Travel Tuesday Presents: Backpack vs. SuitcaseWhether you’re a seasoned traveler or preparing to travel for the very first time there is one question that you will have to ask yourself… Am I a suitcase or backpack person?
Both have their benefits and we want to break it down for you plain and simple so that you can decide which option is actually the best for you.
Let’s start with our personal preference, Backpacking.
Traveling With a Backpack
Nothing screams adventure like sporting a travel pack on your back. Vagabond and freedom are two words that immediately come to mind, but what are the real benefits of traveling with a backpack vs. a suitcase?
There’s no denying that lugging a suitcase around behind you drastically diminishes the places you can feasibly go on your own. Wheels are meant for smooth surfaces and the world is not a very smooth place.
This is our number one reason for only traveling with backpacks. It gives us the freedom to go wherever our hearts desire without having to worry about a wheel breaking along the way.
Have you ever tried to pull a suitcase behind you farther than the distance from your terminal to the taxi?
It’s no fun. You inevitably favor one side for pulling and that imbalance can put a great deal of strain on your body. Traveling causes enough strain as it is without the added injury caused by towing your belongings behind you all day.
Traveling with just a backpack forces you to really think about what items you truly need. After all, they will be weighing you down for the duration of your trip.
Life on the road is filled with opportunities and having the freedom to simply “throw your life over your shoulders” and go opens up whole new opportunities for adventure that would be difficult to navigate with a suitcase in tow.
Traveling With a Suitcase
There’s no denying that suitcases are down right convenient. A roomy suitcase is a valuable asset to any traveler. When you’re in a hurry, you can just throw stuff in, zip it up and go. Everything is super easy to access. And, theres no burden on your shoulders for those long waits at the airport.
Remember when we mentioned the whole “throw your life over your shoulders” benefit of backpacking?
Well, it isn’t always as glamorous as that. Backpacks get heavy and can create a serious burden on your body when you have to wear one for hours on end. Suitcases give you the ability to relieve that burden when you need to. You can pick it up and carry it when necessary, but otherwise its just rolling smoothly behind you.
If there is one thing traveling has made us hate it is zippers…
Backpacks may offer mobility, but they come at the cost of being a nightmare to pack and unpack. Either you have to take everything out just to be able to access the one thing you wanted, or you have to unzip and zip back up every compartment searching for it.
Suitcases are easy to navigate. One zip and you can see all of your belongings, take out what you need, and zip it all away again.
Suitcases are designed to keep your belongings safe. If you have ever had to check a backpack at the airport before, then you know that having straps is an open invitation screaming to the airport employee “Toss Me!”.
Not to say suitcases don’t get tossed too, but they provide a lot more protection (especially hard cases) and in the long run will keep your belongings much safer.
Not to mention that backpacks, especially heavy ones, have a tendency to wear out a lot faster. Straps will rip, things will puncture through, and zippers will break. Standing on a busy street with all of your belongings spilled across the sidewalk is not exactly an ideal scenario. If you’re picking a backpack make sure you go for a well-made one. We love our Tortuga Outbreakers.
At the end of the day there are pros and cons to both options. If you are someone who desires freedom and adventure, a backpack is probably going to be your best friend. Whereas a suitcase will be better for those who want more comfort, space, and easy access to their belongings.
No matter what you choose, the only decision that really matters is where you’re going next!
Stay tuned next Tuesday for more #travel tips from those world adventurers Ali and TJ.
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