2-wheel Rolling or 4-wheel Spinner Luggage

luggage with plane behindOne of the decisions you’ll need to make when buying luggage today is: should I buy 2-wheel(rolling) or 4-wheel(spinner) luggage?  There’s no right answer, only personal preference.

Spinner luggage has 4 wheels that ‘spin’ in all directions, making them very easy to roll on most surfaces.  Rolling luggage has 2 wheels that you tip back and roll behind you.  Rolling bags, when introduced 20 years, all but revolutionized the luggage industry.

Here are some of the pros and cons of both:

 2-wheel Rolling Luggage:

  • 2-wheelers  tip back and roll, which is necessary on surfaces that aren’t completely flat (like the airport terminal).  If you will be taking luggage on carpeted or uneven surfaces a lot, take heed.
  • The wheels are mostly recessed into the body of the bag, which protect them more and give a little extra length, important for carry-ons that need to fit in the overhead bin.
  • 2-wheelers will need to be packed more thoughtfully.  Many will tip when standing if the bag contents are unevenly packed, which can be really annoying.

4-wheel Spinner Luggage:

  • On flat surfaces, spinners can’t be beat for easy maneuvering.   It amazes me how little effort it takes to guide a fully-packed back along.  The best is being able to turn the bag sideways and roll it down the aisle of the airplane to your seat.
  • Spinners do roll away from you, though.  Just like a runaway shopping cart in the parking lot of a grocery store, you have to make sure your spinner bag is anchored on surfaces that aren’t flat, like in line on a jetway waiting to board.
  • For larger (and presumably heavier) bags, the weight starts to cut down the ability of the bag to just glide along, especially on thickly carpeted surfaces.
  • It’s sometimes harder with spinners to roll them across doorjams, on and off elevators or escalators.
  • The 4 wheels on a spinner are mounted on the outside of the bag, so can be an issue when using the overhead bins

Note for ALL wheeled luggage:  make sure the wheels are a good quality material.  They take a beating and along with the handles and zippers, are the parts of luggage most likely to give you trouble.

Make sure luggage wheels are inline skate construction and are made of polyurethane, which is a thick, bouncy sort of material that absorbs shock well.  Plastic wheels will break and rubber gives too much resistance when rolling.  Make sure the wheels are fastened with screws rather than rivets.  While the rivets may appear securely fastened, when they loosen and fall out (which they will), they’re not easily replaced, unlike screws which are easy to repair.

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Giving thanks in 2013

Thanksgiving 2013I left town early for the holidays, catching a flight yesterday to spend time with my family in California.  The airport was already filled with people doing the same – families heading home, military folks taking that long-awaited leave and business people that you could tell were beginning a well-deserved vacation week.

Thanksgiving truly is the best US holiday.  Waking up on Thanksgiving morning, there’s a certain peace that envelops you.  The day ahead holds good food, family and friends or maybe a little football;  you can take the dog for a long walk, volunteer serving dinner at a local shelter, or just relax.

It’s a Thursday – a day that would normally be filled with workday ‘busyness’ – where the pause button has been hit.  We have been given permission to stop, be grateful, connect and slow down for a day.

May your Thanksgiving be full of love, laughter and gratitude.

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Hardside or Softside luggage – which is best for you?

Turquoise Luggage, Pink Walls, White pantsIf you’re in the market for new luggage, you’ll need to decide between softside luggage (has some give) or  one of the molded hardside bags that are increasingly popular these days.  Just so you know, there really is no ‘right’ answer – they’re both great options.

In this post, my goal is to break down the pros and cons of each:

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Packing Cubes: 8 ways to use them

packing cubesOne of the most useful luggage accessories around are  packing cubes.  If you haven’t ever heard of them before, packing cubes are rectangular pouches that allow you to really keep your clothes and other items organized while travelling.  I just love them – my kids each have a set, I’ve given packing cubes as gifts and finally retired all the ziploc bags I used to use to tote things around.

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14 luggage and travel accessories that make great gifts

When you travel, it’s often the little things that make the biggest difference in comfort and convenience.  If you’re looking to send a gift, luggage and travel accessories are always welcome, and seem to be appreciated by all ages, from teens to seniors.

I’ve pulled together a list of some favorites, but it is by no means complete, so if you have a travel or luggage accessory you like, leave a comment and I’ll be sure to update the list for all to see:

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