauling around mangled luggage (pictured above).
Go with 4 wheels
Some people prefer the 2 wheels, but from my personal experience, 4 wheel makes life go so much smoother. I can’t count the number of times my suitcases have fallen forward, crushing my belongings. Or how many times that I had to stand there holding onto my giant bag while waiting for a taxi. Take my advice, 4 wheels is a dream come true for those of us who grew up using 2 wheels.
Pick the pockets to suit your needs
I’m the type of person that likes a lot of extra pockets. I like to have one to separate dirty clothes, a place for shoes, and a place for whatever else I need to organize. For the suitcase pictured above I did not take this into consideration and regretted it immediately. This time I ensured my suitcase had easily accessible pockets. If you absolutely have to have the luggage that provides little to no pockets, I suggest packing cubes, which can be purchased here, as they help keep your belongings in order!
Have TSA Approved Locks/Weight indicators
Somewhere in the back of my mind, there has always been the worry that someone would take my suitcase off of the carousel, whether it be accidentally or on purpose, and go home with it. Since getting my current suitcase, I have no longer had to worry due to the TSA-approved locks that guarantee only myself and airport security can open my bags. Many suitcases are now also including weight indicators which can end up saving a lot of money in the long run if you tend to be an heavy packer.
In case you were wondering, after careful research and listening to the advice of fellow travelers, here is the suitcase I decided to be my new companion.
Samsonite Winfield 2 Fashion 28″ Spinner. So far it has held up beautifully through five different flights.