Backpack or suitcase?

When planning a holiday, one of the first questions that you have to ask yourself is what type of luggage you will bring. Finding the perfect bag can take some time and patience, but it's usually worth the effort. Here we weigh up pros and cons to help you decide whether to bring a backpack or a suitcase.

Should you travel with a backpack or a suitcase?

Backpack - the pros and cons

Travelling with a backpack has lots of advantages. Soft bags are by their nature more flexible, making them handy for squashing onto luggage racks on buses and trains.

They are also convenient if you plan to do much walking with your bag - whether this be hiking in the mountains or walking between train stations and your hotel. Wheeled suitcases can be a major inconvenience in busy cities - especially when hopping on and off public transport - but a backpack may be barely noticeable (if you've managed to pack lightly, that is!).

The major downside about carrying a backpack is that it can be uncomfortable, particular if your bag is heavy. If you struggle with the weight, it may not allow you the mobility that backpacks are normally associated with.

In addition, some airlines insist that you check soft bags as "oversize luggage". This doesn't cost extra (unless your bag is really oversized), but it is a bit of an inconvenience to have to queue twice at the airport.

Suitcases - the pros and cons

The major advantage of suitcases is that they are wheeled, making it easy to travel with them from one place to another without much physical exertion.

They are particularly convenient for flying, as they can be checked in with minimum hassle, are hard-shelled so as to protect your belongings with in transit, and can easily be pulled off the luggage trolley. However, for reasons described above, they are not the most convenient choice if you're doing a lot of overland travel via public transport.

Ultimately, the choice between a backpack or a suitcase largely depends on the type of holiday you plan to take.

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