I'm not an expert or anything, but I think suitcases are quite important for going abroad. There are so many things to think about when choosing one - 2 wheels, 4 wheels, non-wheeled, soft and hard-sided, trolley cases, telescopic handles, combination lock... My strategy is to buy the largest suitcase I can find!
I looked all over and ended up going to Argos (typical!). Me and my mum pulled open a catalogue each and wrote down the potential candidates for the perfect suitcase, a healthy mixture of the soft and hard varieties. I must admit that I did have to Google the pros and cons of each kind. I came to this reasonable conclusion: although hard would protect my belongings when the airline carelessly throws my suitcase on board, a soft suitcase can expand and I could therefore fit more clothes in.
We asked the kind Argos lady if we could see all 10 suitcases before making any rash decisions. After hauling these suitcases onto the counter, ripping the neat sellotape from the cardboard boxes and putting up with my temperamental yes-no-maybe decisions, the sales assistant was actually very patient. Eventually I found the one I wanted. But even after spending an hour rooting through Argos catalogues and opening all the boxes to have a peek, I still wanted to go home and buy it online. This gave me more time to feel sure about my decision.
I went back to Argos yesterday to have a look at the smaller suitcase of the one I was going to buy for my matching hand luggage. Instead of buying online, I bought them both, there and then, taking another juicy bite out of my student budget.
Still, I would very much like an upgrade to a Louis Vuitton luggage set - who wouldn't?! In time... Maybe when I'm a proper seasoned traveller and not a poor student!