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Travel Guides 2: Choosing the right traveling bag for your trip, Part 2
This chapter is the continuation of the previous article on choosing the right traveling bag for your trip, Part 1. I will share some insights from my past traveling experiences on how to select the size, color, and extra features on choosing for your right traveling luggage.
What size luggage do I need?
There are three commonest sizes for traveling luggage available on sale in the market: small (25 inches Height x 14 inches Width), medium (26 inches Height x 18 inches Width), and large (30 inches Height x 19 inches Width). The size allowance is uniform across all the airlines, the maximum size for checked bags allowed is 62 linear (total) inches, example: for luggage that measures 27 inches by 21 inches by 14 inches, it will work out to 27+21+14 = 62 linear inches. Checked luggage should not exceed twenty-five to thirty kilograms in total weight. However, all airlines’ companies allowed for different weight allowances for a checked bag but it often comes with a specific cost, and the fees are not the same between domestic and international flights.
Normally, I will choose a duffel bag for a short domestic family trip, and a medium-size cabin suitcase for my short outstation official duty meeting. I usually traveled with a backpack, a medium-size cabin bag, and a piece of checked-in luggage for all my international vacation/holidays just to ensure that I have brought enough all the essential items that are needed for the vacation, and at the same time to prepare some space allowance to allow for souvenirs packing.
My color choice for luggage?
Classic black is the common preferred color that normally will not easily show the sign of wear and tear compared to other colors. However, if you have to choose black, then it is advisable to put a tag or some special sign for an easily seen. Choosing a brighter color or a different design will assist in fast recognition and to avoid the incidence of mistook other traveler’s belongings. For me, I prefer both methods: putting on an identification tag and purchased different colors suitcase.
Extra features that caught my attention?
Anti-theft Travel Backpack
After experiencing many international vacations/holidays and after hearing news from fellow travelers concerning personal safety while holidaying overseas. I have purchased an anti-theft travel backpack for my previous international tour. I look for a secure, well-made, modern design, waterproof and stainproof bag. Other features that I considered crucial include a padded and ventilated back panel, a protected pocket and zip with latch for anti-theft on the back of the backpack, and a separate laptop compartment for 17 inches laptop.
A good, sturdy, and ergonomically designed luggage handle is crucial for easy bag maneuver, and an inbuilt type handles is protected from any potential damage. It is advisable to test out the luggage before purchasing, extend the handle to its full length, make sure the handle is locked perfectly, and take the suitcase for a spin to get maximum satisfaction.
The life span of a piece of luggage depends on its usage. Abrasion, torn bag fabrics, and damaged zippers are among the commonest luggage breakdowns due to the suitcase mishandling process in any airport or during luggage transport into or from an airplane. It is advisable to choose a metal zipper to the plastic-type, as metals are stronger and tougher.
Waterproof and stain-proof
It is advisable to get a soft bag made from another type of ballistic nylon to protect the luggage from wear and tear. It is important also to make sure that the bag’s fabric is waterproof and stain-proof for an easy free outdoor adventure.
Exterior pockets or compartments
Most of the soft luggage comes with large exterior pockets or compartments, but this advantage of exterior compartments can become a concern especially when traveling internationally except if it comes with security locked.
USB Charging Ports
The latest suitcase design does come with built-in USB charging ports, these extra features making phone charging tasks easier.
There are other considerations to be made before choosing the right traveling luggage for one dream vacation/trip:
i. International or domestic trip
- An international trip, for safety, security, and convenience purposes it is advisable to choose a hard, sturdy, and without exterior compartment suitcase rather than a piece of soft luggage with exterior pockets. Furthermore, a hard bag is easy for plastic wrapping service.
ii. The category of your vacation plan.
- A family tour traveling might need extra more bags to fits in all the necessary travel essentials for each family member. For guided tours, the amount of available luggage weight will be determined ahead by the travel agency, and for solo travelers, the maximum one afford to carry is one backpack and one duffel bag in addition to one large size suitcase.
iii. The season or climate of your traveling destination
- The best time to travel light will be during the summer season, then springtime and autumn followed by winter vacation. If you are a snow admirer like me, you might need to bring enough bulky and warm winter gear to keep you warm especially during the mid-winter period.
iv. The length of your trip
- The length of your vacation also sometimes does influence the choice of the right type of traveling luggage for your trip. A wheeled duffel bag or medium size backpack is the commonest selection for a two days’ vacation stay. Whilst, a large and a medium-hard suitcase is sufficient to keep all your essential travel items for a longer two-week stay.
iv. The primary holiday activities
- Shoppers cum travelers usually prefer to bring along large size bags to store all their purchased merchandise. Meanwhile, for a skiing tour, large luggage is needed to keep all the necessary winter and skiing gear.
- The final important detail to choose for the right vacation bag is the warranty period issued by the manufacturer. Branded suitcases normally tag with a better warranty assurance and this type of luggage is not cheap.
That’s all for my sharing on how to choose the right traveling bag for your dream vacation, for your work-related or leisure trips. In my next article, I will share the topic: Travel Guides 3: Organize your clothing packing list.