Suitcase vs. Backpack

Going travelling this summer? Read this before you pack…


After months of debating, it’s finally all booked. You’re going to spend three months of the summer travelling to exotic destinations and ‘discovering yourself’ through ill-advised flings and excessive amounts of local beer.

However, one key decision that perplexes all travellers awaits – suitcase, or backpack? Fortunately for you, The Tab have weighed up the pros and cons of both, so read on to become enlightened.




  • Easier to pack and unpack
  • Can fit more in
  • Fragile items are safer
  • A lot easier to transport (wheels)


  • Can be embarrassing, as you won’t be taken seriously as a ‘traveller’
  • If the hostel doesn’t have a lift, you are pretty screwed trying to get a massive case up the stairs




  • Look like a proper traveller
  • Much easier in hotels with no lifts
  •  Often has a detachable backpack, which is very useful


  • Harder to pack, especially if it opens from the top
  • Can get really heavy
  • Hard to put on

What the experts say:

“I would advise travellers to take a suitcase with an extendable handle and wheels for any overseas trip. Firstly, suitcases can be packed in a very organized manner so that anything is easily accessible once you hit your hotel room. Wheels and a handle allow for easy transport, whether into a hotel, a coach in the morning, or out onto a sidewalk to catch a cab to the airport. Additionally, suitcases offer better structural protection of anything remotely breakable or any souvenirs picked up in your travels.” – Jordan Allen,  ContikiTour Manager, USA