Traveling can be stressful, sure, but hauling along a set of unique suitcases can make your adventure a little stylish, too. In fact, investing in an interesting suitcase is one of the easiest ways to make a change to your travel wardrobe. If you're committed to a budget, don't worry - there's something for everyone at all price points.
Shopping for Unique Suitcases
Unusual luggage comes in many forms. Whether it's made with an exotic material, printed with bold artwork or just designed with an architectural twist, there are many ways in which your travel gear can be considered "unique." Depending on your tastes, you might opt for something that really shakes things up. Perhaps you like turning heads as you wheel your bags through the airport. Or you may choose to go low-key but still own something that's different from the humdrum basics.
Shopping for unique travel gear can be enjoyable, especially since suitcases aren't everyday shopping list items. They're a little different to begin with, and because they're available in so many styles, colors, shapes and dimensions, there's no limit to how they can be mixed and matched (if you so choose) or how unusual they can be. It's just a matter of doing some savvy shopping!
Where to Find Them
Sassy, unique travel gear can be found in niche stores that cater to kitschy merchandise. You might also spot some at a luggage or travel store, but chances are great that the selections there will run the simpler, more traditional route. Here are some places to shop if you're on the hunt for some truly unique pieces:
- Etsy: For the absolute in unique suitcases, look no further than Etsy. Since the majority of the items are handmade, you can count on receiving something that is unlike anything else available in mass merchandise stores. Search for both "luggage" and "suitcases" for the most impressive selection. You'll find everything from retro-style prints to authentic vintage pieces from decades past. This is a dream for anyone who really loves unique accessories!
- Neiman Marcus: Most high-end retailers do carry a decent selection of suitcases. Bear in mind that the majority of them will not be wallet-friendly, but if you're searching for "forever" luggage that will maintain itself well for years, you'll find them here. Neiman Marcus changes its selection often, so check back from time to time for unique pieces. For example, you might find very chic, animal-print luggage sets, or distinctive sets made with rich, crocodile-embossed leather. These might not be the height of uniqueness, but consider that they're usually produced in limited quantities and that few people will be carrying them due to their exclusivity and pricing.
- Target: Love vivid prints? Check out Target for a wide and ever-changing selection of playful suitcases. Given that most collections are seasonal, you can expect to find pieces that suit the time of the year - summer's suitcases, for example, might be adorned with flip flops or sunglasses, while winter's suitcases boast leaf prints and the like. Best of all, the prices are quite budget-friendly, especially if you're shopping for just one or two pieces.
- Traveling Chic: For a bag you're unlikely to spot anyone else carrying, check out the selection at Traveling Chic. Though it's limited, you'll notice immediately that the prints are exceptionally vibrant and fun, and there are several styles available, ranging from weekenders to duffle bags.
- Vivre: If money is no object, pay a visit to Vivre, the online destination boutique that caters to elite shoppers who spare no expense to obtain the very best of the best. Here is where you'll find luxurious leather dopp kits in bold colors and intriguing, old-world style suitcases with dramatic linings. They're the kind of pieces one might have carried on the Titanic so many years ago - a glamorous way to travel, indeed.
Things to Watch For
As with any purchase, it's important to keep an eye on the quality of your luggage. Examine the workmanship from top to bottom. Do the latches close properly? Are they secure? Is it difficult to open? If the product is made with fabric, look for loose strings or stitches that appear to be misaligned or loose. Both are signs of a poor quality product.
Of course, your suitcase should also be roomy enough to meet your needs. Don't sacrifice function all in the name of style; individuality is important, but practicality wins out when you're traveling. You can always add a cute luggage tag to a basic piece of luggage - the color will be more than enough to bring some eye-catching fun to your otherwise simple suitcase!