Today, I'm flying to Paris — the result of one of those special travel deals that pop up regularly — and my suitcase is no longer very functional to me. I don't know how old it is and can't remember at which point it became my hand-me-down, but I do know I'll be replacing it to better match my partner's much more modern suitcase — which looks better than mine because she has a better eye (among other things) than I do. Prepare for your travel — whatever your style — with the right suitcase for the trip.
FOR THE HEAVY-DUTY TRAVELER
Briggs & Riley Sympatico Expandable Hardside Luggage, $579 on Amazon: Suitcases with hard exteriors are able to absorb the impact they experience from being tossed or thrown or dropped — you know, the way airport personnel seem to treat them. Protect your valuables with Briggs & Riley's Sympatico Carry-On. One of its compartments is designed for your clothes, the other for everything else: toiletries, (running) shoes, and other hard objects.
FOR THE FLEXIBLE TRAVELER
The North Face Rolling Thunder Wheeled Duffel, $269 at The North Face: Not all suitcases face rough airport handling, of course — and airports are just one travel platform out of many. A softshell means an expandable body, both to fit more inside it or to minimize its footprint in your closet. Squeeze in that last gift-for-your-in-laws with The North Face’s Rolling Thunder. What I like most about it are the bumpers underneath its front, protecting its nylon body. This pliable-yet-rugged suitcase comes in nine colors, including heather gray and tumbleweed.
FOR THE MINIMALIST TRAVELER
The Carry-On, $225 at Away: Style varies across the suitcase ecosystem, and as is true for other goods, a leading approach is minimalism — an answer to our hectic and overwhelming, digitally-governed lives. Away’s suitcases are all designed with minimalism in mind, and even has a special and very attractive aluminum collection (I can’t stop staring at it). But since the style is popular, you’ve got options. The Geometric collection from Amazon is just as simple and refined, and includes built-in TSA locks.
FOR THE TECHIE TRAVELER
G-RO Carry-on Luggage, $445 on Amazon: A tech-dominated approach to travel, whether for short or long distances, is flying fast toward us. From apps to chargers, more of us expect our travel accessories to embrace and enable our connected lives. The G-RO carry-on includes two USB ports for charging and a Bluetooth-enabled tracker so you know how much longer you need to wait for it to arrive down the belt — also, its wheels are very unique. Or take a look at the compact Kayla Underseat Carry-On with a USB charger and accompanying compression straps to get it nice and small for when you haven’t filled it up entirely.
FOR THE NEEDY TRAVELER
Spin Tech 3.0 Expandable Carry-On Spinner Suitcase, $112 at Macy's: While I always aim to travel light, that's not a luxury everyone can afford. It's okay to need extra space and there's no reason to bend over backwards to squish your belongings into luggage that won’t ft them (in their original form, anyway. When you need a little extra girth to your suitcase, the Samsonite Spin Tech Carry-On is expandable, giving you an extra 1.5" of room for all your souvenirs (or dirty laundry).
If you can travel, do. And you do, pack correctly. Leaving things behind to save space or lugging around a half-empty suitcase could ruin and otherwise good experience.
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