The number-one rule of being an international jet-setter: You need luggage that travels as well as you do. The best luggage sets for international travel will be durable, lightweight, and equipped with proper storage for all of your needs.
The first decision to make is whether to go hardshell or soft-shell. There are pros and cons to each. Hardshell luggage, for example, is more durable and less likely to be crushed under other suitcases. It's also water-resistant and harder to overpack due to its rigid structure. Meanwhile, soft-shell luggage is more pliable, which means it's easier to stuff it into an overhead bin or squeeze in a few more shirts. At the end of the day, it's really a matter of preference.
Once you've made that decision, think about materials. With hardshell luggage, polycarbonate will be your best bet. With soft-shell, look for tough fabrics like nylon, ripstop polyester, or Oxford. Also, think about the wheels (spinners offer 360-degree rotation but rollers are often smoother on streets and sidewalks), handles (telescoping aluminum is the sturdiest), and storage features (think zippered pockets, mesh sleeves, and compression straps).
Below, I've listed the best luggage sets for international travel, separated into hardshell and soft-shell options, and arranged from the lowest to the highest price. Keep in mind that the dimensions listed by the manufacturers sometimes don't include the wheels and handles. For international travel, carry-on length restrictions are typically 20 inches or less, including the wheels and handle. That means that even smallest suitcases on this list may need to be checked — always look up the guidelines of the airline you're flying to be sure. And if you need an even smaller, standalone carry-on suitcase, try this list of the best travel tote bags.