After enjoying and featuring "..Kraft Dinner.." by the colourful blogger, Potato, over at Blessed By The Potato, we thought we'd sign him to a temporary guest column series contract with the moneygardener for an undisclosed sum... This post series promises to be unlike any other consumer reporting/ offbeat commentary you've ever read. John Stossel eat your heart out.... This series will be a change of pace, and we're calling it potato wedges. Enjoy...
It's important to have good luggage if you're going to go travelling for an extended period of time, or so I've heard. For the most part, I've found it important to have a good backpack (which I use daily), and then when I go away I just muddle through with a duffel I got for free. Occasionally I've found the need for a rolling suitcase -- which I found fairly cumbersome, especially on the train -- but couldn't deny the obvious benefit in the airport. It's been rare enough though that I just borrow one from my parents.
So when Wayfare and I got married, we registered for some good wheeled luggage, paying particular attention to it being lightweight (though I don't know why we bothered, since what we fill it with is going to be the main determinant of the final weight) and having good wheels and bearings. I remember having to haul my (borrowed) suitcase down a long gravel walk at one hotel, and having wheels that were a little bit bigger than average really helped there. Some particularly small plastic rollers will lock up on the smallest piece of dirt, turning your wheeled luggage into dragged luggage. Another point we looked for was a handle that would operate smoothly with one hand (retract, extend): Wayfare's old suitcase required holding the suitcase and button with one hand and yanking the handle with the other, trying it one-handed would as likely as not just lift the suitcase entirely, or tilt it over on its side.
Luggage, I've found, is ludicrously expensive. A lot of that must be mark-up, because we've seen some pretty incredible sales come by, including a 65% off sale on some Air Canada brand pieces at the Bay last week (Wayfare went with one of those for our new stuff). As much as I ripped into the Bay for their gift registry, they do offer some benefits after the wedding is over: for the next year, we can use all those gift cards we got (as well as our own cash when those run out) to buy stuff to "complete" our registry. And when we do that, they give us a minimum discount, equivalent to their typical sale (or, a recent sale price if we're lucky). So, we can get ~25% off kitchen stuff on our registry for the next year, ~10% off sheets, and 50% off luggage. So that right there should tell you what kind of discount you should be looking for if you're waiting for a good luggage sale (or if you are looking to negotiate).
For reference, the one really huge piece Wayfare originally registered for was $400 (Swiss army, which my parents can't recommend highly enough for their luggage, but you really, really pay for the name). Thankfully, nobody bought us that (I would have felt bad if they paid full price). The Air Canada piece was roughly equivalent in size, weight, and quality, and was even a little bit more visually attractive, too. It was normally about $250, and we got it for $85.