How To Find The Best Travel Luggage For International Travel. My Comprehensive Overview

rolling Luggage

There are countless different types’ of luggage for, not only international travel, out there – hard shell, soft shell, rolling luggage,

best luggage for international travel
Phew, that’s a lot of luggage!

Lightweight suitcases, backpacks, carry-on bags, hand luggage, cabin luggage, bags for him or her, for girls and boys. Confusing right!

Let’s bring some light into what I would take on an international flight. What is it that you need to look out for? What is practical, durable and looks stylish at the same time. In short, how do I find the best Travel Luggage for international travel? And how about cool travel luggage for the kids?

Related post: The Best Carry On Backpacks Right Now

In this article, I will talk about some important features for great Travel luggage.

The Rolling Luggage

When I talk about practical, it means to me

  1. I don’t have to lift my heavy belongings
  2. I can get my bags from A to B with minimal effort
  3. I can move two suitcases at the same time

The best solution: Luggage on wheels – In my opinion, it’s a must-have. It ticks all the boxes regarding practicality and easy use.  Over the years, I have tried different types’ of things, but the rolling luggage has always worked brilliantly for me.

How Does Hard Shell Compare To Soft Shell Suitcases?

Hardshell suitcases seem to be sturdier than the soft shell version. Your belongings are better protected by the rough handling at airports. Have you ever watched how the luggage gets thrown into the plane? Arrgh …

Something to keep in mind for the hard shell version though is the weight. Softshell suitcases are in average 1- kilogram lighter than their hard shell counterparts. This weight difference can be crucial when flying abroad. The airline companies have got different weight restrictions on luggage which can vary between 23 – 33 kg per bag. So if you have to pack for a family with more than one child remember – every Kilogram counts.

Looking at the soft shell luggage, I have found that the quality regarding sturdiness, material, and longevity is excellent if you go with a high quality trusted brand. In most cases, you will get a warranty with your purchase as well. So make sure you get the best possible deal.

Here Is My Comparison Chart For My Top Lightweight Suitcases

My Top PicksBrandSizeWeightPriceRating (/10)Description
samsonite dk 3
Samsonite DK 3 Spinner
Samsonite25"15lbs$$9.5/10My #1 recommended suitcase. The Samsonite DK3 is a high-quality, durable, and a stylish yet practical suitcase.
victorinox avolve2 27"
Victorinox Avolve 2
Victorinox27"9.8lbs$$$9/10My runners up, the Victorinox Avolve is a spacious ultralighweight suitcase that comes with a TSA approved lock and a 10-year warranty. It is a bit pricier than the other suitcases
skyway mirage ultra light 28"
Skyway Luggage Superlight
Skyway Luggage28"11.8lbs$8.5/10The Skyway Luggage Mirage is an an excellent choice when looking for a bigger-sized lightweight suitcase with lots of packing space.
It Ultra light luggage 26"
It Luggage Megalite
IT Luggage26"6.8lbs$$8/10This IT Luggage is megalight and therefore gives you lots of packing space for your next holiday.
American Tourister Ilite Max 25"
American Tourister Ilite Max
American Tourister25"9.6"$8/10The American Tourister offers great value for money, is durable, easy to roll and offers 5 different colors.
Read more about each suitcase on my review page.

Does Size Matter?

Well, it does. You can choose between small (39-41cm/ 16inch), medium (59-61cm/21inch) or big (71-77cm/30inch).

What also matters is the capacity or volume of your suitcase that means how much stuff you can pack. I compared two medium sized hard shell and soft shell bags: The hard shell version had an average of over 20 liters more capacity. On the other hand, the soft-sided suitcase is more flexible because of the material, so you can fit more in.

Some soft-sided suitcases are also expandable to allow for more packing space. They are also easier to fit into more compact spaces.

The smaller sized suitcases are an excellent choice as hand luggage and carry-on luggage. They are certainly big enough for a weekend getaway.  I am always amazed by how much you can fit into these smaller sized bags.

Read more about The Best Carry On Luggage.

But if you go on a vacation with your family you need much more to pack. Of course, you would need a medium or big sized suitcase. If you choose the largest size of 31inch, you need to be careful of not to pack over the limit. 

That has happened to me. I thought that a big size suitcase would be marvelous to take on our trip to Europe. On the way there it was all good. No weight issues at the check-in counter. I had only 20 kg in there. But on the return flight, it was an entirely different story.

You can imagine after a long holiday the things you have bought while traveling. Souvenirs, gifts, new clothing, chocolate and other goodies, the list goes on. Well, at the check-in in turns out I had 10 kg too much in my bag. What a hassle of unpacking and repacking in the middle of an airport!

The moral of the story is: it is very tempting to pack too much into your big sized suitcase. So my advice would be to choose a medium sized one from 25″ up to 28″ the most.

This way you are more likely to pack light and practical. The chances are that you avoid any trouble of carrying too much.


TSA Locks

When you go to the United States, keep in mind that the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) requires access to your luggage without the passenger being present. That gives you

Travel Sentry TSA lock
Travel Sentry TSA lock

the choice of a) leave your luggage unlocked or b) to secure it with a TSA approved lock.

If you use a non-approved lock, you may risk that your luggage could be damaged by the authorities when they try to open it.

You can buy luggage with a built-in TSA lock or use a combination padlock with a Travel Sentry TSA lock system. You can easily recognize them by a red diamond sign. To get more information regarding TSA locks, you can click here.

Putting It All Together

Overall my personal choice would be a lightweight, soft shell, medium-sized suitcase on wheels for your international travel. Invest a bit more money and buy a quality brand that gives you a few years warranty on your suitcase. This way you will have luggage that

  • is practical
  • is easy to handle and move around
  • has a high durability
  • has a high packing capacity
  • is flexible so that you can pack more
  • easy to fit into more compact spaces

To find out more go to my personal review page for my top travel luggage choices.


How About Cool Travel Luggage For Children?

When you travel as a family, encourage your children to carry their own luggage. It is fun for them and gives them a good amount of responsibility as well as feeling more independent.

There is an enormous variety out there for your little darlings, no matter what age they are. Even a two-year-old toddler can carry his backpack.

2015-08-03 09.49.33
My three kids before check-in

When I traveled with my three children they all had a  backpack to bring on the board of the airplane and a 41cm (16inch) trolley case as check-in luggage. My 10- year- old son got a medium sized suitcase since he was tall enough to handle it with ease.

All three were in charge to pack their bags (with my help of course: otherwise you might end up with five teddy bears and no shirts in the bag) and in looking after their belongings. They were so proud of themselves. It was great to watch how they took on ownership. Weeks before we even went on our holiday they were packing and unpacking and packing again.

On my review page, I will talk about my top five gorgeous luggage for girls and cool luggage for boys. It sure guarantees a lot of fun for you and your children.

 

What are your personal preferences in regards to luggage for yourself and your kids? What has worked for you in the past? If you have any recommendations, tips our questions, please leave a comment in the box below. I appreciate your feedback.

 


 funtravelingwithkids.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn a commission by advertising and linking to Amazon properties including, but not limited to, amazon.com.  Amazon offers a small commission on products sold through their affiliate links.

 If  funtravelingwithkids.com links to an Amazon product (with a special code for affiliates embedded in the link) and you buy this item or any other product, funtravelingwithkids.com will get a small percentage of the sale. 

The product will cost the same either way if you make a purchase through an affiliate or non-affiliate link.

Written By
More from Anke

Top Things To Do With Kids In Kansai – Japan’s Cultural Heart

Japan is a destination that is still on our bucket list for...
Read More

6 Comments

  • I love how you use conversation speak to write. It make your article more lively and easy to follow. It is also very thorough with great facts, which adds a great amount of credibility. Comparisons are also a great credibility booster which you have as well. This really is a comprehensive guide and the knowledge gained is A+. Great job.

    • Thank you, Jazleigh, for your positive feedback. I am glad that you found my article helpful. Best regards from Anke

  • I find the larger the suitcase, the more I feel the need to fill it. If I’m traveling by air, I go with the small case. It’s easier to get on and off the plane, and I don’t have to worry if it fits or the ridiculously small test frames at the airport. Then again, our trips are domestic flights. The rules may be different for international flights.

    Still, I imagine (other than passport), my travel needs would be the same regardless of international vs domestic. If I knew I’d be bringing quite a bit back, I’d likely go with the larger case though. I’d aim at packing light to leave room for my goodies.

    And roller… it’s a must! I love the new rolling cases that you don’t have to tip. Ingenious!

    • Hello Renee, thanks so much for your comment. I agree, the travel needs are the same regardless off international or domestic flights. It is a good point to leave some room in your luggage for all your purchases on your holiday. Best regards Anke

  • Hello!
    This is such a useful website! Travelling with kids can be a nightmare! I have travelled many times back and forth from Australia to the UK with my kids and forward planning is key. When it comes to luggage-my favourite is the lightest. I love my Sub Zero luggage but it is a bit on the pricey side so I was very happy to see IT Luggage come out with a similar style and a cheaper price.
    Best of luck with your site!
    Kat 🙂

    • Hello Kat, thank you so much for taking the time to comment. I am still in the process of reviewing luggage for adults/parents. I will definitely check out Sub Zero. Thanks for the tip. Best regards Anke

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *