So traveling is a great thing, right? The not-so-great thing is that you somehow have to deal with the things you take with you. Especially when you have to move a little more than jumping in and out the plane after getting to the airport by car, carrying your stuff can turn into a little hassle. I already let you know here, what my personal favourite little travel hacks are when it comes to packing etc. Now I want to introduce you into my so called “system”, which I use to handle my luggage as trouble-free as possible.
I love backpacks. Maybe not for the business life but as soon as you want to travel with your hands free or ride any kind of two wheeled vehicle, a backpack is awesome. I have a big 55+10 deuter trekking backpack for my backpacking trips like Sri Lanka or Israel. When you need to travel a lot with public transfer like buses or trains, these are awesome. Make sure it fits well, so you might have to try it on (and yes, a girl’s version makes sense for us ladies). The big trekking backpacks store the weight on the upper part of your back and through the waist belt also your strong hips, so believe it or not, 15 kilos on your back (and cleverly stored inside the backpack) might feel a lot ligher than a normal day backpack with your personal belongings, or a camera bag. I walked around with my full big backpack for 30 mins and didn’t feel tired at all, if there wasn’t the day pack.
I also have a smaller climbing backpack, also with chest and waist belt, for a night out, climbing or my personal belongings. I always have it with me on travels, because I use it for hiking or a trip to the beach – it is way more durable and with a packing system, so a lot more useful than a fashion backpack like my Hershel.
Some time ago I bought my first The North Face duffel bag. It was the medium sized one and shortly after I also got myself the XL one. They are perfect, when you have to carry your uncomplicated stuff, but don’t move around too much. They are super light while offering enormous space and therefore save check-in weight. With the help of the compression straps you can make them bigger and smaller and the material is more than robust and even water proof. They come in great colours (so they are easy to find on the luggage belt) and the greatest feature are the carry straps which are designed to be used like backpack carrying straps (great for example in the train). I think, most of the outdoor brand’s duffle bags work like this, and if you search for it on Amazon, you will find them on sale from time to time.
I use the smaller one for casual short trips up to four days and short skydiving by car and tunnel trips (because you usually won’t need much stuff except your jumpsuit). The bigger one takes my rig and a lot of stuff on longer skydiving holidays or when I travel up to a week or 10 days. Which is basically every other trip, because you always pack more or less for ten days, and the basic components like cosmetics, hairdryer etc are always the same right?
While I can survive 3,5 weeks in Sri Lanka with 15 kilos in my backpack (and it felt like half of the backpack was filled with medication), on a business trip it is a little bit more difficult. It feels awesome to travel with a reduced setup and clever combination of clothes, but when you have to participate in a row of meetings, evening events and still want to work out, you simply need more space. Especially because you can’t survive with two pairs of flipflops and one pair of shoes like I did in Sri Lanka.
I use my middle sized hard shell trolley by American Tourister for all my trips from 3 to 6 days. I chose this one because it is light and colourful, but still robust enough to survive the handling in the plane, and it has four wheels, which is super comfortable when moving around or going by train. And it is again very clever: when you open all the zippers, you can store more than 80 liters in it, so enough space for some more pairs of shoes or jackets and your workout gear, which is important to have the chance to adapt to all schedule changes, weather conditions or shopping hauls.
I also have a carry on trolley from Bree made from tarp material which is good for one, two or maybe days (at the maximum). I chose it because of the fact that you even can bring it into Ryanair planes, where the staff is super strict about the dimensions. And it’s a good thing to bring extra stuff (like helmets and so on) when you go on a skydiving travel where you have to check in the rig. Usually you can always bring a carry on and one piece of personal belonging into a plane, so whenever you don’t have to carry it around too much, use a big bag, a carry on and a small backpack for travels with bulky and heavy stuff ;-)
Cheap or expensive?
Well, in my opinion, the investment into solid travel luggage is definitely worth the money as long as you really use it often. When you just go on one or two trips with it, you might take the cheapest versions.
You don’t necessarily have to take very expensive names, but look for solid quality and clever details. A lot of brands like Samsonite have sister brands like Stratic or American Tourister which offer great guarantee times and nice quality. You don’t want to be somewhere in the world and your luggage breaks down. Thanks to Amazon you can compare prices and make good deals. And yes, good quality lasts for years and you won’t regret your purchase.