How to pick a fab suitcase that won’t make you tear your hair out


I know everyone must be going on vacation, holidays, or at least travelling… so I thought I’d do a post on what to look for in a suitcase.

Let me stress that the most important thing is that you go and you physically test/try them out in the store instead of purchasing the prettiest or the most expensive one online. You can do your research online, but try them out in person!

Do some wheelies

This is probably the most important part of everything. Rubber wheels, not plastic, and BIG wheels. They’ll be sturdier, easier to wheel, and roll easier. You can tell as you’re rolling it around, but with no weight inside it’s going to be difficult. You’re going to need to put a lot of weight in there (pack it tight) and then wheel it around to see how sturdy it is.

When you’re running for the gate at the airport to go on your fabulous vacation because the airlines decided to switch terminals, you’re going to thank your lucky stars you picked the best wheels on your luggage.

Size matters

Don’t take a behemoth suitcase that you cannot handle on your own. Don’t rely on others to help you with your luggage. Lift it, handle it by the side straps, lift it up above the stairs, anything. Try any scenario you can imagine.

Of course, common sense prevails and says: Don’t pack too much, but to really limit yourself to pack lighter, just buy a smaller suitcase.

Straps, Straps, Straps

The ones you use to carry the bag with on the sides… they should be sturdy, and properly sewn on, and comfortable to grip as if you’re going to be carrying it for a long time (assume the worst, the wheels break, whatever)..

How are you handling it?

The handle should be aluminum (nice and light) but it should be sturdy and not flimsy. Try twisting the handles to see whether or not they shift. If they shift, that’s not a good sign. You’ll be running for that terminal, and your handles are going to play havoc with your hands as you’re sprinting.. Not fun. You’re going to need a cocktail the minute you get on the plane.

Push and Pull

Try pushing and pulling the bag. Usually pulling is what you do, but you may switch or need to pus for some reason and you don’t want to be caught not being able to push it because the wheels don’t go the other way and it locks up on you.

Put your best hand forward

If the locks and the release buttons are a hassle and difficult to use without two hands, then put it back and look for buttons that are simple to use, and won’t pinch or hurt your fingers when you’re trying to use the release on it. You know what I mean…They also shouldn’t be ridiculously stiff because you’ll be cursing and struggling with the release button and hurting your hands in the process.

Expand your horizons

Look for a bag that has that expandability factor – you know, the hidden zipper so you can release them and make the bag larger to accommodate your purchase of a Tiki statue from your fabulous vacation.

Colour it happy

Please. Don’t buy black. Every bag is black. If you’re going to buy black, make it unique because when it’s on the little luggage wheely thing coming towards you, you’re going to see a sea of black bags and not be able to pick out yours.

You also want to make sure your bag is identifiable and colourful because you want to be able to notice if someone takes your bag by accident (or on purpose :\) and you can scream: “OY HANDS OFF! That’s mine!

Piggyback if you can

Some suitcases come with a small little matching duffle bag that can piggyback on the top of the suitcase secured by Velcro or some straps. This is handy because this could be your carry-on bag with a change of clothes, the minimal toiletries (if in case your main suitcase goes to La-La Island), and it’s able to be wheeled along instead of carried in another hand. Some suitcases also have the option to put a backpack to piggyback on there (which I think is a great idea).



About the Author

Just a girl trying to find a balance between being a Shopaholic and a Saver. I cleared $60,000 in 18 months earning $65,000 gross/year. Now I am self-employed, and you can read more about my story here, or visit my other blog: The Everyday Minimalist.