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backpack or suitcase for NZ

Travel Forums Travel Gear backpack or suitcase for NZ

1. Posted by NewbieRus (Budding Member 20 posts) 7y

i would like to ask a few questions:

1. is it ok if i take a suitcase on wheels to NZ (going there for 3 weeks)? i dont want to carry all my belongings on my back (from the airport to the hostel. from hostel to the bus, etc) cause it may be heavy and im not that strong for such walks:)
and are there any backpackers in hostels who come with suitcases ? i would not like them to laugh at me:)

2. (maybe its a slightly different subject but i ll ask abt it in this thread) who takes big backpacks travelling to NZ? those who are going to camp in forests and somewhere esle, so they need tents and sleepign bags that they pack into their big rucksacks?

2. Posted by Sander (Moderator 4809 posts) 7y

A backpack is a much more convenient way to carry great weight than most other forms of luggage. The weight is distributed over your hips and shoulders, so it doesn't feel nearly as heavy as a suitcase of the same weight would feel (which you have to try and lift up with just your arms). Backpacks additionally have the benefit that they don't alter your center of gravity all that much (it just comes to lie a bit higher), which keeps you pretty maneuverable.

A backpack is the preferred luggage for all "backpackers" (what's in a name?). Barely 1% of them will carry tents or even sleeping bags (since sleeping bags aren't allowed in most hostels). It's just much more convenient to walk from bus to hostel with a backpack than it'd be having to drag a suitcase behind you. (And don't even get me started on the times when you'd have to go over a non-paved area.)

There are some people who travel with suitcase - and I doubt they're laughed at - but it'd mostly be those who travel by (rental) car, and/or only visit one or two distinct destinations.

Almost all decent stores selling backpacks have a number of weights to put in the backpack, which allows you to feel the way it'll really sit on your back (very important for choosing a backpack which is right for you). I suggest visiting one of them if possible, and just trying on some backpacks, weighed down to 15kg or so. Experience what it's really like; I think you'll be amazed at how easily you'll carry that weight when it's sitting on your back.

3. Posted by joffre (Respected Member 157 posts) 7y

Unlike Sander, I prefer a backpack 'with' wheels, as it just makes things a whole lot easier getting to the car rental office from the hotel... lol having said that, if you plan on some serious tramping, then a proper backpack is in order, luckily I have the option of both depending on my travel needs... however, for 90% of my travels, a pack 'with' wheels was more than suffice...

4. Posted by Highfall (Full Member 26 posts) 7y

Quoting NewbieRus

i would like to ask a few questions:

1. is it ok if i take a suitcase on wheels to NZ (going there for 3 weeks)? i dont want to carry all my belongings on my back (from the airport to the hostel. from hostel to the bus, etc) cause it may be heavy and im not that strong for such walks:)
and are there any backpackers in hostels who come with suitcases ? i would not like them to laugh at me:)

I think if you're just going away for just three weeks and you don't plan on carrying your stuff around with you a lot, you'll be fine with a regular suitcase. It would be silly to spend lots of money on a backpack just for this trip.... pack light (it's only 3 weeks), and you'll be fine.

5. Posted by NewbieRus (Budding Member 20 posts) 7y

cool. then i will go with my suitcase (though its not that small) and no need to spend money on a backpack for all my belongings (i have a small one for walks)
thanks!