When you travel, do you do it for work or pleasure? One of the first things that suitcases say about a person is the purpose of their trip. Whether they are travelling to a business meeting, going on holiday or even touring the world. Colour, “cut” and overall style can dictate the purpose of the suitcase – so in a way, it can be said that suitcases are an adjunct to the personality.
A business suitcase, generally speaking, isn’t pink. For the most part the suitcases that people use when they travel on short business trips are small, tough and conservatively coloured.
One of the most obvious denoting factors of a potential business suitcase is its ability to be stowed in a hand luggage compartment. When travelling out of the country for two or three days for business purposes, the worker likes to get on and off the aircraft as quickly as possible. So having a suitcase capable of storing his or her business attire, laptop or tablet, and perhaps a good book – which is still able to fit in the overhead compartment – is ideal.
A business suitcase tends to receive a pretty rough treatment at either end of the flight – particularly on flights composed mostly of business travellers. The somewhat uncouth rush for the exits inevitably involves bags being hauled out of the overhead trays rapidly, bashed against seat arms and generally mistreated.
Plus, of course, the suits and equipment inside a business suitcase need to be kept in pristine condition, ready for wearing or protected so their delicate electronic components still work. So business suitcases tend to be quite tough – often protected with graphite or similar composite mouldings.
The design of all luggage, of course, is primarily intended to protect. Internal protection must also be synthesised with sensible compartmentalisation. By keeping toiletry items separate from the clothes in a suitcase (for example), a designer both makes it easier to find when needed, and ensures that the clothes run a lesser risk of being contaminated by a spilled shampoo bottle.
Business travellers are not the only people to try and get their luggage into the cabin rather than the hold. Some popular airlines now charge for extra baggage, which has forced short trip holidaymakers to assess their options. If, for example, it is possible to get away with a single case for a week (as may be true when you go on holiday to somewhere guaranteed to be warm enough for beach clothes), then you may wish to save time and money by sticking with hand luggage.
Again, the properties of protection and appropriate size are the most important. In addition to these, though, the user may also wish to make something of a personal statement with his or her luggage. The shiny, toughened surfaces of modern suitcases are perfect for colouring – and are generally available in bright colours and even animal prints, as well as the more standard blacks and blues.
All suitcases have a dichotomy embedded in their design. They’re intended to be portable; but they are also supposed to hold a combination of clothing and accessories that may weigh a significant amount. As a result most have wheels, and are designed to allow the user to transport them on those wheels without stooping.
Here, all luggage says the same thing about its user – that he or she isn’t going to get a bad back from his or her adventures.
About the Author
Hannah is a travel writer. She has written blog posts on suitcases for a number of travel sites.