|Mr. Darcy checks out my new suitcases. They were the cheapest I could find, but I'm hoping they will stand up to the rigours of at least one trip to Rome.|
After decades without setting foot on an airplane, it seems I am going to Rome to do essay research next month. One of the many things you realize when you haven’t travelled for that long is that you will, in fact, need luggage. A mangy old duffel bag stuffed to bursting will not serve for a month in Europe.
If I was young and contemplating a lifetime of travel, I would (if I had money), buy something stylish and strong, long-lasting and elegant. The rule about buying well once would definitely apply.
But for someone at my stage of life with no plans to travel again? Cheap, was the only answer.
Alarmed to learn that a small carry-on case alone could run to $425, I contemplated Craigslist and begging friends for loaners. But the Hudson’s Bay, in one of those eerily timed coincidences, just happened to be having a luggage sale.
I saw some subdued, beautifully elegant luggage with pricetags to match. I saw plenty of luggage that seemed to exceed Air Canada’s size guidelines. I saw some “smart” luggage that adds electronic complexity to the simple matter of packing a suitcase (it tells you when it’s coming down the baggage carousel, locks remotely, and has a built-in scale – plus it may soon be banned because of the possibility its batteries could explode en route.)
It went against the grain, but I stuck to cheap. I got two blue plastic cases, one for $99.99 and one for $79.99. They’re called “hardside” luggage, and they come with a 10-year warranty, but they seem like just the kind of thing that would crack when flung onto (or under) a pile of other suitcases.