Travel Tips

Why I finally ditched my fabric black suitcases

Why I finally ditched my fabric black suitcases color
One of the most important things I have learned by traveling as frequently as I do; is never to own a black suitcase ever again!

As someone who has spent endless hours around conveyor belts in different airports across multiple continents, I can testify that one of the most frustrating vacation pastimes can be trying to figure out which suitcase is yours from a plethora of seemingly identical others. Now, envision that same scenario, after a delayed red-eye,  flying on a multi-segment international flight with a cranky kid with autism, and how the already complex situation can become a full blown disaster in a matter of a New York minute.

My secret is buying the ugliest patterns or hideously-colored suitcases I can find and that most consumers would not consider purchasing. Moreover, I usually buy them in batches of six identical ones, four to travel with, and two extra ones that are my ‘spares’ (in case one breaks and my pattern is discontinued).I seek these ‘hidden hideous treasures’ in outlet stores like TJ Maxx or


The luggage I currently use is a hard shell version by Olympia with large hippie 60’s  flower pattern that sticks out like a sore thumb. The design is the one that you can quickly detect on the long windy conveyor belt and stop anyone from trying to walk away with it since it can be easily spotted across the airport arrivals room. As a result, everyone in my family can actively participate in retrieving our four identical pieces of luggage off the conveyor belt, thus enabling us to exit the airport faster.

I don’t especially believe in buying high ended expensive brands, as I’ve had expensive suitcases smashed, torn or destroyed just as frequently as their cheaper counterparts.Like I mentioned before I tend to chose quality over quantity and buy bags in batches of four or eight so I can easily replace one if and when it gets damaged.However, there are  two features I do check carefully before I purchase luggage: the weight of the suitcase since on domestic flights there are significant weight restrictions and  how well the  wheels  swivel since I have a shoulder injury .in my case I look for wheels that can rotate 360 degrees so the suitcase can be moved in any direction -forward, backward and even sideways if need be.
The new hard-shelled suitcases that have become increasingly popular do have several advantages over their fabric or leather competition.They are light, swivel and are almost unwelcoming to bedbugs (just remember to zip them shut in the hotel or cabin)—but they do have a higher chance of being bashed in and resembling a traumatized car bumper.

We have recently switched to the hard-shells swiveling suitcases but have yet to take them on long-haul flights with multiple stops. I guess we’ll just have to adopt a wait-and-see approach on how they weather the severe manhandling practiced in airports nowadays.

I think it couldn’t be worse than the time we flew back from Fort Lauderdale to Los Angeles and had all six fabric suitcases destroyed.

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Margalit Sturm Francus
A reformed dentist who gave up pulling teeth to show her son the world! Need tips on how to #travel with #autism? Follow me on Instagram & Facebook
Margalit Sturm Francus

Margalit Sturm Francus

A reformed dentist who gave up pulling teeth to show her son the world! Need tips on how to #travel with #autism? Follow me on Instagram & Facebook

0 thoughts on “Why I finally ditched my fabric black suitcases

  • Rosemary

    You and I think alike! I gave up the sleek, black suitcase long ago, and haven’t looked back. In April, AirTran had to retrieve my bag after they stranded me in Atlanta. It was easy to describe my bag to the tired agent – “It’s neon pink and white polka dots”. Thus, my bag was back to me within minutes!

    Great post! I look forward to following your blog.

    • Hi Rosemary,
      So glad you approve!!
      Looks like we share the same ideas and taste. I’d love big bold pink polka dot luggage though I could see my sons and husband mildly uncomfortable to be seen with it.
      Happy Travels.


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