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Gear and equipment forum

Suitcase vs. Backpack???

Posted by OliveOyle826 on 4/1/2013 at 12:56

I'm trying to decide whether to bring my small suitcase with wheels or buy a new backpack. I remember disliking my backpack when traveling through Europe and never being able to find anything. I will be traveling by bus and train through Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, and Vietnam. Is it feasible to travel with my suitcase, or should i go with a backpack?

#1 OliveOyle826 has been a member since 13/12/2012. Posts: 4

Posted by MADMAC on 4/1/2013 at 13:06

Backpack is easier to move around, but if you are not planning on looking for a room via your two feet, then it's not a big deal. But if you plan to show up in a new town and walk around looking for a hotel, then definitely a backpack, as the sidewalks here are not conducive to strollers or suitcases on wheels.

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Posted by somtam2000 on 5/1/2013 at 01:37 admin

I'd say depends now big the wheelie bag is -- personally I prefer a small pack, but the wheelie bags are increasingly common -- especially as transportation has increased so much, so if you've already got one and didn't like the backpack last time, sounds like a good idea to stick with what you have.

#3 somtam2000 has been a member since 21/1/2004. Location: Indonesia. Posts: 7,651
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Posted by caseyprich on 5/1/2013 at 04:59

One example - say you are going to 4,000 islands in Southern Laos . . . there is sand, not sidewalk and it won't be fun to carry the wheeled suitcase around. However, if you're only visiting major cities you should be fine as every train/bus station will have plenty fo Tuk-Tuk drivers willing to throw your bag up top for you and take you to a destination. Just have an idea where you want to go before you arrive in town so you don't have to wander around.

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Posted by exacto on 5/1/2013 at 10:51

Even at my age, I still prefer a backpack to a wheelie suitcase. I probably look even more silly than I imagine, but the flexibility of being able to move around over the almost never smooth surfaces in out-of-the-way places makes it the right choice for me. But as the others have said, it depends on what you'll be doing. If you'll be largely in developed areas and taking a taxi from the bus/train station directly to your hotel, a wheelie case is fine. If you plan to wander in off-the-beaten-path spots, then a pack may be your better option. Regards.

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Posted by altmtl on 5/1/2013 at 19:40

Backpack all the way, those suitcases with wheels are annoying, try and walk past people getting out of somewhere with them and you'll understand, the slowness, sudden stopping, it's not long before you're bumping into these things. Plus I like to have my hands free. As the others pointed out they are not great on sand or crappy roads, expect to lose a wheel or have the handle break at one point.

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Posted by busylizzy on 6/1/2013 at 13:08

Many accom places in Vietnam in particular are in tall skinny buildings, with only 2-3 rooms per floor. You will invariably end up on the 3rd, 4th or 5th floors. These places don't have elevators, of course - which means hiking up the stairs. It's much easier with a backpack!

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Posted by AddyH on 23/1/2013 at 01:31

After years of travelling, we've got it down to 30 litre backpack each and this includes carrying fins, snorkel, mask. It makes life so much easier when you don't have to check in luggage for flights. Also, it's a lot more fun walking around a new place looking for a room. Also less hassle because it's not obvious that you've only just arrived.
Happy travels !

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Posted by JSquared on 24/1/2013 at 00:40

They make rolling backpacker-style backpacks these days, a marriage of two great things!

#9 JSquared has been a member since 24/1/2013. Posts: 2

Posted by travelmusic on 24/1/2013 at 20:44

Less is more! Don't bring much at all. Everything you need is already there. A small pack with out all the bells and whistles is best. My pack fits in my lap.

#10 travelmusic has been a member since 14/1/2013. Posts: 1

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