This post may contain affiliate links, meaning that we will receive a commission if you click through and make a purchase. All opinions are those of the author.
You are starting a job where you will be traveling often, and you are shopping around for the ideal luggage for the business traveler. As some one who has traveled frequently for the past two years, there are many factors I look for when picking out a work suitcase.
What to look for when choosing luggage for the business traveler
The size of your luggage
If you are traveling on a weekly basis, you should get used to packing a week’s worth of clothes in a carry-on. Your team will not want to wait for your checked bag to come out.
This is not debatable. Get a bag that you can comfortably carry onto the plane. Be cautious of expandable suitcases as well. Some expanding suitcases will not fit in an airplane’s overhead bins, and you do not want to be embarrassed when you cannot fit your bag on the plane.
The color of your suitcase
Black is a professional color that is likely recommended by most traveling professionals. I personally suggest any color other than black, especially an unusual color that is more likely to stand out. A unique color will help you spot your business travel suitcase quicker if you need to gate check your bag.
I also use my colored suitcase to help find new coworkers or Uber drives. I can say on the phone, “I am the one with the green bag,” and they can quickly spot me.
If you do choose a fun color for your bag, stick to solid colors. Solid colors will be more professional than patterns, and you may still need to bring your suitcase to the client.
The wheels on your luggage
Pick a bag with 360 degree wheels. The wheels are critical for navigating tight airplanes., as you will may need to rotate your bag sideways to slide past the crowded airplane aisles.
The four 360 degree wheels will make your life easier when standing in the security line, waiting for a taxi, and getting on the plane.
Hard shell or soft shell suitcases
When I started my career, I preferred soft case suitcases as they typically had the outer pocket. I liked to keep a change of clothes in the outer pocket, so that I could quickly change to more comfortable leggings in the airport.
However, now I am a strong advocate of hard shell luggage for business travel. Hard shell suitcases are much easier to clean, and you will want your suitcase presentable as you arrive to the client sites on Thursday. With soft shell suitcases, I have found my suitcases will easily collect cat hair and get snagged, whereas durable hard shell suitcases can be wiped down. Hard shell cases are becoming the standard for business travel.
Your suitcase extras
Some suitcases for the business traveler will have outer pockets. I will occasionally put a change of clothes or shoes in the outer pocket, and this is helpful for when you have to change in the bathroom or cannot lay down your bag to open it.
There are also brands of luggage that will have built in chargers. Many airlines no longer allow you to check smart suitcases, so as a result many brands will now have removable charging devices. If you are investing in a smart suitcase, make sure that you can remove the battery in the event that your bag needs to be gate checked.
Packing cubes to stay organized
Purchase organizing or packing cubes, and your life will be so much better. You will be able to fit more clothing in your small suitcase, and it will help you be able to sort through your work and casual clothes more quickly when team members, like myself, demand that we meet back down for dinner in fifteen minutes.
Luggage brands for the business traveler
The most popular brands for business travelers include Away, Tumi, and Travelpro. I personally love my Away Bigger Carry-on. However, there are many suitcase brands that exist for you to choose from.
If you do not travel frequently you can go to Marshalls or TJ Max for deals on branded luggage. If you are not sure what aspects you may look for in a bag, you should get a cheaper bag to start out with. Once you know which features will be the most useful to you, you can upgrade to a more expensive suitcase.