We’ve been on the road full time now for nine months. When you’re travelling for that long, your suitcase becomes akin to your car back home. The choice is highly personal and the decision greatly impacts how efficiently you get from one destination to the next.
When I announced to friends and family The Hubby and I would be travelling for a year, surprisingly one of the first questions people asked was, “So, are you backpacking?”. It seemed, knowing what bag we were taking helped them picture what we would look like on the road. It brought the image and our trip to life. “No, we have hard cases. My backpacking days are behind me”, I would respond. You see I did the backpacking thing years ago. I spent 12 months travelling the globe when I was 18, a backpack front and back, trekking from station to hostel like a pack horse. No, that would not be how The Fit Travellers would be approaching this trip. We were older and wiser. Well, older anyway. Of course, we also work with luxury brands who would gasp, stare and potentially point if we rolled into a 5-star resort with a dusty pack on our backs. Instead, we would #takeontheworld in style.
I developed a particular love for a hard shell suitcase when I bought my first American Tourister AT Prismo Spinner case for a seven week tour around Europe a few years ago. I carted it down the cobblestone streets of Spain and Italy, sat on it at train stations and squashed it into the back of rental cars on the French Riviera. Surprisingly, it survived.
I replaced that case with exactly the same model just last year. I wanted fresh wheels for my destination wedding in Bali. Like most brides will appreciate, when you’re preparing for your wedding and your honeymoon, in large part you want your clothing and accessories (including your suitcase) to be new, not borrowed. Blue is up to you.
It’s that American Tourister case that I packed up for The Fit Traveller world tour that we are on right now. I tossed it between ferries, mini buses, tuk tuks, taxis and trains for four months around Asia. When it popped out of the conveyer belt at the airport in Mykonos as we touched down in Europe, a small tear may have rolled down my cheek having lost a bag at Athens airport about 15 years ago.
I counted each new sticker slapped on my suitcase at check in counters around the globe as badges of honour, marvelling at the incredible places we had visited so far on our journey. But the day came again when it was time for a shiny new replacement for both The Hubby and I. It was time for an upgrade. Cue my newest ride, the AT Bon Air.
Transferring my belongings carefully into the new model, it was time to leave the old boy behind. I wrote a note and stuck it to the case; “This case works perfectly. Please give it to a good home” and left it in a hotel room in Brussels.
The Bon Air and I are getting along like a house on fire. I was tentative as first, as new relationships tend to go, I carefully folded my clothes, placing them one at a time into assigned areas in the bottom and top sections. I reminded cab drivers constantly to “Be careful with the bag, please!”, until I realised it was futile; some people just don’t appreciate a good suitcase.
So what is it I love so much about my AT Bon Air suitcase?
- As I am quite literally carrying my entire life with me for 12 months, I appreciate the hard shell (polypropylene) case protects my belongings from the elements; dust, a sprinkle of rain or snow or dirty hands.
- The hardside expander is a god send. Especially when you’ve just sent a package home and you don’t want to have to explain to your better half why your bag suddenly won’t shut, again.
- The lock. It always give me peace of mind. Particularly when you show up to baggage claim and your bag has been waiting for you for some time, alone.
- The spinner style wheels. The four wheels make it easier to balance a very full bag.
- The warranty. If you bag breaks on the banks of the Yangtze. American Tourister will get a new one to you even if you don’t have a phone. You can simply get in touch via Twitter @AT_Luggage or Facebook.
A huge thank you to American Tourister ANZ for our new AT Bon Air cases!
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Shop my case here.