THE LUGGAGE GUIDE
Our buyers’ top tips for traveling in style
Your suitcase might not be the most exciting part of your holiday (if it is, we suggest you rethink your itinerary), but it’s certainly one of the most important. But with so many suitcases to choose from, how do you know which one is right for you? Our luggage buyer Caroline shares her top tips for finding your perfect travel companion.
If it’s maximum mobility you’re after, look no further than a four-wheeled suitcase. Rather than dragging the weight behind you, the spinner wheels allow you to glide the case neatly beside you (much to the delight of your fellow travellers) and shimmy sideways down the aeroplane aisles with ease. Look to Rimowa for the most stylish four-wheelers in the market, or Antler for great value for money.
HARD SHELL VS. SOFT SHELL
Can’t decide between a hard or soft shell suitcase? Both have their pros and cons. Hard shell suitcases are more durable, great for protecting fragile items such as cameras and laptops, and are also easier to clean. If you plan to travel in winter or to rugged locations, a hard shell might be for you. A soft shell suitcase is more flexible, perfect for squeezing in that last-minute pair of sandals, or for bringing back your holiday souvenirs. Plus, they often have accessible pockets on the front to keep a change of clothes, toiletries or other travel extras – particularly handy for parents travelling with small children.
Why waste your valuable weight allowance on the suitcase itself? Advancements in technology mean that luggage is getting lighter and lighter, so it’s a good idea to shop around and compare weights. For the best lightweight suitcases in the market opt for Rimowa, whose new collection is crafted from nearly indestructible polycarbonate; the cases feature the same covetable shell as their predecessors, but weigh a handy 26 per cent lighter. Or for the ultimate in form meets function, Longchamp’s new Fairval collection fuses lightweight fabrication with the brand’s classic jet-setter style.
Avoid the airport queues and hefty baggage fees by taking hand luggage only, perfect for frequent flyers. Struggling for space? Victorionox’s ingenious Pack More system will turn even the most woeful packer into a pro, with nifty in-built space saving tricks including packing dividers, a removable suit bag and an attach-a-bag strap. Elsewhere, Samsonite’s carry on suitcases are best for durability, while Rimowa is the byword for unbeatable airport style.
Long weekend away? Lucky you. You’ll need a duffel bag that’s capacious enough for your weekend essentials, but easier to manoeuvre than a cabin bag. For the best weekend bags in the business, look to Globe-Trotter, Longchamp and iconic Italian label Bric’s – whose duffel bags look like they belong on the back seat of a convertible on the Amalfi Coast (even if you’re just off to your in-laws’ for the weekend).
Make sure your journey runs like clockwork by stocking up on your essential travel accessories. Keep your documents safe with a handy travel wallet and passport holder from Smythson or Aspinal of London. During the flight, don’t forget your travel pillow for a spot of long haul snoozing. After landing, a brightly-coloured luggage tag will ensure your suitcase stands out from the baggage reclaim crowd.