Vacations are not cheap — and neither are the suitcases you'll need for them. That said, they don't need to be as expensive as the airfare itself. The
best cheap luggage sets under $50 are few and far between, but they do exist if you know where to look and what to look for.
Unless they're having a
massive sale, you're not likely to find an affordable set at a brick-and-mortar department store. The internet is often your best bet when it comes to finding the best carry-ons and the best checked luggage on a budget. Amazon, in particular, has a wide selection overall, and the reviews section can tell you exactly what to expect (which is especially important when you opt for a cheaper luggage set).
Admittedly, there are very few options at this price-point — even for sets of two, and the ones that
are available will likely be soft suitcases that are on the smaller side. For that reason, you might need to get a little creative with your purchases; combining various pieces from different sets is a great way to come in under $50. Still, If you're looking for matching three-piece luggage sets (or more), you might want to up your budget a little, especially if you're looking for the best hardshell suitcases that'll keep their contents safe from moisture and impact.
Before you start shopping, also note the differences in size between a carry-on and checked luggage:
Carry-on sizes in America usually measure 22 by 14 by 9 inches. International flights will differ, so check with your specific airline before you purchase and pack. Most larger suitcases will need to be checked.
Because of the limited selection, I've listed five of the best sets and single suitcases under $50 — but I've also added a few of your best options if you're willing to supplement or go a bit higher. All of them come in at under $100, and the majority of them are rated 4.0 stars or above.
The Best Cheap Luggage Set Overall
There are several reasons why the
U.S Traveler Rio two-piece luggage set earns the title of the best overall pick under $50, but the main reason is the quality given the price-point. With this set, you're getting an expandable carry-on suitcase and a piggy-back tote that effortlessly attaches to the retractable, self-locking handle. Each piece has ample pockets and protective padding, not to mention various straps and handles, quality zippers, and even a security lock.
You can get this set in six colors (black, green, orange, purple, red, and blue), and reviewers say, "Great value and product! Bought this for an international trip because I only wanted to carry on and this was perfect! Even on the flight to London that had tiny compartments this worked like a charm! It was easy to maneuver around airports and through train stations and made it easier to travel alone."
Dimensions: Small upright suitcase: 21 by 13.5 by 7.5 inches Tote: 14 by 10 by 6 inches
The Most Color And Pattern Options
If instantly locating your luggage on the baggage carousel is your top priority, opt for the
Rockland Luggage printed set. Unlike other affordable options, these two-piece sets are offered in a wide variety of colors and patterns. From camouflage and owl prints to polka dots and bold colors, you'll find dozens of options that are easy to spot and hard to lose.
In addition to the eye-catching designs, reviewers are also pretty thrilled with the overall quality. The full interior lining, expandable frames, smooth-gliding wheels, and retractable handle have thousands of buyers saying, "great luggage and super great price."
Dimensions: Small upright suitcase: 19 by 13 by 7 inches Tote: 14 by 12 by 5 inches
The Best Hardshell Carry-On
As previously discussed, it's pretty difficult to find a quality hard set for under $50. As a result, you might want to invest in a reliable carry-on like the
AmazonBasics Hardside Spinner, and then find a cheap attachable tote (like the one listed below) to complete your set.
In addition to its protective outer casing, this pick offers four double-spinner wheels, a telescoping handle, and fully-lined interior pockets of all shapes and sizes — plus the design expands for even more room. Among the rave reviews, you'll find buyers talking about the easy-glide zippers, the durable exterior, and the fact that it fits in most overhead compartments without any issue. No wonder it's a number-one best seller in the suitcases category.
Dimensions: Small upright suitcase: 22 by 15 by 10 inches
The Cheapest Three-Piece Luggage Set
This one's $3 over budget, but it's currently one of the only affordable three-piece luggage sets on Amazon — especially considering that the biggest piece is a hardshell. The suitcase offers spinner wheels, a retractable handle, and a lined interior with a shoe compartment and elastic straps. You'll also get a boarding tote and a travel toiletry pouch, all in your choice of three colors. This isn't the most durable option, but if you're looking for something cheap to cover your bases, buyers say it's "a steal."
Dimensions: Small upright suitcase: 20 by 13 by 11 inches Tote: 15 by 10 by 5 inches Toiletry Bag: 10 by 5 by 5 inches
If you have a hard time traveling light,
this piece from Olympia pairs the portability of a suitcase with the interior space of a duffel bag — and since it comes in at just $30, you can easily supplement with a tote or carry-on from another brand.
This pick offers eight pockets for maximum versatility, the largest of which has a U-shape opening so you can easily access the roomy main compartment. That said, it also offers two wheels, a kickstand, and a handle, so you can get from one end of the airport to the other without hassle.
"Words cannot describe how much I was able to fit inside here
with room to spare," says one reviewer who packed multiple outfits, all their electronics, and three pairs of shoes. Some even say it qualifies as a carry-on, but be sure to check with your specific airline first. Dimensions: Small upright duffel: 22 by 12 by 12 inches
Also Great: Add A Carry-On Tote For $11
Considering one of the above single suitcases? When combined with something like the
For Spirit Airlines foldable tote (which costs just $11 and easily attaches to your luggage handle), you've got a reliable set for under $50. In addition to its lightweight, foldable design that you can stow away when empty, it's made from water-resistant nylon and comes in over a dozen colors and patterns. There's even a zippered pocket so you can access your phone or passport while you're on the move.
"I travel a ton and I'm tired of checking bags," says one reviewer. "Headed to Europe for [eight] days and already had a larger suitcase that would fit in the overhead bin. But I needed a roomy one that would fit under my seat. This bag did the trick!"
Dimensions: Tote: 15 by 10 by 5 inches
Also Great: Worth The Extra $10
If you're willing to go just a
little bit higher, you can get a reliable three-piece set with a 4.0-star rating. This one offers two uprights (a carry-on and a checked bag) and a boarding bag; they're all made with lightweight frames and quality polyester. They also feature inline-skate wheels, handles, and double zippers. Get them in black, navy blue, purple, red, or blue floral. Dimensions: Medium upright suitcase: 25 by 16.5 by 8 inches Small upright suitcase: 21 by 14 by 7 inches Tote: 10 by 15 by 6.5 inches
Also Great: A Reasonably-Priced Four-Piece Luggage Set
The vast majority of four-piece luggage sets start around $160. For roughly half the price, the
U.S Traveler New Yorker set offers three rolling, expandable soft suitcases and an adjustable-strap tote. The cases feature recessed inline wheels for smooth rolling and easy-glide push-button handles for optimal control. Everything is made with durable PVC backing, soft EVA foam, and high-end exterior fabric in your choice of four colors. Dimensions: Big upright suitcase: 29 by 17 by 10.5 inches Medium upright suitcase: 25 by 15 by 9.5 inches Small upright suitcase: 21 by 13.5 by 8 inches Tote: 15 by 10 by 7 inches
Also Great: The Best Hard-Cover Luggage For Under $100
Hardcover (or hardshell) luggage is hands down the most expensive type there is because it protects against spills, compresses bulky items, and prevents your things from getting crushed. With three upright, rolling hardshell suitcases for under $100, the
Merax Travelhouse set is the deal of the century.
Each is made from lightweight (yet durable) ABS material and has an aluminum telescopic handle with silent, multi-directional wheels. Inside, you'll find fully-lined compartments that expand for 25-percent more room. They even have zippers that lock into place with a combination key to keep your belongings safe and secure.
Dimensions: Big upright suitcase: 22 by 13 by 9 inches Medium upright suitcase: 26 by 16 by 11 inches Small upright suitcase: 30 by 19 by 13 inches Bustle may receive a portion of sales from products purchased from this article, which was created independently from Bustle's editorial and sales departments.