Traveling with a Suitcase or Backpack?

One of the hardest decisions you’ll have to make for your trip, after choosing where to go and what your budget will be, is what to take with you. Generally, most backpackers will tend to travel with a backpack (no surprises there), but if you’re traveling with a little more of a budget a suitcase might not always be the best decision for you.  If you’re looking for a comprehensive range of both suitcases and backpacks, In Luggage have a great collection of high quality products. There are a few things you’ll need to keep in mind when choosing what you’ll take with you and here are some suggestions to ensure you make the right decision.
Photo: "Suitcase" by Holly Lay

Photo: “Suitcase” by Holly Lay

 Will There Be a Lot of Steps and Stairs?
Many hotels, guesthouses and apartments in Asia and older buildings in Europe do not have lifts. Painfully dragging a suitcase up a number of flights of stairs is not fun, whereas a backpack is a lot easier to carry up the stairs. Most accommodation websites are transparent about whether there’s a lift or not, so if you do decide that a suitcase is for you, make sure you check in advance to save yourself a whole heap of discomfort.
How Easy Will it be to Get Stuff Out? 
When I was backpacking, I saw a number of fellow travellers struggle to get stuff out of their backpacks, that had one of those pull tops. If you want to take anything out of your bag that’s not in the top portion, you have to empty everything out and slowly remove it. This is a pain. Suitcases have the advantage of being able to zip right open, but they are not the only ones! There are a number of backpacks now that offer a zip around opening, making it easy to remove whatever you need without disturbing the bag. Make sure your pack or suitcase has this option so you don’t have to constantly unpack everything.
Photo: "Backpack" by davidd

Photo: “Backpack” by davidd

 What Are the Roads Like? 
One of my least fond memories with my suitcase was pulling it along very broken and disjointed roads in Bulgaria. It was a heavy suitcase, nearing on 30kgs and every pull seemed to be a struggle. The broken bits of rubble really prevented me from moving freely. If the roads are poor in the countries you’re planning to visit, a backpack might make your life easier or if you have the budget for it, just get a taxi. Places like Bali have poor roads, and small alleyways. I think navigating them with a backpack would be a nightmare.
Do You Have Back Problems?
I have a sore mid-to-lower back and sometimes wearing a backpack for long periods of time can aggravate it. I find that a suitcase is a lot easier to move around, and therefore reduces the impact on my back. Other injuries might be irritated by a backpack, so just keep this in mind.
Whether you decide between a backpack or a suitcase will depend on where you’re going, what your budget is and what kind of traveler you want to be. There is no right or wrong answer, but do take some time to consider what style of travel you’ll be doing and which will make it easiest!

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