Is it worth the investment?


I had a request from Linda, a client/reader to write about what I thought was the best suitcase out there. Well to be honest, I don’t believe in “investing” in luggage. I did that once and will never do it again. Why? Simple, because it’s not worth it. But why you ask?

Simple - things change too quickly and you are left with out of date luggage, you paid too much for, to feel like tossing. My “investment luggage” became outdated when the airlines started limiting weight to 50-lbs.  Each piece weighted 18 lbs. empty. Sturdy for sure, but taking up too much of that precious 50-lb. limit. Not to mention my cousin, Scott, asking if I packed bricks in my suitcase when he had to carry it up to the 3rd floor.

Next, 2 wheels became 4. Much easier to roll 4 wheels through an airport than 2. Then the limit to 2 carry-on items.  That great piece that fit over the roll aboard, designed for cosmetics and toiletries, had to go, because I couldn’t fit my handbag in it.  Not to mention, that the only liquids I can carry on, must fit in a small plastic bag and all the rest of those items have to be packed in my checked bag. More weight to include in the 50-lb. limit.  Starting to see a pattern?

The European airlines are downsizing the size of roll boards. What about those “smart” suitcases that have GPS’s or USB ports to charge your phone while waiting at the gate?

We haven’t even talked about what happens to your lovely “investment” suitcase when it goes into baggage. Baggage handlers don’t understand your luggage is “investment” grade and should be treated as such. How many times has your suitcase arrived with burns, grease marks, broken zippers etc.? If your luggage screams expensive, it’s more likely to be targeted for theft. If the outside looks that good, there must be better stuff inside.


What’s my solution?

I buy luggage that’s heavily discount at stores like TJ Maxx or Marshall’s. I bought a beautiful 2-piece set that originally cost over $600 for $200.  Who cares if it’s last season’s color? For that reason, I didn’t feel too badly when my checked bag came off the carousel slightly burned and after several trips looking a little more worse for the wear. The roll aboard is now border line for European flights.  I did have to check it once when flying Air Berlin.  Maybe that’s a reason they are in Chapter 11? Too many hassles for their passengers? If a zipper tab is missing or broken, the airlines won’t cover that. They consider it normal wear and tear.

Personally, I feel it’s better value to put the money into your travel experience, then the suitcase you take with you.

Now where are you going to go with the $$ you saved on your luggage?

FYI, the roll aboard is now 30 years old.  

Here’s great article about how it was invented by an airline pilot. 



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