Scanning the market for some new luggage for business travel? Getting from Point A to Point B can be tricky if you don’t have the right luggage to make your journey go as smoothly as possible. Here are some questions you should ask yourself before taking the plunge and investing in some professional-grade baggage.
How often do you travel?
The occasional trip vs. living life on the road can make a big difference in how durable a piece of luggage you might need. If you don’t travel often and aren’t carrying any precious cargo, you won’t need to invest in anything super durable. If you do travel often, purchase luggage made from materials such as ballistic nylon or hard sided polycarbonate. If you aren’t quite sure what your travel needs might be today versus the future, the Kenneth Cole Renegade II is a great piece of luggage that is durable and inexpensive.
How long is your average trip?
The length of your trip will determine whether you just need a carry-on or a larger bag. Ideally, a business traveler should be fine with just a carry-on. Here’s a handy guide to help you choose the right carry-on bag. If your trips average longer than four days, you may need to purchase something larger in size or invest in a set of luggage.
How much do you really have to bring?
Are you packing only a few clothes and business documents, or are you hauling around some merchandise and/or other materials? Calculate the space you’ll need and search for luggage that fits those parameters. Also, you should factor in some extra space, because you never know what you’ll have to bring at the last minute.
Do you live out of your suitcase or make yourself at home the second you get to the hotel?
This is where the configuration of the interior of the piece luggage comes into question. If you live out of your suitcase, you’re going to need something that has lots of secure, easily accessible compartments for your travel items. If you unpack the second you get into your hotel room, you may not need to worry about this as much, although it’s still advantageous to have all of your things organized so you can streamline your unpacking process. Either way, you won’t regret shelling out some extra cash for a more organized piece of luggage.
Do you push, pull, carry or drag your luggage?
How you move your luggage around matters. Some people are uncomfortable with pulling luggage on wheels for fear of them breaking off. You shouldn’t have to worry about that! Or about your suitcase rocking back and forth as you pull it over the tile floors of the airport or hotel lobby. Ask yourself what you think would be the least cumbersome way to transport your things: maybe you like to roll and pull your luggage, but want something small. Many newer generation pieces of luggage combine small size with sturdy handles, which reduces the awkwardness of transport and allows you a space to rest your laptop on while you’re on the go.
Will your checked bags be sufficiently protected from impact or potential theft?
Many suitcases come with built-in combination locks or zipper-lock mechanisms to deter theft, and while they aren’t perfect, they’re better than nothing. You also don’t want to risk TSA breaking your lock if they decide to go through your luggage. There are actually special TSA Locks that allow TSA agents to open your lock without destroying it. You may just want to bring any sensitive materials or expensive items with you onto the plane if they fit, or just ship them ahead of time to your hotel.
Do you plan on wearing a suit onto the plane just in case your garment bag ends up on the next flight?
As a business traveler, the risk of getting your suit lost or delayed is a major concern. While many wear their business attire on the plane, this may not be an option on a long trip. For business people traveling with only a carry-on, we suggest you purchase a bag like the Victorinox Swiss Army Werks Traveler 22″ Carry-On with an expandable and removable garment bag. If you are checking your luggage, consider something like the Wheeled Wardrobe suitcase from Briggs & Riley, which is designed for an extensive trip and holds quite a bit.
How much weight are you actually willing to carry?
Last, but certainly not least, the weight of your piece of luggage matters for your mobility and easing the already potentially stressful experience of business travel. You’re already carrying a lot of personal and professional effects and you don’t need a heavy piece of luggage that adds more weight to your journey. Aim for something that balances structural durability and lightness so you don’t end up feeling like you’re dragging a cabinet through the airport.