Find the Best Travel Luggage for You

woman pulling a rolling suitcase through the airport

What's the best travel luggage for your trip?

Well, it should be light weight , yet sturdy and affordable. It could be soft-sided (which expands easily to accommodate purchases you make along the way); or hard sided, which is durable and surprisingly light weight.

Or you might be able to take everything you need with a good carry-on bag.

Light weight luggage usually refers to soft-sided, cloth bags. These have been around for years, and they are flexible and easy to fit into any space. They are also often expandable to carry the stuff you buy on your vacation.

soft-sided light weight bag
hard sided luggage

Hard sided luggage protects your valuables and holds them more securely than soft-sided bags. But, while they hold a lot, they do not usually expand and cannot be "stuffed" into a tight space.

The best carry-on luggage holds everything you need and fits into the overhead bin!

A carry on, though, can be anything from a large tote to a small suitcase. It all depends on your needs; if it fits in the overhead bin, it's a carry-on!

Bear in mind, though, that your purse or laptop is a carry-on, too, and you're only allowed 2 on a flight.

woman holding a small carry-on bag

No matter how you travel, you'll have to lift and cart your bags at some point. The stuff you pack can weigh a lot; you don't need to add to that with a heavy bag. And aside from the potential damage to your back from heavy luggage, airlines charge $50 or more for bags that weigh over 50 pounds!

luggage scale

You can protect yourself from excessive baggage fees with light weight luggage, and a good luggage scale.

Luggage scales are easy to use, and small enough to tuck into your suitcase or carry on so you don't have to pay fees coming home, either (after you've stuffed all those souvenirs into your bag!).

The best travel luggage also needs to roll smoothly without tipping over when you hit a bump or need to hurry through the airport. Spinner wheels, or those used in roller blade skates, work wonderfully. Many bags have 4 wheels for added stability; you can often pull those bags along at your side, without extending the handle. But even a bag with 2 wheels - if it's well designed and has good-quality wheels - will be an asset when you travel.

The ability to expand the bag is another asset for those who love to shop on vacation. I try not to overstuff my suitcase when I pack for a trip, but I always end up buying more than I intended! A zippered extension - even just an inch or two - can work wonders in getting it all in without having to buy another carry on tote. Of course, this is where you'll really need that luggage scale! You might have to re-arrange items in your checked bags to make sure none of them are over the limit.

For more Travel Tips (including Packing Tips):

What's Your Favorite Luggage or Accessory?

Do you have a bag you just can't live without? Or a favorite luggage tag, luggage scale, luggage cart or other accessory? Tell us about it!

(be sure to include the URL of the online store where it can be purchase, or we may not be able to use your review)

Where Would You Like to Go Next?

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