Some of the most-frequent questions I get from new travelers revolve around luggage. That’s reasonable – the right luggage makes a huge difference. People often ask me whether they should go backpacker style, or opt for something more traditional like a suitcase. But there’s just no one-size-fits-all answer.
Is a Backpack the Right Luggage for You?
Your itinerary and the purpose of your trip hold the answer. If you have plenty of hiking and outdoor activities waiting for you, a suitcase could be a liability. It won’t be able to run smoothly in the more rural areas. And you just can’t hike with it, right?
In this case, you’ll also have to figure out which backpack is right for you. Some are set up for multiday expeditions, while others will just make you look like an outdoor adventurer. You’ll have to spend some time determining your needs before your purchase. But that’s a topic for another day since it deserves a blog post of its own.
And are you headed off on holiday, or jetting off for business? I’ve never used a backpack for business travel. It just have the features I need, and has many attributes I don’t need (I don’t need a built-in hydration pack or daisy chain loops for my next business trip … ah, if only I did).
When a Suitcase is Your Luggage Solution
Look, if you roll into a posh hotel with a backpack, you’re going to feel out of place. Will that fly in ritzy destinations like Monaco? Eh, probably not.
If you’re not planning to leave the urban areas, you don’t need to carry everything on your back. A light daypack is a great idea, but your taste might run more toward a suitcase (or three, all matching … of course). Just like backpacks, you’ll find a staggering array of luggage options. I recently traveled with a small hardshell suitcase that seemed sturdy enough to withstand having a rhino dropped on it. It also had a James Bond look I couldn’t resist. And every time I fly, I see everything from hot pink to tiger stripes rolling down the luggage return. It all comes down to your style and travel needs.
What About Me?
Well, I’m usually a backpack guy for leisure travel. When I’m on the road for business, a suitcase meets my luggage needs best. If you’re like me, you might wind up matching the luggage to the purpose of your trip.
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