Find the right bag for you

By Kristy Alpert 

With dreams of summer vacations already creeping into your daily routines, it may be time to consider buying new luggage to replace those dusty old bags with years of mileage slowing them — and you — down. But with so many options out there for travelers to choose from, where do you start? Use this primer to help you decide which bag is right for you.

Skip the bulk

Although that set of 15 matching bags may seem tempting to tote home, chances are that’s the last place they’ll be toting anything. Plus, with airlines charging for each checked bag, why give yourself the temptation to overpack.

When it comes to travel, you’re better off splurging on one or two quality pieces of luggage with a good warranty than a series of trendy bags bought for eye candy. For signs of quality, make sure to inspect zippers (you’ll want taped or leather/nylon seams), ensure handles are attached with easy-to-repair screws (not rivets), and always opt for padded handles and shoulder straps if possible.

Roll in style

You may not realize it, but you already have a travel style (Prefer four-wheeled spinners or two-wheeled push/pullers? Constantly overpacking your bag and need expandable compartments or do you tend to carry electronics that need sturdy protection? etc.). Stick with your preferences to ensure you’re buying a piece that will last for many trips to come. Savvy style tip: Go bold! Purchasing a bag with distinctive colors or patterns will help you easily spot your bag on the carousel or overhead compartment.

Material matters

Airlines are cracking down on weight limits on both checked and overhead luggage, so make sure to find a lightweight suitcase to allow for packing freedom. Although vintage trends like leather and vinyl may seem appealing, they often weigh more and don’t hold up over time (tear, mold, etc.). Ballistic nylon and polycarbonate material bags are the way to go for durability and water protection, making them perfect for international travel.

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