It’s every traveler’s nightmare. You are standing in the airport arrival terminal, staring at a line of travel bags and baggage moving toward you and other travelers on the conveyor belt. Carefully, you eye every travel bag, looking for your own baggage. Then, in a sudden twist, you discovered that your travel bag appears mauled and dented with your panties or boxers hanging out of a wide open tear. Even worse, your travel bag, like a blind date gone terribly wrong, just fails to show up.
In air travel, sometimes, these minor tragedies are inevitable, especially when you’re not equipped with a top quality travel bag. That’s why it’s so important to choose a superb travel bag. Plus, choosing the right baggage can also help prevent inconveniences, such as paying pesky luggage fees.
And, with smart travel features like beefy wheels and zippers, a great bag can make your trip a breeze. After all, everyone knows the joy of sprinting to Gate Q36 from Gate A3 just to make a connecting flight.
A journey of a thousand miles starts with an awesome and versatile travel bag. And, we, at Trekeffect, believe that one of the most essential parts of your trip is packing smart. So, we’ve crafted this guide to help you pick the right type of travel bag for your journey.
Important considerations when buying a travel bag
Type of baggage you’re carrying
When looking for a travel bag, the first thing you have to do is to ask yourself what kind of baggage you’ll be carrying. Remember, a travel bag should protect its contents, meaning you need to consider what you will be packing, and pick a travel bag accordingly.
Delicate items, for instance, like fragile products and laptops might require you to select travel bags with a hard shell on the outside and a padded surface inside for maximum protection. So, if you’re carrying a laptop and other valuable electronics, you might want to invest in a laptop bag.
Length of your journey
How long will you be exploring and traveling? Don’t forget to ask yourself that question before you buy a travel bag. For a weekend adventure, you may easily fit everything you need into a lightweight backpack. For a longer trip, consider buying a bigger travel backpack or a rolling piece of luggage.
Type of travel
Will you be staying at a posh business hotel or camping in a remote location? Depending on how and where you are traveling, the type and amount of travel gear will vary. An adventurer on the go will likely pick the lightest backpack available, while travelers staying in a hostel or hotel will consider buying a piece of rolling baggage.
What kind of activities will you be doing for your trip? Are you going on a business trip? Are you trekking through the vast jungles in Southeast Asia? Will your travel bag be getting wet?
If you plan to just lay on the beach and packing sarongs and suits, your travel bag has to be much different than someone who’s packing trekking gear. Some trips call for an adventurous travel bag capable of holding up to rain, mud and being strapped to the roof of a van. In other situations, you’ll be glad to use a versatile travel bag with a separate compartment to hold beach gear and swimsuits.
What’s the ideal bag size for your trip? Well, the right size pack, bag or baggage depends on things like packing habits, type of travel and trip length.
Are you headed to a serious adventure that requires some climbing gear, stoves, sleeping bags and tents? Then, you need a large travel bag or a couple more to haul all those things. If, however, you’re going on a simple weekend break that requires a few toiletries and clothes, a compact travel bag will work quite fine.
Here’s a general sizing guide for anyone planning to buy a travel bag.
- 20 liters: These daypacks are ideal for a short day hike.
- 30 to 50 liters: Bags that are 50 liters or less are sufficient for a quick weekend trip. There are tons of carry-on bags, packs and duffels available in this size range.
- 50 to 75 liters: For trips that last a week or two, most folks jump up to a travel bag in this size range.
- 75 to 100 plus liters: For long and big expeditions, travelers normally need a large bag (or several bags) that can hold at least 75 liters.
Ever had a tough time spotting your black travel bag among tons of other black ones at the luggage carousel? Perhaps, you should look for a different travel bag that’s unique in style and color. How about a funky and beautifully eccentric purple backpack? Don’t want to experiment with colors? An easier alternative would be to add a brightly colored ribbon or travel tag to your bag’s handle, to make it easier for you to spot the bag even from afar.
Security should be a main consideration when looking for a new travel bag. Trust me, the last thing you want to happen on your trip is to lose some of your valuables stored inside your bag while traveling. For a hassle-free trip, look for something that’s durable and strong. Also, pick a bag with added security features, like built-in security locks. Nowadays, there are plenty of bags, like the innovative anti-theft backpacks, that boast a plethora of cool security features.
Paying for excess baggage at the airport can, no doubt, dampen the excitement on your trip. So, avoid buying a travel bag that’s heavy even when empty. Ideally, your empty travel bag should not weigh more than 7 lbs.
From bumpy rides on rugged roads to rough luggage handlers, your travel bag as well as the items stored inside can take quite a beating. In other words, you need to find a travel bag that’s tough and sturdy enough for your trips.
Assessing a bag’s durability is rather tough to do, even online. But, checking item and product reviews can be a great way to get a sense of how the bag’s parts hold up.
You’ll find an amazing array of features as you compare bags, packs and luggage. Here are some of the features that you should look for.
- Carry-on size: A travel bag that’s labeled as a “carry-on” normally meets the common sizing guidelines that airline companies enforce. Rules, however, change and may vary based on the airline, so make sure to check with your airline company before you head out.
- Laptop and tablet compartments: If you are traveling with your tablet or laptop, a dedicated compartment that will protect and pad these devices during transport will come in handy.
- Organizer pockets: Built-in pockets make it so easy to store items that are used frequently, such as keys, passport and a pen, in a rather convenient place.
- Removable daypack: Mostly available in travel backpacks, a removable daypack is surely nice to have for taking outdoor excursions after you’ve reached your destination. You may leave your larger luggage behind and use the removable daypack to carry water, snacks and other essentials.
Travel bag options
The rolling suitcase, typically, is synonymous with luxury or business travel. Their main perks are how efficient and effortless they are. Unfortunately, suitcases aren’t exactly the most convenient lightweight option for baggage. Plus, these travel bags are not as rugged as the duffel and backpack.
Roll it up and down some staircases and over a rough, gravel road, and you are likely going to be wheel-less.
Even so, these travel bags can come in handy in certain trips, such as high profile social gatherings and weddings. After all, only suitcases can provide the utmost luxury that your top outfits demand. What’s more, a suitcase makes it a whole lot easier to organize your clothes and keep them free from crease.
- Traveling to urban areas
- Road trips
- Family visits
- Business travel
Traditional duffel bags
The duffel bag, outside the realm of sports athletes, is a dying breed and is getting replaced steadily by rolling suitcases. With wheeled luggage making transport fairly easy, traditional duffel may seem pretty old-fashioned.
But, for escapades to remote places with unpaved and bumpy streets, wheeled luggage will be more trouble than they’re worth. Furthermore, wheeled travel bags will add a few pounds to the bag’s overall weight.
Not only are conventional duffels so much lighter, but they are more pliable compared to wheels as well. And, that makes these bags easier to load on roof racks, stuff in the car’s back or even strap to a pack animal. Since there’s no rigid part, these duffels are easier to store too. And, did I mention that it’s less expensive?
- People on a budget
- Adventure travelers
On its own, the shoulder bag, per se, is not a travel bag. Instead, it’s a secondary or supplemental bag that allows you to carry the essentials you need for your city sightseeing adventure. It offers you easy access to the things you need for a half or whole day tour without having to bring your whole luggage with you. It’s definitely a handy piece of luggage if you plan on making a multitude of trips across a country or continent.
- City tour
Ideal for chic traveler, a stylish travel tote will add more flair and style to your outfit. Plus, it’s an incredible secondary bag that lets you carry a bunch of important items.
- Fashionable travelers
- City tours
A wheeled backpack is a wondrous blend of a suitcase and backpack. Normally, it’s just as big as a typical backpack, or often bigger. Additionally, it has four bottom wheels that are built to make it easier on your end when you don’t want any added strain your back. Since most places are not wheel friendly, having an extra option also helps.
Usually, a wheeled backpack has the mixed space capacity of a suitcase and a backpack, allowing you to carry as many items as you want without adding any strain towards your arms or back.
- Long haul trips
- Business trips
- Urban travel
These travel-friendly bags excel where wheeled baggage can’t: on stairs, cobblestone streets, gravel and other types of uneven terrain. These travel bags are like other quintessential backpacks, when it comes to the support they provide and the way you wear them. But, these bags have a handful of travel-specific features, like padded shoulder straps, hideaway hip-belts, built-in security, and organization pockets. These travel bags are ideal for adventurers who want to be rather mobile and are fine with carrying all their items on their backs.
- Adventure travel
- Traveling light
- Uneven terrain
Planning on conquering steep peaks and pursuing a trekker’s bucket list? Why not invest in a sturdy hiking bag? While typical travel backpacks are great, they wear out quickly and naturally if you keep using these travel bags on hiking trails. Designed for outdoor adventurers, these travel bags not only carry all your things, but can withstand the elements as well. Not to mention, it comes with hip belts that can give your back a little break.
- Outdoor adventures
- Long-term backpacking adventures
The standard briefcase is hard-sided, soft, rectangular, and made from a business-like material (usually leather in a business-like color (brown or black). These travel bags are the ideal carry-on for business travelers who are looking for a sleek piece of luggage with enough space to hold a book, papers and a couple of electronic devices for some entertainment on the flight.
- Business travelers looking for a hassle-free carry-on since they are easy to fit
- Storage for books, laptops and electronics
- Holding airline tickets and other information
- Storing business items that are immediately needed upon arrival
It’s, in essence, a modern hybrid of a backpack and suitcase. These bags use a strap slinging over a shoulder and across the chest as the rests on the opposite hip. Although it’s normally used for laptops, some of them have general purposes. And, while they are not as roomy as backpacks, they are easier to carry than a typical briefcase.
- Business trips where you have too many things for a briefcase
- Small items and luggage
- Carrying papers, accessories and a laptop
Ready to do some travel bag shopping? Head to Trekeffect, and score amazing deals on a wide variety of trustworthy and state-of-the-art travel bags!
Share Your Travel Experiences With Us
We want to hear from you! What are your thoughts on the article? What did you find most interesting and do you have any of your own experiences you can you share with us to make this article even better? Let us know in the comments!