I always struggle to make my travel items to fit neatly into my luggage. In a perfect world, I would have a 50-inch suitcase with a personal butler to help me with it, so that I would always have plenty of choices to work with when I am overseas. Alas, reality is cruel.

While I want to choose a bag with plenty of room, I don’t want to exceed the baggage restrictions either. Choosing the right piece of luggage can be a little overwhelming because there are so many different types of luggage on the market.

The type and size of the suitcase that you pack will definitely differ for each type of trip. For example, a sleek and slim carry on will be more suitable for business trips while huge and spacious luggage with wheels work best for family trips. Although there isn’t a one-size-fits-all piece of luggage, you certainly need to understand your travelling needs to be able to pick the right piece of luggage for yourself.

Think about a few considerations with regards to your trip:

(a) How long is the duration of the trip?

(b) What is the nature of the trip? (business, couple holiday, family holiday etc)

(c) What kind of activities are you planning to do? (Beach bumming, skiing, etc)

(d) How much do you REALLY need to take with you?

To help you decide which bags fits your needs best, I have come up with a handy guide that explains each type of luggage. I hope you get the most out of your luggage!

1. The handy carry-on

Bon air cabin luggage, $180 from American Tourister

This is probably the most used piece of luggage because it is compact, trusty and never out of your sight. Carry-ons usually have to be less than 21 inches in height so that it can fit into the overhead compartment or under the seat in front of you while you’re on a flight. This type of luggage is favoured by people who travel a lot for business.

It’s big enough to house most of the travel essentials for a trip and you don’t have to wait at the belt for your bag to appear. Best part is, it sees the least wear and tear because you’re the only person handling the luggage.

2. The weekender

Le Pliage Cuir travel bag, $1,234 from Longchamp

A weekender bag is a smaller lightweight travel bag designed to hold enough clothing, toiletries and other small items for a weekend trip. It offers you the flexibility to pack any number of items without taking up too much space and is perfect for a quick jaunt to neighbouring countries. One thing to keep in mind when shopping for this bag — it’s best if it comes with a detachable shoulder strap. It will come in really handy when your hands are full with your duty-free haul, as you rush to catch your flight on time!

3. The garment bag

Carry-On 4 wheeled garment bag, $1,150 from Tumi 

If you are travelling for business or formal event, then you would need to keep your gorgeous clothes pressed and in order. Anything that goes into the suitcase usually comes out really wrinkled and messed up; cue the need for garment bags. These allow your showstopping outfits to be hung on hangers within the bag, with the necessary handles in place to make it easier for you to carry around. Pick the ones with  plenty of pockets for accessories, which help to keep your contents organised. If need be, these bags come in wheeled versions too.

4. The 30 inch suitcase (read: your entire wardrobe)

Bossa Nova cabin multiwheel 73, $2,100 from Rimowa

This large wheeled suitcase is only recommended for long haul trips. These sturdy bags are made to withstand hard knocks and rough handling. Keep a lookout for styles that feature durable swivel wheels and a telescope handle for ease of mobility.

Packing compartments for this style of baggage are also very important because you won’t be bringing just your essentials; so it makes your contents look more organised. Unlike the carry-on, the main limitation for your check-in luggage is its weight; extra charges might be incurred if it exceeds the airline’s luggage weight restrictions.

A standard empty suitcase usually weighs about 3 kg; as much as you can, try not to overpack it! Separate your items into different check-in suitcases to keep within the weight limit.

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