Planning a trip to Europe can be exciting; you may be thinking about all the amazing sights and landmarks you’re going to see and the different cultures you’re going to be exposed to. For many, traveling to Europe is a lifelong dream—so when you finally get the chance to turn it into a reality, of course, you want to make the most of your trip.
What you may not realize as you’re booking your travel and lodging, however, is the importance of choosing the right luggage for your trip to Europe. The right luggage will make it easy to transport your belongings safely from point A to point B while also providing plenty of space for any souvenirs you may pick up during your travels.
As you begin shopping for luggage in preparation for your trip to Europe, then, you may be wondering what to look for. What are some of the most important considerations for choosing luggage specifically for a trip to Europe? And what are some of the top brands to check out? Only need a carry-on? Check our best carry-on luggage guide as well!
To ease some of the stress as you plan for your upcoming trip, we’ve broken down five of the top luggage brands. We’ve also outlined some of the different pros and cons of different styles of travel luggage, as well as the most important considerations to keep in mind as you shop. Hopefully, this handy guide will make it easier for you to choose luggage for your Europe trip with greater confidence!
Best Luggage For European Travel
- CHESTER Luggage
- American Tourister
Reviews of Top Luggage Brands for European Travel
As you start shopping for luggage, one of the first things you’ll probably notice is that there are literally hundreds of different luggage brands from which to choose. How can you know which is best for your needs? You can narrow down your search significantly by checking out luggage for these top-rated brands:
When it comes to quality travel bags designed with you in mind, CHESTER is a top choice. This brand specializes in innovative and modern luggage designs, offering everything from carry-ons to medium- and large-sized suitcases. All of their bags are engineered with the strongest and sleekest materials on the market so you can enjoy the peace of mind that comes with long-lasting durability.
Another brand to consider when shopping for luggage for your trip to Europe is Samsonite. This brand has been around for decades and has built up a strong reputation for offering durable, stylish luggage at affordable prices. They have a large variety of styles to choose from, ranging from wheeled suitcases and totes to backpacks and everything in between.
3. American Tourister
American Tourister is a well-known name in luggage, offering a wide range of carry-ons, spinners, hard-sided luggage, and full luggage sets. This brand has also been around since 1933, so they’re stood up to the test of time. No matter what color or style of bag you may be looking for, you can be sure to find it with American Tourister. They’re frequently holding sales on their website as well, so you can almost always avoid paying full-price for a piece of luggage with them.
If you’re interested in buying a luggage set, Merax is a great brand to consider; they specialize in full luggage sets ranging from two to four pieces so you can have all the baggage you need for your trip to Europe. When you buy luggage from Merax, you can enjoy features such as aluminum telescoping handles, included TSA security locks, and spinner wheels for easy mobility. Their sets also come in a wide array of style and color options to suit your unique personality!
Tumi is another popular luggage brand that offers hard and soft-shell suitcases in stylish designs. They also offer full luggage sets for those looking to get the best value for their money without sacrificing quality in the process. They’re also known for standing behind their products with excellent customer service, so you can feel confident in your purchase.
Pros and Cons of Different Luggage Types for European Travel
When you shop for luggage for your European trip, you have three main styles to consider: travel backpacks, wheeled suitcases, and duffel bags. All of these options have their own inherent advantages and disadvantages that you’ll want to consider when deciding which is best for your needs. Ultimately, you may decide that you need more than one type of luggage for your trip to Europe. Many travelers, for example, will opt for wheeled suitcases for their checked bags, in addition to a travel backpack or duffel bag for their carry-on.
Having a bag that will be easy to carry around once you arrive in Europe can also be helpful, especially if you’ll be taking any day-long excursions where you won’t be able to stop back at your hotel and need to be able to bring along some essentials, such as a change of clothes, toiletries, and phone chargers.
There’s a reason so many people call it “backpacking Europe,” as these types of bags are actually very convenient for this travel. When you use a backpack, you can enjoy a number of benefits. For starters, you’ll have totally hands-free travel, which is great when you’re trying to navigate the busy public transportation of Europe. On your trip, you’ll also be doing a fair amount of walking, so carrying a backpack makes it easier to get through crowds, travel up and down stairs, and navigate tighter spaces.
A travel backpack is also compact enough to be easily stored in a small space while being spacious enough to carry your daily essentials. Many people find travel backpacks comfortable as well, especially if they’re designed with breathable materials.
On the other hand, travel backpacks generally aren’t spacious enough to carry all your luggage for a trip to Europe, so they’re better suited as a carry-on option or for packing essentials for a day trip once you arrive. Backpacks also tend to be made of less durable materials, so they can be easily damaged if they’re not handled carefully. This makes them a less-than-ideal option as a form of checked luggage.
If you’ll be checking any baggage with an airline for your travels to Europe, a wheeled suitcase will probably be your best bet. This style of luggage comes in both hard- and soft-sided options to suit your needs. For luggage for international travel, a hard-sided suitcase is ideal because it will be more durable and hold up better to rough handling at the airport. Many travelers enjoy wheeled suitcases because they save you from the hassle of bearing the weight of your luggage on your shoulders.
Furthermore, wheeled suitcases tend to be larger and more spacious, affording you the room you need to pack all your essentials while still leaving room to bring souvenirs home. Many of these types of bags also feature free-spinning wheels so you can easily maneuver them even in crowded spaces.
On the other hand, the streets of Europe can be rough on these wheels. This is especially true of the cobblestone streets, which can wreak havoc on wheeled suitcases. They can also be difficult to travel with on trains, since most European trains require that bags be stored overhead and are not as generous as the Amtrak baggage policy. If you have a heavier bag, this can be a hassle. Generally, this type of bag is best for your initial travel by plane, but you’ll probably want to leave it at the hotel or hostel once you arrive and switch to a more portable luggage option for everyday use.
Duffel bags are another type of luggage to consider when choosing luggage for European travel. These bags tend to be larger than backpacks, offering additional storage space for your items. At the same time, they can be easily worn/carried over the shoulder. Some even have wheels so you can decide whether you want to carry your bag or drag it behind you—and when you’re traveling in Europe, it’s nice to have that versatility.
Still, duffel bags are almost always soft-sided, so they’re not ideal for use as checked baggage. And depending on the dimensions, a duffel bag could be too large to be brought as a carry-on, so it’s important to check with your airline before traveling.
Top Considerations When Choosing Luggage for European Travel
What else should you keep in mind as you shop for luggage for your upcoming trip to Europe? There are a few important factors you’ll need to take into consideration before you make your purchase. You can also choose a suitcase from our best luggage for business travel guide.
Material and Durability
Start by making sure the luggage you’re choosing will stand up to the demands of European travel. For any luggage that will be checked at the airport, make sure you’re using a hard-sided luggage option, such as a wheeled suitcase. The last thing you want is for your checked baggage to be damaged during travel.
For carry-ons, a soft-sided material may be suitable, but you’ll still want to make sure the luggage is durable enough to hold up to being carried around on public transportation once you arrive in Europe.
Size and Storage Capacity
More than likely, you’ll need to pack quite a bit for a trip to Europe. Even if you’re only going to be there for a week, you’ll need plenty of changes of clothes, toiletries, and other essentials that can take up a lot of space in your luggage. And of course, you’ll want to have enough space in your day-to-day luggage for phone chargers and other basic items. This is where choosing luggage that has plenty of space and unique storage functions (such as extra zipper pockets or expandable storage) is so important.
Ideally, the luggage you choose for your checked bag should have enough room not just for all your essentials, but for any souvenirs you wish to bring back with you as well.
Airlines tend to have strict requirements when it comes to size/dimensions for checked and carry-on bags, too, so be sure that the luggage you’re considering will conform to your airline’s policies. For many airlines, checked bags should not exceed 62 linear inches. And of course, if you bring a carry-on that’s too big, you could incur additional baggage fees when you’re asked to check your luggage instead. To get a sense of the fees, check out the Delta baggage fees.
Ease of Mobility
When you travel to Europe, you can expect to do a lot of walking and using public transportation if you want to get the full experience. With this in mind, it’s important to choose luggage that’s easy to maneuver through tight spaces and crowds. This is where a travel backpack or duffel bag can come in handy, especially for day trips once you arrive. At the airport, a wheeled suitcase may be ideal for your checked baggage since it will be easy to haul around, even if you’ve packed a lot.
For the best of both worlds, consider a duffel bag or garment bag, which often come with both straps and wheels to suit your changing needs.
Overall Cost and Value
Of course you don’t want to spend more than you need to on luggage for your trip to Europe. After all, the more money you save on luggage, the more you have to spend on experiences once you arrive. Still, it’s important to remember that you generally get what you pay for when it comes to luggage. Spending a bit more on a piece of luggage that will stand up to the test of time is worth it, especially when it means getting your belongings safely to Europe and back in one piece. And of course, the right luggage will make your trip more enjoyable by being easier to carry around.
Choosing luggage for a trip to Europe requires some special planning and consideration. By checking out our top picks for luggage brands and choosing the right luggage type for your specific needs, you’ll be well on your way to making a confident choice. From there, you can make the most of your trip to Europe!