Backpack or Suitcase?
The age old question. Do you want to rock out the backpacker look or stroll elegantly and easily with a suitcase? Both have their advantages and disadvantages, and as someone who’s experienced both, I feel that I’ve got it down pat.
I initially went over to London with a big suitcase. Suitcases are good because you can squeeze a lot of stuff in there, so when you’re moving overseas to establish a new life, it’s quite convenient. Also, pulling it along behind you in easy and pretty much effortless. However, when you’re tired and it’s late at night and you’re changing trains, trying to heave 30kg of luggage up the station’s stairs… you start to question life as you know it! In my experience, there will usually be a few people who will offer to help you out, generally men, trying to do a good deed, but also assert their strength. And then they go to pick it up and you see them channel every depth of strength contained in their body to lift it up those stairs. Their eyes, filled with regret yet determination. I truly do admire these people, however, it just adds to me feeling useless and sometimes I just can’t help but laugh.
Backpacks are cool. Full stop.
After struggling around trains and public transport for about a month in the UK, I was fed up. My little beauty is a 66L TRESPASS, which I got on sale for about £30. And it was the best decision I’ve made. It does limit your luggage (mine usually weighed between 10-15kgs) but that’s generally a good thing. Because really, how many pairs of jeans do you need? (the answer is 1 by the way).
Backpacks generally don’t get in people’s way too, making you feel like less of a nuisance. It’s easy to carry, there’s lots of straps that you can tie around your waist to take the strain off of your back, however I must say that after about half an hour of wondering around with that thing on my back, lost somewhere in Budapest, I need a coffee break. Also, at airports, they always make you drop your bag off at the oversized baggage drop. Just in case they felt you needed the extra walk with it. But it gives you the greatest workout ever! Works your back, arm, stomach and leg muscles so if you don’t eat too many Yorkshire puddings or drink too much beer (which you will), you might actually keep in shape!
Then there’s also the overnight bag. A crucial thing you need, especially when you’re settling down somewhere. Perfect for those weekend trips away to avoid paying Ryanair’s baggage fees (10kg and that’s it).
Also a must need for the ladies is a little handbag. Trust me… it’s a lifesaver! Because you will go out and party, and have a great time, and you don’t want to be shoving everything down your bra. I bought a little shoulder bag from Primark for £2. And that thing was my saving grace. Somewhere safe to stash your phone, wallet, lippy, whatever you need, whilst you’re out to avoid the prying hands of pick pocketers.
Obviously you can tell I’m definitely pro-backpacks. They’re convenient, easy to carry, give you a work out and they look damn cool!