The Backpack Vs. the Suitcase
Not sure whether you'd prefer to take a suitcase, or whether to splash out and spend the money on a backpack? Here are a few handy helpers to hopefully get you sorted out.
There are many advantages of suitcases. They are easy to pack and, depending on the size, can store a lot of baggage. They fit easily into overhead compartments on planes, trains or buses, they aren't as easily damaged in transit as backpacks, they're fantastic in airports or places where you can easily wheel them around (if they have wheels!), and you shouldn't have too much trouble finding one to borrow as most people own a suitcase. The most obvious downside is that you can't carry them for longer than a few awkward minutes.
A backpack is a suitcase built to be carried. They are obviously perfect for hiking or camping trips where you will need everything to fit comfortably on your back, but that's not where it ends. Most trips you take will have you inevitably walking some distances, whether around towns in search of accommodation or to bus terminals or train stations. This is particularly so on longer, less-planned trip as I found out upon visiting Malaysia's Cameron Highlands with a friend. We had decided there would be no need for us to book accommodation, and spent hours wandering around town from hostel to hostel in search of a room. Sure, we had pretty sore backs by the end of it from carrying around our backpacks, but it would have been a nightmare if we'd been lugging around suitcases.
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