Tuesday Tips: Shopping for Luggage
I'm going on vacation in a few weeks and so far it looks like my husband and I, along with our two daughters, will be stuffing our clothes into one small suitcase. We recently threw away a large bag that fell apart after many years of trips. I'm resisting going luggage shopping because it's hard to stomach paying a few hundred dollars for something that'll get manhandled the second we step foot in the airport. So I spoke with Lisa Lee Freeman, editor of ShopSmart magazine, to get some tips on making the right purchase:
Tip #1: Don't go the cheap route when buying luggage. This is one of a handful of items in your life where it really does make sense to shell out the big bucks for a good quality item. "If you cheap out, you may not be saving money because they rip and fall apart if they're not well made," Freeman says. "Buy a decent quality bag so you don't have to keep replacing it."
Tip #2: Don't assume that those hard shell suitcases are the most durable. ShopSmart, which is a sister publication of Consumer Reports, discovered that the toughest pieces of luggage were the bags made of heavy duty fabric. Their top picks for 22-inch carry-on bags were the Tumi Alpha, the Victorinox Mobilizer NXT 4.0 and the Hartman Stratum.
Tip #3: Take a spin around the store. You'll want to see what it's like to pull the luggage behind you for a few laps around the store. This little test will tell you if the bag tips over easily or bumps your heels as you walk. Also see if it'll stand up on its own without falling over. Unzip the bag to get a sense of how roomy it is.
Tip #4: If you're looking for a carry-on, make sure the bag you're buying fits the dimensions required by the airline you're flying. Freeman says their research revealed that many bags that advertised themselves as carry-ons were far bigger than what was generally allowed by the airlines.
Tip #6: Go for the odd color. You might get a better deal on a bag depending on the color you choose. Amazon.com's prices on the same bag varied about $10 between the black one and the blue one.
Tip #7: Shop around. The same bag had a wide range of prices online, from $148.90 to $167.
So what's your favorite piece of luggage? Who has the best deals? What do you look for when you're buying new luggage?
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