The boring old suitcase, I never thought I would be writing an article on something so unexciting and trivial. A few weeks ago I flew on a UK internal flight, from Aberdeen to Heathrow. Nothing too different during this journey, the usual BMI delay at the start of the flight.
The fun began when it was time to collect the luggage, all i can say is that someone working within the baggage handling at Heathrow must have been annoyed about something! As I was patiently waiting for my bag, I couldn’t help but notice there were not one but three suitcases that had been busted open and all the contents were coming along the conveyor belt. Another guy was almost in tears as he discussed the damage that had been done to his new very expensive hard silver SKB Cases on its first journey.
I personally had a bad suitcase experience last year, when I was flying back from Barbados. A suitcase owned by some bright spark, had at some point during my suitcases journey started to leak on to mine. It was a disgusting and stinking liquid that had penetrated my bag, which may well have been from fish. Some paper documents which were in the suitcase, had been destroyed, luckily I had copies held online. My suitcase was obviously not waterproof.
So what is the best kind of suitcase to travel with? A hard one, or one of those fabric ones, with wheels or without wheels?
The good thing about hard suitcases is that they are obviously waterproof and the contents shouldn’t get too squashed during the journey. The downside to hard suitcases is that they seem to get scratched, knocked and are more easily damaged. They also generally don’t stand up to wear and tear as good as fabric ones. I must admit I have in the past owned a hard suitcase which was damaged beyond repair during a flight.
Fabric suitcases are generally longer lasting and harder wearing in comparison to hard suitcases, but most of them, if any, are not waterproof, but you can get ones with a vinyl like zip able interior, which may keep the rain off your belongings for a short period of time. Your contents in a fabric suitcase will of course get extremely squashed, during any flight. They can also get slashed open if they somehow get caught up in something they shouldn’t, believe me it occasionally happens, you know how careful baggage handlers are!
You would have to be either cheap or stupid not to buy a suitcase that comes with wheels and a sturdy pulling handle. I hear the voices of dissent, but you get luggage trolleys at either end of the airport. Do you get trolleys at your house? do you get them when you leave the airport? do they go up escalators? There will be countless occasions where your suitcase will be left on the floor or bottom of the trolley, with the pulling handle hanging over the side of it. If you don’t want to buy a new suitcase, then at least get a sturdy sturdy bag which does not suffer from sagging or having the handle break when you pick it up.
When it comes to buying soft cases to fill up your travel backpack, you need to consider two factors, how Many suitcases you will be using and what capacity do you have left in the bags. We would have to say that for the majority of travellers, one to two suitcases is sufficient. If you have travelled on a long flight, then buy a bag which will have plenty of space for the things you will be travelling with. As regards the capacity, if you are careful with your packing, then you may actually have more bags than you actually need. As a rule of thumb, one to two soft cases is sufficient.
If you know that you will be using your suitcase for a longer period, then you may also want to look at hard shell cases, these are the ones that are generally the most durable and are generally longer lasting as they are not as vulnerable to bangs and jags as the faregon shells. soft shell cases are not as strong as the hard shell cases, this is because they are made from lambskin which is weaker and more prone to breaking than the prime good quality hard cases.
With regards to what to carry with you, carry the bare essentials and what you would need on a day to day basis. If you are organised, you should be able to adapt your items so that you can fit everything into a couple of small bags. As regards how to pack your clothes, apply the same rules as you would use for any other travel; roll your clothes up.
If you do have soft cheeses, vegetables and bread with you, then in order to prevent the clothes from becoming wrinkled.