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Luggage, suitcases and travel bag buyer's guide.

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Luggage, Suitcase and Travel Bag Buyer's Guide

Whenever I think of the word "luggage", I always imagine The Luggage from Terry Pratchett's Disc World novels. Rincewind, the (failed) wizard, owns The Luggage, which follows him wherever he goes on a set of legs, and continuously provides him with freshly laundered clothes scented with lavendar, and eats his enemies. Luggage with attitude!

Sadly in the real world, luggage like Terry's does not exist, so I have written this buyer's guide to help you make your choice.

Think about the following points when purchasing:

  • Portable
    Make sure that you will be able to transport your suitcases when they are fully packed. I find luggage on wheels a great help, but make sure you pick a design that is reasonably stable. Some designs feature four wheels, one on each corner, and you pull the suitcase along on a lead. These types of designs tend to me more unstable. The designs with two wheels on two corners, that you drag along by means of a handle are more stable.
  • Lightweight
    This is important for portability (above) but also crucial if travelling by air. As an example, for British Airways, the general hand baggage allowance is 1 bag measuring no more that 55x40x20 cm and weighing no more than 6 Kg. The maximum weight of luggage that can be checked into the hold is 32kg with overall dimensions (height plus length plus width) not exceeding 158 cm.
    So it makes sense to go for a lighter suitcase if you are going on holiday and anticipate bringing a lot of purchases home! Note that other airlines will have different limits to British Airways and allowances should be checked with the airline concerned.
  • Expandable
    Some cases can be expanded, either via a set of zips that hide extra compartments, of by a kind of overlapping suitcase design, whereby the suitcase can increase it's depth via catches that expand in size. This can be a useful feature, but bear in mind the weight of the case when fully packed and expanded and make sure that you will be able to handle it.
  • Individuality
    Why individuality? I hear you asking. I need my suitcases to be useful - not to be a fashion accessories. Indeed! However, when travelling on an aircraft you will need to be able to recognise your luggage easily once it has arrived on the baggage carousel. More importantly, it's nice to know that some other passenger who's a little short sighted is not going to take your suitcase in place of theirs.
    Individuality can be achieved easily in a number of ways. You could buy a lured lime green suitcase with an attractive pink spot design, but I find the best way is to have a strap with my name printed on it that goes right the way round the case. A strap also has the additional benefit of holding your case together should the catch fail, and it makes it more difficult for anyone to steal anything out of your suitcase as they would need to undo the strap first.
Essentials for Travel
- Site dedicated to luggage with a huge range of suitcases, carry on bags, travel bags, trolley cases, holdalls, business cases, holdalls and computer bags.

hideo wakamatsu
True Shopping

- The pictured item is the Hideo Wakamatsu Silent Pink Long Haul Trolley Case. Other brands available include Antler, Jane Shilton, Constellation, High Sierra and Skyflite.

Orvis Rolling Luggage
- Expandables, suit carriers. leather duffels and Rollacases including family sized - all on wheels.

Kit2fit
- Travel accessories including games, beach mats, snorkels, goggles, inflatable pool toys, wet/dry bags and much more.