My wife has been wanting to update our 10-year-old luggage, but I’m a notorious cheapskate and have been resisting. After we agreed on some of the guidelines below (that will save us triple the cost of the luggage in baggage fees in the long run), she finally convinced my cheap-a$$ to agree.
If you’re shopping for new luggage, here are a few things to keep in mind:
1) Every pound counts.
If you find yourself packing up to the 50-lb maximum (40 for some airlines), be sure to check the weight of the suitcases. Every 2 pounds saved on luggage is an extra outfit (or pair of shoes) that you can pack. (Or an extra souvenir you can bring back). Large checked bags can weigh as little as 5 pounds, and as much as 17. Buying that off-brand 17-pound suitcase to save $50 could be at the expense of several outfits. (Or worse – $50 in overage fees every time you take a trip ($25 each way).
2) Check those reviews
We travel more than the average bear, and if there’s one thing I can tell you from experience – there is nothing worse than traveling with a cheap suitcase that breaks en-route. (We’ve had at least two off-brand suitcases that didn’t make it through a single trip.) Only one brand has stood the test of time: Samsonite. If you’re going to go with a lesser-known brand, be sure they have at least 100 reviews (500 is better.) [For the record – we settled on a 3-piece matching Samsonite set.]
3) Avoid the built-in gimmicks.
A lot of suitcases have gimmicks like built-in chargers and compartments. All those gimmicks do are add weight to your suitcase, and commit you to something you may not need in the future.
If you like the idea of compartments – get packing cubes that can be used as needed, or set aside when you’re trying to cram every ounce possible to ensure that you “make weight” for your trip.
The built-in charger in suitcases is cute, but you can buy a buy a separate charger with triple the battery life, is half the size and weight, and throw it in your bag (or not) depending on what else you need to fit in your suitcase.
- Read this article by Tamera Palmer to see if being a Prime member is a fit for you.
- If you find yourself squeezing every ounce possible into your suitcase, one of these little scales can be really convenient.
- One of these tile trackers for each of your bags can be a life-saver in the event of a lost (or forgotten) bag.
- Here is a link to all luggage. Here is a link to Samsonite luggage.
*I might be paid a commission for any purchases you make after clicking any of the links above.