Your next adventure is just around the corner. You’ve picked your destination, planned your excursions and have your tickets and passport ready to go. One last detail: You may not have the best luggage set.
Luggage is one of the most overlooked aspects of a vacation, but it can make or break your trip. If you’re still using your old bags that have seen better days, it’s time to upgrade. Don’t wait until the last minute to get the right luggage for you. From chic luggage sets to useful individual bags, here’s what you should bring on your next trip.
Types of Luggage
Hard Shell Luggage Sets
Hard shell luggage has been in style for a while now. The tough, plastic shell can withstand a lot of wear and tear, making it one of the more durable luggage options.
Samsonite offers a variety of hard shell luggage to choose from. The Samsonite Omni PC Hardside Expandable Luggage With Spinner Wheels Three-Piece Set is a stylish, durable luggage set that includes a 28-inch bag, a 24-inch bag, a 20-inch carry-on and comes in a variety of colors. Each bag can be purchased as part of the set or individually. Samsonite offers some of the best spinner luggage on the market.
“My Samsonite carry-on luggage is something that I never travel without,” said Stacey Crowley, Travel Sales Manager at AAA Northeast. “It’s super light weight and has so much space! I usually just carry this on instead of checking a bag.” Buy it here.
Another one of the best luggage sets in the hard shell style is the SHOWKOO Luggage Sets Expandable PC+ABS Durable Suitcase. This three-piece set includes a 28-inch suitcase, a 24-inch suitcase and a 20-inch carry-on. Its extra-thick shell is sure to keep your belongings protected on your journey, and it even comes with a TSA-compliant lock. This luggage set comes in a variety of colors to choose from. Buy it here.
Hard shell luggage can be chic too! The two-piece Kenneth Cole Reaction Hardside Chevron Expandable Luggage set combines durability and style. Available in black, emerald, navy, rose gold and smoky purple. Buy it here.
Soft Luggage Sets
Hard shell luggage has its benefits, but it’s also rigid, heavy and clunky. Soft luggage has the benefit of being lightweight, easy to carry and easier to fit in tight spaces like an overhead compartment. They also usually feature exterior zippered pockets for storing things that you might need quick access to during your travels.
The Travelpro Runway Three-Piece Luggage Set includes a carry-on suitcase, a large suitcase and an under-seat carry-on bag. “I live and breathe for my Travelpro carry-on,” noted Anne Lischwe, Travel Sales Manager at AAA Northeast. “It’s almost identical to the suitcase I had as a flight attendant, which means it’s durable and can withstand many trips and a lot of handling.” Buy it here.
This three-piece Steve Madden Designer Luggage Collection is a sleek and professional soft luggage option. The bags are each expandable, easy to carry, lightweight and have spinner wheels. The best spinner luggage is easy to maneuver through airports no matter which way you’re headed. Buy it here.
The Best Carry-On Luggage Under $100
The mark of an experienced traveler is a good carry-on bag. But carry-ons don’t have to be expensive to be exactly what you need. Some of the best carry-on luggage is under $100.
If you’re going on a quick trip and want to store your stuff without any fuss, a duffel bag could be the best option for you. While you do have to carry them, they’re super easy to store in places like an overhead compartment or a crowded car trunk. The Canway 65L Travel Duffel Bag is waterproof, tear resistant and roomy. It has versatile, comfortable straps and it even comes with an extra compartment for your shoes. Available in a variety of colors and sizes. Buy it here.
A good backpack can also be luggage for those who want to pack light and move fast. Whether you’re hitting the trails or just going on a weekend flight to another city, a backpack is one of the easiest carry-ons to bring with you. Grab the understated Matein Travel Laptop Backpack, which has a large main compartment for storage and several different pockets for storing everything you need. It comes with an anti-theft pocket in the back, an external charging port for your phone, a luggage strap and more. Buy it here.
The Wrangler Smart Spinner Carry-On Luggage is a 20-inch, hard shell suitcase that comes with a charging port for your phone. It even features a cup holder for when you’re waiting with your coffee in an airport or train station. Buy it here.
This U.S. Traveler Rio Rugged Fabric Expandable Carry-on Luggage Set comes with a carry-on suitcase and an extra carry-on bag for under $100. The suitcase can expand if you have a lot to store in it, and the accessory bag comes with a luggage strap so you can carry the two together. Available in a variety of colors. Buy them here.
The Best Luggage For …
Osprey Farpoint 55 Travel Backpack
The Osprey Farpoint 55 Men’s Travel Backpack and the Osprey Fairview 55 Women’s Travel Backpack are a great option for anyone looking to do some heavy-duty traveling. “For longer and more adventure-driven trips where I’m hopping often from place to place, I love to use my Osprey travel backpack,” said Stacey Crowley. “It has a zip-off day pack for short hikes and great straps and handles for easy carrying. The bag zips all the way open, so you can use it just like a suitcase and get in and out of it easily. I used this for my recent trip to Scotland, where we were jumping on to trains, ferries and always on the go!”
Going on a shorter trip? These bags are just what you need.
The Adidas Defender 4 Small Duffel Bag is small, but mighty. It features a padded, removable shoulder strap, a main compartment that stands up for easy packing, two zippered end pockets and water resistant fabric. Available in a variety of colors. Buy it here.
The extra-roomy CAMTOP Travel Weekender Bag features a padded sleeve for your laptop, an adjustable strap and an extra compartment for your shoes. It also includes a luggage strap so you can carry it on top of your suitcase if need be. Buy it here.
If you’re a senior (or, even better, a retiree with time to travel), it’s important that your luggage is lightweight, easy to maneuver and stress-free.
The Travelpro Maxlite 5 Softside Expandable Luggage is extremely lightweight, with the 21-inch carry-on weighing only 5.4 pounds. It’s also easy to move around, featuring spinner wheels and top, bottom and side handles. The ergonomic pull handle and zippers are contoured for a comfortable grip. Available in a variety of colors and sizes. Buy it here.
The SwissGear Sion Softside Expandable Luggage is another lightweight option, with its 21-inch carry-on weighing only 7.96 pounds. Is also has spinner wheels, extra handles and an ergonomic pull handle. Available in a variety of colors and sizes. Buy it here.
Kids travel too! If your kiddo is taking their own luggage, it needs to be fun and functional.
The Boppi Tiny Trekker Kids Luggage is an adorable suitcase for kids, featuring a range of different animals and creatures to choose from. Who doesn’t want to pack their necessities in a suitcase that looks like a mini plane? It’s also lightweight, durable and just the right size for little hands. Buy it here.
The HONEY JOY Two-Piece Kids Carry-On Luggage is a two-piece luggage set, featuring a spinner suitcase and a backpack. Both have hard shells and colorful, kid-friendly prints. Your little one can carry their necessities in the suitcase, and their toys and games in the backpack! Available in a variety of prints. Buy it here.
While it’s not technically luggage, these handbags are specifically designed to be used while traveling. With important safety features and designs that prioritize ease of use, these personal bags are a must-have.
Crossbody bags are the ideal bag for travel, and this Hedgren Free Libra RFID Crossbody combines a sleek look with a convenient design. This bag features an adjustable, removable shoulder strap, a zip pocket with RFID protection and other pockets for additional storage.
The Travelon Anti-Theft Boho N/S Crossbody was designed to discourage pickpockets and protect your belongings. With slash-resistant mesh, locking zippers, RFID blocking compartments and lock-down straps containing stainless steel wire, this bag is ready for anything. Buy it here.
Believe it or not, fanny packs are stylish now. Hop on the trend with the Travelon Anti-Theft Metro Waistpack, which lets you travel worry-free with its anti-theft design. Like the handbag above, the Travelon Anti-Theft Metro Waistpack is designed with a slash-resistant strap, locking zippers, RFID blocking technology and more. Keeping your valuables close to your body makes them even safer. For the extra trendy look, wear it crossbody style, like a sash. Buy it here.
Bags that come with locks provide extra security and peace of mind. Make sure all luggage locks and locking bags are TSA approved, so TSA can easily unlock them if needed. Otherwise, you risk your luggage or lock being broken. Don’t want a whole new set of luggage? You can buy locks to secure the bags you already have.
The stylish DELSEY Paris Chatelet Hardside Luggage With Spinner Wheels set of two-toned bags comes with TSA-compliant locks as well as extra-secure zippers. Available in a variety of colors. Buy it here.
No locks on your suitcase? No worries! These ANVIL TSA-Approved Cable Luggage Locks are combination padlocks that can be attached to almost any suitcase, with a thin, flexible steel cable and easy-to-read numbers. Buy them here.
If you don’t want the stress of remembering a combination, you can get the Master Lock 4689T TSA-Approved Keyed Lock, which comes with its own keys. Just make sure you’ve got those keys on you when you land! Buy it here.
How to Customize Your Luggage
Spotting your suitcase on a luggage carousel can be difficult when all the bags look the same. Do you have a boring bag? Make it unique with these products that can help you customize your luggage!
You can remember every place your bag has been with these Eatour Travel City Stickers. These stickers each feature charming illustrations and the names of different cities, countries and landmarks, from Paris to Mexico City. Want to mark the states you’ve been to as well? They have a state sticker pack too! Buy them here.
Want to give your plastic luggage a new look? The best paint to use on luggage is spray paint designed for use on plastic surfaces, like Krylon Fusion All-In-One Spray Paint for indoor/outdoor use. Spray paint will allow you to get an even coat and make your luggage look brand new! For best results, use a sealing spray afterward. Buy it here.
After you start using Pomchies POM-ID Luggage/Baggage Identification Tags, you’ll always know which bag is yours. These adorable pom-poms make any suitcase stand out with a variety of different bright colors to choose from. Buy them here.
A great way to make your luggage stand out and stand the test of time is to use a luggage cover, like this Explore Land Travel Luggage Cover Suitcase Protector. This cover stretches around your bag to protect it from dirt and scratches on your journey. Available in a range of prints and sizes. Buy it here.
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What’s your favorite bag to bring with you when you travel? What type of luggage do you prefer? Let us know in the comments below!
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