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How Do I Choose the Best Womens' Luggage?

Judith Smith Sullivan
Judith Smith Sullivan

The best womens' luggage will be high quality, meet your specific travel needs in size and style, and fit into your budget. Whether you are backpacking, jetsetting, or simply visiting family for the weekend, the right luggage will make the trip easier. Before you purchase your bag, what you need in terms of style and size.

Airplane and train travel, including the hours spent waiting in line and walking between terminals, is best attempted with a rolling suitcase. Either two or four wheels are attached to the bottom of the bag, which has a stow-away handle. Old fashioned suitcases, which have no wheels, are not recommended. They are heavy and difficult to maneuver in crowded areas.

Woman holding a book
Woman holding a book

If you plan on traveling outdoors, you'll need a backpack style so that your hands are free. For trips where you simply throw your bag in your car and go, a duffle bag is durable, practical, and inexpensive. In many cases, people find that they do many types of traveling, from car trips to plane rides. The most convenient bag for eclectic travelers is the backpack style with integrated rollers. It can be worn or rolled as the situation requires.

Once you decide what style of womens' luggage best suits your needs, consider its size. You should pack the smallest bag possible for your trip. A smaller bag will save you time in airplane travel because you can carry it on board with you. Airlines typically have specific size limits and you might want to check airline requirements before purchasing a bag.

Some trips, especially those longer than two weeks where a laundry facility is unavailable, require a larger bag. Larger womens' luggage may look convenient, since you can pack everything in one suitcase, but remember that you will have to lift the bag. You may have to hoist it into a luggage rack or lift it into a car. Do not choose a bag that will be too heavy for you to lift when it is full.

Many bags have a "piggy back strap" that allows you to attach one suitcase on top of another. In this case, purchase a medium sized bag and a smaller bag and pack both for your trip. This is a good alternative to a larger suitcase since it allows you to roll the two bags as one. You will also be able to lift them since they detach from one another.

There are two different views on how much money you should budget for your luggage. The first argues that you get what you pay for in luggage, and if you buy a cheap bag, you will get poor quality. Also, cheap womens' luggage may not have the accessories or conveniences of more expensive bags.

Others argue that expensive luggage is more likely to be stolen. Designer bags, which often have distinctive logos and patterns, are easy for thieves to identify as valuable. All luggage, regardless of its price tag, will inevitably sustain some damage during travel.

Of course, womens' luggage comes in a wide range of quality. Some is relatively inexpensive but has a high quality finish. Whatever style of luggage you chose, look closely at the zippers, wheels, and material. The zipper should be thick and sturdy. Zip the bag open and closed several times. If it sticks or seems flimsy, keep looking.

Good wheels are designed like roller blade wheels — small, smooth, and usually rubber coated. Roll the bag around. You may want to toss in a few items to give it some weight. Practice turning, stopping, backing up, and moving forward. The bag should move smoothly and be easily maneuverable.

Check the outer and inner material. The outer material should be sturdy. Nylon is the lightest of durable materials, and a thick weave makes it even tougher. The inner lining may or may not be removable, but it should be attached securely. Look for stitches that are even and tight, and don't buy the bag if it already has loose or fraying pieces of fabric.

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      Woman holding a book