WHEN you go overboard with your shopping while overseas, and there’s no space in your luggage, what do you do?
In Asia, most people get those huge striped plastic zip-up totes and basically dump everything inside. But it’s hardly a secure carrier for your precious items – one slash with a knife and out spills the pickings for a thief.
These days, more people travel and over longer distances, too. Your luggage is manhandled as it goes through conveyor belts, airports and aircrafts, and a string of handlers.
In these days of terrorism threat, one wouldn’t want one’s luggage to be tampered with and inadvertently become a tool for terrorists. And we can’t totally rule out the possibility of drug traffickers and other undesirable elements tinkering with our bags to hide their contraband.
Security is one of the biggest considerations when selecting your luggage, agreed Lancel Paris international sales director Geoffroy Ebrard.
Lancel has been in the business of producing luxury bags and luggage for nearly 130 years, and they factor this in when designing their luggage.
“We make sure our luggage has secure locks, either combination locks or locks that are very hard to pick,” explained Ebrard at the newly opened Lancel boutique in Starhill Gallery, Kuala Lumpur, recently.
Whether one goes abroad for business or a vacation is another point to consider when choosing the right luggage, Ebrard added. Also, is one travelling alone or with the family?
“Weight is an issue as you want to maximise the items you can load in with the weight allowable (20kg for economy and 30kg for business/first class, for most carriers). But if you have a sturdy, strong bag, the weight would be more and you have less for the content itself. So it is all a matter of balance, getting a piece of luggage which is strong but not too heavy,” explained Ebrard.
A good compromise, he added, is luggage in a combination of fabric and leather – so you have the durability combined with lightness. If one is thinking long term and wants to take wear and tear into account, then full leather outshines other materials.
For business, you have to consider luggage that has space for a laptop and all the requisite business tools/gadgets in addition to your business suits.
For a vacation, your destination and the duration of travel should also be taken into account. If you are going somewhere cold where you need winter wear, or if your stay is longer, then obviously you need a much bigger bag which can contain more clothes.
Must-haves these days are trolley bags or bags with rollers, for the convenience that they offer.
New technology in IT and entertainment has also influenced manufacturing trends in luggage; Lancel has incorporated features like compartments for iPods, palmtops, Blackberry covers and so on.
Ebrard said the market for travel luggage is expanding; Lancel hopes that with a fine balance of style, function and practicality, they will have an edge in the market. They decided to open a boutique in Kuala Lumpur, after the good response to their Hong Kong boutique.
Lancel also offers bags for other occasions.
By the way, for those still worried about security, in most airports there is a machine that wraps and seals your luggage in plastic, so if it’s tampered with, you will know.