Buying New Luggage

For people who aren’t racking up the frequently flyer miles that often, taking a trip often means bringing the old luggage down from the attic and dusting it off.

Even though many in-frequent flyers often try to make do with their older luggage, there comes a time when you have to retire that old clamshell suitcase you used to take to grandma’s house when you were a kid and buy something new.

But if shopping for luggage isn’t something you do that often, you may need a bit of advice to help get you through the process. Here are some tips that you can take with you:

Look for luggage that meets your travel needs – Someone taking the family across country has much different needs than a business traveler that is on the road once a week. Make sure that the salesperson who is assisting you understands what type of travel you will be doing.

Decide on hard-sided or soft-sided – While hard-sided luggage will offer you better protection, they are heavier and less flexible. Plus, you will be paying more for hard-sided bags. These are good choices for luggage that will be checked by the airlines but not the best choice for a carry on bag. For carry on luggage, or something you will be taking on an overnight trip in the car a soft-sided bag may be a better choice.

Checking the wheels – Just about every large piece of luggage nowadays have wheels attached to them. Whoever first put these on a suitcase should be considered a genius. However, if anyone has ever had a wheel on a suitcase break, they may feel like cursing this individual instead.  Wheels should be at least 2.5 inches in diameter so that they roll across multiple surfaces and use ball bearings with metal axels so they last. The wheels should also be recessed in the bag for added protection.

The pull handle – If your luggage has wheels, it will have a collapsible pull handle as well. Like the wheels, sturdiness counts here more than anything. Other things to look at would be to see if the handle is long enough that you can pull the luggage without it hitting your heels.

Zippers – No luggage should use metal zippers anymore. They rust, get stuck easily and the pull can break. Synthetic zippers are much more reliable so look for that. Your zipper pulls should also be large enough to fit a lock through them. Understand though, that if the Transportation Security Administration decides to search your luggage, they may cut the lock off to gain access.

Price – While price is usually the determining factor when buying anything, with luggage the old adage of, “you get what you pay for” couldn’t be more true. It usually will work to your benefit to spend a few extra dollars for features that will make your travel much easier and more pleasant.

Buying luggage shouldn’t be intimidating. It should be fun because buying new bags means you are going on a trip so enjoy the process. Make sure you do your research ahead of time and look for the best deals you can find. With the Internet, you should be able to find exactly what you are looking for at a price within your budget.