There are many reasons why you might leave home—a conference for work, a family vacation, a bachelor party or even a high school reunion. All of these travelling plans require the use of different types of luggage.

When you leave your home, your luggage and necessities need to come with you, but you don’t want to just throw them into any old bag. You want to travel in comfort, in style, and with the appropriate luggage. Here are some tips for choosing the right luggage for your trip.

1. Choosing the Right Size

Bigger isn’t always better, especially when you’re travelling. While a week-long trip to the Bahamas with the family will require a large suitcase, likely with wheels for easy carrying, a short business trip won’t require the same sized bag. A smaller bag, perhaps one that can be slung onto your shoulder, can be ideal if you’re only going to be away for a day or two. A good rule of thumb is to never carry more than you need to on trips—you’ll regret having to carry around the extra weight when you don’t have to.

2. Toiletries Need Their Own Bag

It isn’t the best idea to throw your shaving cream, cologne, and deodorant in the same bag as your clothes, all mixed in together. The shaving cream might spray all over your clothes or your bottle of cologne might shatter. This will result in a pleasant trip turning into a disaster. Instead, protect these toiletries, and your clothing, by using a toiletries bag known as a Dopp kit. These bags are a necessity for all professional travellers or casual vacationers alike. Most of these bags are water resistant, with leather being the most common material used.

3. Travelling for Work Requires a Different Type of Bag

When you’re travelling on vacation, you’ll typically leave your luggage in your hotel room for the duration of your stay. When you’re travelling for business, you’ll likely need to carry proposals, your laptop, and important papers around with you—all of which should be carried in their own bag.

For business trips, it’s important to carry a briefcase, messenger bag, or attaché bag to keep your papers together and get them from your hotel room to your conference or meeting room safely. A briefcase is great if you’re carrying more papers and supplies. A messenger bag is good if you need to bring your laptop along. And an attaché bag is ideal if you need extra protection, since it comes with a lock and hard sides.

The most business appropriate bags for these occasions are leather—they’re classic, stylish, and large enough to hold electronic devices, stacks of papers, and even a book. Another benefit of such a bag: it’s a hassle-free carry-on or can fit inside a large leather luggage bag.

4. Travelling for Pleasure Can Be More Casual

If you’re not heading to an important meeting or conference, you likely don’t need to bring such a formal, classy bag with you. In this case, you can use a backpack instead. Backpacks are convenient, especially if you’re be doing a lot of walking around. They can still be stylish if you choose leather. A leather backpack looks great with any casual outfit.

5. You’re Travelling on a Plane

If you’re travelling to a destination by plane, you’ll need to consider weight restrictions. A messenger bag is great if you’re simply heading to a conference out of town and coming back the next day, but if you’re going to be out for a few days, you’ll likely need more space. That’s where the mini suitcase comes in. This suitcase is smaller than the luggage you’d bring on a long family trip, but it’s larger than what you’d bring to a meeting. It’s an ideal option to bring as carry-on luggage for air travel. It meets the weight restrictions but also enables you to maximize every inch of space available. You’ll be able to bring a few days’ worth of clothes with you and some other belongings, but you’ll be able to avoid checking your luggage.

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Mo is a seasoned traveller and an adventurous spirit who dreams of visiting every country around the world. When he's not travelling, you might find him writing and cataloguing about his recent trips.

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