Friday, August 26, 2011

luggage: buying the good stuff

This post has been stewing around in my head since I got home in July.

Traveling 8-10 times a year is not much all...but its certainly more than I was doing a few years ago. And it's stressful enough without us worrying about whether or not our luggage will hold together

I got a cheap set of luggage in college right before I left on a two-week trip to Africa. It was a good first set of luggage, and I've used it for every trip since then (Jan '08). But three and a half years later and I'm finally convinced of what E has been telling me for years.

Quality is worth it.

While traveling in Italy every. single. piece of luggage we brought broke (pockets split in my duffel bag, every zipper broken on my suitcase, plus a wheel destroyed). I was paranoid the whole 22 hour trip home that a suitcase would fall apart and I'd lose all my souvenirs!

When I got home, thankfully with all of my belongings safe, I started researching luggage. And got pretty overwhelmed.

E is a big fan of the company Filson (he's a sucker for their tagline "Might as well have the best") and I have to admit that I'm ready to have the best. Here are a few pieces he would probably like:

(he already owns and loves his dispatch bag)

But they're a little too manly for me, especially if I'm traveling for work.

When I asked you guys on Twitter what luggage you'd buy if money was no object, I got a surprising number of responses for Louis Vuitton! It never occurred to me to look at LV luggage, but I was really looking for a workhorse, not a designer label.

Then it seemed like one other brand stood out - Tumi. I was impressed.
May I present, my luggage lusts:

Everett Essential Tote

Bedford Westley Weekender (this is a pipe dream as I know I'll never in good conscience be able to spend $900 on a weekend bag)

Alpha Wheeled expandable

Alpha International Zippered Expandable

Briggs & Riley also had some great options with a great warranty. (Thanks again to Kim for the recommendations!)

So now we're putting pennies in the piggy bank to save up for some really nice luggage.

What do you use when you travel? Do you buy throw-away luggage and replace it every couple years, or buy things to last?


The Less Than Domestic Goddess said...

We are huge Tumi fans! We have a few pieces that have lasted for MANY years. If you can, try and find a Tumi outlet. There are a few near L.A. Their discounts aren't that great, but sometimes they have good sales. Tumi is pricey, but definitely worth it in the long run.

I had a suitcase break badly on a London trip. It was awful! What do the luggage handlers do to our checked bags?!? Scary thought.

Geek in Heels said...

My husband and I hardly travel, so most of our luggage consists of hand-me-downs from our parents (and nothing matches!). That being said, IF we did travel often and IF we had the money, we would LOVE to get our hands on a handsome Tumi set. *swoon*

steph c said...

I've heard great things about Tumi - it's definitely high end, but if you're traveling often I'd say it's worth it! I couldn't even tell you what kind of luggage I have - it's basic, it's blue, and the suitcase expands (which is beyond amazing). But... it's slowly dying after almost 10 years (I don't travel all that often). I hope you can ultimately get what you want!

Laura said...

My folks bought my some luggage last year for my birthday. It wasn't super cheap but it wasn't expensive either. I travel maybe 5 times a year and it's starting to show the wear. Hopefully it will get us through the next 5 or so year so we can splurge on the good stuff. Those Tumi bags are beautiful. You'll be traveling in style!!

Shawnie said...

As a law school recruiter, I travel a LOT and I've had to buy new suitcase at least every 1.5 years. I really like my Swiss Army big roller bag - too big to use as a checked piece. I also have a Swiss Army carry on roller (smaller) that I love. I do not like roller bags with four wheels or spinners - definitely two-wheels only. I always complain that the law school should have to give me a luggage allowance! I'll check out the Tumi!

Newlyweds on a Budget said...

when you make your decision will you write about it and give it a review?

eric and i currently have one carry on piece. that's it. i steal, ahem, i mean BORROW, from my parents' whenever we need to go somewhere. but yeah...we need some luggage.

unknown said...

I wish I could travel frequently every year. If I did, Tumi would definitely be my go to luggage. My husband loves their products, and I bought him a messenger bag 4 years ago that still looks brand new with regular use. They often have sales online and specials through their email subscription. I have also frequently found them at Costco for a reduced price.

Natalie | Make Today Great said...

I have a samsonite that I love, I got it at the outlet and it has a 10-year warrantee. It isn't as pretty as a TUMI bag, but it works!

Anonymous said...

All our luggage are gifts, hand me downs, or discount store buys (like Marshalls, Ross, & TJ Max). They've lasted us for ages and we probably about 6 trips a year. Another place to consider. None of our pieces match though. So that's another thing to consider.

beka said...

I completely agree - and will also say, there is something to be said for luggage that you enjoy. I have a gorgeous pink suitcase (yes) with white swirls - it's easy to pick out and it rolls 360* and on its own. Takes so much weight off my shoulders to be able to push instead of pull it through airports and hotels. Good luggage makes the whole trip better.

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