It isn’t by accident that one of the funniest movies ever focuses on the hell that is holiday travel. But an important part of what makes Planes, Trains, and Automobiles so hilarious is that it is happening to someone else. We’ve all been Steve Martin at some point in our lives. That doesn’t mean we want to ever do it again.
Whether traveling for Thanksgiving (like Martin) or holiday break, there’s usually a light at the end of the tunnel. Seat companions who think being on an airplane gives them carte blanche to rip farts are easier to bear when you take off in the dreary snow and land in a sunny beach town. At the very least, holiday travel tends to convey passengers to at least some family members who they care about, perhaps even love. But the “bright side” can be tough to remember as you suffer the indignities of being seated in Zone We’ll-Call-You-While-The-Plane-Is-Taxiing.
That’s why it is important to treat yourself, because you know the air/train/bus lines certainly aren’t going to. The luggage below won’t get you a first class upgrade, but it will make one small part of your trip better. And when you’re traveling on the holidays, sometimes that’s the most you can ask for.
It makes sense that Bugaboo, which is best known for its baby strollers, expanded from taking care of one type of precious cargo (kids) to another (stuff). Bugaboo’s new Boxer luggage system features a chassis that you push instead of pull, making it easier to navigate, especially when you’re in a hurry. Different configurations of cases (both carry-on and checked) can attach to the chassis so you always have the right bag, no matter the trip.
BURTON X G PEN X PHIL FROST WHEELIE FLIGHT DECK
Burton’s luggage is just as battle-tested as its snowboards. Snowboarders put their bags through hell, so the company has become well-versed in making bags that are incredibly functional and durable. Burton also lets its creative side come through with exceptional prints like this one from artist Phil Frost. With this bag, you never have to worry about your bag being mistaken for another passenger’s again.
HEX X STANCE SNEAKER DUFFEL
The shoes are the star on this Hex duffel made in collaboration with Stance, so it is fitting that the bag have a tonal star pattern. Two designated pockets on either end are specifically designed to hold pairs of sneakers, and a divider keeps any foot funk from seeping into the main compartment. Each bag comes with two pairs of Stance socks and a pair of Hex x Stance shoe laces.
RADEN A22 CARRY
At first glance, a “smart” suitcase seems like another gimmick. What kind of tech can you put into a bag? But Raden figured out innovative ways to incorporate technology that improve travel. The handle works as a scale, so you know exactly how much your bag weighs and aren’t surprised by any fees. There is also a built-in battery to charge your phone without huddling around some communal outlet. The A22 also looks incredibly sleek and is available in 10 colors with either a gloss or matte finish (but go with the matte).
GLOBE-TROTTER SPITFIRE TROLLEY CASE
If the design of this suitcase looks like something James Bond would travel with, that’s because 007 did just that with a navy version in Spectre. The classic details and shape on the trolley case contrast nicely with the modern camouflage pattern. And while it may look like a suitcase of yore, it has a telescoping handle and wheels so you don’t have to carry it everywhere like in days past.
DAKINE CARRY ON ROLLER
Dakine makes great bags at a great value. It’s as simple as that. This roller bag has the aesthetics of a vintage climbing backpack and a roomy main compartment for all your clothes and an external laptop pocket that makes going through security a breeze.