If you have to check baggage when travelling, you want to make sure everything inside is protected, and that includes doing what you can to make sure it gets treated well by baggage handlers. Here's what a baggage handler recommends you shop for in luggage to make sure it doesn't get banged around too much. Image from pestoverde.
You can't prevent your bag from showing any wear and tear, but you can protect it from major damage in a few ways:
- Pack it full so that it can withstand being stacked up with other luggage in the hold.
- Make sure your zippers are closed, and will stay closed. You don't want your stuff spilling out as your bag is transported.
- Buy a bag with a handle on the bottom, between the wheels. The handler can use this handle to more easily place your bag on the cart.
- Use a bag with four wheels rather than two. This means the handler can easily push or wheel your bag around rather than drag or throw it.
These increase the chances a baggage handler will be able to carry your luggage without winging it around, which means everything inside is more likely to survive the trip. You're likely already paying to check a bag, you don't want to also have to pay to replace your luggage during or after your trip.
Packing Tips from an Airport Baggage Handler [Conde Nast Traveller]