Luggage is an important part of travel that is often overlooked. Experience has taught us a lot about this subject. The best travel luggage for a cruise is durable, lightweight and priced just right for your budget.
There are a number of different types of luggage as well as features, some of which are very helpful, others are just more gimmicky in our opinion.
Before getting into the types, there are a few basic features.
First, get luggage in the largest size the airlines will accept without additional fees. Generally that is about 28″. Why bring a medium bag when a larger bag will not cost you more? We don’t recommend ‘luggage sets’ because you get this medium size bag as part of the set, when what you should really have is another large bag. Even if you don’t think you’ll need that much space, you will almost certainly bring back souvenirs from your trip, so the extra space comes in handy in that regard.
Second, whenever possible, get luggage with 4 “spinner wheels”. For us this is a must. It allows you to easily push the bag through airports, and even push 2 bags at once. For us, this is much more comfortable and easy compared to the suitcases you have to pull behind you on 2 wheels.
Third, look for Expandable Luggage. Expandable luggage is simply luggage that has an ability to expand, usually by way of a zippered fabric expansion allowing your luggage to be a few inches thicker. No more sitting on the suitcase to get it closed!
Hardside luggage generally has a polycarbonate shell and are lightweight and durable in most cases. Some more durable than others of course. Lightweight is important as most airlines weight your bags these days and you don’t want to be paying just to ship a heavy suitcase. The hard shell protects the contents inside from spills and offering some level of protection against things inside your baggage breaking. Our personal preference is the 28″ Samsonite Freeform Hardside Expandable available on Amazon. We have 4 of these and they have proven to be quite durable. They even include a 10 year warranty!
Softside is just what it sounds like. Its made out of some kind of cloth. Usually polyester. They are very durable as they don’t crack. However, they are a little less protective of what inside. If you just have clothes it’s usually not a problem. The interesting thing is they open different. Instead of splitting in half and giving you 2 sides to store things, these open from one side and give you a large storage space. I recommend the American Tourister on Amazon.