How to choose Backpack or Suitcase for Travel

When it comes to packing light for Australia your first thought should go to the type of travel you will be doing in Australia. If you plan to spend most of your time in the outdoors and immerse yourself in activities like hiking, walking, swimming, surfing, camping then a backpack is probably more appropriate.

The benefit of using a backpack is that you always have both hands free and can walk with it over uneven terrain with no problems. As for a suitcase, it definitely looks elegant, spacious and allows to pack more stuff,  however it is bulky when pulling it oversteps, staircase, buses, and among crowds it will hinder you in your movements.

Either Backpack or Suitcase, it is always a personal choice and if in doubt what to use for travelling Australia, you can make up your mind by taking a look at this list of tips, with pros and cons of backpack versus suitcase.

Backpack or Suitcase for Travelling Australia
Backpack or Suitcase for Travelling Australia

How to choose between Backpack or Suitcase for travelling Australia

Let’s see what the major benefits and drawbacks for backpacks and rolling-suitcases are.

Backpack Pros

  • Mobility. This is no. 1 among the pros. You can move around with no difficulties even on uneven terrain, or among hordes of people at stations or on the road.
  • You can keep things to a minimum. It’s a precondition of any backpack. This is ambivalent, for someone can be a limitation, for some and advantage.
  • You always have both hands free. This is also a great plus you will not have while pulling luggage.
  • You can use the backpack cover as an additional bag, whenever you camp or when flying.

Backpack Cons

  • You have to carry the backpack on your shoulders and you will feel its weight. If you are thin you should try not to exceed 10 kg, and if you suffer from backache a backpack is definitely not for you.
  • Not everything fits into a backpack. For tech devices, you need a day-backpack where you can place your camera, your laptop and more devices that you need to carry around with you.
  • It stops you from buying things, on long-term travel is definitely a limitation. If you buy things, you need to buy extra luggage or backpack and it means more weight to carry.

Rolling Suitcase Pros

  • It’s spacious: almost everything fits into a suitcase. and can be protected from damages. And depending on the kind of travel it allows you to diversify your clothes and travel items too.
  • You can pack more.
  • You can easily pull it on all smooth surfaces with no effort. It’s easy to move around with a suitcase if this is not overpacked.
  • Hardcover suitcases can turn into a useful seat while waiting in stations or at airports.

Rolling Suitcase Cons

  • You will inevitably pack more than what you actually need. You definitely tend to pack more when using a suitcase.
  • You have less mobility than with a pack back as you will have to lift the suitcase on staircase, steps, buses, trains. If you exceed a certain weight limit you will feel it. Up to 10-15 kg is no brainer, when your suitcase weight is over 20kg then it starts being too heavy and you will inevitably feel it.
  • It’s bulky and will limit you moving around fast.

No matter what you will be using, you may want to follow these golden rules when packing luggage:

Leave at home all unnecessary stuff that you can buy locally everything that is of every day use like personal and health care.

Whatever your choice, you should definitely go with the type of backpack or suitcase that you feel it best suits your travel style and personal needs.

You can also check out this page with my tips for packing light.