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16 best check-in travel luggage bags for work and leisure in 2024

Photo by Shutterstock.
Photo by Shutterstock.

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There's no right way to travel, just as there's no perfect check-in luggage bag to suit all people and every walk of life.

Shopping for the right travel luggage bag will always come down to factors such as travel destination and practicality.

For example, the hiking backpack you use to climb Mt Everest in Nepal will undoubtedly be worlds apart from the hard-cased wheelie bag you bring to the vineyards of Tuscany on a wine enthusiast vacay.

Destinations aside, it's also true that everyone has a personal preference.

Some people appreciate style and security features, whereas others are interested in finding a bag that's durable to better stand the test of time (and prolong purchasing another one).

With this in mind, I've listed some of the best check-in airline bags on the market for a range of holidays and preferences.


Hardside luggage is perfect for security-savvy urban explorers who appreciate a sleek design and wish to protect their belongings from damage or theft.

These bags can withstand bumps, international transfers and the crowded conditions of major cities like Paris, New York and Tokyo.

Here are some quality hardsides for your next urban escape.

Neos large check-in

Neos large carry-on. Photo supplied by Zoom Lite.
Neos large carry-on. Photo supplied by Zoom Lite.

The Neos large check-in bag comes in five colours to match your mood and style, including olive and blue graphite.

The Neos also comes in a range of sizes (so you can get the matching carry-on), has a 10-year warranty and offers safety features like a premium anti-theft double coil zipper.


DELSEY PARIS Chatelet. Photo by Amazon.
DELSEY PARIS Chatelet. Photo by Amazon.

The DELSEY PARIS Chatelet hardside bag was made for style-conscious travellers with its timeless design.

Composed of a lightweight polycarbonate shell, it is easy to carry and resilient to cracking or breaking.

Equipped with a built-in TSA-approved lock and patented zipper design, it's considered a secure bag for city-slickers.

Another benefit of hardside luggage is that even as you walk through the streets of Paris or Tokyo to find your hotel on a particular drizzly day, a hard-shell bag is great for keeping your belongings safe from the elements.

And while I hope this never happens to you, these bags are also more resistant to theft, as the hard exterior makes it difficult for thieves to cut or slash the bag and remove the contents.


Softside bags are perfect for a trip interstate because they are lightweight and flexible - meaning they're easier to squish and stow in the backseat or the boot of a hire car.

If you want to get the most out of the space in a softside bag, an effective travel hack is to use a couple of packing cubes to help divide belongings into separate, easy-to-access compartments.

When taking a softside bag overseas, it's important to check that it's made of durable materials, that the zips are working well and that there are no holes in the fabric.

Be sure to avoid storing any breakable items inside a softside (as they may not survive a marathon of being tossed around the airport).

Some great softside bags that are suitable for flying include the following.

American Tourister Cascade softside

American Tourister Cascade softside. Photo by Amazon.
American Tourister Cascade softside. Photo by Amazon.

The American Tourister Cascade softside is a bag that comes in a delightful sage green, making it easy to spot on the baggage carousel.

The large zipper pulls are great for easy access and the large interior includes smart clip buckles, a wet pack pocket and shoe pockets to help prevent dirty shoes mixing with clean clothes.

Samsonite Citybeat

Samsonite Citybeat. Photo by Amazon.
Samsonite Citybeat. Photo by Amazon.

The Samsonite Citybeat is a sturdy allrounder that is offered at a really reasonable price point for its overall performance.

It is also a low weight bag and comes with all the necessary features for flying, including a combination lock and plenty of volume for packing.


Nothing beats a trusty backpack when you're flying overseas for an outdoor holiday primarily because it can also double as a day pack for hiking adventures.

Backpacks are also super useful for, well, backpackers, who find themselves travelling for long periods at a time, often by rail or bus to stay in different accommodation every few nights.

Because of the nature of this kind of travel, a backpack comes in handy - it's soft and flexible, easy to pack fast and take on public transport and doesn't need to be wheeled across tricky terrains.

Not surprisingly, some of the best backpacks can be found at travel and adventure stores and have been carefully designed to sustain their quality in changing conditions.

These are some of my top picks.

G4Free 50L hiking backpack

G4Free 50L hiking pack. Photo by Amazon.
G4Free 50L hiking pack. Photo by Amazon.

The G4Free 50L hiking backpack comes at an affordable price point, and all the necessary features for an outdoor adventure.

This includes things like a bladder pack for hydration, good ventilation, rain cover and comfortable and adjustable straps.

Asenlin travel backpack

Asenlin travel backpack. Photo by Amazon.
Asenlin travel backpack. Photo by Amazon.

Although this one won't be used on hiking adventures, the Asenlin backpack is a nice alternative to regular that travellers can enjoy.

Supporting 40L of gear, it's considered medium to large and depending on the airline regulations, can actually be taken on as carry-on if you wish to save on check-in costs.

Plus, it contains lots of neat travel compartments to help you stay organised when you're constantly packing and unpacking when travelling abroad.

And if you're looking for a backpack that will give you ample back support, it's best to both research and try on some options at a local store to find one that suits your needs.


If saving costs is your modus operandi, the cost of new luggage gear can seem exorbitant.

But don't fret.

There are plenty of cheap but effective checked luggage products if you go looking for them.

When travelling for a long time, such as a gap year, or on a 6-month hiatus, budgeting is a vital skill to learn so your cash can last the holiday.

Plus, by choosing a budget luggage bag, you will have more funds spare to spend on experiences abroad.

Here are some affordable options that offer a bang for your buck.

Pierre Cardin 50L backpack

Pierre Cardin 50L backpack. Photo supplied by Harris Scarfe.
Pierre Cardin 50L backpack. Photo supplied by Harris Scarfe.

The Pierre Cardin 50L backpack from Harris Scarfe.

Don't be fooled by the image here, because this size is considered large (a large bag being between 50L-70L) so you will be able to use it as a check-in bag for your trip.

It also features an ergonomic back and chest strap, and a laptop compartment.

U.S Traveller set

U.S Traveller set. Photo by Amazon.
U.S Traveller set. Photo by Amazon.

The set from U.S. Traveller will provide you with luggage for both check-in and carry-on for around $85 (prices vary between colours).

This travel suitcase includes a fully-lined interior, self-locking handle and internal tie-down straps to maximise packing space.


Back in the 50s and 60s, airline luggage was very much considered a luxury item, and so they were often influenced by fashion trends.

Today, many luggage options maintain a focus on utilitarian value over fashionable considerations.

However, it is possible to find a bag that does both!

Below are a couple of options that are both luxe and reliable.

TUMI expandable packing case

TUMI expandable packing case. Photo by Amazon.
TUMI expandable packing case. Photo by Amazon.

TUMI's expandable packing case is lightweight and resilient bag that comes with a 5-year warranty.

The sophisticated texture and glossy effect on the bag make it easy on the eye, while the low-profile integrated lock will ensure your belongings are kept safe.

What I like about this one is it includes a monogramming tag to personalise your luggage with a name and contact details.

Buy one for you and your partner and you'll surely look the part.

Bric Bellagio ultra-light 

16 best check-in travel luggage bags for work and leisure in 2024
16 best check-in travel luggage bags for work and leisure in 2024

Bric's Bellagio ultra-light bag has a classic feel that reminds me of the air travel bags from fashion campaigns in the 50s and 60s.

The timeless cream colour wave, with drum-dyed Italian leather finishes will mean it is less inclined to date like an ultra-modern bag might. It also includes a combination lock, a 5-year warranty and a waterproof zipper to keep your belongings dry.


When travelling to a conference or work event, organisation and convenience is key. This is why smart luggage is such a popular choice among business professionals.

For those who are unfamiliar with the term, smart luggage refers to bags that offer technological features that go beyond storage.

They can include features such as charging ports, electronic locks and GPS tracking.

Below are some examples.

Wrangler smart luggage

Wrangler smart luggage. Photo by Amazon.
Wrangler smart luggage. Photo by Amazon.

Though you may recognise Wrangler as a jeans brand, they also make their own line of affordable smart luggage.

The Wrangler smart luggage includes a USB-port so you can charge your electronics on-the-go. Other features include a cup holder and phone holder for your convenience.

Ted Baker Flying Colours hardside

Ted Baker Flying Colours hardside bag. Photo by Amazon.
Ted Baker Flying Colours hardside bag. Photo by Amazon.

The Ted Baker Flying Colours hardside bag is another sleek option for business travellers. It also includes a USB smart port, a laptop compartment, quality zips and a TSA-approved lock.

Thanks to fast-improving technology, smart luggage is becoming more common.

If the bag doesn't include the tech feature you want, I recommend finding a separate accessory or attachment, such as a bag tracker like Apple Airtag or an electronic lock.


When you're frequently moving from place to place on holiday, sometimes living out of your suitcase is the only way to go about it.

The best way to do this is to make a habit of staying organised and practicing smart packing hacks. Finding luggage that assists with this can make a huge difference.

Below are some great luggage finds that make organisation easy.

Hanke avocado green suitcase

16 best check-in travel luggage bags for work and leisure in 2024
16 best check-in travel luggage bags for work and leisure in 2024

This Hanke avocado green suitcase is a durable and compact suitcase size that includes a separate front pocket for storing a laptop and notebooks.

A mesh and zipper interior pocket help divide small valuables from the main bag compartment.

Plus, it includes a lock and elastic cross straps to fasten clothes. Conveniently, this bag comes in three sizes depending on your needs.

LEVEL8 matte luggage

LEVEL8 matte luggage. Photo by Amazon.
LEVEL8 matte luggage. Photo by Amazon.

If you want to level-up your packing game, the beautiful LEVEL8 matte luggage contains four packing cubes and zipper dividers to help separate items and maximise suitcase capacity.


For a child embarking on their first flight, having their own kid-friendly luggage adds to their delight!

Providing luggage for your kids is a great way for to help them feel independent. Packing can also be a fun way to teach them how to prioritise what they need and how to stay organised for the trip.

These are my favourite check-in bags for kids.

Hauptstadtkoffer kids luggage

16 best check-in travel luggage bags for work and leisure in 2024
16 best check-in travel luggage bags for work and leisure in 2024

The bright Hauptstadtkoffer kids luggage is a fun and functional bag for kids around 4-6 years of age.

With four wheels, they work kind of like training wheels, making it's easier to transport than the adult two-wheeled bags.

It comes fully lined and includes elastic cross ribbons to secure packed clothes.

American Tourister Little Curio 

American Tourister Little Curio suitcase. Photo by Amazon.
American Tourister Little Curio suitcase. Photo by Amazon.

The American Tourister Little Curio suitcase has an appearance which is more traditional - this one is good for the kids who wish to feel like one of the grownups or their older siblings!

What I like about this one is it includes a DIY name tag with customisable stickers in case the bag gets lost in transit.


If you like the idea of walking the historical Kokoda trail on your holiday, you may not enjoy spending a month on a Disney cruise.

Just as travel experiences are unique to every individual, your choice of luggage will be much the same.

Ultimately, the right check-in luggage all depends on what you want and where you're headed.

My hot tip for choosing new check-in travel luggage is to read the luggage reviews from customers. This way, you'll learn more about people's honest thoughts and impressions on the products.

If you're more interested in looking for inspiration on what to bring in your cabin luggage, feel free to check out our articles about the best carry-on bags in 2024 and clever hacks to make an economy flight feel like first class.

I hope these recommendations come in handy - or at least bring you closer to the one that's right for your holiday.

Frequently asked questions 

What is the standard suitcase size for air travel?

The most standard suitcase sizes are approximately 50cm (carry-on), 60cm (mid-sized), and 70cm (large).

However, the recommended baggage size can differ between airlines, so it's important to research your chosen airline to be on the safe side.

What is allowed in check in luggage?

Passengers are allowed to pack items such as like clothing, toiletries (within size limits), liquids including alcohol (within size limits), sporting equipment and medications.

Airlines highly recommend that you avoid packing any valuables in your checked baggage as they can be subject to damage. This can include passports, breakables, computers, valuable documents and precious metals and stones.

As far as dangerous goods are concerned, the dangerous goods listed by Qantas are a no-no for airline travel across the board.

It's important to check your bag is packed correctly before you fly. Complying with airline regulations is imperative to ensure safety onboard the flight.

Do airlines prefer hard or soft luggage?

Airlines are less worried about whether you carry hard or soft luggage when travelling.

Instead, airlines are more concerned about size and weight of the bag, and the objects you are carrying.

Is smart luggage worth it?

Smart luggage can be great for travellers who enjoy the convenience of features like built-in USB ports, GPS tracking devices, electronic security accessories and motorised wheels.

Some smart luggage even includes built-in scales, which can help you avoid arriving at the airport to find out your bag is over the weight limit.

The downside of smart luggage is that they are more expensive and the lithium-ion batteries that can they contain are subject to airline restrictions. You will need to remove the battery before checking in, which can be inconvenient.

How do I pack a suitcase efficiently?

Use packing cubes, roll clothes instead of folding them, and pack heavy items at the bottom of the suitcase.

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