The choice of bringing a backpack or rolling backpack to Europe depends on your travel plan and personal travel style.This guide introduces the pros and cons of backpacks and backpack with wheels, and hopefully helps you choose the one that works best for you.
The benefits of using a backpack
Hands-free travel: Using both hands makes navigating Europe's streets and public transport easier.
Easy access to stairs and streets: Large travel backpack easily traverses cobblestone roads and countless staircases.Don't expect to find escalators and lifts on most European public transport.Believe me, every day, I see people on the Paris metro trying to lug a huge suitcase up multiple steps, but it's not fun.
Comfort: Assuming your backpack fits and doesn't overpack, it can actually make you feel comfortable.
Easy mobility: It's easier to walk through crowds and narrow Spaces with a backpack.
Easy storage: Dorms are usually equipped with personal lockers and backpacks are a good fit.In most cases, the suitcase is too large, so you need to take other measures to protect your belongings.
The drawbacks of using a backpack
Airline travel: Between baggage handlers and the carousels used to carry baggage, airlines aren't known for being soft on backpacks.Most backpacks have a lot of belts that can hang from the conveyor belt and sometimes get ripped off (not fun).My goal is to always carry a backpack to avoid these problems.However, many of the newer backpacks come with detachable straps that can be checked safely.
Pack light: Many travelers tend to pack a lot...It's like too many.I've always tried to advocate traveling light, but if you find yourself taking your entire wardrobe with you, you may need to lower your back and use a suitcase instead.
Cost: A good backpack doesn't come cheap (although there are some good budget-friendly options - see our article on buying a backpack).In contrast, you can usually buy a decent wheeled suitcase at discount stores like TJ Maxx or Marshalls for about $40- $90.
Some people don't like them: Some people don't like carrying things on their backs.
While most budget-constrained young travellers opt for backpacking, most 'traditional' travellers still use wheeled luggage when visiting Europe.This is probably mainly because everyone already has a suitcase and they don't want to spend more money to buy things.
The benefits of using rolling backpacks
No carry-on baggage: Obviously, with wheeled baggage, you don't have to carry anything.This is very useful if you want to travel to places where the streets are flat.If you plan to take a taxi from the airport/train station to your hotel, then a suitcase may be the best choice as you won't spend much time picking up your luggage.
Easy to pack/organize: Packing a suitcase is easy and our stuff is easy.
Airline safety: Suitcases are carefully designed to withstand inspection.
Pack more: With wheeled suitcases, you don't have to worry about weight because you don't have to lug them around on your back.
The drawbacks of using a wheeled backpack
Stairs, Damn dirty Stairs: Stairs are the enemy of wheeled suitcases.Wheeled suitcases are designed to be wheeled, but are difficult to carry.Be sure to keep this in mind as you pack your bags by walking up and down the stairs of public transportation, hotels, budget hotels, and rental apartments.
Broken wheels: European streets can beat those wheels.Once the wheel breaks, you might as well buy a new suitcase.
If you do have a wheeled suitcase, we recommend that you carry two sturdy wheels instead of a suitcase with four wheels.
Crowds: Trying to roll a suitcase through a crowd can cause a lot of frustration.
Trains: Most luggage space on trains is above the seats, so make sure you can lift your luggage up above your head.
Note: Some trains do have baggage storage areas, but they fill up quickly and you won't be able to keep an eye on your luggage at all times.
The rough streets and sidewalks of Zaki Street: Rolling a suitcase over cobblestones sounds fun.In addition, sidewalks in many medieval cities were small and impassable.
Difficult to store in a hotel: If you are staying in a hotel, be aware that most lockers are too small for standard luggage.There may be other places to store your luggage, but they may not be as safe as personal lockers.
Not hands-free: You will always have to keep one hand on your purse, which interferes with your activities.
Add weight: Suitcases on wheels weigh a lot more than backpacks.Keep this in mind if you must consider airline weight limits.
As I said before, the choice between a backpack and a rolling suitcase depends on personal preference.Personally, I prefer to use a backpack.This is what I recommend for budget travelers and people who will be visiting a lot of places.