Don't do it.
When was the last time you wore that sweater?
Yep. That's what we thought.
Put it down and step away from the suitcase. You're preparing for a 4-day trip with the in-laws, and you're trying to fit your entire life into the biggest suitcase you own.
Well, you can stop that right now.
It doesn't matter whether you're going for one day or for fifteen. Traveling can be an incredibly stressful experience.
Trying to think of everything you could need while you're away, along with making sure you have all your important documents with you can make your head spin.
It'll make you want to forget the whole thing, kick off your shoes, and sit in quiet rebellion on the sofa.
Hold off on the shoe-kicking for a little bit longer, though, because we can help.
Choosing the right luggage size for your trip can be a daunting task, so we've compiled some of the best advice to help you make your decision.
Find a moment of calm in the stress of travel preparation and read on to find out how to choose the right suitcase size for your journey.
Duration, Duration, Duration
The first thing to consider when you're deciding what size luggage you need is how long you're going to be away.
If you're going on a weekend trip, you don't need a beast of a suitcase. You'll end up either taking way more than you need, or you'll run the risk of damaging what you do take by leaving it to rattle around in there like loose change.
The most practical option for a weekend getaway is either a backpack or a duffel bag.
The good news is, duffel bags long ago moved beyond simply acting as a vessel for our stinky gym clothes and now serve as the perfect bag for a weekend away.
Plus, you don't need to worry about getting a stiff shoulder from lugging your duffel bag around. Someone super smart thought to put wheels on them, too!
There are plenty of duffel bags out there that will strike a balance between carrying everything you need on your trip and making it easy to move it all.
On the flip side, if you're off on a 4-week trip to Australia, you're going to need a bit more space than the standard duffel bag will allow.
In this case, opt for a larger luggage size that will give you space for at least a week's worth of clothing and toiletries, but resist the temptation to take everything you own with you.
We get it. It's part of the curse of being human. Whenever we have extra space, we have a deep-seated need to fill it.
So, be honest with yourself. If you feel you're starting to bring more than you absolutely need, and you've still got plenty of space, dial it down a size.
Working Hard or Hardly Working
Next, it's important to consider what type of trip this is going to be.
Are you going on a long-awaited cruise or flying to a stressful business meeting? Perhaps you've decided to get in touch with nature and go camping?
Wherever you're headed, the kind of adventure you're going on not only affects the size of your suitcase from the standpoint of duration, but it also affects the features you'll need your bag to have.
For example, if you're going on a business trip, you're probably going to need a bag that allows for easy movement.
You'll want to keep any heavy-lifting right before your big presentation to an absolute minimum (hello wheels, so long sweat patches).
You'll also want something that makes getting to your laptop and other meeting essentials (pen, paper, etc.) quick and easy.
In this instance, if you're traveling light (and smart!), it's best to go for a small carry-on case (the general rule is usually to avoid anything over 22" x 14" x 9") that has a laptop compartment and plenty of pockets.
This gives you room for all your classiest suits as well as any other equipment essential for your success.
If you're embracing your wild side instead and going camping or backpacking, a giant hard-shell suitcase isn't going to be the most practical option.
It goes without saying that the best choice for you is probably going to be a backpack.
But how big do you need this backpack to be? Are you going hiking through the foothills of Mount Tibidabo or living in an RV for a week?
If you're not going to have anywhere to store your suitcase or backpack once you arrive, decide on one that you can manage on your own, with comfortable straps or wheels to avoid getting crushed under the weight of your own belongings.
No one wants that.
Follow the Suitcase Rules
The best advice that anyone can give with regards to suitcase size is this: check before you travel.
Airlines these days are really cracking down on excess baggage, and the last thing you need is to get stuck paying insane fees when you're just looking to enjoy a pain-free journey.
Keep in mind that what's true for one airline may not be true for another. To save yourself the hassle, always double check your luggage allowance for every flight before you've got yourself packed and ready to go.
In addition to checking the luggage allowance, save time and avoid stress by choosing a case that is an easily identifiable color or pattern. You don't want to lose your bag in a sea of smoke-colored Samsonite.
If you're looking for an even better way to make your case stand out from the crowd, you can add a truly personal touch with YourBag Tag.
Don't let picking a suitcase to weigh you down. The easiest way to make the right choice is, to be honest with yourself about where you're going and what you're going to need.
Put away that neglected sweater, forget "what if" and focus on the reality of now. As soon as you let go of everything that's unnecessary, you'll be able to find the right size suitcase and be on your merry way.
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