The differences between traveling with a suitcase or backpack are few and far between and both have their pros and cons.
Back in 2014 I was setting out on my first globe-trotting adventures and purchased my first backpack. I still remember the day of going to my local Go Outdoors store and purchasing my Vango backpack, which I loved so much, and really got me much more excited for traveling.
It was an experience and a half trying to pack everything I “needed” into my bag, and being my first time traveling of course I packed so much unnecessary stuff.
So carrying the bag itself was a psychical struggle and I really did dread carrying that bag.
Once I arrived in Australia, I settled in Perth for 6 months until I set off on my actual travels. Within that time I decided to sell my backpack and buy a Wheelie bag (from Roxy).
(What are friends for – Arriving and leaving Perth)
I did think to myself, can I be classed as and backpacker without a backpack? But of course you can.
So Here’s few Pros & Cons for both.
- Better Mobility – For me, the weight of my backpack was a real issue. I psychically had problems putting it on and carrying it around. With a suitcase, It was just a breeze wheeling it around.
- Organization & Access – Its so much easier to pack and organize a suitcase. You don’t have to pull a million things out to find something.
- You Don’t Hot & Sweaty – Carrying a backpack in 40-degree heat can make you sweat bucket loads. Not the best feeling in the world when it’s that hot and you have no choice but to carry that thing on your back.
- Cobblestones are evil: I only encountered a few cobble path when I had my suitcase and it does make you wish for a backpack. Your hands hurt from all the pulling, every two minutes you’re having to pick it up off the floor and in the end you carry the thing anyway. And not to mention the wheel damage. And once your wheels go, that’s it, case over.
- You shall encounter stairs: Load of stairs, no elevator, and a suitcase. One hellish experience I can tell you. Actually made me wish I had never sold my beautiful backpack.
- They can open a backpack like a suitcase: A range of bags now are actually designed in such a way it makes organizing and getting to stuff so easy that you would wonder why anyone would choose a case.
Backpacking around the world is all about the adventure and pushing yourself to the limits. Comfort is just a bonus, with both there are good and bad points. I believe it all comes down to where you are traveling. If you’re going to places there are off the beaten track then you suitcase by getting battered along the way, and it’s not easy dragging out across cobbles and stones. I’m planning to travel around Asia next year and it’s more than likely I will be an option for a backpack on that trip.
Do you have a preference?