Why I Prefer to Travel with a Backpack Instead of a Suitcase

Why I Prefer to Travel with a Backpack Instead of a Suitcase

I love backpacks. They allow you to carry all the weight of your luggage over your legs. Those suitcases with the extendable handles and wheels on the bottom are all well and good for holidaymakers, but they wouldn’t last long with someone like me. When I arrive at a destination I generally walk to my accommodation unless it is more than 10kms away. All the walking I do would have the wheels falling off one of those drag-along suitcases in no time at all. I also find the trundling noise they make extremely annoying.

Backpack Advantages

There are many backpack advantages. For one thing, when you have finished unpacking they are nice and flat so, if you have limited space in your rented accommodation, it’s easy to store them somewhere out of the way. Most good backpacks also have pockets at the side and they can be great for storing things you may need to grab in a hurry, such as a waterproof jacket, a bottle of water, or some food. Another backpack advantage is the best ones generally make it easy to store your dirty clothes and footwear separate from you your clean clothes. Backpacks also tend to be a little lighter and that can be a bonus when you are trying to stay light enough to avoid additional baggage fees when flying. The fact that backpacks travel behind you instead of to the side allows you to move through crowds more quickly at airports and train stations. In fact, at airports, one the best backpack advantages is you are unlikely to face any confusion at the baggage carousel. Suitcases are more popular and many people have similar-looking luggage. I find my backpack always stands out a mile and it’s often the only one on the carousel.

The Backpacks I Put Behind Me

Why I Think a Backpack is BestThe first backpack I owned was green. I bought it from Argos in Northallerton and hauled my stuff around in it for more than 20 years. Of course, back then, I lived a “normal” life. I had a job and a home and only needed to use my green backpack if I went away for the weekend.

I took my green backpack with me the first time I tried to escape from the UK. That was durning the 1990s. At the time I planned to go and look for work in France or the Netherlands, so I quit my job and off I went. I got homesick and was back at my mother’s house in less than a week. Not exactly the great adventure I had planned, but it was the first time I ever did a considerable amount of walking with a backpack on my back.

In July 2015, I tried to escape the UK again and had more success. I’d left my wife and was living in rented accommodation in Stockton-on-Tees. There didn’t seem to be anything holding me back and I was earning a modest income working online as a freelance writer. My green backpack was still going strong so I packed my stuff inside it, strapped my tent and sleeping bag to the front, bought a Megabus ticket and travelled from Teesside to Amsterdam. I lived in the Netherlands for three months and totally fell in love with the country. Unfortunately, I had to return to the UK for a new passport. While I was there I bought a new red and grey backpack from Mountain Warehouse.

Backpack AdvantagesThere was nothing wrong with my green backpack. I just wanted something a little larger and the red and grey one had an 85L capacity. I’m still using it, but am hoping to reduce the amount of stuff I carry around with me and buy something smaller. I would also prefer to have a backpack that has a built-in waterproof cover that can be pulled over the pack when it starts to rain. The small bag I use for carrying my electronics around has this feature. My present backpack does not. If it rains heavy my stuff gets wet. I don’t like that and suggest anyone who is thinking of buying a new backpack tries to get one with a waterproof cover. Apart from keeping your stuff dry, covers like that help keep your pack light by preventing it from becoming weighed down with water.

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