Joel Widzer (Travel Strategist) gives expert video advice on: What kinds of luggage should I use?; Is it better to use one big piece of luggage or several smaller pieces?; What is a 'Pullman' suitcase? and more...
What kinds of luggage should I use?
I think one of the most confusing things about travelling, is the type of luggage you should have. If you go into a luggage store, or a department store, there are so many different types of luggage's. There are these roller boards. There are these large roller boards which are the kind that have wheels on them and then a handle that you can pull behind you, which makes it nice and easy because it is easier to move the bag. There is the traditional suitcase that just has one handle that you carry along at your side. There are satchel bags which are more like a duffel bag and those are nice because you can fit lose things in. There are also garment bags which are a type of hanging bags, which are long. So there is all this variety of type of bags to choose from. It is nice to have each type of those different bags that are available. But it depends on the type of travel you do. If you are very infrequent traveler and you take short trips, you might not need a big twenty eight inch roller bag. Or you might not need a big garment bag. If you are someone that takes a lot of vacations, then you are going to need bigger bags. Myself, I have a variety of different luggage's and depending on the trip I might take a satchel that I might use for a short trip. Or my favorite is a twenty two inch roller board because I can fit that in the overhead bin space on the airplane. But a lot of times when I go on a longer trip, I will use a bigger bag because I need to pack more. So if you can afford it and you are someone who does a fair amount of travelling, it is nice to have the variety of bags to fit your different needs.
Is it better to use one big piece of luggage or several smaller pieces?
The size of the luggage that you use is going to one thing depend on how much weight you are going to put into it because if you are going over the 50-lb limit, then you are going to be charged extra money by your airline. Another thing is, depending on your needs and your physical capabilities if you have two smaller bags. It's a little easier to carry particularly if there are two bags with wheels or if there is one that will go over your shoulder it can be a little bit easier for you. Another thing, if you have a roller bag, you can put one bag on top of that sits fits right there so you can carry both of them simultaneously. It really depends on what you are going to pack, how long you are going, and how much weight you are going to put into that bag.
What is a 'Pullman' suitcase?
A Pullman suitcase is one of those typically older fashion type suitcases that you might see in movies where it just has one handle. It does not have any wheels. They are typically square. And what is nice about them is they are sturdy, they are structured, and you can actually fit a lot into them. One of the things that is a little bit inconvenient about them is they are difficult to get around. If you have someone that is going to help you with your luggage, and you go to check it in, and you have someone at the hotel that is going to help you, then they can be a nice way to travel.
What are the advantages and disadvantages of a Pullman when traveling?
The disadvantages of a Pullman type bag is that they can be heavy and they can also be cumbersome to carry around because they just have that one handle on top so they can be very hard to manipulate and carry around, they don't have any wheels on them. But the advantages is that they are very structured, they have a lot of room inside, in fact you can usually fit more clothes into a Pullman than you can in different type of bag. And the other thing that is nice about them is that your clothes typically don't wrinkle as much because they stay secure within that bag so you tend not to have as much wrinkle in your clothes.
What is a 'garment bag'?
A garment bag is a type of bag that allows you to hang your clothes. And what it does is it lays flat so you can put your clothes into it. For instance, if you have more formalwear, it is very nice because it protects your clothes a bit more. If you have suits, if you have blouses, if you have shirts you want to put them into a garment bag. And then all you do is you fold it in half. So you can fit a lot into a garment bag and they are usually pretty easy to carry around.
What are the advantages and disadvantages of using a garment bag?
What's nice about a garment bag is that you can fit a lot into the garment bag, particularly if you are wearing suits or if you are wearing more formal-type clothing. You want to put them into a garment bag because it would protect them better and you'll also experience less wrinkling. What are the disadvantages is that they don't have wheels on them typically, so they can be a little more difficult to carry around and some of the limited space such as putting shoes into them and some of your ancillary items, you might not find as much room in those so you would definitely probably need another bag when you're traveling with a garment bag.
What is a 'satchel bag'?
A satchel bag is typically something like a duffel bag but it is a little bit more structured than a duffel bag. It is still loose fitting and what happens is you zip it open from the top. And what's neat is they have dividers in it so that you can put your clothes in different dividers. It is also something that you can put your clothes in loosely. And it's a very casual type of loose bag typically that's easy to carry.
What are the advantages and disadvantages of a satchel bag?
The advantages of a satchel bag is that they're easy. They're very nice, you can just basically throw your items into the bag. And the ones with the dividers are real nice because then you can divide your jeans, you can divide your T-shirts, your socks, and shoes into different compartments within the bag. They're very easy, they're somewhat unstructured, so they're easy to carry with you. A lot of times they have a shoulder strap, so you can put them right on your shoulder. But one of the disadvantages is that your clothes tend to get wrinkled. And if you have more formal clothes, if you have suits and so forth, then you're probably not going to want to use a satchel, because those will get wrinkled.
What is a 'duffel bag'?
A duffel bag is similar to a satchel bag, however they are usually a bit longer. It's those bags that you typically see used by the military. and you can fit a lot of nice items into them. One of the things that is different from a satchel bag is instead of zippering across the top, they usually have a top where you just load the items and you load them down. So you can fit a lot of items into them and they are very easy to carry around. They are very unstructured and typically made out of some sort of fabric.
What are the advantages and disadvantages of a duffle bag?
One of the nice advantages of the duffel bag is that you can fit a lot of items into them. You basically can just cramp them right on down into the bag. The bag is made out of fabric, so it expands somewhat. They're very good if you have a lot of items. However, the disadvantage is that your items are going to get wrinkled. You want to pack the more casual type of items. Again, you want to put jeans into them, maybe t-shirts. You don't want to put a suit into a duffel bag because that will come out very wrinkled. If you have a lot of items and you want to be able to pack them into one bag, those are very nice to use.
What is a 'roller board'?
One of the most popular type of luggage that people have these days, is what they call a roller board and basically what that is, is a suitcase on wheels. And what's nice about them is they have a handle so you can just carry them along real nice with you. The other thing is they tend to be a little bit more structured on the side. So that will protect your clothing. But basically, it's a suitcase on wheels.
What are the advantages and disadvantages of a roller board?
One of the things that makes rollerboards so popular is their ease of use. There just something that people can just role right along with them as they go around through the airport. The other thing is, is that they can fit a fair amount of clothes within the bags. The most common size is a 22 inch rollerboard and that, typically, can hold up to 3 or 4 days worth of travel – so that's very popular thing for a lot of people and the structured size also help your clothes from wrinkling and many of them have a garment bag inside. So if you do have items that need to be hung, you can actually use the garment bag inside and that will protect them a little bit as well. The disadvantages of the rollerboard are some what limited – they are very popular and the reason why is their easy to use. They do come in different sizes, but the most popular is the 22 inch but you can get them up to 48 inches. The only disadvantage is sometimes that maybe your clothes will come out wrinkled but it's one piece of luggage I do recommend because it does make your travels very convenient.