Home Lifestyle & Travel Suitcase 101 – How to choose the right travel luggage

Suitcase 101 – How to choose the right travel luggage

Whether you’re planning a road trip or taking to the skies, choosing the correct luggage can often be a real hack.

Jamie Owen, marketing manager for Thule SA has these top tips to ensure travelling this holiday season will be a breeze, and also shares how to choose the correct luggage for wherever you are going.

Checked in-luggage is best if you: 

  • Tend to be a ‘prepared-for-anything’ packer. If you’re a ‘just-in-case’ person, who needs to have items for four seasons in one day and every eventuality.
  • Plan to go on a shopping spree. If you always buy souvenirs and gifts for loved ones, additional suitcase space will avoid the extra cost and hassle of shipping items.
  • Are a lazy packer. If your bag is packed neatly on the way there, but clothing is shoved in on the way back, a bigger checked-in bag will save you having to buy additional luggage just to get everything home
  • Jamie’s top pick – Thule Crossover 2 Wheeled Duffel

Carry-on luggage is best if you:

  • Want a stress-free airport experience. You’ll skip additional queues, so your turnaround time at the airport is drastically reduced, plus you’ll have peace of mind that your bag will arrive at your final destination.
  • Change accommodation frequently on your trip. Using carry-on luggage means that there’s less to pack (and cart around); a must for trips where you’re combining flying with a road trip, so you’d need to unpack the car each night.
  • Want instant access to your stuff. This is particularly useful to stave off boredom during long layovers at the airport – think books, music and more ― plus it’s the most practical option if you’re travelling with valuables.
  • Jamie’s top pick – Thule Chasm 40L
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Spinner luggage is best if you:

  • Travel on multiple forms of transport. The 360-degree rotation wheels allow you to push, pull and turn your bag in any direction with minimal effort. Easy-to-manoeuvre spinners are a lifesaver in tight and busy places such as airports and train stations.
  • Value your clothes. Save additional wear-and-tear on your clothing from hauling a backpack on and off every five minutes from doorstep to destination.
  • Want to spare yourself back pain. Luggage with wheels allows you to easily glide over rough terrain (or through massive airports and busy city streets) without the additional strain on your shoulders, neck and back.
  • Jamie’s top pick – Thule Spira Spinner

Any road trip requires taking a lot of gear with you and you’ll need to ensure that all your luggage will fit into your car. If not, either pare down or look into a roof box or cargo carrier to help with the load. The extra space in a rooftop cargo carrier means you can take everything you need on your travels. Choose between an extra-secure roof box or an open basket that’s perfect for bulkier cargo. Alternatively, you can go for a towbar-mounted cargo carrier that fits on the rear of the car and still gives you access to the boot.

If you’re planning on chasing the waves on your surfboard, SUP or heading out on the wide-open water on a canoe, consider investing in a suitable rack that is safe, secure, and easy transport

– just load your board and head out.

Specialised gear

  • Yes, your camera can probably fit into your laptop bag, and your drone in your duffel bag, but if you’ve spent so much money on your equipment, you should get a camera bag that will adequately protect it. Aside from protection, they’re also designed for easy carrying and handling of that specific gear.
  • Keep chargers, headphones, cords and other accessories safe and organized by using an electronics travel case
  • Consider investing in a travel wallet to keep currency, passports, identification documents and other items secure and easy to access when needed

Quick packing hacks

  • When flying personalise your bag with a bold sticker or ribbon for easy identification, especially if it’s a common type of bag black. Consider attaching a luggage tag with your contact details
  • When packing, keep the most useful stuff on the top. Keep your valuables in your carry-on luggage
  • Consider investing in a packing cube that expands and compresses to maximize packing space, this is the perfect solution for pants, shirts and sweaters and consider rolling your clothes to minimise creasing
  • Keep prescription medication on you in case your luggage gets lost, and if you have space, pack a change of clothes and underwear.
  • Want to pack lighter? Take samples or mini sizes of toiletries, lint rollers and fabric refreshers for clothing that can be reworn, and neutral clothes that can be mixed and matched. Choose a hanging toiletry bag with water-resistant and see-through pockets for ease of convenience
  • On a long drive or flight, take at least more than one battery pack for phones or iPads (especially if you are travelling with teenagers)
  • To minimise the hassle at airport security, have all the electronics that you’ll need to take out your bag close by, or at the top of your case.


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