A holdall or suitcase: a couple arriving at the airport with their with suitcases.

How to choose the right luggage for your holiday

Before going on holiday it’s important to choose the right type of luggage whether it’s a holdall, backpack or a suitcase. Remember not to pack too much otherwise your luggage will become too heavy, but the ideal piece of luggage should have enough space for everything you will need for your upcoming holiday. In this article we will show you the advantages and disadvantages of different types of luggage depending on what type of holiday you are going on.

Are you looking for more useful travel tips? Have a look through our other travel guides to find out more about travelling with hand luggage, space saving tips for packing and stylish travel outfits for your next holiday.

Discover more articles:

The advantages and disadvantages of travelling with a backpack or suitcase

How will you be getting to your holiday destination? Do you have to change trains a lot or make several stops? Will you have to carry your luggage for a long time? Where will you be staying? These are the questions you should ask yourself before choosing a piece of luggage for your holiday. It important to take your travel plans into consideration when deciding whether you should take a suitcase or just a backpack.

Backpack, suitcase or holdall: a group of people waiting on a platform with their pieces of luggage.

The advantages of travelling with a backpack

  • It’s a lot easier to open doors, read maps or pay for things if you opt for a backpack as you won’t have to carry anything.

  • Backpacks or trekking backpacks often have lots of handy small pockets that you can use to store small things. You can use these small pockets to store important or smaller items that you will need whilst travelling. This will make items such as rain cape, sunglasses or a water bottle more accessible should you need them at any time.

  • Backpacks generally weigh less than robust suitcases especially hard-shell suitcases. This is an advantage especially if you are going on a short holiday.

  • Depending on the size of your backpack it can also be used as hand luggage, which can often save you money and time as you won’t need to check it in. For weekends or short breaks a small backpack can often be used on days out if you leave your clothes and toiletries in your hotel or holiday apartment.

The disadvantages of travelling with a backpack

  • Heavy or ill-fitting backpacks can put a strain on your body in the long run.

  • Backpacks are less robust than hard shell suitcases. For air travel it is advised to get a special protective cover for your backpack. Both on planes, in trains or coaches there is a potential risk that the fabric could tear and if you have anything fragile it could get damaged or broken.

  • At some airports large backpacks or trekking backpacks, for example, must be checked in as a piece of checked baggage. Make sure to allow extra time for check in.

  • When packing your backpack you will most probably start at the bottom of the bag. If you need anything during your journey that is right at the bottom of your backpack you will first have to unpack everything and then repack everything, which can sometimes be a bit of a hassle.

How to pack your suitcase effectively: clothes packed into a suitcase for a summer holiday.

The advantages of travelling with a suitcase

  • Your things will be more organised and tidier in a suitcase especially if you use packing cubes. Therefore, you won’t need to take everything out and repack everything if you only need to get one specific item out of your suitcase.

  • Sturdy hard cases are less likely to get damaged whilst travelling. Opting for a high-quality suitcase will help to protect your things from dirt and getting damaged.

  • Many suitcases already have built-in combination locks, which in many cases can help to keep your valuables safe. However, be aware that in some countries, for example, in America you will need special locks such as a TSA lock so that it can be opened by the local authorities with a master key.

  • Suitcases with wheels are easy to transport if you have to walk long distances at the airport, train station or at your destination. This is a more practical option as you won’t have to carry a heavy backpack around on your back all day.

The disadvantages of travelling with a suitcase

  • Suitcases usually have few or no pockets on the outside. In most cases, you will still need a bag or a backpack if you would like to take anything important with you. Therefore, suitcases are not the best option for days out.

  • Suitcases with wheels are rarely suitable for off-road use. You will usually have to carry your suitcase on uneven terrain, unpaved roads or up and down a set of stairs.

  • In order to stop your valuables from getting stolen you will need to keep an eye on your suitcase at all times and never leave your suitcase unattended at any time.

  • Larger suitcases are often more difficult to stow on public transport, as you usually can't slide them under your seat or put them between your legs.

Conclusion of the advantages and disadvantages of travelling with a suitcase or backpack

Whether you prefer to travel with a suitcase or a backpack depends entirely on your holiday plans and your own preference. You will need to carry your baggage with you at all times on some types of holidays such as a walking or cycling holiday, which can last several days or even weeks. This will also include carrying any camping equipment you may need. If you will have to carry your luggage for a long time then it’s a good idea to choose a backpack.

A suitcase is a good choice if you will need a lot of things for your holiday, for example, if you are going on a family holiday. Suitcases with wheels make it easier for you to transport them to your hotel or holiday accommodation, but it’s recommended to have a bag or a small backpack for days out.

Stylish and must-have clothes for any holiday:
Women’s travel outfits: a young woman wearing a casual outfit wheeling her suitcase behind her at an airport.

Stylish travel outfits and holiday fashion tips

It’s a good idea to wear something comfortable if you are going on a long journey. In this article we will show you how to put together stylish yet comfortable outfits and how to look stylish whilst travelling. The article will also give you some helpful tips on what to wear if there are going to be any big differences in temperature from where you are travelling from and to.

Stylish travel outfits and holiday fashion tips
How to pack your suitcase effectively: a woman putting clothes into her suitcase.

How to pack a suitcase like an expert

When packing a suitcase it’s important to remember not to forget anything, but at the same time don’t pack too much otherwise you run the risk of your suitcase being overweight. In this article you will find various tips on how to keep your suitcase tidy and organised and how to save space. There are also some free helpful guides on how to pack for different types of holidays.

How to pack a suitcase like an expert
Travelling with only hand luggage: packing a cabin suitcase for air travel.

Tips on how to travel with only hand luggage

If you travel with only hand luggage, you can usually book cheaper flights and also save time at the airport as you won’t need to check in your luggage. Flying without checked baggage is therefore worthwhile, especially for last-minute and short holidays. In this article we have put together helpful lists on what is allowed and not allowed in hand luggage. There are also some useful tips on how to pack effectively when you are only travelling with a carry-on.

Tips on how to travel with only hand luggage
Plastic-free travel: holidaymakers relaxing in a hammock and drinking out of enamel mugs.

Minimalist travel: packing your suitcase for a zero-waste holiday

There are already plastic-free and sustainable alternatives for many practical everyday items. There are various ways to be more environmentally friendly when packing for your upcoming holiday such as choosing plastic-free crockery for a camping holiday, reusable travel bottles and getting a suitcase from a sustainable luggage brand. In this article there are great tips and ideas on how be more environmentally friendly and how to travel like a minimalist.

Minimalist travel: packing your suitcase for a zero-waste holiday




(Last accessed on 31.05.2023)


(Last accessed on 31.05.2023)

The image sources in this text are in chronological order:

Cover photo: iStock.com/YakobchukOlena

1. Image in text: iStock.com/gilaxia

2. Image in text: C&A

3. Image in text: iStock.com/YakobchukOlena

4. Image in text: iStock.com/martin-dm

5. Image in text: iStock.com/seb_ra

6. Image in text: iStock.com/svetikd