Is it Better to Travel with a Backpack or Suitcase?

  • If you prefer travelling with minimal clothing options and fewer home comforts, a compact carry-on backpack or a bag under 40 litres would be a suitable choice.
  • However, if you find yourself packing multiple outfits, numerous travel gadgets, safety accessories, and a significant amount of belongings, a suitcase might be the more practical option.
Is it Better to Travel with a Backpack or Suitcase?
Is it Better to Travel with a Backpack or Suitcase?

When it comes to traveling, one of the most significant decisions you have to make is whether to bring a backpack or a suitcase. Both have pros and cons and which one is better largely depends on the trip you are taking and your personal preferences. In this article, we will discuss Is it Better to Travel with a Backpack or Suitcase. Here is the complete guide on How to Lock a Backpack When Traveling: A Comprehensive Guide.

Is it Better to Travel with a Backpack or Suitcase?
Is it Better to Travel with a Backpack or Suitcase?

Backpacks: Pros and Cons


  • Easy to carry: One of the most significant advantages of a backpack is that it is easy to carry. You can wear it on your back and walk around without worrying about dragging it behind you.
  • More versatile: Backpacks are more adaptable than suitcases and better suited for outdoor activities and adventure travel. You can take them on hikes or other outdoor activities without worrying about them getting damaged.
  • Hands-free: With a backpack, your hands can do other things, such as take photos or hold a map.
  • More storage options: Backpacks usually have more pockets and compartments than suitcases, making organizing your belongings and finding what you need easier.


  • Heavy: Packing too much in your backpack can quickly become severe and uncomfortable.
  • Challenging to pack: It can be challenging to pack a backpack efficiently. You have to consider weight distribution and organization to avoid digging through everything to find what you need.
  • Limited capacity: Backpacks have limited capability compared to suitcases, making it difficult to pack everything you need for a more extended trip.
  • Backpacks offer less protection for your belongings than suitcases, as they are more susceptible to damage from rough handling or inclement weather. Here is the reviewed on Top 5 Best Deuter Backpack for Travel.

Suitcases: Pros and Cons

Suitcases: Pros and Cons
Suitcases: Pros and Cons


  • More space: Suitcases generally have more freedom than backpacks, which is excellent if you need to pack many items.
  • Easier to pack: It is usually easier to pack a suitcase efficiently, as you can stack items and use the entire space available without worrying about weight distribution.
  • More protection: Suitcases offer more protection for your belongings, as they are usually made of hard material that can withstand rough handling and inclement weather.
  • Better for business travel: If you are traveling for business, a suitcase may be more appropriate, as it looks more professional and can hold business attire without getting wrinkled.


  • Difficult to maneuver: Suitcases can be challenging to work on, especially if traveling on uneven surfaces or through crowded areas.
  • No hands-free option: With a suitcase, you must carry it by the handle, which means your hands are not free to do other things.
  • Less versatile: Suitcases are less versatile than backpacks, as they are unsuitable for outdoor activities or adventure travel.
  • More expensive: Suitcases are usually more costly than backpacks, especially if you opt for high-end brands. Here is the guide on How to Pack a Travel Backpack.

Which One to Choose?

When deciding between a backpack and a suitcase, there are a few factors to consider:

  • The type of trip you are taking: If you are going on a hiking trip or plan to do a lot of outdoor activities, a backpack is probably the better choice. A suitcase may be more appropriate if you are going on a business trip or staying in a hotel.
  • Your personal preferences: Do you prefer to have your hands free, or do you like a suitcase’s ease of maneuverability? Do you choose to pack lightly, or do you need to bring many items with you? Your preferences will play a significant role in determining which option is right for you.
  • Length of trip: If you are taking a short trip, a backpack may be sufficient. However, if you are traveling for an extended period, a suitcase may be necessary to accommodate all your belongings.

Ultimately, whether to travel with a backpack or a suitcase is a personal decision. Consider your travel needs and preferences to determine which option is right for you.

Wheeled Suitcase for Traveling Europe

Wheeled Suitcase for Traveling Europe
Wheeled Suitcase for Traveling Europe

A wheeled suitcase can be convenient for travelling in Europe due to its ease of use and practicality. Here are the benefits and drawbacks of using a wheeled bag:

Benefits of Using a Wheeled Suitcase

  1. Mobility: Wheeled suitcases feature sturdy wheels that allow you to roll the luggage effortlessly, reducing the physical strain of carrying a heavy load on your back or shoulders.
  2. Efficiency in Urban Areas: European cities often have well-maintained sidewalks and public transportation systems. A wheeled suitcase is ideal for navigating airports, train stations, and city streets.
  3. Organization: Wheeled suitcases typically come with multiple compartments and pockets, making it easier to keep your belongings organized and accessible.
  4. Protective Structure: Suitcases have a rigid structure that helps protect fragile items inside. This can be particularly useful if you’re carrying delicate souvenirs or electronics.
  5. Capacity: Larger wheeled suitcases offer ample space for packing various clothing options, especially if you travel during multiple seasons or for an extended period. We have reviewed on Top 11 Best Roll Top Travel Backpack in 2023.

Drawbacks to Using a Wheeled Suitcase

  1. Cobblestone Streets: Some European cities have cobblestone streets and uneven surfaces, making it challenging to roll a wheeled suitcase smoothly.
  2. Limited Mobility in Rural Areas: A wheeled suitcase may not be as versatile as a backpack if your travel plans include rural or off-road destinations.
  3. Stairs and Public Transportation: While many modern train stations and buses in Europe are equipped with ramps and elevators, there might still be instances where you have to carry your wheeled suitcase up and down stairs.
  4. Overpacking: The larger capacity of wheeled suitcases can tempt you to overpack, leading to heavier luggage that might not meet airline weight limits.
  5. Storage: Some accommodations in Europe, especially older ones, might need more storage space, making it more challenging to store larger suitcases.

Tips for Packing Efficiently

Regardless of whether you choose to travel with a backpack or a suitcase, there are some tips you can follow to pack more efficiently:

  • Make a packing list: Create a packing list to ensure you bring everything you need and avoid overpacking.
  • Roll your clothes: Rolling your clothes instead of folding them can save space and prevent wrinkles.
  • Use packing cubes: Packing cubes can help you stay organized and make it easier to find what you need.
  • Use vacuum-sealed bags: Vacuum-sealed bags can compress your clothes and save space.
  • Pack versatile clothing: Choose clothes that can be worn multiple times and in different settings to reduce the amount you need to bring.

By following these tips, you can make the most of your space and avoid bringing too much.

Best Size Backpack for Travel

The best size backpack for travel depends on your trip’s duration, travel style, and personal preferences. A popular and versatile range is between 40 to 50 litres. This provides enough space for your essentials without being overly bulky.

For longer trips, you might consider a slightly larger backpack, around 50 to 60 litres, while a 30 to 40-litre-litre bag might suffice for shorter trips. Remember, packing light and efficiently is critical to comfortable travel.

Best Size Suitcase for Travel

The best size suitcase for travel depends on whether you’re using it as a carry-on or checked luggage, as well as the duration of your trip. For most airlines, a briefcase with dimensions around 21 to 22 inches in height for carry-on luggage is generally acceptable.

This site provides ample space for short trips. A giant suitcase with 24 to 28-inch dimensions is standard for checked luggage. However, remember that larger bags can become heavy when fully packed, and some airlines have weight limits for checked baggage.

Should You Buy a Backpack or Suitcase? 

Choosing between a backpack and a suitcase depends on travel preferences and needs. Consider the following factors:

Look for Quality

Whether you choose a backpack or a suitcase, prioritize quality. Well-constructed bags withstand the challenges of travel and are a better long-term investment.

Size Does Matter

Decide based on your travel style and the duration of your trip. Backpacks are great for mobility, especially if you’ll be moving frequently. Suitcases provide more structure and organization for longer trips or when you’ll be staying in one place.

How Much Does Your Stuff Weigh?

Consider the weight of your belongings. Backpacks distribute weight on your shoulders and hips, making them better for heavier loads. Suitcases with wheels are convenient but can become cumbersome if too heavy.

Plan Your Clothes Around Season and Weather

Your choice might vary based on the climate and activities. Backpacks are versatile for various conditions, while suitcases offer more protection for delicate items.

Share Your Stuff

If travelling with a partner, consider sharing a giant suitcase to save on luggage fees. Backpacks provide individual storage but can make sharing less convenient.

Ultimately, the decision comes down to your personal preferences and the type of travel you’ll be doing. Both options have advantages, so choose the one that aligns with your needs and makes your travel experience more enjoyable.


In the above portion of my blog, i have write a complete guide on ” Is it Better to Travel with a Backpack or Suitcase “Whether you travel with a backpack or a suitcase largely depends on your preferences and the type of trip you are taking. Both options have pros and cons, and it’s essential to consider these when deciding. Pack efficiently and choose versatile clothing to make the most of your space.

Is it easier to travel with a backpack or suitcase?

This depends on the type of trip you’re taking. A backpack may be easier to carry if you’ll be moving around a lot and need to navigate stairs, uneven surfaces, or public transportation. If you stay in one place and don’t have to worry about carrying your luggage for extended periods, a suitcase might be more convenient.

Why is a backpack better than a suitcase?

A backpack can be better than a suitcase in certain situations because it allows for hands-free carrying, which can be particularly useful when navigating crowded areas or carrying additional bags. It can also be easier to maneuver a backpack through narrow spaces or up and down stairs. Additionally, a load can provide more flexibility when it comes to packing, as it can often accommodate odd-shaped items or a larger volume.

Is it better to travel with a backpack or carry-on?

Again, this depends on your preferences and the type of trip you’re taking. If you want to minimize the amount of luggage you carry and avoid the hassle of checking a bag, a carry-on may be the best option. A backpack may be a better choice if you need more items or want to move around more quickly.

Can you fit more in a suitcase or backpack?

This depends on the size of the suitcase or backpack and how you pack it. A giant bag may hold more items than a smaller backpack, but a well-packed backpack can often fit more things than a poorly packed one. Additionally, a load may be able to hold items that wouldn’t fit in a suitcase, such as bulky or oddly-shaped items.

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