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Tips on shopping for travel bags

Luggage has certainly moved on from the once-common gaily-patterned, battered suitcases covered with travel stickers. When you're about to travel, the last thing you want is luggage that won't hold up to the job. Your luggage needs to be easy to maneuver and carry, yet light enough to pass travel inspection while storing all your travel supplies easily and securely. Check out our tips for choosing the right luggage and making travel a breeze.

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Selecting Your Luggage

Before running out to the nearest discount luggage store, take the time to consider a few questions. How are you traveling, and how much stuff will you be taking with you? Are you traveling alone, or with your family? Will you be taking your kids? Your pets?

If you're traveling alone, a simple suitcase or backpack may do. If you're traveling with family, you may require a full rolling luggage set to accommodate everyone's needs. Do you want a hard bag or a soft bag? Duffle bags are often easier to store, and small ones make great carry-on luggage. Hard-sided suitcases, however, keep their shape better and provide better protection for your property, especially if you are transporting fragile items.

Next, choose your style of luggage. Some people are happy with canvas bags, but a professional may prefer a more elegant look. Leather luggage, while quite expensive, always looks great. If you're worried about being able to find your luggage in a busy airport, choose brightly-colored or patterned bags so that you'll easily recognize your suitcase on the baggage claim conveyer belt.

Pet crates should give your pet enough room to comfortably lie down and may also include food bowls and dishes. Some people enjoy carrying their dogs and cats in more decorative bags, and there are plenty of comfortable options for smaller animals. However, when traveling with animals on an airplane, an approved pet carrier is suggested to minimize hassle. Also, always ensure that any suitcases you buy come with proper luggage ID tags.

Storing Your Luggage While on the Road

Luggage racks and storage rooms can help with storing your luggage when it isn't in use. Ensure that you cover any leather or canvas luggage with plastic to protect it from dust and dirt.

When traveling by car or motorcycle, you'll want to store your luggage carefully, either by attaching it to an approved car luggage roof rack or packing it securely in your trunk. Motorbike riders should use proper motorcycle luggage, such as saddle bags or trunks.

Choosing luggage is an exciting and important part of planning a big trip. Careful consideration will help you choose luggage that will fit your immediate needs and last you through many more vacations. Bon voyage!