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Good luggage? And other travel things


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We really need new luggage. Ours was purchased in 1999, and lots of trips and 4 kids later it needs to be replaced. What is good? We need luggage for flying (both carry on and checked) and also for road trips.


Also, we are going on our first ever overseas trip. Anything that we should purchase for the kids for Christmas to make the plane ride better? Dh thinks headphones and a neck pillow. We might get them a couple of 3ds to share if I can find a good deal. Other suggestions?

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I used to buy top-notch luggage but when it got stolen and i had to replace it, I asked the flight attendants what to get.  They said THEY get the least expensive they can find.  It all breaks, and you are less of a target for thieves.  The expensive suitcase that got stolen would have been $300 to replace...but the contents tallied over $1000.  It would have been better to have a $100 suitcase and not be a target.  


Get one at Tuesday Morning or one of those outlet stores...Ross, whatever.  Or get one used on eBay.  


I have had my last suitcase for 10+ years and love it because it fits everywhere, has a handle at every possible location, is lightweight in and of itself, it straps tight on the outside to keep contents stable, and is fully guaranteed by Eagle Creek.  Between trips, I keep this in my office where it won't get swiped by family members who will remain anonymous.  (Get your own.)  Eagle Creek doesn't sell this particular model anymore, but it is like this new one, but with fewer pockets and fancy features, and a double-stemmed handle.  http://shop.eaglecreek.com/load-warrior-international-carryon/d/1515C1573?CategoryId=1171&Sizes=Carry-On


I paid $115 for it on sale a long time ago.  


As for traveling in Europe, I did so for three weeks with one suitcase this size--always carried it on when I was city-hopping, always checked it for the long flights.  To make it easy on yourself and your kids, travel as light as you can.  Get quick-dry underwear that you can wash in the sink in the evening.  Wear dark colors that don't show the dirt.  Wear dark shoes, and ones that are good for walking, dark socks, dark britches/skirts.  Go binary.  Black and white.  Black and gray.  Black and red.  Black and you name it.  Everything in your suitcase should go with everything else.  Under-pack.  If you are going to one place and staying there, this is less important, but I was doing business presentations for one week and traveling for pleasure the other two, and all that gear fit in that suitcase and my backpack.  (I pack a purse for the business week.)  


Make sure the wheels (if you get a wheelie) are big.  Little wheels get stuck in old-fashioned (think cobblestone) streets and sidewalks.  While I like the four-wheeled straight-up suitcases for travel in between airports and car rental agencies, where the path is smooth, I like the two-wheel when you are walking to train stations, on city streets, and so on.  If you think you will do a lot of walking, it is helpful to be able to attach additional bags to the wheelie, so *it* can do the carrying.  My smaller carry-on has a strap that slides over the wheelie handle and rests atop it, so walking through airports is a breeze and much easier on my back.  

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I like my Travelpro carry-ons. I have two 22" Expandable Spinners (one is a Crew10, the other a Crew11 model). One I purchased last year, while the other was a recent replacement when the airline tore a wheel off my 12+ year old regular Rollaboard Travelpro when I checked it. These newer models fit into overhead bins easily, but they expand so if you need to pack more you can and then check it instead. We've used Travelpro for years--great products, can get repaired if need be (unlike cheaper brands that are trash if you break a piece such as the zipper or wheel), very durable.

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Make sure the kids have backpacks for their stuff, snacks and pjs in case of flight issues. On our last big trip we traveled with one less suitcase than people which was helpful for juggling check-in, bathroom stops, carrying random other bags of purchases, etc. Pillows are so bulky, and occasionally provided in overseas flights. I would have everybody pack a pullover in their carryon that could do pillow duty if needed.


So new backpacks and lightweight, smallish refillable water bottles might be good gifts.

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depends upon budget.

briggs and riley has a lifetime warranty - including airline damage.  my mother bought a 29" USED! from her neighbor - my dd took it back and forth across the country to school (2 - 3 flights per trip back and forth), then to south america for 18  months (with traveling while there), back to school.  I think I had the zipper pull fixed (for free).   then my son took it with him . . .  it's still going strong.

I've since bought another one used.


I like costco's kirkland signature (only available online.  I bought one for dh 'cause he kept taking ds's travelpro.)  the link is to the bag on amazon. (costco is cheaper)


I rarely pay retail -sale price (which is usually what it *should* cost regularly).  I prowl craigslist, tjmaxx, marshalls, etc.   I know exactly what features I'm looking for.  (handle inside, they're prone to damage - except B&R becasue of their warranty)  swivel wheels are a  real benefit.,  expandable, suiter,  etc.

pay attention to balance.   when it's loaded, and you have to stand it up - you do not want it falling over.

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