Essential Clothing and Accessories for Long Holidays and Overseas Journeys

Buying Luggage Online: Three Tips For The First-Time Traveller

Living in a small town has its benefits, but when it comes to buying luggage for your first trip overseas you won't have a lot of options at your local shops. When you buy luggage online  it is an easy way to solve the problem, but how do you know what type of luggage will suit you best? Here are three tips for buying the perfect bag for your first trip away.

Soft Versus Hard Exterior

While it would be nice to think that your brand new suitcase is going to be treated with kid-gloves while you are travelling, the truth of the matter is it will be tossed around like a little boat in a storm. When it is being unloaded from the luggage canister that sits inside the cargo hold of your plane, baggage handlers are focused on speed rather than delicacy. Therefore, chances are your bag is going to get a little battered.

Because of this, your first decision is what type of exterior you want your luggage to have, and you have two main choices. Soft exterior luggage is made with toughened fabric such as ballistic nylon. The nylon is flexible and it weighs less than hard exterior luggage.

Hard exterior luggage is made of hardened plastics, such as polycarbonate, or aluminium. These products weigh more than a soft exterior, but they provide more protection to the items inside your suitcase. This may be a major selling point if you are travelling for business and need your suits to arrive looking pressed rather than crushed.

Check with the airline you are flying with to see what luggage weight allowance you are allowed on your flight. The smaller the weight allowance you have, the lighter you need your suitcase to be.

Size Of Luggage

Once you have decided what type of exterior you like, you then need to think about the size of the bag you will need. When you know the length of time you will be away, this can be used to calculate the luggage size you need. For example:

  • If you will be away for one week, then a 68 cm medium size suitcase will be big enough to hold your clothes.
  • A long trip, such as two to three weeks, requires a large suitcase that is around 74 cm in size.

Helpful tip: If you plan to do a lot of shopping on your travels, ask your airline if they sell extra luggage allowance. Some airlines allow you to pre-purchase additional baggage allowance before you leave home. The benefit of doing this is that the pre-purchase online rate is cheaper than the rate you pay at the airport if you purchase it the day you fly back. Pre-purchase allows you to take a second, empty suitcase with you on your travels that you have already paid for to be flown home.


Many suitcases have wheels built into them to make the case easy to move. This is particularly a life-saver when you have to walk through a long airport concourse and there are no luggage trolleys to be found. However, not all suitcase wheels are created equal.

Polyurethane wheels, similar to those found on in-line skates, are the perfect luggage wheel. This is because the plastic is flexible, which means it travels over all terrains without wearing down too quickly. Rubber wheels, by comparison,  may perish, and peel away if they are continually exposed to hot, rough surfaces. If the wheel composition is not listed on the product description of a suitcase you are interested in, ask the online retailer before you buy.

When looking for the right luggage for your first trip, remember the main attributes for success are exterior, size, and wheels. Making a purchase with these three points in mind makes sure your belongings arrive in great condition at both your destination and your home when you return.