Quick Travel Tip: Make Sure Your Suitcase Works

In the last month, I have been inundated with stories about faulty suitcases. And these poor people have all been finding out about their baggage issues not at home, or in the car…..but in the airport or on the airplane where it’s just too late. The two most recent examples: A friend’s daughter was coming home to visit for a week during spring break. She had loaded her essentials into her bag, and was planning on carrying on. She was going through security when….the wheels fell off her suitcase. Like, they both just detached. The thing is, she had another, newer suitcase at home–she had just grabbed this one out of habit.

And just a week ago, a reader was flying out for a multi-city trip. She got onto the plane, found her seat, and prepared to settle in. She went to push the handle down on her suitcase so she could put it in the overhead bin. Except that it wouldn’t go down. She tried again, and it still wouldn’t go down. Eventually she had to put her suitcase sideways in the bin, with the handle extended. The worst part (in my opinion) was that other passengers, and eventually flight attendants, kept coming by and trying to move her suitcase, and she had to explain over (and over and over) what the situation was. People were not pleased.

My own experience was while I was in college. I studied in Spain during my junior year, and took a giant suitcase full of stuff. (This was long before my personal packing-efficiency movement.) When I got the opportunity to travel around and see the country, I purchased a smaller bag. Two weeks later, I was in a train station trying to get back to Barcelona when the worst thing happened. The zipper burst and my bag exploded. And as a poor college student, I wanted to spend my meager funds on sangria and train fare rather than another new suitcase. So I shoved my clothes back in, taped it up, and went on my way. Oh, the days of college.

My tip: take one minute before leaving your house to check your suitcase. Wheel it around a bit, move the handle up and down, test the zippers. Because if you’re going to have a bag malfunction, it’s way better to have it at home!

Readers, have you ever had a bag malfunction? Tell us about it!

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