Luggage at the airport.
The price of a vacation quickly adds up when you include the cost of airfare, lodging, food and souvenirs. Unless you plan on carrying your traveling clothes in a paper bag, you might also need to buy luggage, which can be another expensive proposition. However, you can save money by searching for and buying the most inexpensive varieties.
Start with friends and relatives who may have amassed a luggage collection from previous trips. Unless they happen to be going on a trip at the same time, they’ll be able to loan you a few pieces for free. In fact, frequent travelers may have too many bags, which they may be willing to sell or give to you.
When borrowing luggage, make sure to get all combinations and keys, or you may be stuck with no way to secure your possessions. If only one set of keys exists, have the keys duplicated and give the extras to your benefactors as a thank you upon your return. This spare set can prove useful in case you lose the originals. Be sure to discuss in advance how your friends would like to handle any loss or damage to their bags.
An excellent source of inexpensive luggage is your local thrift shop, which you can locate by entering “thrift shop” and the name of your city in your favorite search engine. Your Yellow Pages may also list the stores under “Used Clothing.” Although the luggage you buy here is secondhand, it may still be in good condition, especially if used for only one or two trips.
Though most thrift shops will only accept usable donations, test any potential purchases thoroughly. Grab a bag by the handle and walk around, shaking the bag as you move. Inspect the interior for any stains or any loose hinges. Make sure that all blocking mechanisms, wheels and straps are sturdy and working properly.
If you’re not in a hurry to buy, eBay offers both new and used luggage at excellent prices. To locate good buys, type appropriate terms in the search box or look under the luggage category in “Travel.” Be sure to factor in the cost of shipping and taxes, as well as the time it takes to deliver your purchase. Include enough time to inspect and return unsatisfactory goods, as well as to buy a replacement set if needed.
If you don’t have time to spare, use Craigslist. You first need to select your city from the home page and then enter the word “Luggage” into the search box. This type of merchandise exists under many categories, though you can often find it under “Clothing and Accessories.” When you go to pick up a potential purchase, be sure to test it before paying for it as you would any used goods.