It’s in the Bag!

Rolling through the airport, my giraffe print bag gets some looks.  People in the terminal and on the plane sometimes comment about it saying something like “Sure makes it easy to tell which one is yours”.  That’s the intent!

When Bloomingdale’s first offered bright red luggage in their catalog, I immediately ordered the 21″ wheel-aboard model.  It was delivered to my office and upon unpacking it, the office staff looked upon it as if it were an alien.  One brave soul asked, “Why did you get red?”  I replied, “Come with me” and rolled my new bag into the doorway of our VP of Sales.  With several people in tow, I asked “Why did I get this bag?”  Without missing a beat, he said “So you can tell which one is yours on the bag cart on the Horizon shuttle.”

If you fly  regional commuter jets as we did every week, often there is a rolling rack near the boarding stairs of the plane where you leave your suitcase.  At your destination, a similar rack is waiting as you come down the stairs.  Each person has to identify and retrieve their bag – a bright color or bold print makes it so much easier and faster! 

Same is true standing at the carousel at baggage claim.  Also makes it harder for another traveler to snag your bag from the overhead thinking it is their own.

Here are my basic rules for luggage:

  1.  Bold color or print.  
  2.  Nothing without wheels.  Prefer wheels that spin all directions so you can roll your bag down the narrow aisles easily.
  3. 18″ or 21″ size – I have one of each.  These are carry-on size for most airlines so you don’t have to check your bag (cost and time).
  4. Soft-side!  I know the current trend is a retro hard case but many times I have to squish my bag some to get it in odd-sized overheads and hard cases are, by design, not flexible.
  5. Check the weight.  If it is heavy empty – it will be even heavier when you are trying to put it over your head in the airplane compartment.
  6. Handles.  Pull up the handle.  It should go up and down easily with one hand.  When you roll it, the handle shouldn’t wiggle a lot.
  7. Zippers.  Check to be sure they all zip easily.  They should have heads on each end and zip from either direction.  This will double the life of your bag because the zipper tabs eventually always break.
  8. Pockets and Compartments.  Less is more.  I like 2 outside pockets and a large inside compartment I can pack as I need.  Too many interior pockets may LOOK organized but typically waste space and add weight.
  9. Don’t spend a lot of $$ on luggage.  I buy good quality, name brand luggage but I get it at discount stores like TJ Maxx and Marshall’s.   If you don’t spend a lot, you don’t feel bad about getting a new bag when yours gets damaged or badly soiled.
A great trip starts with a great bag!

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