So you’ll actually look forward to baggage claim.
You’ve got your flights booked, your passport renewed, and your Airbnb reserved. You’ve put in the extra effort to navigate the headache-inducing current travel conditions (and maybe you’ve consulted our list of expert travel tips, too). You’ve put together your itinerary and compiled your travel essentials. The checklist has likely been neverending — and probably more than a little annoying — but you’ve tackled it. There’s one detail we all often forget when prepping for a trip, though: Is it time to replace your luggage? It might not occur to you until you lug your old suitcases out of storage the night before the trip when it’s time to pack. And by then, it’s too late.
Sure, your go-to bags and suitcases have probably seen you through tons of trips. Maybe some of these reliable, functional pieces have lasted for years or even decades. But if your previously-dependable luggage is falling apart and has busted zippers, finicky wheels, or a sticky retractable handle — or is simply too big or small to suit your current needs, it may be time to face the facts.
Let’s admit it: For most of us, purchasing new luggage isn’t exactly fun. There are so many variables to consider and it can be hard to decide what to prioritize. Do you often check luggage, or would it be best to invest in a carry-on? Are you looking for something soft or hard? Do you want a pop of color or a sleek, basic black piece? Are you embarking on a splendid, long vacation or a much shorter business trip? And most importantly, perhaps, how do you find attractive, high-quality options within a reasonable price range?
To help relieve some of the stress, we’ve put together this comprehensive list of our favorite affordable pieces. From large, check-able suitcases to simple totes and backpacks, our shopping assistance will help make your summer travel a breeze. Whether you’re packing for a long international visit or just embarking on a simple day trip, we’re sure you’ll find something that’s practical, long-lasting, and full of personality.
Best Affordable Luggage 2022
Future Uptown 28-Inch Spinner Suitcase
If you prefer a suitcase that’s lightweight yet roomy, this Nordstrom find may be the way to go. It’s a hard suitcase that has a ton of interior pockets, so reviewers consistently report that it’s very easy to pack. One reviewer raved about the brand, stating, “I love the swivel wheels, they make traveling easy.” This luggage comes in a chic black, but there’s also a flashy pink option that will make the suitcase especially easy to spot.
Rockland Melbourne Hardside Luggage Set
If you’ve got a long trip coming up, you might want to opt for a two-piece set. This hardside set of suitcases includes one carry-on and a larger checked bag. With over two dozen color options, you’re also sure to find one that fits your personal style. Plus, these things are built to last: One reviewer exclaims, “it’s held up great over the last four years.” Bonus points: This set is expandable, too!
Bluboon Weekender Bag
If you’re taking off for just a couple of days, you may not want to fuss over a whole suitcase. That’s where this versatile, cloth and leather weekender bag comes in — it’s a soft and durable piece that you can absolutely stuff with clothes. It also includes a separate shoe compartment that will keep your dirty soles from rubbing against your vacation outfits. The gold details bring a pretty, elegant touch so that you can travel in style. One reviewer is over the moon with how well this bag performs on short trips: “I am 1000% satisfied with my purchase. The price was right and it truly gives you the best value for your money. I cannot recommend this bag enough. Get it!”
Samsonite Winfield Hardside Carry-On
Samsonite is a famous luggage brand for a reason: Its pieces are known for durability and longevity. We especially like this hardside carry-on for its hardiness — and the subtle brushed details on its shell. This suitcase comes with a TSA-approved combination lock to keep your belongings safe. Plus, multiple reviewers state that this carry-on has lasted more than four years.
If you’re flying a budget airline, chances are that your baggage allowances are limited. If you need to rely on a backpack, Béis has you covered. This backpack is minimalistic yet roomy, and simple yet detailed. One enthusiastic reviewer recommends this piece because it’s so versatile: “I can see this bag being used for so many purposes. Whether you are a digital nomad, wandering a new city for a weekend, or a mama on the go, this thing looks sleek on men and women alike.”
Steve Madden Lightning Softside Luggage
This collection is an ideal choice if you’re still deciding what size suitcase you need. There are three different sizes available, with two check-in options and one carry-on piece. All three suitcases are expandable and allow up to two extra inches of space — perfect if you plan on bringing back souvenirs from your destination. Plus, since these are soft, they have exterior pockets for your essentials. If you like brightly colored luggage, spring for the eye-catching purple.
Kenneth Cole Reaction Renegade Large Suitcase
This Kenneth Cole piece features several interior zippered pockets, mesh pockets, and two elastic shoe pockets. Also, the corners are specifically designed to absorb shock, making it extra resistant to wear and tear (aka, the TSA agents who toss luggage around for fun). If you’re hard on your baggage, this might be the perfect pick for you.
GABBIANO 30-inch Grecian Hardside Spinner
If you really love the look of a pretty suitcase, feast your eyes on this Gabbiano Hardside Spinner. We love the warm, creamy tones of the shell and the rich, chestnut details. Some of us want to show off a little bit at the airport — if that’s your goal, then have fun with this durable, detailed piece.
Brandless Checked Luggage
If you’re extra careful about buying eco-friendly products, this Brandless suitcase might appeal to you. With an “interior lining made with recycled PET plastic,” you can rest assured that your money is going to a company that values recycled material. And the fact that it’s made of reused plastic doesn’t affect its integrity: One reviewer says, “136 flights later my bag has almost no marks and has no damage.”
Dagne Dover Arlo Tech Organizer
Having a great suitcase is crucial, but a lot of us make the mistake of tossing our tiniest essentials into overstuffed bags. We often end up digging around for our chargers, cords, small devices, and tech accessories; of course, usually, this digging is always necessary at the worst times. If you’re sick of suffering in the long run, you can prevent the chaos by investing in a tech organizer. You’ll never lose an AirPod in the bottom of a backpack again.