Picking the right luggage enables travelers to experience the freedom of traveling without hassles. The last thing you need to deal with on your trip are extra baggage fees for oversized pieces, dented or torn baggage, or even just the embarrassment of holding up other passengers as you try to squeeze your massive duffel into the overhead compartment.

Here are some tips to help you choose the best luggage for your upcoming vacation.

Types of Luggage

When it comes to luggage, there is a wide variety to choose from. Most modern bags can be bought with accessories such as retractable handles, back straps and wheels. Backpacks may come with or without frames and are ideal for camping, hiking and other outdoor activities. Modern duffel bags are fitted with back straps, retractable handles and wheels that make them ideal for travel. Traditional luggage is available in the form of soft and hard-side bags.

Choosing the Right Material

Soft bags are more popular than hard-shelled luggage and are far easier to push into an overhead compartment. These bags are also better at absorbing shock than the molded ones. Soft bags come in a broad spectrum of models. For instance, you may opt for a carry-on with a zipped backpack attachment. Another alternative is a duffel bag that you can strap to your back or wheel through an airport.

Soft bags are more popular than hard-shelled luggage and are far easier to push into an overhead compartment. These bags are also better at absorbing shock than the molded ones. Soft bags come in a broad spectrum of models. For instance, you may opt for a carry-on with a zipped backpack attachment. Another alternative is a duffel bag that you can strap to your back or wheel through an airport.

Most ultra-lightweight luggage has hard sides and may enable you to meet the weight requirements for checked luggage. If your tightly packed luggage often weighs more than your body weight, consider buying a lighter weight bag which will save you some money. Bags with hard sides tend to protect fragile items better than their softer counterparts and are also easy to clean.

Whichever luggage you settle for, ensure that you only pay for quality. Avoid flimsy hard-sided luggage that can crack or break under pressure or cheap soft ones that easily tear.

Picking the Best Size

The rule of thumb when picking out luggage is to opt for a carry-on no bigger than 45 inches (total of length, width and height) and a checked bag that isn’t bigger than 62 inches (total of length, width and height). You will find that these are the standard sizes for most major airlines. While it may be tempting to take the largest bag possible with you on the plane, keep in mind that if you are unable to lift the carry-on bag up over your head, you won’t be able to put it into the overhead bin.

It is advisable to check the website of the airline you intend to use for information on the size of bags you can bring on board or check in. Remember that most airlines will have a different size requirement for domestic and international flights.

If flying within a foreign country on a smaller airline, the acceptable baggage size and weight requirements can prove frustrating. The last thing you need is to find out that you have to leave one of your bags behind or pay additional fees for your domestic flight.