If you pause think about it, your luggage bags only live for the holidays – they get packed up, checklist crossed and off you (and your luggage bag) go on your vacation and when you get back, you unpack and into the closet they go! Rather than just take up unnecessary space in your closet, here’s a few tips for you to get the most out of your luggage bags!
Buy a brand-name luggage bag.
Luggage bags come in a dizzying array of colour combinations, sizes and price points. All are made from a basic construction but only the brand-name ones employ durable materials that makes them last for many, many years of travel.Unfortunately, bumps and scrapes are parcel and package of life for a luggage bag, either through a turbulent in-flight bump or careless luggage handlers; a handle could be sheared off or a wheel knocked out of alignment.This is where buying brand-name counts as most big name in the business will have a warranty on their product or offer to repair it for a small fee in the case of negligence - just be sure to register yours and properly read through what’s covered and keep the warranty card safely filed away. If it’s a generic no-brand luggage bag, you’re pretty much left with a broken piece of luggage.
Sizing up your luggage.
Despite the smiling faces associated with the aviation industry commercials, many airlines aren’t very happy about you bringing excess luggage as extra weight costs the carriers money in the form of aviation fuel it takes to stay up in the air – this is also reflected in the surcharge for check-in luggage for low-cost carriers.So, if you’re fastidious about not paying an extra cent on your trip, you might want to consider getting a cabin compartment-friendly storage. Most manufacturers will indicate if their luggage fits the overhead luggage compartment just for this reason.Even if you are going to just check-in your luggage, do take note that there’s a weight limit for check-in luggage. Exceed that limit and be prepared to pay a surcharge. While there’s no size limit for check-in luggage, usually the bigger the luggage bag, the heavier they are. This is true even if the manufacturers employ exotic lightweight materials for their bags. Also, take note that the weight limit is for all your check-in luggage AND the bag.
Time to start packing.
Always pack the heaviest item at the bottom first – since most luggage bags have a clamshell design, the heaviest weight should be at the bottom (when open) and towards the wheels (when it’s being dragged along).
Storing the heaviest items at the bottom ensures that your clothes aren’t crumpled and your luggage bag doesn’t become top heavy and unstable when being dragged along. It’s also a good idea to store your toiletries in two zip-lock bags. This ensures that in the event that they do leak, your clothes and shoes aren’t covered in shampoo!You can now enlist the help of your bathroom scale by first weighing yourself (yes, we know, all of them lie) and then weighing yourself with your fully packed luggage. Subtract your weight and you get your luggage weight (no more surprises at the check-in counter).
Get the maintenance out of the way.
It’s usually better to get the maintenance chore out of the way during the off-season because if there’s a potential problem, you’re more likely to spot it and have ample time to send it back to the manufacturer for warranty or repairs - nothing is better at dampening your holiday mood than having to drag a heavy luggage bag with a dysfunctional wheel across 30 airport gates.However, if your bag make a squeaky sound or if the collapsible handle refuses to fold down smoothly, you could try some plastic-safe silicone oil spray (not the regular household penetrating lubricant made from petroleum distillates) on the wheel bushings, collapsible handle or hinges being careful NOT to get the silicone oil all over your entire luggage – it’s also a good idea to check with the manufacturer if that will void your warranty.
Putting your luggage bags to work.
Rather than lie dormant during the off-season, there’s a lot of prime real-estate in those luggage bags that can be utilised to stow anything from your clothes, shoes and even documents. While it’s not exactly ideal to store things in high-humidity environments as it’s not completely air-tight and not very breathable either, you could mitigate the problem by throwing in a couple of large capacity desiccant gels to absorb excess moisture and check it every few weeks. Alternatively, you could just pack them up and store them away in a climate-controlled self storage facility like ours – all you need to do is drag them over!