When we travel by plane, we always ask ourselves whether the hand luggage will be a backpack or a trolley. Having quite often this question we made a list of pluses and minuses for each option. We believe that it will certainly help you, especially if you only travel with hand luggage.
To start the comparison, let’s make a scenario, to be easier to understand. You are about to go on a city break for a few days and you can’t decide whether to take a backpack or a small trolley.
Small cabin trolley
For us, the trolley is ideal when travelling with a personal car (or renting it) and for short trips that do not require changing accommodation very often.
Benefits of a trolley:
- You can organize more easily the space you have in a trolley because it is shaped like a box.
- You are not interested in how heavy it is because you will pull it anyway. (But keep in mind that airlines have a Baggage Policy with a maximum of kg you can bring on board.)
- Clothes will not get so richly in a trolley.
- A trolley offers better protection in the case of fragile items.
- Often, a trolley gives you more space than a backpack (box shape helps).
Drawbacks of a trolley:
- It’s noisy. When you pull a trolley after you, you will sure to make a lot of noise.
- Low flexibility. If you have a lot of walking or public transportation, the trolley will be uncomfortable to take after you. For example, in Sri Lanka, the number of buses we took and what conditions they offered, it would have been much harder for us with the trolley.
- There is a risk of it breaking, a wheel jumping, so you’ll have to carry it like a briefcase. This is especially true of cheaper trollers.
- If it is cold outside you will need gloves in your hands.
The backpacker can be a good choice when you want to travel a lot and you do not want to worry about the means of transport. We travelled through South East Asia for four months with only two backpacks. You can read here what we packed.
Benefits of a Backpack:
- High flexibility. The backpacker allows you to move quickly and without difficulties.
- A slightly higher degree of safety compared to the trolley. If you are in a situation that is not so safe, you can put your backpack in front so you can better protect your belongings.
- It forces you to think twice before you pack an item. It is an advantage because we often pack things we don’t need.
- You can also ride a scooter if you have a backpack 😀
- Easier to transport over long distances and in different means of transport.
Drawbacks of a Backpack:
- You are more mindful with how many things you pack because you are going to carry those pounds.
- Poor protection. Being textile, it often isn’t good protection to the items inside.
- You have to organize yourself better if you want to fit all your items.
- If you have problems with your back, it would be advisable to avoid it.
Which one do you prefer? The trolley or the backpack?