Travel tips: Choosing the right luggage for your travels


When you read this, I will be flying somewhere over Australia to see the sights and sounds of South Africa for the first time. Travelling is one of our favourite past times, but with it comes the very tedious task packing (and unpacking) our suitcases and wait at the luggage carousel for hours while everyone else’s suitcase comes out before yours.

Both of my suitcases are either black or navy, mostly because black and navy matches half my wardrobe, and I didn’t want a garish looking suitcase that dated 2 years later. Luggage is expensive, but I do believe that buying quality brands is important about all, most quality brands have a 10 year warranty and have been put through vigorous testing to make sure they can stand the trials and tribulations of airports, cobble stone streets (in Paris of course) and anywhere else it could get banged about.

While I’m not in the market for a new suitcase (who am I kidding, I am always considering adding a medium/large and small/medium sized suitcase to my current collection of large, medium and small) we were curious to speak to luggage expert, Carmen Burnett who works for luggage maker American Tourister for some tips on what NOT to do when buying luggage:

  • Most people when looking at soft cases, just look at the weight of a case and don’t consider the actual volume capacity or features of the case such as expanders which allows for more packing. When travelling yes weight is important, but volume is also an important factor, especially with the extra 10kgs most travellers come back with after a holiday shopping spree!
  • Some people always think hard shell cases are just heavy! This isn’t true with majority of our cases being very lightweight & durable, compared to hard shell cases back in the 50’s – 80’s. Times have changed and we have evolved as a company, now investing in even lighter weight hard shell cases.
  • Most people often purchase luggage based on the warranty period being offered. This can sometimes be a mistake as the question people need to ask is if the case comes with a “true global warranty”. A true global warranty means that if when travelling to Brazil for example, and your case needs a repair, you will be able to go to a repair centre for that brand in Brazil. Very few companies really offer a true global warranty and yes, American Tourister is a brand with a true global warranty, with repair centres in over 80 countries!

Now that you know what NOT to do, here’s Carmen’s top 5 tips on choosing quality luggage

  1. dd some colour to your travels! Go with our Prismo in the hard cases if your bold and love making a statement or there is the Applite in the soft cases if you are more conservative but still want that little bit of colour – even in the Black case! This will enable you to spot your case amongst the sea of plain cases on the carousel, a mile away.
  2. Look at the weight and volume of the case. You need maximum volume and minimum weight!
  3. Look at the additional features a case offers, like all outer pockets being able to lock with just one padlock is sensational! Remember more padlocks = more weight being added to your case.
  4. Live a little – go with a spinner, especially if you intend on travelling in heels! Spinner cases have 4 wheels and all you need to do is just push the case along and NOT pull the case along. It simply glides with you!
  5. Look at whether the brand of luggage offers a true global warranty.

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