We know this site is called Round the World Backpackers but when it comes to travelling you actually have a couple of luggage options.
Here are the options and what I recommend taking and when:
The classic backpack
I’m not a huge fan of backpacks but they are useful for when you’re getting off the beaten track or travelling on a budget. You may ask why budget travel would make a difference but you’re more likely to be getting on boats and buses or walking from train stops with your luggage. If you’re hoping to find idyllic beach huts and bargain accommodation then be prepared to do some walking to find it. And, yes, that means lugging your backpack with you!
Top tip for backpacks: Don’t over-pack it. Backpacks usually come with extendable pockets which are easy to overfill but avoid the temptation and do you your best to keep it under 10kg. You really don’t need that extra pair of jeans so put them away! I stick to the rule that if I can’t life my backpack over my head (without the help of a man!) it’s too heavy so something has to go.
The backpack with wheels
This is my favourite option. I don’t care where you are in the world, 80% of the time you’ll be able to wheel your suitcase. I’ll admit that the 20% of the time that you need to carry it, it will be heavier and uncomfortable but I think it’s worth a little bit of discomfort in exchange of wheeling it most of the time.
Top tip for wheely backpack: Invest in a really good quality backpack to ensure it isn’t going to break on you. If a wheel breaks it means that you’ll be left with an uncomfortable and heavy backpack.
Suitcases are perfect for short holidays, city breaks or when you’re travelling to countries where you know you’ll never be dragging your bag across fields or beaches such as if you’re city hopping in Europe. They’re easy to pack, easy to pull and easy to stack together on buses.
Top tip for suitcases: Again, I suggest buying a good quality suitcase. If you’re travelling for a few months it’s likely to be pretty heavy and if you lose wheel or the handle breaks it’s going to be very difficult to get around!
Satchels are a good option for anyone who can travel super light. This is an art that I’ve never managed to master myself but I’m always envious of the people I see hopping on a plane with nothing more than a bag slung over their shoulder. They can be a bit awkward to carry but the softness makes them good for travelling because they can squish into small spaces.