16 Mar 2012
We’ve all got baggage
Every time I travel, I mentally thank Bernard Sadow. So, I suspect, would you if you knew who he was. Because Bernard Sadow is credited as the inventor of the wheeled suitcase – a godsend if you’re 5ft 3 (5ft 4 on a tall day) like I am, but still want to lug around plenty of options for a trip away.
My thanks are getting even more fervent now I’m pregnant and less inclined to heft heavy weights around.
And as my luggage takes more punishment than most people’s, I’m forever having to add to my suitcase collection. Travelling up to 20 times a year puts a strain on any case. I’m sure baggage handlers are lovely people doing a tough and boring job, but they aren’t wearing kid gloves as my bags get hurled half way round the world.
So, there’s two options. Go for the top end of the scale, the type of luggage that’s designed to last a lifetime, probably designed to weigh two ounces, and maybe even monogrammed. Or back in the real world, where I don’t have £150 to blow on a bag, go cheap.
Aha, a false economy, I hear you saying. Well, I don’t think so. As long as you’re not buying a knock-down flimsy bargain, I haven’t found much difference in staying power between a £20 suitcase, a £40 suitcase and a £60 suitcase.
Which brings me to my secret weapon. Primark. Yes, you did read that correctly. Tucked away behind the £3 sunglasses, there’s a luggage section with some surprisingly good deals, a range of sizes and a rather funky selection of designs. Before you think I’m just being shallow (although I don’t actually have a problem with that), it’s significantly easier to spot a zebra-striped suitcase tumbling onto the carousel than working out which identikit black case is yours.
I once spotted my zebra (yes, I really do have one) from 50ft away in the back of a van after it had gone missing for five days on a flight to Madagascar. My squeal of pleasure made people nearby jump.
My latest addition is a smaller blue and white spotty case, which has an inner pocket, extends and has two handles for carrying, all for a bargainous £20. The pull handle is a bit more wobbly than the surprisingly sturdy zebra, but it coped admirably on a three-day trip to Belfast.
And let’s fact it, if I’m unashamed to be seen with stripy and spotty suitcases, a Trunki holds no fears for the future.