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What Is Luggage And How To Choose The Best For Your Trip

What Is Luggage feature 99

What is luggage? Well, it’s a suitcase or carry-on bag you can use when traveling by air, train, bus, boat, foot, or car. It contains your clothes and other personal belongings; for some, it may also hold a food supply.

We mostly think of luggage when we talk about travel, but there are many uses for a bag. You can use it to store things, pack them to move, prop your feet on, sit on them, as a shoe rack, and so many other things. But I think you get my idea, so let’s move on to what is luggage.

In our article on What is Luggage, we will talk about everything luggage, mostly addressing what types of luggage there are. When you finish “What Is Luggage,” you will have strong information to make informed decisions about your travel bags.

Back To What Is Luggage?

It is pretty much a travel piece that will suit your needs and the needs of your type of travel. Luggage can even be a pillowcase or an army bag stuffed with your goods. Although I don’t recommend the pillowcase as a safe type of luggage, we can easily classify it as luggage. 

luggage size travel guide

Types of Luggage:

Many different types of luggage are available today, including plastic, aluminum, leather, canvas, steel, and even wood. There are various sizes and shapes with many features, such as wheeled suitcases, carry-on luggage, roller bags, backpacks, duffel bags, slingbacks, and more. In addition to these, there are different colors, patterns, and designs. So “What Is Luggage,” is a loaded question we will answer as we move forward.

Let’s go with the duffel bag and take it from here. You may have an army-issue duffle bag into which you stuff your belongings, but not everyone has this privilege.

When I was a little girl, my sister and I would take my dad’s large green army-issue duffle bag, stuff all the dirty clothes in it, and drag it to the laundry mat. What is luggage? Could we consider our laundry duffle bag a piece of luggage? We were young and used it to travel to the laundry mat to wash our clothes. OK, so maybe not. But at a young age, I felt like we were traveling.

What Is Luggage And How Can You Find The Right Luggage For Your Trip

Travel bags come in hard and soft suitcases, backpacks and duffle, different materials, and different prices. Your choice of luggage extras is vast, with internal pockets, external pockets, mesh pockets, and packing pods for space utilization. 

In addition, luggage comes in different weights to help meet flight weight restrictions. Choosing luggage mostly boils down to personal preference. But the type of travel does play into your choice.

Not all airline restrictions are the same except for items with ion lithium batteries that have to go in a checked bag on all airlines.

What Trip Type Are You Taking As We Learn, What Is Luggage?

Have you heard of the 1987 movie, Planes, Trains, and Automobiles? Traveling is kind of like this. There are so many ways to get to your destination today. Not just planes, trains, and cars but boats, bicycles, motorcycles, busses, and even walking can get you where you want to go. And then there is international travel and domestic travel.

With all these transportation means, how do you choose the right luggage? Instead of talking about each individual way to travel, we will go into the different types of luggage and how they may fit best to reach your destination.

Types of luggage:

  • Trunks
  • Checked suitcase
  • Carry on luggage
  • Under-seat bag
  • Personal bags
  • Duffle bags
  • Backpacks
  • Slingbacks
  • Garment bags
  • Messenger bags
  • Weekender bag

The list is quite extensive, and some personal bags are interchangeable as a carry on or a personal bag.

what is luggage antique trunk


Trunks are a type of luggage that people don’t use in the same capacity as they did back in 1869.

In 1869, Henry Burden designed a trunk with wheels and handles. The first trunks were wood and leather. They had no locks, zippers, or pockets. Wealthy people usually used trunks when they traveled around Europe and America.

By 1900, trunks became popular among travelers because they were easier to pack than suitcases. However, the trunks were heavy and hard to move around.

By 1930, suitcases replaced trunks because they were lighter and made it easier to travel.

Some luggage companies make trunks today, but they are not like the old antique ones. They are mostly called trunks because of the way they open, and they have a larger packing capacity.

A trunk is a piece of ideal luggage for an extended cruise such as a round-the-world cruise. Trunks are large and can hold more clothing.

The only drawback is storing a trunk in your cruise ship cabin. Most are sturdy, so maybe you can use it as a seat or store your shoes on it. On the other hand, if you booked a large cabin, a trunk is perfect.

Hard Shell Or Soft Shell For What Is Luggage

The answer to this question is not definitive; it depends on your needs and preferences. Hard shell luggage is more durable and provides better protection for your belongings, while soft shell luggage is lighter and easier to maneuver.

Typically, hard shell luggage is lightweight and durable due to its rigid exterior made of high-tech plastics like polycarbonate and ABS. However, aluminum is the most durable but also the heaviest.

The soft-sided suitcase has an outer shell of materials such as polyester, nylon, leather, canvas, and cloth. The most durable material is ballistic nylon, which is lightweight and water-resistant.

Soft shell luggage is more flexible and can fit into tight spaces, making it ideal for travelers who need to pack many items in a small bag.

Back to what is luggage, about the outer shell of a suitcase. Both hard-shell and soft-sided bags are functional and have their purpose. Which one you choose depends on your personal preference.

What Is Luggage For Checked Bags?

The two largest classifications of luggage are carry on bags and checked bags. We discussed Carry on luggage above; now we will cover checked luggage.

A checked bag is a piece of luggage you check at the ticket counter when you fly. It is the one that you don’t have to lug through the airport and the security checkpoint.

Your bag will travel through the back channels of the airport, sometimes up to a mile, to reach the cargo hold of the plane you will fly. It is then placed on a baggage cart. At this time, Security will check for explosives and bomb or bomb material while on the cart with other pieces of checked luggage.

If Security finds something suspicious on the scanner, they will open it to look at the contents inside. But if this happens, they must leave a note in your luggage stating they looked into it.

According to TSA regulations, what is luggage relating to checked bags states it must comply with each airline’s weight limits. TSA (Transportation Security Administration) has guidelines for weight, but the ultimate decision is up to each airline.

The TSA weight guide states a checked bag cannot exceed 50 pounds. You will place your bag on a scale when you check it at the ticket counter. If it exceeds 50 pounds, you may need to pay an extra fee. That fee is sometimes up to $100.

Some airlines allow one or two free checked bags, and others charge for each piece of checked luggage. It is always best to check the airline you fly with to determine its rules and regulations.

Checked luggage comes in many different styles and is suitable for all types of travel. Keep in mind that a checked bag is the largest piece of luggage, so please pay attention to the space you have in your room to store it.

what is luggage cat

What Is Luggage When It Comes To Carry On Bags?

A carry-on bag is a small bag or case that you can put into an overhead bin for short flights. It usually holds personal belongings such as clothes, toiletries, books, and other essentials. For shorter trips, a carry-on bag might be all you require.

When you fly, there are 2 bags you can take to flight, a carry on and a personal bag.

Carry On Bag Classification For What Is Luggage

Earlier, we discussed what a carry on bag is, but what are the guidelines for size when it comes to what is luggage?

Since 1945, IATA has been setting international air transport regulations. In 2015, they put new guidelines into place which state:

The optimum bag sizes have been agreed upon so that everyone can fit their carry-on luggage into the overhead compartments of planes of up to 120 seats.

With this in mind, airlines can still change the carry on luggage sizes to fit their carry on luggage rules for different sizes of planes. So, once more, I recommend checking online for the carrier’s policy to be sure your bag is the correct size.

The TSA site states: Size dimensions of carry-on baggage allowed in the cabin of the aircraft vary by airline. Contact your airline to ensure what can fit in the overhead bin or under the seat in front of you.

TSA has a set of rules that most airlines follow, and those say a carry on bag needs to be 22 inches x 14 inches x 9 inches. Carry on bags of this size or less will fit into the overhead bin of most airlines.

A carry on bag also comes in many different styles but must meet the size limit outlined in the TSA guidelines when flying.

Under-Seat Bag For What Is Luggage

When we talk about what is luggage regarding an under-seat bag, it can mean many different things. It can refer to a small bag that easily fits underneath the seat in front of you on an airplane, or it can refer to a specifically designed rolling piece of luggage that is a smaller carry on.

Under-seat bags are great for those who want to travel light. They are small enough to fit in the overhead compartment or under your seat, but they still have enough room for your essentials.

These bags usually come with pockets and compartments to help keep you organized while traveling. They also often come with wheels so that you can easily roll them.

Under-seat bags are perfect for a business trip or weekend getaway.

What Is Luggage For A Personal Bag?

First, let’s clarify the difference between a personal bag and a carry on bag when it comes to what is luggage.

Everyday items like backpacks, briefcases, handbags, purses, and laptop bags qualify as personal baggage when flying and clarifying what is luggage.

Airlines generally require that your personal item be 18 inches x 14 inches x 8 inches or smaller to fit under the seat in front of you.

Most airlines adhere to TSA guidelines that stipulate passengers can bring one carry on and one personal item when flying. The 3-1-1 packing rules remain the same for both personal and carry-on bags.

what is luggage duffle2

Duffle Bag – What Is Luggage

Let’s look at just a bit of history regarding the duffle bag.

Initially, it’s unclear if anyone ever used the word “duffel” to describe the bag itself. Still, most sources agree that the term came into use after it became popular among soldiers during World War II.

A duffle usually refers to a specific type of cylindrical, open-top entrance piece for packing.
Toward the end of the 20th century, a duffle bag was a generic name for a hinged-handle, hard-bottomed, cloth-lined, gym-style carryall. It was more commonly known as an “athletic” or “sports” pack.

Today duffle bags have additional features such as wheels and zippers, internal organization, and smaller storage compartments. In addition, you will find duffle bags that open with a wide mouth and a drawstring top.

Duffle bags come in softer materials such as ballistic nylon or canvas. Because of the material, one can stuff more things into a duffle bag and use more space, which makes a duffle bag popular among many sports.

You will see people carrying duffle bags to the gym, as sports bags, and when boarding planes when it comes to what is luggage.

Remember that many duffle bags are longer than the 22-inch recommended size for a carry-on, so they will need to be checked luggage items.

Duffle bags are perfect for the adventure seeker. Many are waterproof and great for canoe trips or a trip through rapid water in a kayak. However, I have seen many duffle bags in the airport because they are easy to pack and hold many things.

Backpacks Regarding What Is Luggage

You can carry a backpack on your back, usually with two straps over the shoulders. They are for carrying books, supplies, and other items. You can also use them for camping and hiking trips.

Backpacks come in various sizes and styles, from small daypacks to large expedition packs. Some backpacks are TSA approved for flying. These bags hold your laptop and are fully open, going through security scanners without removing your computer.

Backpacks come in various materials, such as canvas, nylon, and leather. They also have multiple features, such as pockets, compartments, and straps, so when it comes to what is luggage, a backpack is a versatile bag.

Backpacks are perfect as a carry on when flying. They often have enough room for essentials and are easy to carry.

A backpack is one of the more versatile pieces of luggage because you can use it for home and your travels.

Slingbacks And What Is Luggage

Slingbacks are a popular and convenient accessory. They resemble backpacks but feature straps that go across the body or over the shoulder.

A slingback is similar to a fanny pack as they both hold a few personal items and are small. Unlike the fanny pack, the slingback drapes across the body rather than just strapping on.

A slingback is ideal for carrying small items as it is lightweight and has a single strap to go over one shoulder and across the body. It’s perfect for wallets, keys, phones, and other items.

Slingbacks are perfect as small purses and come in specific designs, such as for cameras, sports, iPads, and computers, to name a few.

Garment Bags And What Is Luggage

Garment bags are a type of luggage explicitly designed for carrying clothes. They are usually made from lightweight materials such as nylon or polyester and feature a long zipper that runs the length of the bag. A garment bag fits into what is luggage well because of its functionality.

Typically garment bags are for transporting suits, dresses, and other formal attire, but you can also use them to carry casual clothing.

Garment bags come in various sizes and styles, including rolling garment bags, duffel-style garment bags, and hanging garment bags.

Rolling garment bags are great for traveling as some have wheels to easily move them around airports and hotels. Hanging garment bags are ideal for keeping clothes wrinkle-free while traveling.

Garment bags are a great way to keep your clothing organized and protected while traveling. They are also perfect for storing seasonal clothing in your closet.

what is luggage messenger bag

Messenger Bags – What Is Luggage

A messenger bag is a type of personal item worn over one shoulder. It usually has a single strap and an oversized flap covering the bag’s top.

Messenger bags are typically made from canvas, leather, or nylon and come in various sizes and styles.

Messenger bags are perfect for carrying laptops, tablets, books, and other items while traveling.

They are also great for everyday use, as they can hold items such as wallets, keys, phones, and other personal items. Messenger bags come in various colors and designs to suit any style.

Messenger bags are perfect for those who want a stylish way to carry their belongings. They are lightweight and comfortable to wear and provide easy access to your items.

Weekender Bag – What Is Luggage For This

A weekender bag is a piece of luggage for short trips. It is usually more significant than a carry-on bag but smaller than a full-sized suitcase.

These bags come in all fabrics and are typically stylish. They can feature several pockets and compartments to store items.

Weekender bags are perfect for weekend getaways, business trips, or overnight stays, making them the perfect personal carry on. They provide enough space to store clothing, toiletries, and other things without being too bulky.

Weekender bags are also great for everyday use as they can hold laptops, books, and other items. They are lightweight and easy to carry around.

what is luggage around the world

FAQs Regarding What Is Luggage

Here are some frequently asked questions retarding what is luggage that may be of interest to many.

Is luggage a bag or a suitcase?

Most of us think of luggage as a suitcase. But luggage is any bag that you pack your belongings in to travel. Some luggage includes backpacks, totes, hardside or soft side suitcases, and even a duffle bag.

Is a backpack luggage?

Yes, a backpack is a piece of luggage. But where you store your backpack depends on the size. If it is a small one and will fit under the seat in front of you, it is considered a personal item backpack. While a larger one may need to go in the overhead bin to travel.

Is a purse considered luggage?

Technically speaking, a purse can cross as a personal item to carry on a plane. So yes, a purse is considered luggage when you are flying. With that said, some purses are huge and are a piece of luggage all the time.

Additional Resources

If you are looking for more tutorials, walkthroughs, and troubleshooting on Checked Luggage, here are some additional posts about Checked Luggage:

What Is Luggage – Conclusion

Luggage is essential whether used for business travel, long-term travel, or even international travel. It helps you stay organized while you enjoy yourself. Selecting the right luggage for your needs will make your trip much more manageable.

Many travelers use a combination suitcase/backpack or duffle bag for most trips. You can use the suitcase for clothing and personal items as a carry on and the backpack as a personal item. You can also pull out the backpack for excursions or at home for everyday use.

I’ve used 4-wheeled luggage and a carry-on travel backpack for years and love it! It’s very convenient to roll around and fits everything I need.

A duffel bag may be the answer if you need more space and a more rugged look. After all, duffle bags are perfect because they don’t look like a suitcase, and many will easily fit in overhead bins.

Many will use a garment bag, messenger bag, or a weekender bag if your trip is a short getaway or a weekend trip. Each one is a personal item and will pair well with a carry on suitcase.

But if you need something smaller than a duffle bag, a backpack may be the answer, as most have a chest strap to save your back. You can also wear one over your shoulder instead of having to strap it onto your back.

But when it comes down to our original question, “What is luggage” as we can see, luggage encompasses anything that helps make your trip easier. Luggage is anything you can pack to have fun on your adventure.

Happy travels, my friends!

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Laura Fuller

Hello, I am a luggage and travel fanatic. With a vast knowledge of TSA regulations, I am here to assist you on your journey. Please join me, and together, we will navigate the world of travel. From TSA and air to cruising the high seas, we will explore the best accessories and tips for smooth travel.

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