For very frequent travelers, the right luggage is vital. Bob and I have used aluminum Zero Halliburton luggage forever. It’s heavy and expensive. It gets dented and full of stickers. Every few trips, a bag loses a handle or a wheel, and we keep on repairing them. We can’t even take advantage of their good locks anymore. Instead, we wrap strong tape around the seams to thwart thieves.
In iffy hotels we use one of these as a safe for small valuables, sometimes even laptops. The theory is that a camera, passport, maybe even a laptop can “get legs.” A large, heavy suitcase is less likely to go missing.
Bob uses a black aluminum Halliburton roll-aboard. It’s strong, padded, and lockable, so he’s not worried when his carry-on must be put in a plane’s cargo hold, no matter what’s in the bag. You can see it on the top of the left stack in the photo. This clamshell-type roll-on does not suit me at all. I like lots of zipper compartments, so I can easily grab my computer power cord, a book, or a document from a file folder. I also like a roll-on big enough to neatly carry an outfit or two. These are usually called one-suiters. I always have one suit and one stage dress in the roll-on. I’ve been without my checked luggage one time too many.
My roll-on has a matching shoulder bag which stacks easily and securely. And of course it has a shoulder strap for the millions of stairs that require hauling instead of rolling. The shoulder strap attaches with a ridged plastic tab. This was my biggest concern when I bought this combo three-plus years ago. What if it comes loose? My laptop is in the shoulder bag, my iPod, passport, a little camera, and all my most important things. Many a time I have boarded rickety boats with this bag on my shoulder. But I’ve come to trust it.
The plastic tab broke on the way to Oman recently. The day I got home I photographed the strap and sent it to the company. In a week, I had a new strap, overnighted from Italy, no charge. So I think I should mention that my carry-on luggage is made by the Italian company, Mandarina Duck.