Deciding what type of luggage you’re going to need for a trip can be almost as challenging as determining your destination. If it’s a business trip, the wardrobe specifications can make that selection easier, but if you’re heading out for a seven- to ten-day vacation, do you use a duffel, a carry-on, a medium Rollaboard® bag, or the biggest suitcase you can buy?
In order not to get overwhelmed by your options, ask yourself some questions first:
- Am I traveling by car or plane?
- Do I want to avoid checked bag fees or need extra space for souvenirs so that I don’t exceed the 50-lb. weight limit?
- How efficiently can I pack?
If you’re traveling by plane, my preference would be to use a carry-on. It provides you with complete control of your bag during travel and you avoid waiting at the baggage carousel upon arrival. You also avoid the checked baggage fee, and won’t risk running afoul of any overweight baggage fees.
I also consider myself an efficient, creative packer, having developed a system for using a few items to mix and match outfits. Others like more wardrobe and accessories options, so a medium-sized bag works better for them. I have a friend who will only use a soft duffel because he hates luggage with wheels and can maneuver his bag into tighter spaces where luggage with a frame won’t fit.
The thing to consider when debating between a medium bag (which is 25″ tall), and a large bag (29″ in height), is weight and space limits. If you’re traveling by car, the only weight limit is whether you can carry it or wheel it once you arrive. If you’re traveling by plane though, airlines enforce a 50-lb. weight limit and 62 linear inch limit on checked bags. The TravelPro 25″ has expansion zippers that offer two more interior inches without exceeding either limit. The expansion capability of the 29″ bag, when fully packed, will put you over both limits, so it’s more suited to car travel.
The ability to wash clothing while you are traveling can also affect your bag selection. If you want to bring back souvenirs in your checked luggage, that will figure into the weight limit and size of your chosen bag. Planning how you pack your clothes — using the rolled technique, bundle method, or packing cubes — can help you maximize a smaller bag.
Thinking through all these options will help you choose the right bag for your trip. Happy travels!