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Travel: To Roll or Not To Roll?

Probably ever since I injured my knee, I've been on the fence about rolling luggage.

Previously, I was hardcore "I didn't need wheels when I was in the Army, and I don't need them now!" Cue Tom Bihn and Red Oxx fixations.

However maybe it's a symptom of still not packing as light as I could be packing, but recently I've been mostly feeling, "Checking in my carry-on sized rolling luggage is good. Taxis are good." It could just be my bum knee talking, but honestly it's so much more convenient to have to deal with your luggage as little as possible, than to lug it around the entire airport (including restrooms and restaurants) and "have the freedom to" carry it all on your back/shoulder while you explore the city's public transit system/walking.

There are some caveats, though. At times you will need to travel via train or subway, and not all stations have elevators and/or escalators. But they will definitely have stairs. In these cases, it is much more of a breeze to go up and down the stairs with your luggage on your back vs. having to haul it by hand (or, if you don't care for your luggage much, to drag it step by step - I have seen this done!)

However, since those inconveniences are minor at worst, back to the benefits of wheeled luggage.

1. More security. Few non-rolling luggage configurations (backpacks, duffels) have true lockable zippers - the kind you can't manipulate to open even when locked! (See http://www.onebag.com/bags.html#bag-security ) However, manipulating a zipper this way is harder when the sides of your luggage are rigid, as with rolling luggage! Even more so, many rolling luggage styles incorporate locks that don't just lock the zipper pulls, they lock the zipper heads for more security. How much do you trust the hotel/hostel staff to not give in to curiosity, or darker motivations?

2. Less grungy. When you hand in your luggage for safekeeping, for example when you have to check out early but have a late evening flight, you can rest assured that no matter how dingy the storage room, you won't have to press your body against the bag later.

3. Those who insist on helping you with your luggage will appreciate it. I felt bad when my mother's 60-year-old friend wouldn't take no for an answer and carried my non-rolling luggage for me from the station to their home. Wouldn't it have been much easier for all involved if he could have just rolled it instead?

...to be continued?

(Or, to wrap things up: Go go wheels!)

Comments

( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
kyubikitsy
Jan. 14th, 2011 08:01 pm (UTC)
There are pros and cons to having wheeled luggage (and same goes for the 2 vs. 4 wheeled suitcases...)

Cons-

1) a lot less packing space
2) Usually a heavier bag in general (w/o the contents even inside - roughly 10 lbs of wasted weight)
3) they get badly dinged up en route when checked in. A couple of ours broke. (the handle contraption inside the bag broke.)
4) pulling a wheeled suitcase (2-4 wheels) really sucks on carpet or non-flat roads.

Pros-
1) Without having to haul the dead weight, you can typically carry more.
2) The body of the suitcase (depending on the type) can protect some of your more delicate items.


But considering your bum knee, that my brother says gives out on just about every trip you take (coincidence or no?) you should consider taking things easy and just getting one manageable wheeled luggage. You're not getting younger. LOL! XD

If it's just me on vacation, I try to take one backpack and one carry-on sized rolly with me.. so I can bring it on board, but opt to check it in if I need to. It's a totally different story for me when it comes to shows. XD;
( 1 comment — Leave a comment )