Everyone loves to travel, which is why we often spend our time fantasizing about our next great adventure. In these daydreams of exploring an exotic and unique location, it’s rare that we focus our attention on the luggage that we will bring along for the ride. While luggage may not be the most exciting part of a trip, it serves a very important purpose to ensure we have everything we need for a successful journey. How else would we transport our essential items to and from our destination? Lucky for us, modern-day luggage has evolved tremendously over the last 50 years and it’s more advanced than ever before. Let’s take a look back at this evolution and how we’ve benefited from the improvements in design and technology.

Luggage has seen an incredible amount of change in design and functionality. The most notable being the introduction of wheels. In bygone days, having a suitcase on wheels was frowned upon for men as it indicated weakness. Today, a rolling suitcase is not only accepted, but applauded for its practicality and functionality. Most suitcases now have “spinner wheels,” which have changed the luggage game forever. These wheels move in all different directions rather than just right and left, which allows for greater stability and control. You can push your luggage with more ease and less strain. Another enhancement in design is the collapsible handle. As great as the rolling suitcase is, it would be nothing without the ability to fit into a compact space.

As flying becomes more accessible than ever before, people are having the opportunity to travel more often than they ever have in the past. With that in mind, the importance of durability and functionality cannot be overstated. Travelers are looking to make their trips as efficient as possible and in order to do so, they need luggage that can hold all of their valuables and fit in an overhead bin. Speaking of those overhead bins, with the constant changes in airline rules and regulations, luggage has had to adapt at a very rapid rate. It’s rare that people want to check their bags these days. Given there is typically a fee for doing so and the process of retrieving your bag can be quite the headache, more people are interested in carry-on options than ever before. During full flights and peak travel seasons, the size and durability of your luggage is critical.

Not only has luggage become more practical, it’s also become smarter. With our desire for better and faster “everything,” almost all industries have benefited from the advancements in modern technology. Luggage is no exception. Here are just a few of the exciting features that have been applied to luggage:

Handles that double as scales! The days of guessing how much your luggage weighs are behind you. No more under-packing for fear that you will exceed weight limits or worse, having to shift things around once you get to the airport.

External USBs and battery packs that allow you to charge your electronics. Say goodbye to the scary low battery alert and never worry again about not being able to get to an outlet.

Bluetooth technology that allows you to track and stay connected to your luggage. Fear of losing your luggage might not be classified by any psychologist but it’s a very real anxiety experienced by many people. Thanks to built-in Bluetooth, you can rest easy knowing that you will always be able to locate your bags via your smartphone.

Handles that double as tables. It can be tough to find a workstation or table at the airport and this solves that dilemma. They even come with cup holders!

High-tech security features that will be sure to put your mind at ease! From fingerprint IDs to RFID technology, no one will have the chance to steal your belongings or identity. Theft can be a very big concern for those that travel to certain locations so security is a very big priority for those travelers. Luckily, the luggage industry recognized this need and as a result, the travel gear of today utilizes some heavy-duty security features.

Zipper-free suitcases. I know what you’re thinking – how can you have a suitcase without its signature zippers? As it turns out, there is an alternative and a very impressive one at that. Some suitcases employ the sliding rolltop door, which provides easy access to your belongings and has proven to be extremely durable, even against the worst baggage handlers.

Luggage that you can ride! It may sound far-fetched but there is in fact motorized luggage that you can literally ride. If you’re constantly racing to catch a connecting flight, or simply looking to travel in style, this fancy suitcase is perfect for you. What will they think of next?

It’s evident that luggage has come a long way from the days of trunks and hard-shell cases. Luggage gives us the ability to travel to and from destinations with our most valuable possessions. It may not be the first thing on our minds when planning our next trip, but having what you need can either make or break your journey. Over the last 50 years, the improvements in design and technology have made luggage better than ever before. Whether your priority is durability or style, there is a perfect piece of luggage for everyone. Thanks to these enhancements, you can sit back, relax, and enjoy your trip.