After five years of traipsing between South East Asia and the UK, my suitcase is on its last legs (or wheels, the one that still works). With a fair amount of travelling lined up for this year, including relocating to another country (more on that soon), I need to get a new one.
Figuring out my requirements comes first. This is not for short trips; the case that is breaking is my large suitcase, used mainly for long haul journeys between the UK and South East Asia where I will be taking a lot of stuff (Christmas presents if it’s that time of year, English food, Indonesian treats, as well as the usual clothes). I don’t want to buy something that will break after a single journey, but nor do I want to shell out a huge sum for a case, in case it does get broken.
There’s the fairly standard fabric case with two wheels and a pull handle. This is the type that has lasted me well for five years, with only a few tears in its sides. Sturdy and reliable, perhaps I should stick with that type.
Then there’s the four-wheeled hard shell variety that appears to glide along the airport floor almost unaided. Of this variety there are two sub-types: the ones which are standing on their end with a pull handle, and those which are on the long side with a strap to pull them along. I read somewhere that you shouldn’t get the strap type, because perhaps it’s easier to steal, or more difficult to steer.
They all zip up. Some have a built-in lock, and others have holes for a padlock in the zip. I don’t think I have a preference about this as yet.
Rucksacks? I’ve got one of those, and I have on occasion (when moving house to a new country, for example) travelled with both my large case and my large rucksack.
The variation in price is enormous, and I think I’ll be aiming somewhere in the middle; I don’t want a cheap case that’ll break on its way home, but nor do I want something that’ll break the bank.
Well, I’m still trying to decide. The hard shell cases that I’ve seen so far are a lot more expensive than the others. So I’m wondering if it’s really worth it to spend the extra money for something that’ll get bashed up on its first day out. But four wheels are deeply appealing for ease of use, and it’d be nice to try something new.
What suitcase do you think I should buy? Have you had any good (or bad) experiences with a particular type of case?