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1 June 2017


i always travel with carry-on luggage and not a backpack, because i like to be over prepared. more than enough clothes to get me through however many nights away i am, in various lengths and weights just in case the weather turns and i need to chill out or warm up, or what have you. for the last few years i've had a softish but structured trolley case that's gone everywhere with me. it's bright pink, it's got two wheels and a giant handle, and it did the trick. it has a compartment for dirty clothes, one for magazines, and it is easy to get in-and-out of in a pinch if i needed to dump toileteries or grab a jacket and go. it is also deceptively big - despite being the right measurements for carry-on luggage, it "seems" bigger, so i get stopped a lot and made to test it in the annoying case tester, or have to check it at the gate when they oversell a flight and mine "seems" too big to fit overhead... even though i prove them wrong... regardless, it was a hassle. 

and it's seen better days, so recently when it broke i decided i would upgrade to a hard case. something with four wheels, that was easier to manage, and that wouldn't get me in a pickle at the gate. i did no research, i just chose blindly. actually, i chose based on price and colour - never a good reason to choose anything, i fear; here, my friends, are a few of the reasons i regret every single thing about doing that:

it's super common

yup. so i had to check it in on both flights to-and-from slovenia recently (can you believe my luck: there i was waiting in line, no-one had to hand their cases over until they got to me and then suddenly they were at capacity!?), and the one thing i noticed as i waited for it ever so patiently at the baggage reclaim was hooooowww many of those cases there are. mine is hot pink, duh, but so was the girl's next to me. and one across the carousel. and i hadn't thought to put any sort of branding on mine because i hadn't needed to previously! so, more fool me. i guess it's getting tarted up now to look a little more "obviously mine" when it's living its life on that carousel of shame.

it's so hard to get into

ugh! because this is a hard case with a zip right around the outside, you literally have to open the whole case up to get one small thing in or out of it. there's no: just crack it open and slip something in, no no, that's an impossible feat. you have to lay the bag on the ground, unzip the whole bloody thing, and then open it for every man and his dog to peer into in the middle of the airport. so annoying!

it drifts off all the time!

ok, so i thought that having four wheels would be total luxury, and would stop me catching my heels with my luggage as i'm pulling it behind me. not so! the four wheels mean that the case can literally slide in any old direction it wants, without warning. i was on a like, 2% incline at one point, turned around, and the case was rolling away. just like that! i mean, i don't think this is what i signed up for when i considered how "easy" a four-wheeler would be. also! do you know you use a whole different set of muscles when you pull a case to when you push it in front of you, or at your side? truly, pulling a case along blindly behind you seems so easy now in hindsight, and i don't know why i ever thought there could be something better than it. more fool me!

it holds less stuff

i guess this is to do with the fact it's a hard case that has less outer compartments; like, a soft case is generally going to hold more stuff because you can cram it in, but.. this one just seems to be designed a bit weird, because you literally have to pack two halves and then zip them together. rather than fill one space and close it, you are joining two packed halves in the middle. it doesn't seem the most logical of ideas to me, but.. maybe that's just me. i found it harder to tetris-style pack like i normally do, because i had to consider the other half being packed onto it, if that makes sense.

it has a built-in lock, which is pretty neat

so there is at least one redeeming feature: the tsa-approved lock. it's built in, at the side, and there are instructions on how to reset the code so once you do that, you're good to go. apparently, the tsa are the only people with the authorised keys to open it too, which is some added safety - on top of the case's already hard outer shell - for your luggage if it does need to go in the hold. the lock attaches the two zip handles (are they handles?) to the case and locks them tight, only to be released with the combo, or with the key, which is a pretty cool feature for a little case like this.

so, yeah. it was a pretty awful maiden voyage with this case, and it had me desperately missing my old one, but maybe that's just because i don't like change. sadly, i don't have another overseas holiday coming up until september (croatia and japan - where i will likely need a huuuuuge case anyway), so it's not going to get much love from me in the meantime. and maybe by then the painful memories will have worn away and i will find joy in my new toy, rather than regret. i guess only time will tell...

*case was gifted, all thoughts are mine (obviously)!

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