I travel a lot… not surprising to most who have read this blog or know my life at all. Whether recreationally or professionally, I find myself on a lot of planes, trains, and automobiles.
The one thing I hate most about travelling so much is packing- or at least that was the thing I hated most about travelling a lot.
I have an anxiety disorder which is massively triggered by packing. I used to think that it was because I had a change coming in my life or because I knew I was going away again. This I thought until I got good luggage.
When I got my new job with Cirque du Soleil, I splurged on new luggage. The mileage that my suitcases were going to get on them was about to increase exponentially as I would be travelling to a new place week-to-week, so I wanted something reliable, with a lifetime warranty, and with Omni-directional wheels (because they are a literal Godsend).
I got a 3-piece set of Away hard cases. This ran me $1,200 CAD (insert vomit sound here). But I figured that a lifetime warranty can’t be beaten. This is the monetary value of stuff to put my stuff in. At the time, I was calling myself loony for spending so much on this.
Following this purchase, I had a boat load of trouble with shipping- lots of emails, guarantees etc. So, I ended up getting a free Expandables carry-on as well as most of the other luggage for free. All along the way the customer service was phenomenal and was fast-acting in righting their wrongs. In the end, I ended up getting 2 carry-ons (one expandable, one with a leather outside pocket), a medium hard case, and a large hard case for about $280 CAD. However, now that I have all of it and have used it, I would have been more than happy having spent the full retail-value.
I received enough of my luggage to travel and was soon on my way to my tour. I VERY quickly recognized the difference and value difference between my $50 Walmart special and this $375 (full retail-value) carry-on.
It started with the packing:
I was not anxious. AT. ALL. The amount of space these suitcases have is incredible.
It seems as though the thing that was making me anxious was how disorganized packing was… “Am I packing too much? Too little? Where did that brush go? UGH I FORGOT THAT ONE THING!”
The layout is much nicer because you can see everything you put in, you can clearly see the room you have left, there are several compartments etc. I do not understand how something with the same volume can hold so much more stuff in such a well-organized fashion, but maybe you are paying for the same technology that Mary Poppins has in her bag…. I could fit more, nicely folded clothes in the Away case, than I could with rolled clothes in the same sized Wal-Mart bag. How?! Witchcraft.
It continued with the transport:
These wheels are SMOOTH. I mean like spreading warm butter. The Expandables case has a handle on the bottom- it sounds like a weird concept, but getting it in and out of an overhead compartment, a trunk of a car etc. with a handle on either end is a literal game-changer. It holds so much but feels so light compared to my other cheap cases. I write this all really in awe of how physics can be broken like this. Going on and off of tour buses all the time is so easy with the sleekness of the outside. From rolling it through airports, on and off of tour buses, tarmacs, sidewalks, carpet etc. these really are all-terrain.
It’s got the look:
They are stunning looking cases, I got a pretty blush colour in the hard cases and an asphalt grey in the expandable. They also stand out. Not because of their colour, but the cases have a very distinctive look to them and due to the cost, you don’t find as many on the conveyor as you do with the Wal-Mart specials. They do get pretty dirty BUT they came with a magic eraser (per bag) for you to use.
Use on the road:
Going from place to place on tour makes for a lot of unpacking and packing. But not with these, the layout and room inside makes it so I can organize them to open them up and essentially use them as a dresser on the go. Saving me time and energy that you don’t always have on tour. I have my carry-on for my show blacks and cute things for my room (to make it homey of course) and then my suitcase has all of my normal clothes and shoes in it. Perfectly organized and easy to throw things in for the next location!
I got these suitcases for a lot less than the regular Joe will get them for because I had so many problems with actually getting them. That said, I would have been happy paying the full cost. The lack of anxiety in packing/unpacking itself is worth that money, let alone all of the other conveniences that these come with.
This is not an ad. I am not sponsored by Away. (though I wouldn’t be mad if they wanted to send me some free swag…)
I am just saying that I thought I was bonkers for spending so much originally, I have blown through a few $50 cases in my day, but I didn’t mind because they were so cheap. These are built to last which saves my pocket, my sanity, and the environment in the long run.