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Best luggage for travel: Best suitcases for travel and how to pick the right bag

Author: Susan Johnson

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What is the best luggage for travel? No two travellers have the exact same needs when it comes to luggage; our guide will help you choose.

The best luggage for travel will depend on your personal preferences and requires careful thought when you’re looking to invest in a new bag or suitcase.

Consider, for instance, how often do you travel? What is your budget? Do you tend to pack light or heavy?

The best luggage can prevent you from dealing with minor tragedies and other pesky inconveniences like baggage fees for an oversized piece or the embarrassment of having to squeeze your massive duffel into the overhead compartment as other travellers struggle to get by.

If you are looking to invest in new luggage, here’s how to find the best travel bag.

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The different types of travel bags


Suitcases are the obvious choice of main luggage for cruisers to cart belongings on and off the ship at the start and end of a cruise holiday. They can vary immensely though, and you may want to get rid of your ancient suitcase in favour of more modern, lightweight options.

Do get a size that suits your needs – don’t go overboard with a huge one as you risk packing so much you can’t lift it or even the airline forcing you to pay extra if you’re booked on a fly cruise.

Duffel Bags

Duffel bags are the type of travel bags that are more like all-purpose sacks in terms of utility. These could be useful for short cruises or for those who like to pack lightly.

These bags are easy to carry and feature two handles, so two people can share the weight while carrying it, too.

These days, duffel bags often come with separate mobile phone pockets and certificate holder compartments.

- READ MORE: Cruise packing list: What to pack for a cruise holiday -


The primary benefit of rucksacks is that you can go hands-free carrying them and are ideal for cruise excursions.

Rucksacks are a popular choice among trekkers and any other outdoorsy person. Make sure you choose a colour that doesn’t stain easily and a style that can be hand-washed.

A downfall of backpacks when it comes to organizing your belongings is that they are like an open sack. It can also be difficult to reach things at the bottom if you have to. So, consider a style with compartments and pockets.

Relax knowing you've picked the best luggage for your trip using this guide! Credit: Shutterstock

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Factors to consider when choosing the best luggage

Typically, coming up with a list of items you plan to bring will help you determine the ideal features for your suitcase. For instance, cruisers heading out on more adventurous shore excursions might need straps or pouches while travellers who plan to work while away might require a bag with an easily-accessible laptop compartment.

Here are a few more factors to consider when choosing a luggage bag.

- READ MORE: What to pack for your next river cruise -


It is important you carefully consider the size of your bag. The international standard for carry-on bags is 20 inches. A smaller bag is often the ideal option if you frequently travel with a carry-on.


Airlines are growing strict with weight restrictions for baggage. So, if the luggage itself weighs a lot, you would only be able to take less stuff with you. Choose a bag made of lightweight material, and it will serve you well.

There’s no need to pack everything but the kitchen sink. Credit: Shutterstock


Bags typically come in the hard side and soft side. Hard side bags tend to be more durable and can endure more beating if you check the bag. But they aren’t usually water-resistant, they might protect better against rain, spills, and puddles.

Soft side bags or bags made of fabric are expandable, meaning they stretch more around the edges to accommodate more of your things.


Also, consider the type of wheels you need. Recessed wheels, which are set back into the bag, or spinning wheels attached to the outside of the suitcase?

Spinning wheels will allow you to move the bag sideways, which comes in handy for narrow aisles on aeroplanes. Furthermore, choosing four wheels over two wheels can add stability to the bag.

- READ MORE: Top 16 destinations to visit in 2022 and how to cruise there -


Consider how you would use your luggage and the features that are most important to you. For example, do you need a lot of compartments inside your bag? Or, do you use a luggage strap to hang your laptop case from your rolling suitcase?


Have you noticed that almost all luggage bags are black? Black is often considered the best colour for luggage as it doesn’t show dirt as much as other colours. Nevertheless, it also means it is easy to confuse one bag with another. So, choose a colour that stands out from the crowd, or use a distinguishing luggage tag.

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