Travel Tip #1 - Find out what your specific airline's luggage rule is.
Before you make a large investment in an upscale bag as bag size is important in addition to how long you will be on the road. Each airline carrier has different rules and regulations about what you can check in and carry on. If you didn't want to get in a situation at the airport where you would have to pay more for additional pieces and overweight bags, you have to think ahead.
All carry-on luggage must fit in the overhead bin or under the seat in front of you and not exceed 51 linear inches (length + width + height) or 40 pounds. For checked luggage, a 24-inch bag with a 2- to 3-inch expansion option would be my best bet. It's the most functional size bag and, unless you are packing eight pairs of shoes, usually helps you stay within the weight limit.
Travel Tip #2 - A full suitcase is a happy suitcase.
Always pack full and tight to avoid damage to the suitcase and contents within. Tools such as the Eaglecreek Pack-It System can help you pack efficiently, as well as wrinkle-free clothing and even antibacterial underwear that can be washed in a hotel sink.
Travel Tip #3 - Put your original passport in the hotel safe and carry around a copy.
You can buy belts and passport and money holders that go under your clothes to keep you and your belongings safe while in a foreign country.
Things to Consider When Selecting a Bag
1. Wheels - A bag with four wheels (spinners) is easy to roll by your side and goes down the aisle of the plane better. Two-wheeled pieces are good for adding a bag strap and piggy-backing another piece on the front.
2. Handles - If you are traveling a lot, it's good to invest in a piece that has a well-constructed handle as they are treated roughly by baggage handlers and one of the most common things on a suitcase to break.
3. Material - Most luggage today is made of micro fiber (long gone are the vinyl bags susceptible to scraps and tears). The more you spend, the tighter the weave and less destructible the piece is. Another popular option is polycarbonate. These hard case pieces are often lighter than they look and extremely durable.
4. Color - Almost everyone ends up choosing a black bag, although there are many other colors (chocolate brown and red are current favorites) and even luggage with wild designs developed by well-known artists that can't be missed on the conveyer belt in baggage claim.