On a recent trip to Europe, I found myself wheeling a heavy, hard sided suitcase; clutching my purse to my side to protect my hiding passport; making sure that a sweatshirt tossed over my shoulder didn’t fall off me; and leaning forward to balance the weight of my backpack.
This wasn’t the best way to walk across an airport parking lot in England. Have you ever found yourself in this situation? You have too many bags, too few hands, and not enough muscle to handle it all! The woman next to me with three children wasn’t faring any better than I was, as you can imagine.
Avoid travel distress by gearing yourself with the right luggage for your situation.
If you’re taking an overnight trip for yourself or for business, there’s no need to fill a large suitcase halfway.
Leather overnight bags or duffels offer protection for your belongings and a little stretch room to pack for longer trips. A lot of weekend-sized luggage offer special compartments for shoes, wallets, and other belongings. If you’re traveling by air, in addition to the carry-on perk of smaller cases, comfortable handles and shoulder straps offer a pleasant walk across the airport. Still more, many duffels and weekender bags have a wheeled option.
Juggling children and luggage at the same time? Wheel your luggage and exercise more control over travel situations that are stressful and chaotic. Also, if your bag is heavy, shoulder-carried duffels can become an awkward airport partner. Will you be able to carry your bag in a ticket line without getting tired?
TIP: If you’re a parent, consider buying the kids wheeled luggage so that they can help with the toting!
If you will be traveling for a longer period of time, a larger suitcase may be your only option.
There are many decisions to make: hard, soft, semi-soft, large, larger, wheeled? Hard sided suitcases are perfect if you will be transporting breakable items. Will you be shopping for breakable souvenirs? Soft and semi-soft sided suitcases are perfect for those who will be stuffing their cases to the max. With little trouble, find that extra inch for your shoes in a soft or semi-soft sided case. As for wheels, unless you plan to find another set of wheels (i.e. luggage cart) to do the job at the airport, or your bag won’t be all that heavy, the wheeled option is what I recommend.
For both weekend luggage and larger suitcases, there are endless color and style options.
I recommend that if you will be traveling internationally you opt for lower-key styles and colors. Perhaps you still want that individual look; that’s fine! There are many leather luggage options that will make you look elegant but not over-the-top. Add a monogram to your leather case or tie a bright, recognizable ribbon around the handle so that you can easily identify your luggage at baggage claim. Traveling internationally requires some thought since you don’t want to be easily tagged as a tourist and don’t want to stand out of the crowd in airport situations.
For the businessman or businesswoman a stylish leather garment bag is a best friend!
Iron your suit before you leave home, carry it in your garment bag on the airplane or car, unpack, and voila! You’re ready for your next meeting! This luggage accessory is so convenient with storage pockets and a padded shoulder strap. You’re too busy to worry about wrinkling; prevent any additional stress.
International travelers, consider a passport case for your passport and other important travel documents. Remember the hidden passport in my purse? Many passport cases or wallets have neck or shoulder strap options so that you can hide your important documents underneath your clothes or jacket, and pickpockets don’t have a chance of making a steal. In an airport in Italy, I (at the last minute) purchased a leather passport case and wore my documents under a sweater so that I could be a tourist worry-free in Rome. Don’t risk a difficult situation in a foreign country—protect your documents.
My advice to you. Now, before you even have to go on a last minute trip, research your leather luggage options. If it fits your budget, purchase luggage and accessories for different situations (business, personal, weekend, week-long, international). If you’re working with a tighter budget, buy luggage pieces here and there to slowly fill your luggage closet where eventually you’ll find what you need for every travel situation!
Labels: bag tips, duffel bags, leather luggage, overnight luggage