“Here, bring it here, Kath,” my husband said as he pulled a suitcase off the shelf. I looked around furtively and rolled the bag over to where he was opening the new one. The zipper on my suitcase was gaping open, never to close again, and there was no time to get another, except here. It was 8:30 pm; we were leaving Kauai for another two weeks in the South Pacific at 8: 00 am the next morning. He pulled shirts, shorts, unmentionables, and beauty implements out of the broken container and stuffed them into the new one. When finished, he placed the broken bag in the empty slot left by the fresh one and we rolled to the cashier. The store, which shall remain unnamed, is a mass market retailer known for its low prices and low quality of merchandise. It was the only place to buy a suitcase at that time of day.
The consequence of saving money on luggage is: we were moving our private things from one bag to another in a public place. With two more hard weeks of travel, the bag got us home without mishap. Eventually, the wheel exploded and it now resides in a landfill, somewhere in California.
We threw the dice by buying that bag and it was a nagging worry for the rest of the trip. Saving money on luggage has diminishing returns. There are places to save money when traveling; there are places to pay for quality.
Your luggage is your travel tool.
One thing I like about men is they won’t use tools that don’t work.
Is that $35.00 suitcase a bargain or good value? How many trips do you expect to get before a wheel shatters or a clasp breaks? How many times will it sit at the bottom of the pile on an airlines baggage cart, going from terminal to the airplane and back? How long will it last on top of a bus in Panama? Have you ever looked out your airplane window and seen someone’s clothing all over the pavement? I have. Thank goodness, it wasn’t my stuff.
Lessons Learned: Don’t buy cheap luggage, spend as much as you possibly can on the best quality you can afford. Like a cheap car, cut-rate suitcases won’t last over the long haul.
There are plenty of things to think about on a trip. Worrying about wither your luggage will fall apart is not necessary, save your brain power for higher level thinking.
Now, you don’t have to learn this lesson for yourself.
The thing I like about shopping on line is you can spend time looking at different options without a sales person distracting you. I’ll write more about that in another post.
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Have you had any luggage adventures that’s funny now? Let me know if you’ve had a similar experience.