Choosing a suitcase for work
Advice,  Work Tips

Picking the Perfect Suitcase

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You are starting a job where you will be traveling often, perhaps weekly, and you are shopping around for your professional suit case. 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.


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.


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. It will help you spot your bag quicker if necessary, and it is also helpful to connect with others you have not met yet. I frequently tell coworkers and Uber drivers “I’m the one with the green bag,” and they can spot me quicker. To stay professional, stick to solid colors and away from unique patterns.


Pick a bag with 360 degree wheels. I used to think they looked silly, but they are critical for navigating tight airplanes. I frequently rotate my bag sideways to slide past the crowded aisles.


While not entirely necessary, I prefer a suitcase with an outer pocket. 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.


Because I prefer the outer pocket, my carry-one have always had soft cases. I have a large hard shell check-in bag that I use for longer vacations, and I do think that it looks nicer and can probably withstand the elements better. However, I have also fallen, scratched, and hurt myself on my hard shell suitcase many times, while with my soft suitcase I have not had the same issues. On this issue, I say it’s entirely personal preference.


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.

Most recently, I have settled on an Away Bigger Carry-on that fit my professional lifestyle criteria. However, there are many suitcase brands that exist for you to choose from! If you don’t travel as often, I would recommend checking out a Marshalls or TJ Max for deals on branded luggage.

Traveling for work?

Michelle Maraj is the founder of Travel After Five, and is an analytics consultant who frequently gets the opportunity to travel for work.

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