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Backpack or suitcase??

Travel Forums Travel Gear Backpack or suitcase??

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1. Posted by xashleighx (Budding Member 22 posts) 9y


I'm not thinkin of doing all that much backpacking, mainly just sticking to the coast and cities!
Im only 5 foot so dont really want to carry a huge backpack, plus ill need to keep everythin in my backpack during the day incase there are thiefs in my hostel (ive heard about this) so im thinking its goin to be a right pain taking my stuff out of my pack everyday to find what i want. So i was gna take a suitcase or a holdall on wheels?? Will i get laughed at?? Thanks loads xxx

2. Posted by basienka (Budding Member 3 posts) 9y

i have the same question. i dont know whats wrong with a suitcase? its much more comfortable and i can always pull it. everytime i take a backpack i am in a pain. im small so even when i pack just couple things i look like a walking backpack. can somebody tell me what is so much better in a backpack what siutcase doesn't have?

3. Posted by sophie13 (Budding Member 7 posts) 9y

i hope you wont get laughed at cos im taking a holdall on wheels lol n i dnt wana get laughed at. i thought it would be miles easier for carrying and also for packing and un packing when i need to. xx

4. Posted by Taffski (Travel Guru 182 posts) 9y


here's a summary :

1. you can get small backpacks for women. Try asking / researching.
2. Suitcases should be fine for Western cities
3. Suitcase might be harder hiking through the Amazon
4. "Backpacker" is now a more general term for anyone under 30 going away from home. It used to be anyone who actually had a backpack and went away for more than 2 weeks!
5. Pick a good hostel and there tends to be no thiefs. Use a Locker to leave your rucksack in during the day. You really don't want to walk around with everything you own on your person.
6. "Backpacking" is supposed to mean backpacing (Not long holiday up the East Coast of OZ!) so if you're going to be "Backpacking" you'll need a backpack. If you're going on Holiday up the East Coast of OZ... a Suitcase will be fine!

Hope this helps


5. Posted by bex76 (Moderator 3742 posts) 9y

I am also 5 foot; i took a backpack travelling and with hindsight i would probably say I would have been better off with a holdall/suitcase on wheels. as you say, as well as being easier to manage its much easier to access your stuff with one of these - i got so fed up of packing and unpacking my backback.

when i had my backpack, if i had fallen over i wouldn't have been able to get back up again!

[ Edit: Edited on Jul 20, 2007, at 10:25 AM by bex76 ]

6. Posted by Karlee (Budding Member 35 posts) 9y

If you are concerned about having trouble accessing your gear in a back pack, there are packs now that open up like a suitcase I think they are called travel packs. These are better than having a top opening pack if you are not doing any serious backpacking. They are quite thin so everything is quite easy to access.

7. Posted by tway (Travel Guru 7273 posts) 9y

A friend bought me a smallish Samsonite suitcase, and it's the best travel bag I've ever had. The 360 degree wheels mean you can drag it behind or next to you - a godsend for getting through Metro turnstiles. Mind, everywhere we went had flat, paved surfaces, so wheels were ideal. I couldn't see myself putting a backpack on, taking it off, sweating away in 30+ degrees... I guess the ideal bag depends on where you're going.

8. Posted by laurim (Respected Member 260 posts) 9y

I kind of object to the notion that backpackers are under 30. I intend to be a backpacker next summer and I'm 43 I think a "backpacker" is someone who travels without the amenities of the typical vacationer, like a hotel and fancy restaurants. A person who tries to experience a country and its people on a more basic, unstructured level rather than simply to hit the big attractions via an air-conditioned group tour bus and then move on to the next popular spot.

My suitcase comments are to relate my experiences on a solo trip through the UK. I got off the train in Canterbury early in the morning when the city was fairly empty. The sound of my suitcase's wheels on the cobblestone street as I walked to my hotel next to the cathedral was embarrassingly deafening. The few people who were out looked at me from across the street as I passed by, it was so loud. My hotel was hundreds of years old and to get to my room I had to climb a wooden spiral staircase with a rope railing. Would have been much easier with a backpack. Later in Wales, I stayed at a castle. It took two train transfers, two buses and a long walk dragging my suitcase to get there (more people staring at me). Again, with all the hauling around and transfering, I think a backpack would have been easier.

I like my wheeled suitcase for everyday, urban travel but even then it can fall over when I make a sharp turn or get hung up on escalators or a pain to haul up steps or over curbs. I think getting a backpack that is a reasonable size for one's frame and packing smart is a more convenient way to be the most mobile on a trip.

9. Posted by bex76 (Moderator 3742 posts) 9y

[i][quote= laurim] 21st Jul 07, 10:30
I kind of object to the notion that backpackers are under 30. [quote]

me too - backpacking has nothing whatsoever to do with age!

10. Posted by Taffski (Travel Guru 182 posts) 9y

Larium... bex76....


to Quote :

4. "Backpacker" is now a more general term for anyone under 30 going away from home. It used to be anyone who actually had a backpack and went away for more than 2 weeks!

It was deliberatly a sweeping generalisation.... however, note the use of the word "Now".

It's not my opinion, but more of a dig at the generalisation of the term "backpacker" and what commercialism of backpacking in general is being subjected to by the mass media and the more mainstream Institutions (Magazines, corporations etc.)

But lets not get into that now.... I've got some "Backpacking" to get on with.

By the way...... I'm 35 and own a backpack ;)

Sorry if I offended