So you will actually look forward to baggage claim.
You’ve booked your flights, renewed your passport and reserved your Airbnb. You’ve taken the trouble to navigate your way through the headache-inducing current travel conditions (and you might have consulted our list of expert travel tips, too). You’ve mapped out your itinerary and gathered your travel essentials. The checklist was probably endless – and probably more than a little annoying – but you tackled it. However, there is one detail we all often forget when preparing for a trip: is it time to replace your luggage? You might not think of it until you lug your old suitcases out of storage the night before your trip, when it’s time to pack. And by then it will be too late.
Sure, your favorite bags and suitcases have probably accompanied you on countless trips. Perhaps some of these reliable, functional parts have lasted for years or even decades. But if your previously trusty luggage is falling apart and has broken zippers, tricky wheels, a sticky retractable handle — or is just too big or too small to meet your current needs, it might be time to face the facts.
Let’s admit it: For most of us, getting new luggage isn’t exactly a joy fun. There are so many variables to consider and it can be difficult to decide what to prioritize. Do you check baggage often or is it best to invest in a carry-on bag? Are you looking for something soft or hard? Would you like a pop of color or a sleek, simple black piece? Are you looking forward to a wonderful, long vacation or a much shorter business trip? And perhaps most importantly, how do you find attractive, high-quality options within a reasonable price range?
To relieve some stress, we’ve put together this comprehensive list of our favorite affordable pieces. From large checked suitcases to simple tote bags and backpacks, our shopping guide will make your summer trip a breeze. Whether you’re packing for a long international visit or just a simple day trip, we’re sure you’ll find something that’s practical, durable and full of personality.
Best Affordable Luggage 2022
Future Uptown 28 inch spinner suitcase
If you prefer a lightweight yet roomy suitcase, this Nordstrom find might be the way to go. It’s a tough case with a ton of internal pockets, so reviewers consistently report that it’s very easy to pack. One reviewer raved about the brand, saying, “I love the swivel wheels, they make traveling easy.” This luggage comes in a sleek black, but there’s also a striking pink option, making the suitcase extra easy to spot.
Buy Here: $149
Rockland Melbourne Hard Luggage Set
If you have a long journey ahead of you, you might want to opt for a two-piece set. This hard suitcase set includes one carry-on bag and one larger checked bag. With over two dozen color options, you’re sure to find one that suits your personal style. Plus, these things are built to last: one reviewer exclaims, “It’s held up great for the past four years.” Bonus points: This set is expandable too!
Buy Here: $133
Bluboon weekender bag
If you’re only taking off for a few days, you might not want to bother with a whole suitcase. That’s where this versatile fabric and leather weekender bag comes in – it’s a soft and durable piece that you can absolutely wear Things With clothes. It also includes a separate shoe compartment that prevents your dirty soles from rubbing against your holiday outfits. The gold details add a pretty, elegant touch so you can travel in style. One reviewer is delighted with how well this bag performs on short trips: “I am 1000% satisfied with my purchase. The price was right and it really gives you the best value for money. I cannot recommend this bag enough. Got it!”
Buy here: $50
Samsonite Winfield hard shell carry-on luggage
Samsonite is a famous luggage brand for a reason: their pieces are known for durability and longevity. We particularly like this hard-shell carry-on for its durability—and the subtle brushed detailing on its shell. This suitcase comes with a TSA approved combination lock to keep your belongings safe. Also, several reviewers state that this carry-on has lasted more than four years.
Buy here: $152-169
If you’re flying on a low-cost airline, your baggage allowance is likely to be limited. If you need to rely on a backpack, Béis has you covered. This backpack is minimalist but roomy and simple but detailed. One enthusiastic reviewer recommends this piece because it’s so versatile: “I can see this bag being used for so many purposes. Whether you’re a digital nomad, spending a weekend in a new city, or a mom on the go, this thing looks elegant on men and women alike.”
Buy here: $78
Steve Madden Lightning soft luggage
This collection is an ideal choice if you are still deciding which suitcase size you need. Three different sizes are available with two check-in options and one carry-on bag. All three suitcases are expandable and offer up to five centimeters of additional space – perfect if you want to bring souvenirs from your travel destination. Because these are soft, they also have external pockets for your essentials. If you like colorful luggage, go for the eye-catching purple.
Buy Here: $200-$280
Kenneth Cole Reaction Renegade Large Suitcase
This Kenneth Cole piece features multiple interior zip pockets, mesh pockets and two elastic shoe pockets. Plus, the corners are specially designed to absorb shock, making them extra resistant to wear and tear (aka the TSA agents throwing luggage around for fun). If you depend on your luggage, this could be the perfect choice for you.
Buy Here: $86-$144
GABBIANO 30 inch Grecian Hardside Spinner
If you really love the look of a pretty suitcase then you should be delighted with this Gabbiano Hardside Spinner. We love the warm, creamy tones of the upper and the rich, maroon detailing. Some of us like to show off a bit at the airport – if that’s your goal then have fun with this durable, detailed piece.
Buy Here: $90
Unbranded Checked Baggage
If you’re particularly keen on buying eco-friendly products, you might like this brandless suitcase. With a “recycled PET plastic interior lining” you can be sure that your money goes to a company that values recycled materials. And the fact that it’s made from recycled plastic doesn’t compromise its integrity: one reviewer says, “136 flights later, my bag has almost no stains and no damage.”
Buy Here: $99
Dagne Dover Arlo Tech Organizer
A great suitcase is crucial, but many of us make the mistake of tossing our smallest essentials into overstuffed bags. We often end up digging for our chargers, cables, small devices and tech accessories. Of course, this digging is usually always necessary at the worst of times. If you’re fed up with suffering in the long run, you can prevent the chaos by investing in a tech organizer. You’ll never lose an AirPod in the bottom of a backpack again.
Buy Here: $50-$70