Now that I’ve shown you how to pack, the next step is to find a good piece of luggage. Ok stop right there. I saw you looking at that giant suitcase. Lets talk about Roller Bag VS Backpack.
Here’s what I know about roller bags. Roller bags come in many different sizes. Some are small enough to carry on your flight. They come with many different colors and accessories. They have wheels so you can drag it behind you or push it in front of you. It also comes with a convenient handle so you can pull it behind you while you walk, making it easy to transport. I used to have a cute bag like this. My first roller bag was a present. I used it a couple of times before I decided to stop using it.
Those were all the pro’s of this type of bag. However, I firmly believe that this type of luggage is only suitable for someone who is not traveling long-term. In fact, I believe if you’re not going to do any significant amount of walking, take this type of bag. I mean, if you have your hotel booked and all you’re going to do is lay by the hotel pool all weekend and not travel outside of said hotel, by all means, this is the bag for you. I’m not “knocking” it. There are fully sustainable luxury resorts that have many restaurants, many pool set-ups, spas, shops, lounges, golf clubs and such that will allow you to stay on hotel grounds your entire trip. If this is the trip you’re taking. This bag is good. If it’s not then keep on reading!
Cons of a Roller Bag
Lets talk about the cons for this type of bag. The cute and ergonomic handle these bags have will often break. If the handle breaks, you will be stuck carrying this uncomfortable and heavy large rectangle like a baby in your arms. Not cute.
These types of bags make walking feel like having a beautiful purring kitty… If that kitty was walking between your legs as you walked down the stairs and feared for your life like every last step was your actual last step, then yes. These roller bags, at least in my case never have a handle long enough to avoid hitting my ankles. Every third step I take is like a jab to my Achilles heel. Trying to compensate for this only makes my bag flip over. Now I can’t roll it because I have to make sure it’s on its wheels and then start over.
If you have arranged transportation from the airport, like a car service or a taxi this bag is good. If you like the budget way of travel, like me, and like to take public transportation, which requires walking, make sure you don’t have to go uphill, downhill or take any stairs. Not only can your bag roll downhill but pulling it up the stairs can be difficult and annoying. If you’re following friends, family or loved ones up the stairs and they’re fast walkers, just tell them you’re going to meet them there. This is not a bag for fast walkers. I once saw a lady pulling this bag up a staircase as I started climbing the stairs. As she got to the top she let the handle go and it came flying down hitting every step. Luckily it landed a few steps before it got to my face.
If you’re traveling around Europe cobblestones become your worst enemy. Each cobblestone is like a small bomb that keeps that bag from rolling correctly. Women, don’t wear heals in cobblestone and don’t take a roller bag!
The great thing about having it roll behind you is the convenience factor. Unless of course, you need both hands to do something, like open a heavy hotel/hostel door. Perhaps you decided to buy food before getting to your hotel. Well you’re going to have to wait until you’ve checked in. You already have one hand on your roller bag handle. Unless you have a third arm to help you eat, drink and roll your bag that I don’t know about (not judging, third arms can be sexy.)
However, these bags have gone a long way. They make them sturdy and out of hard plastic. In that case, if your bag does roll down the stairs, or flips over every time you walk, or hits your angle, it will protect everything inside. This will also keep the wear and tear at bay.
Lets start with the cons. Many, if not all backpacks are made of cloth. Sometimes sturdy, thick cloth. Other times, thin and flimsy cloth. This means, they can tear easily. If your backpack tears during a long trip and gets a hole in it. Chances are this hole will get bigger. If the hole gets bigger, items may fall out or it can result in not having a useful backpack whatsoever. Considering that backpacks are made of cloth if you spill something on it, your items may get wet. If it rains, you’re pretty much screwed.
Some backpacks don’t have zippers like luggage does. This means locking them impossible. If you’re in a hostel environment anyone can open your backpack.
Pro’s of a Backpack
What about the pros? I just mentioned a bunch of bad things about backpacks, but these problems are getting better. These days, many backpacks are water and weather resistant. I have one as well and it works great in the rain. Also my backpack is sturdy enough and won’t tear easily. There’s no need to worry. Unlike some backpacks that open at the top with a draw string, my backpack opens like a duffel bag, with a zipper running its entire length. It makes it so everything is easily accessible. Also depending on your travel pack, like the one I have, you can get one with two zippers. This means you can easily lock it with a travel lock. Not to mention most hostels have a safety locker to put your things. However, If your pack is too big, it might not fit.
There are many great things about owning a backpack. They fit a lot of things. You’re hands free since it’s on your back. They’re also designed to be extremely ergonomically correct. Packs come with lots of padding, adjustable straps, spinal protection, and perforated sections to let your back breathe. All packs come with shoulder straps but some come with side straps to distribute the weight while you walk around. This means, it doesn’t matter how heavy it is, you hardly feel it.
If you’re looking for something similar I’ve linked these images to Amazon. These are affiliate links, this means if you click on the image and decide to buy it, I will get a commission and you’ll be supporting my website! Just in case this is the link to a similar backpack on Amazon: http://amzn.to/2hFmQQx
With many side pockets and straps to hold things on the outside of the pack you’re pretty much set. Cobblestones? What are those? Stairs? Why would stairs be a problem. I mean, unless you have severe vertigo and are constantly falling over. You don’t have to worry about a backpack flipping over because you’re walking too fast or hitting your ankle.
Roller bag Vs Backpack? Which do I chose?
Backpacks are the way to go! Definitely. If you’re convinced you want a travel backpack, make sure to check out the article I wrote on choosing the right pack for you and what to look for.
Have any suggestions or more pros and cons on either? Feel free to chime in and leave me a comment.