‘Tis the season for travelling and when it comes to luggage, safety, comfort, durability and quality are probably all the qualities you’ll be looking for, whether you’re going surfing, skiing or staycationing these holidays. “We’ve found that one of travellers’ biggest stressors is packing – how to pack and what luggage to pack it all in,” explains Jamie Owen, marketing manager for Thule SA. With so many luggage options and travel needs, the Thule team has shared their top tips that every traveller should consider, as well as suggestions on what to look for when buying luggage for your next trip.
Carry-on or check in? Big or small?
If you’re flying, the starting point for you is whether you’re going to check in luggage, or keep it on you. This will guide you on what size bag to take, as airlines have certain weight and height restrictions (check before you buy or fly to see what your frequent airline’s requirements are). Are you going for a weekend, or for a month? It probably goes without saying, but this will largely determine what bag you use.
Look for carry on luggage that offers the following:
- Convenient storage in overhead bins for international airlines
- Quality rollers with oversized wheels and sturdy telescoping handles
- Clever storage features including crushproof compartments for fragile gear
- Bags that transitions seamlessly from travel to the boardroom
- Bonus laptop sleeve for travel convenience
If you’re travelling by car, ensure that all your luggage will fit into your car. If not, either pare down, or look into a roof box or cargo carrier to help with the load.
Hard or soft?
What’s more comfortable for you, and what’s going to suit your type of travel? A duffel bag might work for some adventures like a camping trip, while a hard-sided suitcase on wheels would suit you better if you’re travelling abroad and will be moving with your case a fair amount.
While it’s tempting and pocket-friendlier to buy cheap hard luggage, if they’re carrying a lot of weight or going through lots of airports and wheeling, you’re better off with a better-quality piece that will withstand the journeys. Soft bags are ideal if you don’t have any fragile or breakable items, and if you need to “stuff” things into.
If you can, try out any bag you buy first, see how your hand feels around the handle and how the wheels perform. With good brands though, if you don’t have a chance to try them out, it’s not the end of the world – they’ve likely been through enough testing, and have been ergonomically designed to be comfortable.
Specialised gear by Thule SA
Yes, your camera can probably fit into your laptop bag, and your drone in your duffel bag, but if you’ve spent so much money on your equipment, you should get a bag that will adequately protect it. Aside from protection, they’re also designed for easy carrying and handling of that specific gear.
For those people who travel with a lot of tech (most of us these days!) consider a specialised bag such as the Thule Subterra PowerShuttle that keeps cables, earphones and adaptors organised in a series of elastic loops. Power banks and external hard drives have plenty of space too as well as two zip pockets to keep any other smaller items secure.
Take proper precautions to keep your laptop safe when travelling. Consider investing in an anti-theft laptop bag such as the Thule TACT range that offer RFID blocking pockets for those pesky thieves, as well as a laptop sleeve as added protection against bumps and scratches on those long haul flights.
The Thule SA teams quick packing hacks:
- Personalise your bag with a bold sticker or colourful ribbon, especially if it’s a common type of bag, or a black one.
- When packing, keep the most useful stuff on the top. Keep your valuable in your carry-on luggage, and ensure your jewellery, wallet and other small valuable items are in inside compartments, so they’re harder to steal
- Keep prescription medication on your in case your luggage gets lost, and if you have space, pack a change of clothes and underwear.
- Want to pack lighter? Take samples or mini sizes of toiletries, lint rollers and fabric refreshers for clothing that can be reworn, and neutral clothes that can be mixed and matched.
- On a long drive or flight, take at least one battery pack for your phone or iPad. Solar charging devices are also fantastic if you don’t have access to electricity.
- To minimise the hassle at airport security, have all your electronics that you’ll need to take out your bag close by, or at the top of your case.
- To maximise space in any of your bags, roll your clothes up – don’t fold them, alternatively invest in a Compression Packin
g Cube or Garment Folder.
- If you have a lot of cables and electrical devices, a bag with various compartments is your best option. Another idea is to separate them and store them in various Ziploc bags.