Backpacks vs. Suitcases | Travel Guide


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Backpacks Versus Suitcases

Ok so you are planning to travel, and considering taking a suitcase:

Advantages of a suitcase are: easy access to the contents, less likely to get caught in baggage conveyors, easier to store, great in airports and hotels when the little wheels touch down and smoothly roll on the concourse floors.

Disadvantages You can't carry most suitcases for more than a few minutes. This is the main and most important disadvantage. From the point you decide to take a suitcase instead of a backpack you are tied to taking taxis, cars, booking your hotels and hostels in advance. You lose freedom. This is the advantage of a backpack and for the independent traveller freedom is one of the most important features of the journey.

What to look for in a backpack.

One of the biggest problems with backpacks is that they get your back really sweaty. So look for one with good capacity and straps or a frame, which allow a gap between your back and the backpack.

Some of the convenience of a suitcase can be regained by having an un-zippable front to your pack. Have a look at Mac packs. (link to follow)


A good daypack is as important as your backpack. This is bag that you will be using even more than your backpack. Get a daypack that you can strap to your front whilst wearing your main pack. Ok, you become a beast of burden, but you want to be able to carry both bags if you need to.

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