Do you want to opt for a suitcase that will accompany you on this great journey? There are so many different sizes, qualities and models of suitcases... how do you choose?
Different sizes, featherweight, 4 or 8 castors, soft or rigid shell, the models of suitcases are really numerous. How do you find your way around to make the right choice? It has to be practical, solid and easy to transport, but not all qualities are the same. A simple glance at the line of passengers waiting at the airport is enough to realise this. There are those who squeak, who walk like crabs, those who are skinned, pierced, patched up with a lot of scotch tape? You are going away for a long time, this suitcase will be your home, you must be able to count on it! Here are a few tips to help you choose the right one…
Try it out before you leave
Nothing beats a little preparatory trip to Europe to test your ability to pull, carry and transport a suitcase on a bus, stairs, train and the way you handle your luggage in the hotel or hostel.
Pay attention to the weight of the empty suitcase
In the shop, this pretty suitcase is remarkably flexible, it turns on its own, a flick on the bar makes it move on its own! Beware, once loaded from 10 to 20 kg more, it’s not the same dance at all! The empty suitcase should be as light as possible while remaining solid. Don’t hesitate to take a big bag with you to try it out in the shop.
What size suitcase should I choose? Medium, large… very large?
As with the backpack, don’t choose a suitcase that is too big. Size M maximum. Luggage that is too large reflects a lot of insecurity. Don’t worry, you will find everything you really need on your journey.
This heavy weight that you will have to carry or pull will quickly become painful and will hinder your progress. A big suitcase is a big worry. Travel light, you will feel much better and move more freely. If you’re worried about not being able to pack everything you want to take with you, you should know that in general, you always take too much with you. It’s inevitable, the traveller always arrives at a time when he or she is going to sort it out. As the journey progresses, you realise what is useful and what is not, you start to become more routine. It is then common for travellers to abandon the surplus and the useless along the way.
Soft suitcase or hard suitcase?
Soft suitcases don’t do a good job of stabilising. Standing up, all the things “fall” to the bottom of the suitcase. This is not very practical, especially if it has to withstand shaky journeys. Overall, all travellers and test benches agree: the security of the container in a soft suitcase is inferior to a rigid one. In addition, they tend to wear out more quickly.
The only argument in favour of a soft suitcase is that you can pack more contents in it. But is that really reasonable?
This suitcase will have to withstand very different climates: hot or cold, but above all humid! Choose a case that is waterproof or at least water-resistant. It’s really annoying to find your belongings ruined because of a typhoon in the Philippines or a Malaysian rainstorm.
A quality suitcase is often guaranteed for at least one year
Keep the invoice and the guarantee. No need to take it with you everywhere, usually a scan or a photo will suffice. Your suitcase will be put to the test: aeroplane holds, bus holds, minibus roofs, train luggage compartments… A wheel that jumps, a drawbar that breaks or a lock that jams are things that can happen. If it’s an international brand like Delsey or Samsonite, you can have it repaired anywhere in the world. Whatever your luggage, make the choice of quality. Broken wheels, a tear, an unusable zip and you will have to replace everything and may prevent you from going where you want.
A suitcase is easy to personalise
You only have to wait on the conveyor belt at an airport to find out: all luggage is black, navy blue or dark grey. Fortunately, today’s manufacturers offer brightly coloured suitcases that you can spot at first glance. If by misfortune you misplace your suitcase and ask for help to find it, a fluorescent green luggage is more eye-catching. People will remember it better.
There are suitcase “t-shirts” available. It is a light protection that dresses it and above all protects it from dirt. Brightly coloured designs are quite common but some companies allow you to personalise it with one of your photos. That’s what will make it unique!
Just like the suitcase, there are many different models and sizes. This is an important choice because usually nobody will carry it for you, it really has to fit your morphology and your needs!