Travel Like A Boss
Luggage/Suitcases – So Many Options To Choose From!
What Britons want from a suitcase is changing. A few years ago, most holidaymakers and business travellers were happy to invest in a trusty, large suitcase that would provide ample room for all their clothes and accessories in the hold of a plane.
However, our habits are changing – and most of the blame can be placed on short-haul flights. Low-cost journeys to other European countries have continued to explode in popularity over recent years. With some airlines promising fares of as little as £10 to the continent, sunshine-starved Brits have found such deals too good to resist.
Luggage - Suitcases
View the various luggage options available to buy. We breakdown the ins and outs of suitcases you can choose from to travel with
Carry On Luggage - Cabin Suitcase
Which is the most suited to your travels. What sizes are available? We answer these and many other questions regarding carry-on or cabin luggage
Kids Luggage - Kids Suitcase
With so many different luggage options for Children where do you start? We are here to help you choose the best Kids suitcase for you family.
It’s no secret that these cheap flights come with no frills. But even the savviest of frequent flyers can end up getting caught out at the check-in. Eye-watering fees are often handed down to those who forget to print off their boarding pass, misspell a name on a passport, or fall afoul of strict luggage rules which dictate the weight and size a suitcase can be.
After years of being stung, Britons are beginning to get even. Now, the emphasis is on finding out which lightweight suitcase is best – one that will allow them to pack as much as they like without fear of ending up over the weight limit.
The cabin suitcase has also become a popular option, as it allows you to keep valuable items by your side at all times. Better still, you won’t face an annoying wait around a baggage carousel once you’ve arrived at your destination – enabling you to begin your trip immediately.
Although there are hundreds of potential choices, there are a couple of downsides to cabin suitcases. First, many airlines have different rules when it comes to the height and width of the luggage they will allow. Second, it may mean you need to go shopping in expensive airport terminals or unfamiliar foreign stores, as liquids over 100ml are forbidden from being held in cabin luggage. Kiss your shampoo goodbye, then.
Most Popular Luggage Brands
Five things to check before selecting which travel suitcase to buy
With dozens of manufacturers vying for your business, deciding what suitcase to get can be something of a nightmare. You’re going to want a model with reliable wheels and handles which will be comfortable to use if you have to negotiate stairs – and although it can always be satisfying to purchase something on the cheap, be aware that the lowest-priced option doesn’t always amount to the smartest deal. Airport luggage handlers don’t always have the lightest touch when stowing away suitcases in the hold of a plane, and so you need a case which will be able to withstand bumps and scrapes without becoming damaged or breaking the items inside.
Bearing all of this in mind, here are five things to look out for before making your choice.
Do you need expandable compartments?
You might be interested in buying suitcase sets which are going to be appropriate for shorter breaks and longer trips. However, thanks to expandable suitcases, this may not be necessary. Brands such as Antler and Samsonite offer products with extra compartments which add enough space to pack an extra few items of clothing, or that hardback book you’ve been meaning to read for months. Then, for lighter journeys where airline dimensions are firmly stuck in your mind, they can be removed again.
Should you buy a hard-sided suitcase?
There are some excellent products where cases have been made out of fabric, not to mention those with a more rigid shell. The first thing to remember is that a hard-sided suitcase doesn’t always guarantee extra durability, especially if you’re going for one of the more affordable models.
The perks of a hard-sided suitcase include the fact that they are a lot easier to clean, and they often outscore their softer counterparts when it comes to water resistance. Plus, if you are travelling with delicate items, they can offer that extra insulation to prevent a nasty breakage. Although beauty is in the eye of the beholder, many regard hardened suitcases to be more pleasing on the eye.
There are drawbacks, too. Any bumps and scrapes which your suitcase endures in transit can result in unsightly scratches which make it look unkempt rather quickly. Travellers which love having additional pockets on the front of a suitcase for storing snacks or small extras may find that hard-sided models lack the flexibility they have become accustomed to. Plus, if you live in a flat or a house where you’re struggling for storage, these suitcases may end up being a source of frustration once you’ve returned from your travels.
Will a soft-sided suitcase be a better choice for me?
In terms of price, you will normally end up paying less for a soft-sided suitcase than a rigid one. If strength isn’t your strong suit, you may also find that softer cases are a lot easier to carry – and you might be able to pack an extra kilogram or two because of how lightweight they can be. Of course, some of the advantages of hard-sided suitcases are reflected into disadvantages for this type of luggage: they may not be as water resistant, or protect your possessions as much as you may hope.
Two wheels or four wheels?
Although four-wheeled suitcases are a dream to pull around when you’re inside an airport terminal, they can be a little more challenging to wheel when you’re outside on uneven surfaces… or dreaded cobblestones. If you are interested in getting a four-wheeler, just make sure that the wheels are big and the casing is resilient to prevent breakage if you’re on the move. Whatever happens, you can normally guarantee that a four-wheel suitcase is less likely to tip over – even if your weight distribution skills leave a lot to be desired.
Two-wheel suitcases are great if you ever need to move things from A to B on tougher terrains – or if you’re going on a prolonged trip which is going to involve a considerable amount of travel between hotels and airports. The wheels are often a lot more resilient and, if you invest in a piggy back strap, you can normally secure extra baggage on the top of the suitcase to keep one hand free.
Which brand should I go for?
As well as a sturdy, good-looking product, you’re also going to want a luggage brand which prides itself on quality and excellent customer service. Sometimes, paying those few extra pounds for a nicer model can go a long way – saving you the expense and the bother of going through the entire process of buying a suitcase again. Let’s take a look at two major brands now.
Samsonite is a well-respected and long-running brand, with reasonable prices that are targeted to the mid-market. They are also quite innovative in addressing the concerns of their customers – such as by creating hard-sided suitcases made out of scratch-resistant polycarbonate material, and equipping them with TSA-sanctioned luggage locks.
Antler is a long-running British rival which has been in the market for more than 100 years. Still based in London, they say their main focus is to be stylish, lightweight and incredibly durable – and the company boasts that their products are “rigorously tested to destruction” and furnished with a 10-year warranty to give their customers peace of mind.