A trusted travel bag is an essential component of every travel enthusiast and not only. Packing light, and, without a doubt, smart are two important parts of every journey, especially those that you want to live like the true explorer you really are. However, there are many different types of adventures you can have while traveling, and depending on what you are looking to get out of a journey, there are various types of bags that can give you what you desire.
So, whether you are a frequent jet setter checking your bags as a means to find the best lightweight carry-on or an occasional traveler that wishes to have the best home-away-from-home experience, we have created a handy travel bag buying guide to help you find the type of luggage that best meets your needs. Be it for business or fun, you can indeed squeeze everything you need into a piece of luggage!
Let us find out which one!
Things to Consider Before Buying a Travel Bag
Knowing how much you will need to pack and what to expect will allow you to pick between different sizes and types of travel packs. It will also make it clear if you need your travel bag to have features like wheels or handles, as well as additional organisational accessories/packing organisers. So, take your time. Here are some questions to ask yourself to help identify the needs of your trip.
1. How long will the trip last?
The length of the journey is important. Are you having a weekend escape or will you be traveling for much longer? For short trips a small duffel or lightweight carry-on bag may be able to fit everything you need. Rolling luggage, though, might be ideal for longer adventures, always depending on the type of gear you will need to bring along, of course.
2. How are you going to travel?
Will your trip involve lots of moving between multiple flights or layovers and going from train (or bus) ride to train ride? If yes, then you will probably need a wheeled backpack or lightweight carry-on that you can easily accommodate in overhead compartments of plains, trains or buses. So, consider the types of your transportation to determine which bag can make your life easier.
3. What is the type of your travel?
Will you be staying in a posh hotel? Go camping in remote locations? Will you need to take any gear with you? If you are staying in a hotel, a piece of rolling luggage will help you move easily while those of you that will be more on the go will most likely find having a lightweight travel pack more convenient.
4. What types of activities will you be doing?
If your trip involves lots of hours lying on a beach, your bag will likely need to be much different than if you are, for example, mountain climbing. In the first case, your bag should have enough space for lightweight stuff, such as bathing suits, summer clothes, and sarongs while in the latter case, it should fit your climbing gear and be easy to carry, especially if you are going to use multiple modes of transportation to get to that mountainous area.
Types of Travel Bags
Ideal for: single-day business trips, overnight stays, weekend trips, and international travel.
Lightweight carry-ons are a great type of travel bag to help maximise your carry-on packing and fit everything you need to take with you into the dimensions required by the airline. These bags usually come with a plethora of convenient features, like durable wheels, retractable handles, and many compartments for organisation, among others; yet, in very compact sizes that are super easy to carry and very light to handle. Using carry-ons is a great way to make sure your bag will indeed be arriving at the selected destination with you as they are specifically designed to fit in an overhead compartment without slamming and cramming.
2. Rolling Luggage
Ideal for: weekend trips, casual trips, business travel, international travel, adventure travel, and, well, most of the time!
Most seasoned travelers keep rolling luggage and wheeled duffel bags deep in their hearts for a good reason. The tried and true favourites offer a superb alternative to the old and uncomfortable luggage of the past, whose single handle was the only way to carry their enormous size; too much unnecessary stress and making life much more difficult than it should be for sure.
When about to purchase one of these travel mates, focus on quality rather than any thing else because cheaper rolling luggage come with wheels that often get stuck and break. So, if you need a lot of space to carry your heavy belongings with ease, then a wheeled duffel bag is a great option due to the large main compartments that allow you to fit a ton of things, be it clothes or gear. However, if you want your things to be a bit more organised in your luggage, a wheeled upright bag usually comes with more compartments than a duffel, which means that you can keep your things separated easier.
Besides considering convertible luggage, you may also want to think about having a rolling luggage with many wheels, rather than just two. With four wheels, you will be able to glide the bag down the aisle of an airplane quite effortlessly, without putting too much stress and weight on your wrist. That aside, 4-wheeled luggage offers more versatility/convenience/practicality. For instance, if you want to pull the travel bag up a curb, you just tilt it back and use its two wheels to pull in on.
Nevertheless, if your travel will include lots of travel by bus, having a 2-wheeled bag in the upright position will allow you to move around easily.
Ideal for: nature adventurers, multi-destination travel, day trips, and international travel.
A travel backpack, wheeled or not, is an excellent option of you are carrying lots of gear and do not, for some reason, want to being rolling uprights with you. Many travelers find them more convenient and comfortable to carry compared to rolling upright while others prefer convertible backpacks that convert from one into the other and combine the best of both worlds. Depending on the model you will choose, you can find such bags meticulously designed to meet the needs of day trips while their surprisingly low weight make travel a much more pleasurable experience.
4. Travel Tote
Ideal for: The chic, fashionable adventurer.
The chic traveler usually seeks ways to combine practicality and style. It is important that they look good while traveling. It is also just as necessary to be able to take a sizeable number of various things with them when on the go. Considering that function and form serve equally beneficial purposes during a trip for the fashionable adventurer, a stylish travel tote is the perfect travel companion.
Often varying in shape, size, and material, travel tote bags have great looks and provide the required comfort the savvy shopper is looking for when traveling around the globe.
5. Travel Packs
Ideal for: adventure travel, business travel, and day trips.
If lugging around a gigantic rolling upright behind you when traveling is not your cup of tea, you can certainly opt for a travel pack. The superb alternative to traditional suitcases or luggage that offers versatility many other bags do not. Duffel bags and travel bags are ideal for those that will stay on the go for a long time, which might include some handling with dirt and cobblestone streets.
Shopping around for such bags, you can find multi-carry options and ultra light travel packs with a clip-on daypack and smart travel features such as lockable zippers and ad-ons that protect the wearer against rain, check in, and suspension trauma (aka orthostatic intolerance and harness hang syndrome, which is a condition when a person help upright or strapped into a harness without any movement for some time faints).
6. Shoulder Bags
Ideal for: sightseers, tour takers, beach vacation, round-the-world trips, and even business trips.
We cannot say that the shoulder bag is a travel bag on its own, per se. However, it can be regarded as a secondary bag that allows the traveler to carry their essentials when sightseeing or touring a place. With your things within reach for the duration of the tour and easy access to have what you want when you want it, from your back right in front of you, shoulder bags are handy travel bags, especially if your travel includes lots of trips and lots of sights to see and explore.
7. Cross-Body Bags
Cross-body purses come in a wide variety of styles to choose from, depending on the type of travel you have planned and, of course, you needs. A nylon fabric is easy to clean; hence, great for travels that are more off the beaten path while leather options look fab in cities. They usually come with an impressive list of anti-theft, organisational, and storage features, such as multiple-lock compartments, lots of pockets, technology against electronic theft, and hidden slashguards that protect against slash-and-run theft, to name just a few!
Now that you know, choosing the best bag is a task made much easier, don’t you think?
By the way, which travel bag do you prefer for a safe and fulfilling trip? Do share in the comments below and…happy traveling!