Nothing is more nerve-wracking than your suitcase losing a wheel or a handle in the middle of the airport.
Whether it happens in the first part of your trip or the last, you have to lug that broken luggage around until you get home.
Then you have to worry about shopping for new luggage.
But what do you buy? It is not all about going for the cheapest price.
Because if you do that, you are liable to get a piece of junk that will only break again at the most inopportune time. There are good bargains to be found on new quality luggage; you just have to know what to look for.
Cheaply priced luggage
First of all, let’s talk about the downside of buying strictly based on price. Cheaply priced luggage will likely have a lot of plastic parts on it.
For instance, if the wheels are plastic, chances are that they could easily crack and break causing rolling problems. If this happens in an airport, you will more than likely end up carrying it rather than rolling it.
Another problem with cheap luggage is that the handles often do not pull out or retract properly. You just might get your luggage back from the airplane with a bent or broken handle.
And the zippers … If your cheap luggage has zippers, you stand a good chance of them becoming broken when you overstuff your suitcase or it gets smashed in the cargo hold of the airplane.
Nothing is more charming than having your skivvies empty out all over the rotating baggage claim for the world to see because the zipper failed on your luggage.
Cheap luggage will also likely have a wimpy warranty if any. The company issuing it would likely make it not worth your while to get a replacement.
That is why you should buy your luggage from a reputable store that specializes in luggage or has a respectable name for them in the luggage industry.
Checking the Internet and reading customer reviews for some of the marketing lines of this baggage is also helpful.
Things to consider when shopping for durable luggage:
When shopping for a hardy, dependable piece of luggage, there are several things you need to look for size, type of fabrication for the luggage, warranty and durability of the handles, straps, zippers and wheels.
There are a number of sizes to choose from, so you will have to decide if you want one just large enough to still qualify as a carry-on or one that you will have to check in.
If you liked the size of your old suitcase, just measure its dimensions and try to find something comparable. Be sure to check the latest airline standards for luggage size too.
Hard-cased suitcases, hybrid luggage that has some hard and soft sides, or totally soft-sided luggage are typically what is available on the market these days. The hard-sided luggage pieces will tend to be heavier than the soft-sided ones.
However, they are also the most durable and long-lasting. The luggage that has both soft and hard sides offer some flexibility with packaging issues because they will expand to allow for a few of those extra souvenirs you just had to bring home from a vacation.
The totally soft-sided options can be squished into place and are best for carry-on pieces only.
Zippers, straps, handles and wheels
Make sure that any straps and zippers have double stitching to provide for extra durability. In addition, look for extra padding in the straps, which will ease the burden of slinging a bag across your shoulders.
Zippers should be made from strong synthetic materials like nylon, which are easier to repair.
The wheels should be solid parts, not pieces of plastic that appear molded together. Finally, make sure that the piece of luggage you buy has a good replacement or exchange warranty in place in case of any mishaps.