Monday, May 2, 2011

The Pefect Suitcase?



by Kate Collins

Having just taken two trips – one a ten day tour of Cuba, the other a long weekend for the Malice Domestic Mystery Writers’ Convention in Bethesda, Maryland – I’ve come to the conclusion that one of the most important ingredients of a successful trip is having the perfect suitcase. Sound silly? Let me make my case.

On my trip to Cuba, my baggage was limited to forty pounds, so I took a small carry-on and a small Hartman suitcase. I underpacked and suffered for it, allowing myself only four tops, three pairs of capris, and a dress for our two formal nights. Boy, did I get sick of wearing the same things over and over. That, combined with having only one sweater, and that one not nearly warm enough, and a single pair of dress shoes (that I’d forgotten gave me blisters) was actually stressful.

My friend and Cuba roommate, Marilou, took a larger case, a Samsonite, and had an enviable amount of room. I liked it so much that for my trip to Maryland, I bought the same Samsonite. What a difference! Not that I want to be an advertisement for Samsonite, because I did see other brands of the same size, but with that bag, I had space for dressy outfits for the entire four day trip, including formal night, plus shoes for all occasions, plus my book promotion materials, plus cosmetics, pjs, undergarments, and still had room to spare. Honestly, it made my stay more enjoyable.

Okay, be frank. Do you think that’s silly? Have you found the perfect suitcase?

17 comments:

Cielle said...

Which Samsonite was it? I'm still searching for the perfect suitcase. My parents had a set of Samsonite for years and years until the large one came loose from the roof rack on the way back from a trip from Disneyland. Must have been 30 years ago, but I can clearly remember our clothes blowing across the highway.

Tonya Kappes said...

I'm always looking for great luggage. I did get some YEARS ago for a wedding gift, but they have come a long whay since then. I think a good suitcase is worth its weight in gold.

Lori said...

Without being an advertisement, can you give us an idea of which Samsonite it is?? Please.

Aurian said...

I have a small suitcase for a weekend, and a enormous one for a week. I need the room to take all those books with me ;).
But I do agree, the right suitcase, big enough and still manageable is very important.

Maggie Sefton said...

I'm a believer, Kate. I switched to a Samsonite spinner with 360 degree wheels on bottom, so I don't have to pull it behind me----I can push it forward, backward and sideways. I was hooked from that moment on. Since I travel on airlines almost every month, I need things that make travel easier. And being able to push not pull a suitcase along floors, carpets, cement makes my travel life simpler. So, I "never leave home without it."

Kate Collins said...

I threw out the literature that came with my suitcase, but on the back I did see a label that said Samsonite 1910. It's not their largest, but it's definitely large and advertised as lightweight, which it is!
Maggie, I have a smaller carryon with the 360 wheels and love it.

Vickie said...

I have a HUGE suitcase that I've had since I was active duty Air Force. It's a Samsonite...it's my favorite for 'Spa Week' (what we call our annual family reunion). It's huge, takes up a lot of room in the car, but I love it. Plenty of room for clothes, shoes and books.
I would love to be like my much more organized sister who packs a duffel each for her, the two boys and her husband. I'm still working on learning how to accessorize to make a few items of clothing all I need. And maybe get a Nook for all those books....

Mo said...

I travel a lot for work and having the right suitcase makes it all so much easier. I too love my Samsonite. The length and purpose of my business trips vary so I have suitcases in 4 sizes to use. The smallest is a combination laptop bag and overnighter that works for 1 or 2 nights. The biggest I just took to Malice. It went down half full and came home bulging. It was great to meet you Cozy Chicks in person and I love my wicked cool pink goody bag .

CindyD said...

I've had an American Tourister carryon for nine years that I loved. I could pack enough for a week in it. But one of the wheels came apart on our last trip (thank goodness not till our flight home). Will look at your Samsonite!

signlady217 said...

We're in the beginning stages of shopping for new suitcases. One of my "must-haves" is the 360 degree wheels; that has to be so much better! Most of our trips seem to be for a week; some of them all casual and some a mix of casual and semi-dressy. We rarely go anywhere for just one or two nights. So it seems we really just need two large suitcases, not a whole set.

I'm wondering does anybody use the Space Bags in their suitcase? If so, how does that seem to work for you?

Kate Collins said...

Is the space bag the plastic bag you have to squeeze the air from? I used a big one on two trips to Europe, for bulky sweaters, but the bag gave out after 2 trips. Now I just stack my clothes in two large piles and then roll them up.
Any other space-saving anti-wrinkling tips out there?

RosieJo said...

You got to tour Cuba?!?! I thought it was still off-limits to Americans. I'm so jealous. I would have gone, too!!

cyn209 said...

i'm a pretty good packer & w/airlines now charging for checking in luggage, i'm known to now stuff as much as possible into a carry-on....i'll resort to wearing some of my clothes in layers (have yet to do that!!) if i have to, to avoid having to check in a bag & pay for it!!!!!!!!!

Sarita said...

I don't have the perfect suitcase. Maybe someday...

Glad your trip went well.

driving lessons Gloucester said...

I'm happy to read that you have a great trip. It's hard to find a suitcase that will match with your personality. Be Patient.

Rita B said...

No and I say again..no it's not silly. The right suitcase for the trip is very important. Have one that hubby and I use when we spend a night with our grandkids. Ant 2 other sizes to use and the need fits.

Linda McDonald said...

This sounds like a great suitcase. I think I'll look into it. The luggage we currently have is old and nothing special.