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"La Tahzan, InnaAllaha ma'ana" (Al- Quran: Surah At- Taubah- Verse 40)
Translation: "Be not sad (or afraid), surely Allah is with us."

"All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing." ~Edmund Burke~

'It's not what the world holds for you, but what you bring to it' ~Anne of Green Gables~

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Choosing a TRAVEL BAG

When looking for a travel bag, there are a few points that you need to consider:
1. How much do you want to put in?
2. How heavy you can carry?
3. How safe is the bag?

1. How much do you want to put in?
Well this is pretty much depending on the duration of your travel and in what weather. Of course you’ll need more thick clothing if you’re traveling in a winter. In this case, you would need a bigger luggage.

2. How heavy can you carry?
This is very important. The heavier you can carry means you will be able to lug around a bigger bag. Even a trolley bag is very convenient, it can also be heavy to pull around, especially if its weight is more than yours :)

For us ladies, I’m sure there will always be a gentlemen who would be kind enough to help *wink*… but I would suggest that you keep your belongings as far away from stranger as possible. That is why it is important for you to carry only as heavy as you can manage.

3. How safe is the bag?
Safety is the most important aspect of a traveling bag… I sacrificed looking cute and funky and opted for a black, dull and serious looking backpack for my travel. Boringgg…

But, what do I mean by safe?

It means that, strangers cannot take things out OR put things in, without you knowing and permission.
None of us wants to unknowingly became a drug trafficker ‘mule’.

I have surveyed a lot of backpacker’s bag. I’ve been to every luggage and adventure shops that sell bags. The bags are sturdy, water resistant, light with a lot of compartments. However, I noticed most of the backpacks, do not have zippers where we can put a lock on. Most of it use string and then covered by a clip-on flap ( I think those are the right words… errrkkk). Hopefully pictures below will help explain what I mean :P

Boleh imagine tak? Heheheee...

The problem with this kind of bag is it’s big enough for our travels, but too big for the overhead compartment. Therefore, you cannot carry it on board and it needs to be checked in. How can I check in an unsecured bag? It's so scary! Even the bags that I carry on board have locks on :P

There are also times when your luggage needs to be checked in, not because of its size or its weight, but because you carried more than 1 litre of liquid. You know, shampoo, conditioner, your contact lens solution. So, in this case, please consider buying a bag that can be safely checked-in.

For check-in bags, I personally prefer trolley bags. This is because trolley bags are usually tough. You can be almost 100% certain that the things inside will not be broken or messed up.

I use Timberland backpack for my short travels. It looks something like this picture. Actually, it's a laptop bag but really good for traveling :)
I can put in all the things that I need for a 3-4 days travel.
The bag is water resistant, lockable and can fit into the over head compartment.
It has a lot of pockets for organizing your things.

When I arrived at the travel location, I don't carry around the big backpack. Instead I usually use a smaller backpack. But, since I have my best buy imitation Kipling sling bag from my trip to Cambodia (hihihiiii..), I prefer to carry this sling bag. I prefer sling bag to backpack because it is carried in front. So, you can really keep an eye on your things.
This imitation Kipling bag that I bought has been proven to be stylish (important, yes?), strong and water-proof (experiment done by Anastasia during her trip to Jakarta).I'm sure the real Kipling bags are much better. If you have extra cash, it's better to get an original one.
The one that I have look similar to this. You can see it in my Langkawi trip photos.

Eagle Creek and Urban has came out with different size of cubes, to help you organize your luggage. I'm sure there are other brands out there. But Eagle Creek is my favourite.

You can also use this for your folded clothes, to keep them wrinkle less :)

You can use this kind of wallet to safe keep your important document e.g. passport, air ticket, personal information etc.
This small bag usually carried underneath your shirt. Far from the sneaky eyes.

I guess that almost covers my advice on what to consider when buying a traveling bags. If you have anything to add, please do. I welcome any good recommendations and reminders :)

Travel safely and happily globe trotters!

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