It has been an incredibly long search. From countless hours spent online sifting, clicking and adding favorites to my list, to being out and about with my eye, mind (and heart) completely open, I started to feel so discouraged. Being swept off my feet by the perfect match just wasn’t going to happen anytime soon. I figured I might as well consider settling, because obviously I’m the one with the issue. There was just always something that wasn’t quite right…look, character, ease, staying power. The list goes on and I simply haven’t been able to commit.
Anyone who has ever bought luggage can commiserate with the difficulties of finding the perfect carry on. Seriously, shoot me now. Especially those frequent flyers out there. The search for The One is a tough and difficult one, but like love it can be done with a bit of effort and sacrifice. (Did you really think I was going to devote an entire blog post to finding my soulmate? haha)
Why so dramatic about luggage you ask? Well, I’ve traveled over 80k miles this year alone so I probably spend more time with my carry on than I do any individual person in my life. And because I have been traveling with broken luggage since June because I have refused to settle for anything less than perfection when it came to my carry on. It needed to meet all the needs on my list and look different than something a pilot would wheel around (black, boring and boxy).
As I stood in the cronut line in mid-june, my dear colleague and friend Carly went to pick up my luggage only to put the nail in the coffin of my handle.
Rather than buying anything that day, I went on approximately 10 round trips dragging my luggage behind me by holding onto one spoke. And yes my knuckles would be white by the time I arrived to the plane. Any normal person would probably have been embarrassed by this, but I was just that stubborn in my search for perfection.
So, in an effort to help someone, anyone, find the perfect piece of luggage quicker than I did, a few tips:
Ditch the spinners if you want more space. News alert, if you haven’t purchased luggage in a while then you’ll find out the hard way that carry on luggage is made smaller now. I know, wardrobe hearts breaking every where. And as trendy as the 4-wheel scoot around carry-ons are, they seriously take away from the precious amount of cubic inches available for actual packing as my roommate so perfectly pointed out. Opt for the 2-wheel and fit a couple more outfits (or shoes). Oh and the hard luggages is cool and durable but not expandable at all. Which is a bit of an issue when you’re packing for an 11-day trip to India in a carry on.
As much as my bank account wanted to punch me, I knew that paying anywhere from $350 up for retail luggage would just have to be something that I bit because you just can’t skimp out on luggage quality. And yes, I do understand how many books I could buy or great bottles of wine I could purchase with that money. However, no part of me was willing to swallow that chunk of change in luggage so I’ve kept my eye out for the bargain. Turns out that great luggage just like any other designer, goes on sale when it’s past its prime season. So the Tumi and Travel Pros of the world become less expensive (still expensive…but less so). However, if you’re a frequent flyer (or just don’t ever want to worry about dealing with luggage issues) it’s worth every penny.
Find something with a lifetime warranty or limited 10-year warranty at minimum. They’ll cover any damage that might happen to your piece of luggage. It makes you feel better about the purchase because if you can imagine yourself in a another decade still rolling it around, the price doesn’t feel quite as crappy.
When you think you’ve found something that might fit your needs, roll it around. Like seriously, how that baby feels dragging behind you is pretty important. And how you look dragging it matters too. Who wants to be seen with ugly luggage? Not this girl. Opening it up and imagining your necessities fitting nicely in the different compartments is always a plus. And you’ll end up finding the surprising little delights like a water-bottle holder that might just seal the deal for you. Plan to become new best friends with your sales rep, Emma, because that’s how much time you’ll need to spend feeling out the new carry on and rolling it around the entire luggage floor.
No person should have to go through their summer with busted luggage. But I made a choice to find the perfect piece and it was well worth it. As it will be my companion from San Francisco, to New York City and onto Delhi, finding the perfect 22″ matters. And searching for The One is no easy task. Hope this makes it a bit easier!