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Best Affordable Luggage Options for Budget-Friendly Travel

Updated: May 02, 2024

Traveling is expensive, so why spend your budget on the bags to get you there? Save some dough with these affordable luggage options.

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The Best Affordable Luggage To Help You Travel For CheapRD.COM, VIA MERCHANT (3)

A quality piece of luggage is an investment that can travel the friendly skies with you for decades, so if your budget permits, consider splurging on one of the best luggage brands. However, if you don’t want to shell out a ton of dough, you can still find first-class-approved cheap luggage options.

Trae Bodge, smart shopping expert at TrueTrae, suggests looking for quality markers, no matter the price: “I look for durability, a warranty and convenient features, like built-in compartments and expandability,” she says. She also advises paying attention to the weight of a suitcase, especially when buying hard shell luggage, as that will affect how much you can pack without exceeding airline weight restrictions.

This list defines “affordable” luggage as ones that cost less than $200. However, remember that many bags above that price point, including those from Monos (check out our top Monos luggage picks), Away and July, will have features and qualities to make the investment worth it. Consider multiple compartments for organization, upgraded materials and higher-quality handles and wheels, smart bags with charging capabilities, etc.

Ready to roll? We’ve researched and scoured the internet for the best quality luggage that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg.

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The Best Affordable Luggage 5
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Best underseat luggage

Samsonite Underseat Spinner with USB Port


  • Small enough to fit underneath an airplane seat
  • Roomy with lots of organizational offerings
  • Built-in USB port for on-plane charging


  • Battery pack for USB port sold separately

Overhead compartments can fill up fast on major and budget airlines. Whether you like to travel light or simply prefer keeping your suitcase underneath the seat in front of you, this Samsonite underseat bag is a total travel game-changer. Equipped with a USB port so you can charge your gadgets while on the go, the small but spacious bag on spinner wheels boasts a padded laptop sleeve, thoughtful pocket spaces and compartments. The main section offers enough space for about two days’ worth of clothes. “Great underseat spinner! It’s roomy and big enough. It looks durable and gorgeous,” writes one five-star Amazon reviewer. We love this Samsonite pick so much, we put it on our list of best underseat luggage.

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Best hardside carry-on

Olympia Apache Carry-On Spinner


  • Carry-on size approved by most airlines
  • Spinner wheels for easy maneuvering
  • Hidden compartment
  • Sleek, modern design available in different color accents
  • Expands for 20% more packing space


  • Extension handle may be a little wobbly
  • While a great value, it isn't as durable as other models

Olympia’s carry-on is under $200 and boasts features found in suitcases double the price. Equipped with four smooth spinner wheels and an easy-to-use aluminum telescopic handle, this carry-on bag makes hustling to catch that flight a breeze. In terms of packing space, not only does it have various compartments for organization (including a secret one to hide valuables!), but if you come home with more stuff than you left with, it expands to add 20% more space. Reviewers attest that it can hold a surprising amount of clothes, shoes and gear, making it a solid pick for overseas travel. Hopefully your airline isn’t one that started charging for carry-on luggage.

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  • Softside design is lightweight and expandable, but still fits carry-on size restrictions
  • Ergonomic handle and water- and stain-resistant coating
  • Available in a range of colors and sizes
  • Limited lifetime coverage and trusted companion promise


  • Only has two wheels
  • Softside bags may show dirt more than hardshell luggage

Travelpro makes some of the most highly rated luggage on the market, and this softside carry-on is no exception. Available in a bunch of fun color options, the lightweight, expandable suitcase is beloved by users for being reliable, convenient and easy on the eyes. It offers both a telescopic handle and carry handle, inline skate wheels and interior and exterior pockets.

“I pulled my bag across airports, roads, crosswalks and the uneven sidewalks in NYC. No issues and the bag remains stable and upright when being pulled,” writes verified purchaser Duke Jackson, who gave it a perfect five-star rating. The Travelpro Maxlite also comes in a larger carry-on and checked bag size, though the latter will run you more than $200. Pair it with the luggage cup holder and go anywhere hassle-free.

Pair it with this portable luggage scale for the ultimate hassle-free travel experience.

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Best hardside checked bag

Amazon Basics Hardside Spinner


  • Hardshell exterior made with extra-thick acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) material
  • Complete with a scratch-resistant finish
  • Expandable
  • Very affordable
  • Available in individual pieces or two- or three-piece sets
  • Four color options


  • Handle may wobble when fully extended

With a scratch-resistant hardside shell, this 30-inch checked bag from Amazon Basics is durable and affordable. The zippered bag expands up to 15% when you need extra space, and comes equipped with an organizing divider with pockets. It also offers four spinner wheels and both a telescopic and short handle for convenience. You have your choice of two checked bag sizes and one carry-on size, as well as four colors. “It rolls with complete ease!” writes flight attendant Allison B., giving it a five-star rating. “It’s sturdy too.” This affordable bag from Amazon also comes in two- and three-piece luggage sets.

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Best hardside luggage set

Showkoo 3-Piece Hardside Luggage Set


  • Three carry-on and checked pieces for the price of one
  • Impact-resistant polycarbonate construction
  • Available in 25 vibrant color options


  • Sensitive zippers

Amazon reviewers love this three-for-the-price-of-one cheap luggage set from Showkoo, which has almost 14,000 reviews and an average rating of 4.5 out of five stars. It comes with three suitcases, including a smaller carry-on, medium checked and large checked suitcases, each made of polycarbonate for durability. These pieces offer organizational compartments and straps to hold clothes in place. Other noteworthy features include TSA-approved locks and multidirectional wheels.

“I am very pessimistic about lower priced items and feel like you get what you pay for,” confesses reviewer Robert Montanez. “With two hotel changes and two flights to get home, this luggage had plenty of time to disappoint. After five to 10 miles of walking, 15 to 20 escalators, and four flights they have already exceeded my expectations.”

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  • Compact size suitable for carry-on and underseat luggage
  • Extremely wallet-friendly and lightweight
  • Available an impressive 38 colors and patterns


  • Affordable, but will wear out quicker than other options

This Rockland set, which includes an expandable carry-on and a matching tote bag, was made for the traveler who wants to avoid checking their luggage. The softside suitcase features a retractable handle, in-line skate wheels, back zippered pockets and top and side grip handles. Amazon reviewers maintain that it holds a surprising amount of clothes and navigates well around the airport.

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  • Five-piece set covers all your child's traveling needs
  • Patterns available for boys and girls
  • Light enough for children to carry
  • Very affordable


  • Suitcase may not be big enough for long trips

This adorable luggage set from Travelers Club includes everything a kid needs for their next trip. That includes a hardside carry-on suitcase, backpack, lunch bag, neck pillow and luggage tag, all in a matching pattern of their choice. Amazon reviewers rave that the set is a quality deal for the price. “The outer shell is nice and sturdy, the zippers glide easily,” writes buyer Elewis, who adds that she’s “obsessed” with the overall quality.

What to look for when buying cheap luggage

  • Durability: Bodge says always to prioritize durability, no matter the price. Look for materials like polycarbonate, ABS plastic and nylon, which are all lightweight yet sturdy. Also check the seams, zippers and handles for quality construction.
  • Wheels: Ensure the luggage has smooth-rolling wheels that can handle different terrains. Spinner wheels provide better maneuverability.
  • Size and weight: Ensure the luggage meets your size and weight requirements for airlines. Lightweight luggage is ideal to avoid excess baggage fees, notes Bodge.
  • Locks: Look for luggage with TSA-approved locks or lockable zippers to keep your belongings safe.
  • Warranty: Check if the luggage comes with a warranty to cover any manufacturing defects.
  • Additional features: Bodge says she always looks for convenient features like built-in compartments and expandability. These can help you stay organized and maximize the available space.

Why you should trust us

I’m a Philadelphia-based freelance writer and editor with over 10 years of experience specializing in lifestyle coverage. My work has been featured in numerous publications and websites, including Glamour, Business Insider and Cosmopolitan. Between myself and the editors at Reader’s Digest, we’ve personally tested all the top luggage brands, including Monos, Beis, Away, Roam, Briggs and Riley and many more. Our editors are frequent flyers, weekend trippers, parents and pet owners. This means we’ve tested bags, backpacks and suitcases for every occasion and type of traveler.

We also interviewed Trae Bodge, an accomplished lifestyle journalist and TV commentator with over a decade of experience specializing in smart shopping, personal finance and retail. Bodge is passionate about helping consumers save money and get the best value from their purchases. She’s made over 1,000 TV appearances on GMA and the Today Show. Her writing and commentary have been featured in Forbes, Time, Marketwatch and many others, making her a trusted source for advice on cheap luggage.

How we found the best cheap luggage

In our search for the best cheap luggage, we conducted a thorough evaluation process to ensure that affordability didn’t compromise functionality. We began by researching a wide range of budget-friendly options and brands. We considered factors such as durability, design and essential features. After that, we analyzed real user reviews to gauge overall satisfaction and identify any potential issues.

Additionally, we consulted with industry experts for their insights on what makes an affordable luggage option stand out. By combining our research with expert opinions and real user feedback, we curated a list of the best cheap luggage options that offer excellent value without sacrificing quality or performance.


Which is better hard or soft luggage?

Both hard and soft luggage have their strengths and weaknesses, so there’s no definitive “better” choice. What matters is which style suits your travel needs. Hard luggage provides superior protection and is ideal for checked bags. Soft luggage offers more flexibility for packing extra items, which is handy for bringing back souvenirs. Explore our picks for the best soft luggage and best hard luggage to learn more.

What size luggage is best for traveling?

To determine the right-sized luggage, consider the length of your trip, your mode of transportation and the number of travelers. For most short trips, carry-on luggage that fits in overhead compartments is usually sufficient. For family road trips, a large suitcase may be best. Remember, large suitcases need to be checked when flying, but paying the extra fee may be worth it if you’re packing for multiple people.

Where to find affordable luggage?

One way to score a brag-worthy deal on everything from carry-on bags and underseat luggage to checked options is to shop over three-day weekends. When shopping for cheap luggage, keep an eye out for sales holidays like Amazon Prime Day, Target’s Deal Days or Black Friday/Cyber Monday. Nothing compares to the high you get from scoring on a piece you’ve had your eye on during a sale.